How can I politely end a contract with my broker?
June 21, 2006 1:56 PM   Subscribe

I have been, for some time now, looking for a space for my retail store. I had to sign a contract with a broker, since in the area I was looking you can only have one broker working for you. I have seen a few spaces and have been in contract talks with one of them, but that fell through (not because of the broker). I also asked the broker about a SPECIFIC space, but they said everything was taken and nothing was available there. Later I called myself and found out more information, and soon contacted a landlord willing to lease me a space. I like my broker and think they tried their best, but I need to break the contract so I can go on and deal with this space myself. It is no problem to cancel the contract I just need to send a letter. I guess my question is, how can I let my broker go, without harboring or sending any bad feelings?
posted by savagecorp to Work & Money (7 answers total)
what State?
posted by Izzmeister at 2:16 PM on June 21, 2006

posted by savagecorp at 2:31 PM on June 21, 2006

Well, the broker is going to be miffed either way, but you're breaking the contract because they weren't meeting your needs. Therefore, you shouldn't feel bad. It's just business.

If you're feeling really guilty, send them a basket of fruit.
posted by bshort at 2:39 PM on June 21, 2006

Check your broker's contract very carefully. At least in some standard real estate buyer's agent contracts, the agent is entitled to a commission FROM YOU no matter how you end up buying a house (i.e. if another broker finds a place for you, if you find a place for yourself, or if a place leaps out at you and forces you to buy it at knifepoint).

(IAAL, but IANYL.)
posted by spacewrench at 3:12 PM on June 21, 2006

spacewrench is right, definitely read the fine print on the contract. Assuming there are no problems, be up front with the broker. Thank them for their help, and explain that you were just lucky to find a place on your own. If you were satisfied with their service ask for a business card so that you can refer friends and family. I'm an agent and my business card is one of the best ways I connect to people, so it would be a kind gesture.
posted by marxfriedrice at 4:28 PM on June 21, 2006

I agree with the above. Sometimes, people in this situation give the broker an amount of money comensurate with their work on the project. If they've been representing you for months, and shown you lots of spaces, then perhaps they deserve a bit more than if they've just started or didn't do that much work.
posted by zpousman at 5:34 PM on June 21, 2006

If your contract permits you to break the relationship with a letter, I think you can do so with no guilt whatever.

Brokerage is a contingent business: no deal, no pay. Your broker not only couldn't get you your deal, but, if the facts are as they say you are, he failed in the implied duty of the brokerage relationship that he'd seek that deal for you diligently, honestly, and competently. Maybe he was lying, maybe he was lazy in not following up every day with the landlord until he coughed up the vacancy, or maybe he was incapable (for whatever reason) of getting you in to bid for the vacancy. He doesn't deserve a dime.
posted by MattD at 8:00 PM on June 21, 2006

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