Profile picture for user9737282

Selling FSBO... Realtor comes into picture after the fact?

Had an unrepresented family come look at our home that we have for sale FSBO...this family is now listing their house for sale and have an "agent" and have since placed an offer to us with their "now" new realtor wanting full commission. Are we obligated to pay that if they had nothing to do with finding the home for this family, originally, even if we had a flat fee mls listing stating we would pay buyers commission if a realtor brought us a family to purchase our home?
  • August 03 2013 - Orlando
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for Michael Mei
I believe so...FSBOs typically save money on the transaction on the listing side.  since you are offering compensation on the Seller/Buying side...and the Buyer choices to have an agent represent them...then yes you would be obligated to pay commissions to their agent as the buyer's choice for Agent to represent them.
  • August 03 2013
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Yeah, I think so. If the property was on the MLS, and an MLS member brings you an offer that you accept, then you have to pay the commission.
  • August 03 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Finding the home is only a  portion of the activities of a buyer's agent.   As you've agreed to pay for a buyer's agent, the buyer has the right to bring an agent into the purchase process. 
  • August 04 2013
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Profile picture for user0656247
Commission just like everything else is negotionable, if you do not want to pay full commission then negotiate that. I beleive buyers agents usually get 2.5-3%. You could play hardball and say no commission but you could lose the sale. I would try to negotiate your the commission down down to 1-1.5% since your FSBO and the buyer found you on their own, if the agent has a problem with it and the buyers really want the house let them pay the rest of his commission.
  • August 04 2013
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While rules may vary in your local multiple listing service, here is how it typically works.  The seller signed an agreement with the listing broker, stating the fixed amount the seller would pay at closing if the buyer works with a broker.  It does not matter who saw it first, or whether the broker was there at the first showing, or even whether the seller ever talked to the broker.  What matters is whether the broker wrote the purchase and sale agreement.  It is the buyer's choice whether or not to work with a broker, just as it is the seller's choice whether to accept the terms and conditions of a buyer's offer.

There are other factors that come into play as well. but the short answer generally is that the seller owes a commission if they agreed in writing to pay one.  The way you've described it, it sounds like that is the case.  Check the purchase and sale agreement -- if the buyer's brokerage is named on the contract, it is likely a commission is owed.
  • August 04 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You would not owe the buyers agent a FULL or double sided commission on your FSBO just because that agent is also selling your buyer's house.

If it was included in your FSBO listing or your contract, you would only owe the stated amount that you agreed to pay an agent. Remember though that commissions are negotiable----so try to negotiate. In my area, a buyers agent on a FSBO be offered 1-3%, but your area may be different.

You can choose to try to find another buyer who is unrepresented by an agent up to the point that you sign the contract if your market is selling well. If you don't like the terms from these buyers, you don't have to sign the contract.
  • August 04 2013
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As long as your offer or counter offer gives you the net amount you desire, yes, you would owe a commission to that agent. The buyers likely need representation. There are many steps involved when buying a home and many home buyers do not want to risk going it alone.

Just make sure the terms and price work with your needs.
  • August 04 2013
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If you were a Realtor who showed a buyer a home, the buyer would have to sign a agent/buyers relationship contract, thus protecting the Realtor form commission earned. 
  • August 05 2013
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Unfortunately the listing was posted on MLS and therefore if a Broker brings you an offer you decide to accept, you are obligated to pay a commission.This is the downside to posting your home using a flat fee service and MLS. The reality is you are no longer a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) when you post your home to MLS.

But look on the bright side you have a Buyer.
  • August 05 2013
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If you had a flat fee listing then you aren't really a FSBO anymore. Once you listed on the MLS, you are obligate to pay the buyers agent a commission. Unfortunately this happens a lot, where buyers are out looking on their own time and then when they find a house, they bring in their agent. The buyers agent should be working extra hard to get their home sold so they can buy your home - that's a good thing and you saved money on the selling side of your transaction. 
  • August 07 2013
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You listed it on the MLS with a broker and signed a contract agreeing to pay a buyer's agent a certain amount. It doesn't matter who "found" the property, listing it on the MLS exposes it to all participating brokers and their agents. A buyer doesn't hire an agent just to find them a house, if this was the case, Realtors would be in trouble since all of the homes we can "find" are online for everyone to see.

A real estate transaction is much more complicated and many things can go wrong. A good agent will be able to foresee a problem and prevent it to the best of their abilities. If they can't prevent it, then they will solve it. We have the ability to solve these issues because we do this everyday, not just once every 10 or 15 years. 
  • August 15 2013
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Profile picture for Mark LeMenager

Sorry, but you are clearly not selling FSBO.  You've signed a contract (doubtless limited service) with a brokerage to have your property listed on the MLS, which contains binding terms between realtors.  If you accept a contract offer that lists the cooperating sales associate and brokerage (the last item on standard Florida contracts), then they are due the commission offered on the MLS.  If you are not happy with that, then don't accept their offer.

  • August 16 2013
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