Home Buying in New Jersey>Question Details

Lakewood, Home Buyer in Lakewood, NJ

if i saw a house thru a broker and the listing has expired, am I free to contact the seller myself or do I have an obligation to the original broker

Asked by Lakewood, Lakewood, NJ Wed Sep 15, 2010

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Well, if your broker brought the home to your attention, I would use him or her to negotiate a deal out of loyalty to his/her work on your behalf and also because of plain old Karma.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Just want to thank everyone else for including the protection clause information i neglected to touch on and explain in my previous reply. Went brain dead is all I can use as an excuse.

Seller may be obligated to still pay commission (to the previous listing broker) for a period of usually 3 months after the listing terminates, if sold to anyone who saw the house while it was listed. It's called a protection clause. Every once in a while, the listing broker gives the sellers a waiver and there is no protection clause in place.

Using your previous agent may allow you to find out if there is a protection clause still in effect, and assuming your previous agent worked hard for you to find you a home, he/she will get paid for the efforts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 20, 2010
Diane is right. Given that, I would ask the follow up question of why you wouldn't ask the agent that had shown you the property before to pursue. While the discussion of commission and the protection of procuring cause is between brokers/agents/sellers who pay, there is also the matter of you getting support in the process of buying your home. You will be well served by the services of a great agent, and if the seller is free to transact without paying the listing agent, but willing to engage with you and your agent, he/she will still save some on commission which you may be able to use to your negotiating benefit. You lose a lot by going it alone.

If your are unhappy with the services of the agent that showed you the home, then that is a different matter. You should work with an agent who has earned your trust for sure.

But as a general response, I would say, highly likely seller is obligated to pay commission for period of time under protection clausse of listing agreement for buyers who saw the property while listed. If that time period has not lapsed, then I see no benefit if workind around the agent - in fact the possible dispute may just muddy the water or slow you down.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 18, 2010
Hi Lakewood, how long ago did the original broker show it to you? Under the listing agreement the seller signed with the listing broker, there is likely a time limit during which the listing broker is still able to reap the benefits of a buyer brought during the listing period. You might as well call the broker anyway, if you liked him or her that is.

Good luck!

Caroline Choi
Broker Associate/EcoBroker Certified
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
You don't have the obligation, but the seller might. Typically if the house is not relisted, there is a clause that protects the most recent listing agent for a certain number of days. Most agents put 180 days. So, if the seller sells to you and does not pay the commission, he is the one liable, not you.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Legally if the property is NOT listed with any other agency, you can contact the seller directly to see if they are still willing to sell. As a mattter of obligation, if you saw the house with an agent, I would say you should contact that agent to negotiate a sale for you. After all, it was through the agent you were introduced to the property to begin with. The seller may very well agree to pay your agent a commission (which would be less $$ for them then having to pay two agents), and you will have representation, throughout the process, of your agent and probably an attorney. In any case, if you do negotiate directly with the sellers, after the contract is agreed to and signed, it's really not in your best interest to negotiate other things directly with them. Hopefully you will have and attorney (as will the seller), and anything else that needs to be ironed out during the process from contract to close should go through your attorney to the sellers/sellers attorney..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Without any listing or employment contracts nobody has any obligation to anybody. The buyer can negotiate with the seller and ask that the commission built into the price either be taken out, or for the seller to buy down his mortgage rate with some of that money. Any lawyer can write the contract and do the closing. Here in Denver it usually costs about $1,000.
Web Reference: http://holbenhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
I agree with Derek, but Stephen is probably also right. It is the seller who has the obligation and will also hopefully take Derek's advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
You have no obligation to anyone. Feel free to contact the seller.
Web Reference: http://holbenhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010

I would contact the broker you originally saw the home with. It doesn't cost you anything (commission wise) so let the agent do the work for you and see if the seller is still interested in selling the property. And as mentioned below, there is usually a Broker Protection clause in the listing agreement.

Good Luck to you!
Gina Fagnani
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
If you did not contact the broker while it was listed with him/her, you can contact the seller directly.
The seller will (or at least, should) know what type of listing agreement he/she had and know how to move forward.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
I would contact the original Broker. Typically, there is a Broker protection clause in a listing agreement that would ensure a commission is paid if a buyer buys the home that saw it when it was listed. There is usually a period of time that is in place for. You and the seller wouldn't want to intentionally try to get around that. We actually experienced that recently, and we were able to get paid through some legal efforts. Plus it is good to have the representation of an agent who has the experience and expertise to ensure a smooth transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
I believe that depends on whether or not you had a Buyer Representative Agreement with the agent and what the terms of that agreement are.
I hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
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