Profile picture for user020061

Earned commission or not?

Here's a question ...I have a house listed for an asking price of X .I have repeatedly told the agent that X is my rock bottom figure.
Agent comes in with an offer for $2000 less than X which I would reject. Agent comes up with another "offer"that is based on an appraisal contingency meaning that if I accept that and the house does not appraise as much as my bottom line that I would be forced to sell for less than I need. This "' offer"is more of a roll of the dice than an offer and I am not going to sell for less than I need of of the house.
Fed up with the offer I suggested to the agent that maybe the house should be taken off the market until the asking price was assured to equal the appraised price.
At that the agent threatened me that if I delisted they would be demanding full commission because they fulfilled their obligation to me by bringing a ready ,willing and able buyer. I disagree - the buyer was only ready to pay $2000 less than my asking or force me to roll the dice and settle for whatever the appraisal came out to.
...probably much less than the asking. The buyer never offered me what I wanted !
I seriously challenge that the agent did actually bring a ready ,able and willing buyer to the table....unless ready ,willing and able to get the house for less than the asking price counts.
As a sidebar ,when the house was listed it was listed for a figure some $5000 more than it is now...a price that the agent said was "right in the ballpark"....of course now she says that the real value is probably more like $8000 under the asking price.
One wonders if they can get away with calling there obligation to me fulfilled 
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August 09 2012 - Fort Myers
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Answers (10)

The answer, honestly, is no...
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March 27 2013
Profile picture for user020061

Thanks guys...
I did post another reply but don't see it anywhere so will enter an abridged edition
I  forgot to make it clear  that there was an offer of my FULL original asking price back in March !
That deal disintegrated after the supposedly pre-qualified and pre approved buyer was turned down for financing because
her deposit was way too low !  It appears that she was not ready,willing and able either and that tied me up for 30 days + !
Still...she saw the value in the place ,at my original price which simply reinforces the validity of my current bottom line price.
Recently the offers I received were one that was $2000 less($5000 less than the March offer) than my minimum w/o the contingency OR a separate second offer where the contigency appilied and would LIMIT my selling price to the appraisal value...take my choice.. Lose with the 1st or possibly  lose with the 2nd....
 I didn't like that deal .
 The difference in the numbers is small but nonetheless critical in this transaction ..in this situation every $ counts
BTW I've knocked 6% off the price from the disqualified buyer's price back in March....so I already did my bit to bring a new buyer on the scene .


My question was - does an offer like that constitute finding me a ready ,able and willing buyer and earn a commission.
Thankfully the consensus is NO  and i fully intend to ignore the broker's attempt to bully me...for now. 
 I have told the agent that she can keep the listing but to fulfill that obligation to earn commission she needs to bring me a buyer that will pay me my minimum or offer me a deal with conditions that I am prepared accept -  NOT the one that she WANTS me to go with so she can cash her commission check !
 There is nothing in the contract that says for that commission to be payable that I have to sell for less or accept ANY conditions that I am uncomfortable with.
  If they can't find me a buyer at my minimum by the expiry date of the contract I will not be renewing with them.
 

Thanks guys..
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August 09 2012
Profile picture for sunnyview
You owe your listing agent nothing, but I would not cancel the listing since that may open you up to paying their expenses at the very least. Just send the agent an email stating that you do not want to see ANY offers that are less than X during the remaining listing period. As an owner, you are not required to sell for less than the price that you are willing to or need for the house.

Your agent may have rolled the dice on taking your listing hoping to later strong arm you into accepting a lower offer. If that is the case, they are out of luck and should not get a dime. That is the price they pay for trying to buy your listing with a rose colored CMA. Stand your ground and keep everything in writing.
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August 09 2012
Please insert "not" between "you do _____ have a ready" on the Easy Answer sentence. 

Sorry for the typo.

Josh 
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August 09 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
NO...The answer is a simple no imo
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August 09 2012
You can sell a dollar for .95 but you can not sell it for 1.10. No matter how much you need the 1.10!
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August 09 2012
To answer your question, NO he has not yet earned his commission. You probaly need to ask a lawyer if he could get anything if he sued, which I'm guessing he is unlikely to do.

But, you are still faced with the same problem. Your house is only worth what someone is willing to pay. And then, in most cases,  it is only worth what someone else is willing to loan them on it. That language about the appraisal contingency is in almost all every contract that needs financing. However, that appraisal contingency doesn't mean you will be forced to sell for less if the appraisal comes in low....it simply means the buyer will be able to back out if you won't.

I'm sorry, but no one is going to give you more for the house than it is worth. How much you "need" doesn't matter to any buyer on the planet. You may need to simply stay put, if you  can't get what you have to have.
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August 09 2012
user020061,

Easy Answer: Leave the home listed until the listing contract expires, until you have a full asking price w/o concessions, you do have a ready, willing and able buyer for what you are willing to accept.

Fun Answer:  Next time your listing agent asks you to lower your price, from the original listing agreement price, let that agent know, you are willing to lower the price by the amount they are willing to lower their commissions.

Hope this helps,

Josh Barnett, Realtor
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August 09 2012
I disagree with Chas in that all offers must be presented to you. If an agent has, in writing, a letter stating they will not accept nor do they want to see or receive any offers below $xxx,xxx then and only then does an agent have the ability to reject any offers below the stated amount in the letter. Would I tell the seller I had one but we rejected it, maybe, but if the seller made enough stink then I would not even tell them.

Did your agent earn a commission, NOPE. If the offer was full price no contingencies then maybe yes. All offers, other than cash offers, that require a loan will be contingent on the appraisal coming in at or above the purchase price so your argument about that is not to valid. They are all a roll of the dice until you get that appraisal and an appraisal today might be different than one you get a month from now, so you always roll the dice and the value of your house can change as comparable homes in the area sell. Your value can go up and down, although the spread of yours seems a bit steep.
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August 09 2012
Four thoughts: (1) When you first listed the property at the higher price, had you interviewed three real estate agents, and had they presented you with comparative market analyses supporting the asking price?  Some agents deliberately inflate their view of the value of a home to get the seller to list with them.  I'm not saying that's what happened in your case.  (2) Your agent can put "price is firm" or similar language in the multiple listing remarks; however, your agent is legally and ethically obligated to communicate every offer to you, including offers below your stated price. (3) The standard form listing agreement in Northern Virginia contains the following language in the Broker Compensation paragraph: "Seller shall pay Broker in cash total compensation of _______ (Compensation) if, during the term of this Agreement, anyone produces a buyer ready, willing and able to buy Property." Presumably your listing agreement has the same or similar language. Before terminating the listing agreement early, you should get the advice of an experienced real estate attorney in your state as to whether you would owe a commission, or some other termination fee, penalty or damages, based on your rejection of an offer $2,000 below your asking price. (4) The terms of listing agreements are negotiable. As a condition of signing a listing agreement, a seller can request modification in the standard language, for example, adding a sentence that no Compensation will be due unless a sales contract is ratified and the transaction closes. If the listing agent or broker refuse to modify the listing agreement language to meet your needs, find a listing agent/broker that will. Sellers who retain the right to terminate a listing agreement before its stated termination date should expect also to agree to pay an early-termination fee to cover the listing agent/broker's costs of advertising the property.
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August 09 2012
 
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