Posted by: Nick Fundytus

Question of the week:

Is changing Realtors a big deal? 

How common is it to dump a realtor that you fee isn’t working hard enough for you? Long story short, I’m not receiving anything beyond what I can get off of I asked for sold prices in the market and the answer was basically “no”. Is this normal?

Nick Answers Reddit

Every week, Nick answers a Redditor’s question about buying, selling, renting, investing or living in Ottawa. This week’s question is about whether it’s okay to dump a Realtor that’s not getting the job done in a Redditor’s purchase search.

Nick's Response

Hey u/Old-Bus-8084,


The short answer is no, it’s not a big deal, but be sure to recognize that the Realtor is a human and not a replaceable cog (despite what some detractors of the profession would say). They’ll benefit from your feedback, even if it’s blunt, so it’s courteous to let them know what’s not working before moving on.

The longer answer is that you’ll need to take a few steps to part ways with your Realtor. Here’s what I would recommend to make it painless and protect yourself.

  • Start with a short breakup email to your Realtor to express that you would like to be released from your Buyer Representation Agreement. Outline the level of service that you were expecting, and where you felt that the Realtor fell short.

  • A decent Realtor will probably call you at this point to see if the relationship can be adjusted or salvaged. This will be awkward but good to clear the air. If not, they’ll let you know verbally that you’re good to move on and will prepare the breakup paperwork, which is a Cancellation of a Buyer Representation Agreement in Ontario, but will vary by province depending upon where you are.

  • At this point, you’ve made your intent clear. If your soon-to-be-ex Realtor does any of the following at this point, escalate to his Broker manager and to the board if necessary with copies of pertinent communications. These are unlikely scenarios, but I’ve heard the horror stories and it’s not outside of the realm of possibility.

    • Is rude or disrespectful to you

    • Bills you for “work done.” Most Realtors only get paid when a home closes.

    • Refuses or drags out the cancellation.

  • Since you were referred by your past Realtor, you may want to let them know that the person they referred came up short on service. I’d certainly like to know if someone I referred has slipped in their service level since it makes me look bad.

  • Once the cancellation is signed, you’re free to engage another Realtor of your choice. It’s best to sign similar terms and conditions with the new Realtor, since otherwise your recently-ex-Realtor may, in very rare cases, be able to claim commission on what you eventually buy if it’s within the holdover period on your previous Buyer Representation Agreement.

Sorry to hear that you got a dud. I hope that the next person you work with gives you great service as you look for a home!

Source: I’m a Realtor in Ottawa, Ontario.

3 Bonus Tips for finding the right REALTOR®


Get a referral from someone like you; a first-time homebuyer or someone who found a home in your specific area.


Interview 2-4 Realtors about their experience and skills. Set out your expectations for service.


Ask what happens if you aren’t a good fit; what’s the process for firing your Realtor?

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