No real blow back for you unless you try and do it without a buyers agent. I can tell you a story about a client who did this, bought without being represented and it ended up costing them over $70,000 in attorney fees and the funny thing was, the seller was an attorney.
There is just too much that can go wrong and there are lots of forms that are there to cover you but they are there to also cover the seller. I can provide a great mortgage broker for your loan, inspector who has been in the biz over 45 years, make sure the value is there, give the seller reasons to offer less then asking, and just over all guide the entire transaction to a smooth close with as few bumps as possible.
It's free for you to use an agent. The seller pays the commission. Give me a call and I can go over more of the situation as I feel there is more to this story.
Thanx and have a blessed day and an awesome 2014.
Good luck to you in any case,
Isaac Real Estate Team
Champions Real Estate Services
TriStar Finance #MLO-107799
Office: 425-483-6849 Cell: 206-841-9976
Winner of Seattle Magazines 5 Star
Real Estate Agent Best in Client Satisfaction Award
Mortgage Loan Originator Best in Client Satisfaction
There should be no "blowback" on you, provided you didn't sign any agency agreement at the time you saw the house. If you did, the agreement would indicate the time period that you were to be obligated.
The seller will need to consult their listing agreement to ensure their safety. As Kary indicated, standard forms in Washington carry a time period after the listing is canceled which protects listing agents from buyers & sellers intentionally going around them, after benefiting from their services.
Now, I want to add one consideration. Over the past year we've had a shortage of inventory. Well presented homes that were well priced didn't last long on the market. The fact that the home you're asking about didn't sell makes me wonder why, if and just reducing the price 6% will make it a worthwhile purchase or not. The local agent you are considering helping you should be a good resource for this, but don't just assume that you're getting a "deal" because you don't have agent commissions involved. If the home was substantially over priced, you still may be paying too much.
Also remember that listings are actually owned by the brokerages, not the listing brokers. If the home is worth enough and there is evidence to show that you knew the home was for sale because of the brokers efforts and the seller was still in the timeframe alotted by the listing agreement, the brokerage could chose to pursue the commission, not the listing broker.
The bottom line is: to be on the smart and safe side, you need an attorney to tell you that you are in the clear. Your wife's friend is likely a good broker and can guide you well on the situation but you really need an attorney. And if they are a responsible broker, they will also tell you the same thing.
I know that saving on a commission is enticing but I truly believe you should have an agent represent you here. Without an agent representing you, it could be a home run but chances are there's going to be a nightmare in there. I am just being practical and basing it on years of experience. There are so many complexities involved in today's real estate transactions that we, as brokers, spend at least 30 hours protecting clients against risk - and that's with our years or expertise! I can't imagine trying to do it with no experience and a full time job. Last year I listed a lawyer's home. I asked him why he listed the home because he could have EASILY navigated the contract himself. His response was, "This is not the situation to be expiramenting in. I understand a contract but you know what could go wrong during a transaction and I need protecting from that. I don't want my sale to fall apart."
Good luck and go get 'em!
In Washington state most listings have a "tail" period where the listing agent is still entitled to a commission under certain circumstances. The NWMLS which covers Bellevue Washington has such a clause and that clause would likely cover the situation you describe for at least some period (six months from either the original termination date or the cancellation date--not clear).
I would suggest that you contact a real estate attorney in whatever state this property is located, and one in the same general area. I know the listing agreements generally used in Vancouver Washington are different than the listing agreements used in Bellevue Washington, so location does make a difference.