Home Selling in Pittsburgh>Question Details

Annie, Home Buyer in Pittsburgh, PA

Is there a grace period between letting an agent go &selling home on own?Would I need to pay any $ to agent?

Asked by Annie, Pittsburgh, PA Tue Jul 3, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:


Hey Annie... this is really easy. No need for a novel answer.

In Pittsburgh the listing agent has 10 days after the termination date to sell your home and be entitled to the commission.

Danielle Gundlach
Re/Max Realty Brokers
"I'll find you a home that appreciates."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
I agree with all of the prior posts.

The specific terms of your agreement and your motives for not wanting to pay the agent are unknown to us. Legality and ethics do not always travel the same path. One might be able to legally get out of paying a commission when it is ethically the right thing to do Other times, a seller could be held to payment when a firm request for a release might be very well justified.

If your agent was not doing a good job, get a different agent. If you meet with prospective replacement agents, let them review your agreement with the former, so you can make decisions that will not require you to pay double commissions.

Ho long you have to wait after terminating your current agent depends upon the agreement you entered. If you believe that you have reasonable cause to be released from paying a commission sooner than the contract specifies, discuss it with your former agent and/or their broker, and request a release.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://PeninsulaFirst.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Dear Annie,
Here in Texas it very much depends on whether the listing was simply withdrawn, terminated or expired. If it was withdrawn before the expiration of the listing the fees still apply. If it was terminated by both you and the agent and the property wasn't shown to the buyer during that time then you are, in Texas at least, alright. If it expired and you market it and secure a buyer that didn't view the property during the listing period then you should be alright. If the buyer actually looked at the house the contract should clearly spell out the protection period.

I second what's been said before. Representation is extremely important. If your agent wasn't working well for you then find another. Usually going it on your own won't save money, and may, indeed cost it! Studies show that FSBO homes usually bring in 16% less than homes sold by a professional.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.ChrisTesch.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2007
This is a question whose answer can be found in the contract you signed with the listing broker. There are a lot of variables not specified that will impact the correct conclusion. For instance, has the contract expired or are you withdrawing the listing from the market? If you are simply taking the home off the market it is likely you are still obligated to the terms of the contract unless all parties sign a release. Many times the contract will state a commision is earned regardless of who brought in the buyer (listing agent, cooperating broker or seller).

If the contract expires then often there is a clause in the listing contract spelling out the rights of the broker and seller regarding what happens if the property should sell soon after. The contract used in our company states a commision is earned if the property is placed under agreement within___days after ending date IF the property was shown to the buyer during the term of the contract AND if the property is not listed with another real estate company. This clause was instituted to avoid unscrupulous dealings meant to cheat agents out of rightfully earned commisions. Although not a common practice among sellers, it happened enough to neccessitate the situation be addressed in writing. Check your own contract to see where you stand.

I would suggest, if you are unfamiliar with the entire homesale process, you not try going it alone. Many people think it's easy to put a sign up and sell the home. What they don't realize is that getting a contract on the home is only the beginning of our work as agents. Getting through closing successfully with the least amount of stress for our clients is the most intensive part of our work. Good luck with your choice, whatever it is.

Donna Saylor & Carolyn Mitchell
The Power of TWO!


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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2007
Normally no grace period. Unless agent had shown property to a buyer and this same buyer decides to buy after the listing period (time frame should be specified in contract). Review contract for clauses regarding expiration and commission.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 3, 2007
Herman Chang, Real Estate Pro in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Most exclusive marketing agreements have a "protection period". During that period (sometimes 30 days, sometimes 180 days after the contract is canceled, or expired) if a buyer purchases your home who was exposed to the home during the former agent's listing, the listing agency is due a full commission.

There is no "single standard" in our area, I doubt there is a single-standard in Pittsburgh... read your marketing contract carefully, and look for something called "protection period" in the paragraph regarding commissions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
The PA standard listing agreement I have on my home says 6 months, if it was someone who looked at the house while it was listed. That's all that is noted.

But, as a sidenote, my agent will waive all commission if I find my own buyer. That's part of his marketing plan as well as a day-to-day listing agreement. He's a major listing agent and very confident. It is why I signed up with him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Thank you for your question. I beg to disagree with Mr. Chang. First, let me say that I am not an attorney, nor do have direct knowledge of your local laws.
Typically, when a seller contracts with a Realtor to sell their property, a listing agreement is signed, along with an agency agreement. In the listing agreement are a number of different items. In California there is a paragragh that refers to the termination of the agreement and what happens to buyers that the Realtor has attracted to the property.

The issue is called "procuring cause". Normally when a Realtor lists a property he/she invests a great deal of time, effort, and money in marketing the property. Because of these efforts, the buyers attracted to the property are considered "procured". At termination of the listing agreement, the agent can present a list of buyers with whom he has had contact regarding the subject property. The length of time is negotiable, usually 180 days. If, during that time, any of the buyers purchase the property, the seller owes the agent the commission.

After the listing agreement expires, you, as the seller, may opt to sell the home yourself, or list it with another Realtor. However, the 180 day period still applies to buyers procured by the first agent. A sharp Realtor, if listing your home after the first one, will ask for that list. No Realtor wants to work for free.

This is a common problem and you should know that in most cses agents vigorously pursue sellers that try to avoid paying justly earned commissions. I encourage you to take the high ground and put yourself in the agent's shoes. In most cases a diligent Realtor more than earn their fee.

If you have further questions (and you should), it would be well worth your time to consult a real estate attorney prior to making decisions that might have far reaching consequences. When I list a property, I devote a level of responsibility that is "fiduciary" That means I place my client's interests above my own, in terms of the level of care and protection. If I were the Realtor in question above, I would like to think that my seller has the same allegiance to me, as I to her.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 3, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
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