Realtor is terminating our contract...

SadiesClosetAugust 11, 2011

Our realtor of 4 months called yesterday and told us she was moving across the country. Coincidentally, it is to the same place she was on vacation for 1.5 weeks after she put our house on the market. We initially went with her because she was listing the house we put an offer to purchase with a contingency in selling our house. The offer to purchase was good for 3 months and we chose not to extend it as we were not having much luck selling ours. We discussed with our realtor a lack of communication and marketing but things did not seem to get better. Meanwhile she was listing big ticket items on Craigslist and had put her own house up for sale at the same time ours went on the market. Once we told her we were not interested in extending the contract on her listing, she asked if we would be interested in checking out another property (which ended up being her own personal residence) while technically we were still under contract with our initial offer to purchase.

Long story short...she has now informed us of her need to move because of her husband relocating for work and said she could get us listed with another realtor. We said no and are now going to rent out our house.

Question is....can we now go directly back to the original house we had the offer on and offer the seller $10000 less than our initial offer (cutting out realtors fees assuming she will also be terminating the contract with them) or is it possible the agent (who is also the broker for her agency) will still be owed a commission? Our contract does state the listing term is extended for a period of one year to protected buyers but not sure if that only pertains to the seller terminating the contract.

I'm not trying to weasel anyone out of money but this realtor has done such a poor job and has known she would be moving since the day she put our house on the market. We were also only given copies of our contract over a month after signing everything and then had to request them when she had forgot them a second time. I am also questioning whether she violated the contract of the the other seller by trying to sell us her house while we were currently under contract with with this other property that she was listing. She also told me the other seller was really upset with us that we weren't extending our offer to purchase because she is in the process of building a condo.

This is our first time in the selling situation and it has been an awful last 4 months. We are now left with lots of questions and lack of trust for anyone dealing in real estate!

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Is she a single agent or does she work with a Broker? You might contact your Board of Realtors for the state ASAP. You also might need some legal advice. Make sure you get everything in writing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 1:02PM
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The seller of that home would need to read their contract. If is highly likely that there is a clause that says if anyone who saw the home while the contract was in place purchases the property within X days/weeks/months, then the agent is owed a commission.

"I'm not trying to weasel anyone out of money "

Yes you are. You are saying it really nice words, but ultimately, you'd like to get that house cheaper by cutting out the realtor. That is why realtors make people sign contracts in the first place.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:15PM
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what billl said.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:02PM
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She is the broker for her own is just her. Yes, we would like to get the house cheaper...who wouldn't? However, we also know the seller really wants to sell because the realtor told us the seller was really mad at us for not extending the contract because her condo is almost done being built.

Unfortunately we got stuck with a real dud for a realtor. Our signed contracts were not given to us until after a month of having our house listed (and we had to ask twice), there were mistakes in various listings online and weeks without any communication from her.

We communicated our issues with her early on but see now her plans to be moving across the country were a priority.

In the end if she broke the contract by putting her interests before that of her seller she has violated the contract. Why would it be okay then for her to think she should get a commission on the sale? A good realtor isn't going to pick and choose what parts of a contract she is going to abide by.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:31PM
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"In the end if she broke the contract by putting her interests before that of her seller she has violated the contract"

Huh? That isn't how contract law works. There are specific terms to the contract. You have to do something specific that actually violates a specific term. Even if a specific item is violated, it doesn't necessarily void the contract for things that have already happened. It certainly wouldn't void a contract she has with someone else - ie the seller.

Anyway, you are rationalizing. She sounds like a pretty bad realtor, but she got a potential buyer for her other client. If you turn into an actual buyer, she is likely owed a commission.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 6:53PM
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I would think that you could offer less money because you are out of contract with the sellers of the house, but I think they would still owe the realtor a commission because she brought you to them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 12:01AM
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Sounds like your realtor did a crappy job and put their priorities ahead of yours. I would also want to find a way not to pay her - just for spite. But legally, you do have to pay her.

If she were to find out you purchased it within whatever timeframe is stated in the contract, then she could claim her commission. I don't know how that would work - I would assume she would have to take you to court. She might win, she might not, she might not think it is worth her time in the first place.

The only thing you could legally do would be to wait for the time limit to expire. You could also arrange for someone else to buy the house, and then you immediately buy it from them - but I don't know how easy that would be to set up. Would that be considered house laundering? Is that illegal?

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 12:19AM
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i'm confused, you have a contract with her on your house right? so that didnt' go through and you're not paying her for that.

you put an offer in through her on the buy side. assuming you do or don't have a contract for that. the contract that really counts is the seller's. isn't it the seller that owes your agent commission if you buy it?

my point is you're trying to get around something that isn't even your contract. The seller is going to owe commission to someone assuming her house is listed. if it isn't anymore, there is still a time in which she owes commission.

there are plenty of crappy agents out there, but if you did work through an agent, and they showed you the porperty, it is basically their lead.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:45AM
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