Home Buying in Richardson>Question Details

Tin Dain, Home Buyer in Arlington, TX

Am I obligated to engage ziprealty agent If I subscribe to their notification service to monitor new offering?

Asked by Tin Dain, Arlington, TX Mon May 25, 2009

I subscribe to ziprealty notifications to keep up with new offerings. Am I obligated (contractual or otherwise to engage their assigned agent if I want to persue something for which I receive a notification?

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Amy Downs’ answer
It sounds like you are receiving listings of homes from Zip Realty. Unless you have signed a Buyer Representation agreement with an agent of their company or any other you are not obligated to use the agent to purchase a home.

As a Realtor, we would always like to know that anyone we have a relationship with will use us to buy their home if they have performed up to the level of standards you would want in a real estate buyer representative. However, you can get these listings from multiple web sites, as well.

I hope that helps answer your questions.

Amy Downs
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://www.TeamDowns.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
Tin and all answers,

Be careful. This question is too general. It is hard to answer it with lack of the details. I do not understand Ziprealty’s notification service and have no idea about TX laws. Let me assume that Ziprealty has a system to notify ou if there is any property which is qualified your criteria. Also let me assume TX has the similar rules as CA here.

First, you have to read the instruction of the notification service carefully. Make sure whether Ziprealty creates a contract with you when you use the service. At least, for example, there is a first refusal right in the instruction.

Second, make sure that you have never created any implied authority, ratification or apparent authority. Those are almost equivalent to a regular agency.

An agent may not have right to claim compensation because of their lack of performance but a client may have right to pay or at least, to indemnify the agent for expenses reason ably incurred in carrying out the agency because of break agency relationship.

My conclusion is if Ziprealty can proof a contract between you and Ziprealty, then next step, they can proof based on the contract, an agency is existing, finally, if they can proof that they have damage or liquidated damage which is included in the contract, because of your walkout then you may be liable if the property you bought or will buy is known through their notification system.


The statute of frauds says all the contracts involving real property shall be in writing. Otherwise it is not enforceable. In those contracts, the objectives are a real property. But in agency contracts, the objectives are service not a piece of land or a house. Thus, an agency contract may be enforceable without written agreement.

I have to mention that what I say here is based on CA only and as a non-bar member, I am a CA real estate person only. All I say here is to the readers as to general public rather than to any specific reader here. The above information is coming from CA real estate principle exam. This is not a legal advice. Please talk to your attorney if you think you need.

By the way, why do not you be a realtor? You sounds like very professional even much better than many real estate pros here.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
Until you sign a buyers representation agreement you are not bound to any one agent. If you are interested in a. Realtor that rebates cash after closing I do this as well.

Web Reference: http://www.findapadfast.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
Terri is correct. You are not obligated to use their agents. You can have an agent from any company represent you.

Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
I don't think so......in most cases you would need to sign a buyer's representation agreement with a broker before you are obligated to them.

Bruce Lynn
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX

No, you are not. Zip Realty asks buyers to subscribe to their MLS service so that they can give their agents leads. Once you save a home as a favorite, you are assigned as a lead to an agent covering that area. Unless you sign a buyer's rep agreement or a sales agreement, you are not obligated to use their services.

Happy to help,
Terri Hayley
The Hayley Group, Keller Williams
Top 5% of Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2009
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