Ethics question - FSBO offer
I have an odd question. About two weeks ago we listed our home FSBO with a flat fee MLS site. We had interviewed several agents, but were left unimpressed with them for a number of reasons. One thing we heard over and over was how "terrible" the market was.
Well, we've had a very different reaction. Despite the slow? market, and despite listing our home about 15% higher than any of the realtors had suggested, we've had a bunch of interest. It is still the lowest priced house of its size and features in the area by a good margin. We are offering the normal selling commission, and most of the visits have come through agents.
Yesterday, we got an offer. A couple showed up at the door at 2 pm, out of the blue, and asked to see the house. They came back with a written offer last night. Here is where it gets strange -
This couple had an appointment to see the house on Thursday, with a realtor from another town. The realtor had called us up and urged us to rush someone home so we could meet them at Noon. They never showed up.
The buyers tell us that the realtor was trying hard to talk them out of looking at our home, that she had heard bad things about it, it was not a great area, etc. Finally, she told them that we had "told her we could not make the appointment", so she had shown them some other homes they weren't all that interested in.
Then they told us since they are not using her as their buyer's agent, since she did not show them the house, we should consider their offer as "just passing along the commission savings on to them" in order to get the deal done. This is 3%, by the way.
The question I have is this - since they were using an agent to find the house, and to contact us initially, aren't we still ethically obligated to pay her if the sale goes through? I'm not asking for legal advice, we'll get that from our lawyer this week when he looks at this contract. But I'm wondering, what is the honest way to deal with this? On one hand, the buyers might have simply told us this in order to try and save themselves some money, we have no way of knowing what the agent really told them.
On the other hand, if they really did have to come out on their own, we might be worrying about compensating someone who tried to NOT sell our home?