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Realtor obligation

If a realtor shows me a home, am I obligated to negotiate through him when purchasing the home?  Are there ramifications if I use a different realtor to negotiate terms on the same house?

I haven't signed anything with anyone and am just beginning my home search.
  • July 27 2012 - US
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Answers (4)

You're not obligated, but . . . 

There is a possibility that the first agent (let's not call them Realtors® unless they are) could claim a commission from the Seller as "Procuring Cause." The ramification to you is that there would be no compensation left for the agent you brought in, so in all likelihood, they wouldn't enter the transaction unless you compensated them out of your pocket.

So as a pre-emptive and practical matter, spend fifteen minutes on the phone with a real estate attorney. Better safe than very sorry.

All the best,
  • July 27 2012
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I agree with those that posted before me. If you signed nothing, the agent that showed you the home is owed nothing. However, "agent shopping" will generally lead you to lesser qualified agents. Diligence is something that both agent and client owe each other.

Pat Palmer-Broker Associate
[contact information and hotlink removed by Zillow moderator]
  • July 27 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Before you go any further, step back in the process a little bit.   Interview buying agents carefully and chose one that you consider good before asking individuals to work for you then dumping them.    It is not unusual to interview 5 to 10 agents by phone before choosing one.

  • July 27 2012
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Profile picture for Owens Realty Group

Hello,

This can be a tricky subject, but the answer technically is no. Agents are taught that if you do not have a Buyer Representation Agreement that you are technically working as a volunteer.

However, if the Realtor you viewed the home with tried to collect commission off of the home they showed you and you purchased, they would have a case because when they showed you that home for the first time they were the 'procuring cause of the sale' and may be able to collect comission because of this. This is not intended to be legal advice, but if you have further questions I suggest you contact the Texas Real Estate Commission's hotline that can be found on their webpage.

Hopefully this helps. My advice is to find a good Realtor before looking at homes and stick with them. Best of luck!

  • July 27 2012
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