Can You Fire Your Real Estate Agent in KW?

Today we’re going to zero in on a very specific question: Can you fire your real estate agent in Kitchener-Waterloo?

The short answer is yes, for the standard real estate agreement in the area you can fire your agent if you no longer want to work with them.

That being said, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

Holdover Period

For example, you will have to mind the “holdover period”.

Holdover periods are a timeframe during which an agent can take credit for a buyer he brought to purchase your home, or for a property they’ve shown you to buy, even if that agent gets fired.

Holdover periods are in place to protect agents and prevent people from using their services, firing them, and then proceeding to buy the home they’ve been shown, or to sell their home to a buyer brought by the fired agent.

Holdover periods are usually 30 to 90 days.

Considerations for Buyers and Sellers

For buyers, it means that, within a certain timeframe, if you end up buying a property you’ve seen with a specific agent, you still owe that agent commission, even if you fire them.

If you complete the transaction yourself or with a different agent, the original agent can come after you for the amount of the cooperating commission.

For sellers, it means that within a certain timeframe, if you sell your home to a buyer your listing agent has generated for you, you will still owe your listing agent commission, even if you fire them.

Certain Obligations

With that being said, your agent can be fired at any point if you are not satisfied with the service provided. You should never be apprehensive about firing your realtor if you think they’re not doing good work.

You typically wouldn’t have any obligation to them beyond making sure that buyers brought to you or homes shown to you still get attributed to the original agent within a certain period of time.

Once you hire someone new, all new buyers brought to your doorstep and all new homes shown to you, get attributed to the new agent.

Exceptions and Nuances

Exceptions to this include if you have any specific or unique agreement in your own listing contract, but the standard contract can be terminated at any point.

Lastly, an important point to consider is that you cannot fire your agent after an offer has been accepted. When the offer is accepted, the deal is done, and you owe your agent commission. In addition, you are also responsible at that point to go through with the transaction, and you can’t back out of an accepted offer.

Nevertheless, these considerations are fairly straightforward to keep in mind.

If you are aware of them and what’s in your contract, they should be easy to navigate, and firing your realtor should usually be a simple process.

How Do You Fire Your Realtor?

To fire your agent, simply let them know in writing that you do not want to work with them anymore.

From there, as applicable, your home listing will be taken down, signs removed, viewings on prospective homes to buy canceled, and so on.

Can You Resolve the Issue?

While it’s always good to know you have the option of firing your realtor, it’s also worth taking some time to consider if you can fix the problem or not.

Try to assess the situation and determine what the source of the issue is. Is the issue centred on the service provided by the realtor? Or is it more about the types of homes shown or the amount of offers brought to the table?

It’s a good move to hold your agent to a high standard, however you need to make sure that your expectations are realistic and practical. Ask yourself if the agent is delivering the best they can (or the best anyone else could) given your specific situation.

Last but not least, keep in mind that buying or selling a home is a large undertaking and a significant life event. This means that it can be easy to get emotional or stressed out over the process. Be careful not to make a rash firing decision based on just emotion.

The Retention Script

At the end of the day, real estate agents are sales people just like any others. It’s their job to sell and it’s what they do best.

This means that, upon firing an agent, you might encounter a sales pitch on why you should reconsider. It’s not the end of the world if that happens, and you can even say it’s fair game that the agent tries to defend their position and retain you as a client.

In a best case scenario, this may open the door to discussing the issues at hand and hopefully resolving them.

That being said, if the issues are severe, it’s not excluded that the best option is to go through with firing your agent.

Whatever the case may be, do your best to keep a level head, focus on the facts, and don’t let yourself be swayed by emotion or by a well worded sales pitch.

It’s Not Personal

This brings us to our next point, which is that this isn’t (and shouldn’t ever be) personal. Business is business, and both the agent and their client are here to work together to get the real estate transaction done.

If the transaction is not going well, rational decisions need to be made, and if the solution is to part with your agent, that simply is what it is.

You shouldn’t be hard on yourself over making that decision, and you shouldn’t treat it as a personal matter. Likewise, the agent should understand that being fired is not a personal matter either.

Realtor Friends

This goes to touch upon a tricky scenario we’re all familiar with. It’s where one might hire a friend or a family member to be their agent.

It’s not the end of the world if you work with a friend who is a realtor, but you need to keep in mind that you are mixing a personal relationship with a business relationship. The reason this can get tricky is because, if your business relationship doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, this will end up impacting your personal relationship.

You’ll need to ask yourself if the personal side of your relationship is sound enough to handle the worst case scenario on the business side, if it were to happen. At the same time, also ask yourself if your friend is a skilled enough agent to reasonably get the job done (or level headed enough to gracefully handle being fired if not).


Keeping in mind everything we’ve talked about here today, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to fire your agent if things aren’t going the way you want them to.

We all must do what we must do for our best interest, and life (as well as business) moves on.

Contact us if you have any questions!