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commission when no contract

In washington state if I don't sign a contract with an agent but she shows properties that we searched and send her, am I obligated to close the property with that agent? Can I buy the property directly from the owner? Reason, I ask is: I am not sure the agent is working in my best interest as there is no contract between us. I feel she is providing info to the owner about my interest in home. She never asked us to sign a contract. when we were new to the area we put in an offer with her and luckily it didn't go through.
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October 03 2013 - Redmond
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Answers (10)

Why do I get the feeling this question changed along the way.

In a response you made to me you asked about disclosures.  Yes the agent has knowledge of disclosures the seller should complete.  You should review them before you make an offer.  The agent should supply the FSBO with the form and have them complete it if they do not have one.

You said in this post She never asked us to sign a contract. when we were new to the area we put in an offer with her and luckily it didn't go through.

I'm confused.  You signed a sales agreement (offer) with an agent that did not also have you sign a buyers agency?  So who was paying the agent the commission?  The seller?  You?

If you did not sign a buyers agency with her then she may not have been representing your interests exclusively as defined by agency law.

Real estate agency, relationships and duties are hard for the consumer to understand.  Some agents themselves don't understand it.
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October 17 2013
How'd that work out, 612x?
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October 17 2013
Hello user6129456,
  Like many have said, if your working relationship with your current agent isn't woking for one reason or another you need to tell her. If the situation is not resolved, let her know and move on. Not everyone is compatible with every client.
  There are many disclosures that need to be presented to you. Only one of these disclosures are from the owner, which is the Form 17, Seller Disclosure Statement. The rest from the owner would be part of a contract, 22J/22K for example. 
   As far as any other disclosures, we present/discuss the state mandated disclosures during our initial buyer consultation, as well as explain the Buyer Agency contract/agreement. One of which that is missed often is the Agency disclosure packet. As soon as a broker performs a service that requires a license you are supposed to have been made aware of the "Agency Disclosure".
   There are fewer and fewer FSBO's these days but those that are out there are typically willing to pay a buyers agent. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished. It's really in the owners best interest to have a broker somewhere in the transaction to make sure the sale gets completed. It's in your best interest to have someone who is working for you, and your interest alone. 
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October 17 2013
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Thanks for the reply sisters. Are there disclosures that the agent will know to ask that we wouldn't. Do you know what they are?
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October 04 2013
If you are dealing with an owner directly you have no representation unless you sign an agreement with a buyers agent and have the seller pay the commission.

The seller is certainly not going to offer disclosures designed to protect the buyer. They will only offer those mandated by real estate law which is usually just the sellers disclosure.  Agents protect your interests and many disclosures are industry based.

No agent can walk in and point out all the deficiencies of a property for you.  That is what a home inspection is for.  An agent can point out that which is obvious. 

If you did not have a buyers agency agreement with the Realtor who displeases you - there was no incentive for the agent to work strictly for you.  The buyers agency guarantees an agent that if they put in long hours helping you, they will ultimately be paid when you purchase a house.  If they do not have a written agreement with you - you would be free to use them to open doors and then turn around and buy from someone else.
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October 04 2013
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Thanks a lot Mr. Bob Belvins. I would love to have an agent that protects my interests. This is for sale by owner. So, there is no selling agent.
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October 04 2013
Bob answered the question regarding agency very well. As far as the Form 17, the disclosure statement, it is not public. It is given to the buyer before or after they make an offer, you cannot find it on Google.

Yes your agent should be pointing out any issues to you when they show you the home. Make sure you make your offer contingent on an inspection on the property. Most agents will give you three reliable inspectors to choose from. A good thing to look for is if they are ASHI certified. Experienced Realtors can find many of the issues but inspectors can find many more that even the homeowners are unaware of. That is why you cannot rely on the disclosure form from the seller.

I hope this helps.

Brent
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October 04 2013
Since Sellers have a signed Listing Agreement with their Listing Firm, buying "directly" from a Seller cannot be achieved. If you choose to work with that Listing Broker and their role becomes "dual" as they represent both parties, then entering into a Purchase and Sale Agreement is doable.

If you're not confident with your current Broker, or have doubts, you should have a discussion with her to address your concerns. You do have the freedom to change representation and should, if the fit isn't right for you. Simply do this in writing and move on.

In my opinion, it is in everyone's best interest to have a signed Buyer's Agency Agreement....for you and your next Broker, as it outlines their role and expectations. It is my policy to have one in place with all of my Buyers, just as much as I wouldn't list a property without a Listing Agreement.

Since the Sellers pays the commissions for the Buying Agent, having an advocate representing you with the purchase of your next home is invaluable. Getting into contract is just the beginning, it's the process of getting through to closing is where the value of a good agent and their knowledge and experience will become evident.

I hope you get on track and things work out as you find your next home.
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October 04 2013
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great questions even though it doesn't answer my question. First of all I don't have enough trust in my agent. 

Aren't the 40 disclosures public? Can't one google and find the 40 disclosures? Do all the real estate agents go through this as a checklist? Is this checklist given back to the buyer as the questions that were asked? 

I would love to have someone that thinks of this as their duty and responsibility. I don't want someone to open the door for me and tell me what a kitchen is. I want them to really see the house and find if there are issues and such.
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October 04 2013
HI, Why do you think that working with the owner directly is in your best interest? They are trying to get the most for their property, and you should be trying to get it for the lowest price. Also, do you know all the questions to ask for a home purchase. In California we have over 40 disclosures to cover. It's your agents duty and responsibility, to get the best deal for you, not the owner. 
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October 03 2013
 
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