Profile picture for zavalasmileyface

We were selling our house with our agent but decided we wanted to keep the house.

She is now making us pay her a large amount of money for not going through with selling the house because she said it was a lot of work. Is it right for her to do that? Should we pay her or should we look more into it before paying her?
  • October 19 2013 - Murrieta
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Answers (14)

Was there an offer made by a buyer at full price? If not then you owe her nothing and don't need to pay her. Most of us take this type of thing as a fact of doing business in real estate and it is why we charge the commissions we do. Sometimes we get an easy sale, some require years of working buyers to finally make a commission and sometimes all the work is for noting. It's what we do. Tell her no. Unless you turned down a full offer, she has not earned a commission.

tim
  • October 19 2013
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Profile picture for Hazel Yoshida
Definitely look further in to it.  Read your listing agreement. 

Hazel Yoshida
C21 Cal Oaks Realty
BRE#01301690
  • October 19 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Read your contract in detail about your obligations if you end your contract early.

Did your agent's efforts bring you a buyer in this period?

The agent definitely incurred costs related to advertising and time.   Some agents are willing to cancel for any reason at any time with no charge.  Most aren't.

I have some sympathy.   A good agent puts a lot of work plus advertising money into an active listing.    The agent only gets paid if the property sells.  I'm not in real estate you but I promise you I wouldn't feel very good if my boss decided that although I'd done 90% of the job, the job was canceled so my pay was 0% with none of the expenses reimbursed. 
  • October 19 2013
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We suggest that you consult with an attorney who handles residential real estate matters regarding your signed listing agreement.
  • October 19 2013
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
Everyone has an opinion.  I think Wetdawgs expressed the issue in totality.

Some agents work for Brokers who pay all their expenses.  Others like myself pay for everything.  Therefore I am out of pocket if a seller decides to cancel a listing before I've had a chance to sell it and re-coup.

Some agents brush it off because they only have time invested.  Others who invest in preparing and marketing the property, paying for advertising and exposure are left holding the empty bag.

I don't know what kind of fee you are being asked to pay.  I imagine it would depend on the price of the home to start with.

Others may be cavalier and disagree with me, but I think the agent is entitled to something for her efforts. 
  • October 19 2013
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It all depends if your realtor brought you a ready willing and able buyer per your contract.  Best to Talk with an attorney and see what they say.  Can be alot of variables. 
  • October 19 2013
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Profile picture for kmelendez
Unless you turned down a full price offer then you owe her nothing! She can withdraw the listing conditional. 
  • October 19 2013
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Read your Listing Agreement or have a like professional read/explain it to you. Most are "boiler plates" (standard) but can have additional terms, which you must/should have read, reviewed and ratified. W/O any of us doing the same, we can not properly answer your question.

Have a BEAUTIFUL night.

-Shawn, REALTOR, AZ.
  • October 19 2013
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If your agent found you a ready, willing and able buyer, then you may be forced to pay her the commission you agreed to. If your agent didn't find you a buyer (a full price offer wasn't submitted) then it would seem that all she is asking for is compensation for her time and marketing costs. You DO NOT have to pay this unless it was outlined in the listing agreement. I guess the question you're asking is whether or not you should feel guilty if you don't pay. How much time did she put in, how much money did she spend and on what?
  • October 19 2013
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Yes....look closer at your contracts!
  • November 18 2013
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Def take a look at your listing agreement and any other agreements you may have signed.  Being a Realtor, I understand that people change their mind, but we also incur many costs prior to the commission check.  Do you have any SOLID referrals you can give you agent? This would  be a nice trade off.  I always ask this randomly throughout my work for my clients.  Some are able to give me a hott lead.  If this was the case I would possibly write it off as a loss.  If not, any particular costs which had resulted due to her listing I would explain and ask her to pay.  Many times the costs incurred can be used for future clients.
Did you just change your mind or did possible a relocation not come through?  Will you be looking at using this agent or putting your home on the market anytime in the near future?

Thank You,
Kevin Stocks - Realtor 
  • November 18 2013
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Several questions come to mind - after reading  other's comments, can you elaborate on the situation? the outcome?
  • January 09 2014
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Profile picture for Team Forss
I would refer back to the contract and I am pretty sure you would not need to pay her anything.  I would encourage you to do some due diligence before you hire a realtor next time. Ask upfront. Our business practice is to charge NO upfront fees and NO cancellation fees, and the seller can cancel at ANYTIME for ANY reason.  I realize not all agents are operating with these type of guarantees, but there are several agents that do. 
  • August 02 2014
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Hello, I understand your frustration. First I suggest you carefully read your listing agreement. Did you both agree in writing to pay her for any advertising? It would need to be in writing, signed and dated by both agent and sellers.

I realize your agent is upset that she put a lot of time, energy and money into your sale, however, that's the nature of our business. We work for free until the transaction closed, title is transferred and our commissions are distributed.

Unless it was agreed upon in writing, you will not owe her anything except gratitude. If you are not able to understand the language of the contract, consult an attorney!

I wish you well.
Marianne Drenik
  • August 26 2014
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