Home Buying in Dallas>Question Details

house hunter, Home Buyer in Dallas, TX

Can we get out of the contract we signed with a buyer's realtor based on the realtor taking a vacation shortly after signing the contract?

Asked by house hunter, Dallas, TX Sun Aug 18, 2013

We have already rented our current home and are in a real rush to find a new home. My husband signed an agreement with a buyer's realtor 9 days ago and also paid a retainer fee. The retainer fee is refundable only after the realtor finds us a home. The realtor informed us last night, after 8 days into the contract, that he will be out of town for the next 6 days and agreed to release us from the agreement for those 6 days. The realtor works alone and has no other realtor in the company to relegate to us. This causes a hardship for us - we are in a rush to find a home and now have to spend time finding another buyer's realtor and one who won't mind working only 5-6 days for us. Can we get out of this agreement permanently and not lose our retainer fee? Also, what happens to our retainer fee if someone else finds us a house in these 6 days?

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Agreements are usually always with the COMPANY the agent works for and not with the agent themselves. You should call the agents boss, the office broker, and ask for an agent to work with while your other agent is MIA.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
1. I have never heard of a Realtor taking a retainer ?... ? ...
2. Review the buyers rep agreement you signed with agent. You should be able to cancel at anytime UNLESS they located a home for you .
3. No professional can render an opinion till they read the agreement you signed with Realtor.
4. Do they have a Broker ? If so contact broker office .

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
If you need help, call me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Can you share with us what broker this is?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Thank you all for your advice! Since several asked the same questions, I'm going to try to answer with all info in 1 paragraph versus individually.

This realtor is a broker and works alone so there is no one to show us houses when he is unavailable. I understand that realtors need vacations too, it's just that this 6 day vacation came 8 days after my husband signed the contract and the realtor knew we were in a big hurry to find a home. My husband would not have signed the contract if he had known that his realtor would be unavailable to us shortly. I was out of town, so didn't know about the contract till after the fact - I would not have given up the $500. My husband is smart, but very trusting and all he heard was "it will be returned after the purchase of our house'. He didn't read the fine print :(

The contract says the retainer fee will be refunded when we purchase a house through this realtor, but that if we don't purchase a home through him (after the contract ends or maybe during this week?) he gets to keep the $500. I'm not totally against continuing to work with him, but don't want to lose our $500 if another agent finds us a house while he's away or if we don't come back to him after the contract ends. If we don't find a house this week, we'll have to start renting and the urgency will be gone - might take a break from house hunting since we might be stuck in a lease.

I feel that he's already compromised our situation and was hoping this leave of absence would void our contract. We tried to look at a house today through the listing agent (telling him our agent was out of town) but the listing agent refused to show it to us himself since 'showings take up so much time.

Since we would need to contact the broker if we had an issue with a realtor's contract, who do we contact if we have an issue with a contract written by a broker?

Houses are going fast - the best ones sell within a few days of being listed. We've found a few houses we want to see and will need to find a buyer's agent tomorrow. We'll take a look at the offers on here - thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
Oops. I guess that's not '1 paragraph' . I meant that all new info would be in 1 area.
Flag Tue Aug 20, 2013
I would suggest that you read the contract and all other documents that you sign with him. It's not typical that a buyers' agent ask for a retainer fee.

Depending upon what you have signed you may be able to break the contract and get your retainer fee back. I would suggest that you tell him your concern and just be opened about it.

Susie Kay, Realtor®
United Real Estate
III Lincoln Centre, 5430 LBJ Freeway #280
Dallas, TX 78240


Servicing your real estate need is my priority!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 19, 2013
If you want to check whether your realtor is an agent, or a broker, you should look up their licensing information on the Texas Real Estate Commission's website: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/newsandpublic/LicenseeLookup/

They will be identified either as a "salesperson" or "individual broker" under the field for Licensee Type, in the search results. If shown as a salesperson, their account should then be tied to a "Sponsor Name" which should display the contact info for their broker.

I also have never heard of any buyer's agent asking for a retaining fee, since as stated previously, the commissions are in fact paid by the seller. Your agent should have provided a copy of the representation contract, which should be reviewed carefully as well for cancellation terms.

Diane Briggs, REALTOR®
Asset Realty
(214) 289-0093
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 19, 2013
I am a little confused. If you are buying a house, you should never pay a fee to the realtor. Fees are always paid by the seller. It is highly unethical to charge a buyer for services. It may be different if you are leasing.

If you are in need of a buyers agent, even temporarily, I will be happy to help you.

Barbara Wilson
StarCrest Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 19, 2013
Most of your questions will be answered in the agreement you signed with the agent--such as getting out of the agreement permanently and/or not losing your retainer.

I agree with the others: Contact the agent's broker. If you in fact are dealing with the broker, then you have to decide whether you want to continue with that representation. Only you can make that decision, and there are arguments on both sides of the issue.

It's not clear from your question about whether you're looking to buy or rent your next property. If it's rent: I don't know about Dallas, but in lots of areas, new properties tend to come on the market right around the first of the month. Your agent could take a 6 day vacation and come back in time to handle that new influx of rentals.

If it's buying--your urgency depends not only on your own timetable but also how hot the Dallas market it. If it's real hot, you want to get your offers in on new properties as soon as possible. If it's slow, then a few days isn't likely to make as much of a difference.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Why don't you ask the agent with whom you are under contract, house hunter?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
I am glad to work with you on a short term basis. Wouldn't it be great to find something while they are gone? Give me and let's discuss what you are looking for.....
Web Reference: http://www.ricegroupinc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
I'm not sure you'll have a lot of success finding an agent who will represent you for 5 or 6 days...I wouldn't do it.

Six days isn't a long time. I suggest that you do some of the leg work until your agent gets back in town and just stay loyal to him. Drive by some houses you like and have list of homes you want to see ready for him when he gets back.

He's not a bad agent simply because he's taking a few days off. Surely you hired him and gave him a deposit for a reason.

If it doesn't work out and you opt to terminate your relationship with him completely, give me a call. I am the owner/broker of one of Dallas' oldest and most successful Exclusive Buyer Agencies, HelpUBuy America. We charge a flat-fee for our services, so our fee is the same regardless of whether you buy a $150,000 home or a $500,000 home. This eliminates the conflict of interest that exists when you an agent is paid a commission based on the sales price of the home.

We've been protecting the rights of first-time homebuyers since 1995, and we'd love to assist you. I've also had a book published on Amazon called Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You. It'll be the best $6 you've ever spent.

Let me know if we can help.

Alysse Musgrave http://www.HelpUBuyAmerica.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
I would suggest contacting his broker. If he IS the broker give me a call and I can give you some other options. 469.450.1326

Andrea Brooks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
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