It doesn't matter if the agent has changed offices or brokerages. That person is entitled to a commission but only in the event of a recorded sale on the property. You do not owe a sale commission if you are only leasing the property. It would behoove the listing agent to follow this tenancy until such time as it either terminates or is finally sold to the same buyers stated in your scenario. If she loses touch with the transaction and it were to close without her knowledge then she would possibly need to seek legal action in order to collect any commission owed. Hopefully, the seller would recognize the appropriate agent due for compensation and pay accordingly.
Check your documentation to see if there may be a time statute stated in the contract and whether there is a specific timeframe in which the buyer must perform for the listing agent to be compensated. If it is specifically written that the buyer must close escrow within a certain timeframe or some other type of compensatory clause, then I would assume a commission is owed. Good luck.
I sugggest that you consider how you would feel if you were your Realtor. If the Realtor is the cause of the buyers coming to rent, then in our market (Atlanta may be different) typically a one year lease would pay the Realtor 5-10% of the gross lease amount as a commission. This arrangement would be in a formal written contract.
It sounds as though this is part of you had listing agent involved and an agent representing the buyer. If the buyers cannot sell their home, it sounds as though they may be long term renters until their home sells, is that correct? But the length of time it will take for their home to sell will exceed the length of the the current sales contract.
IMHO if the buyers are paying rent, and they end up not buying the property, then some form of compensation would be fair to both Realtors (meaning that you have decided to take your property off the market and rent it out).
I don't know your market, but if I were your Realtor and I had buyers occupying a property on a rental agreement, with an offer contingent on the buyer's home selling, I would have suggested in a counter offer that the buyer's property listingn price be reduced 5% per week until the property sells (or something like that). Most markets in the US are seeing declining home values, so if the buyers were serious about selling, then the property, properly priced , will sell.
So the bigger question, aside from commission, is that if property values are declining, the buyer's home will sell, but at a lower price than they want, and if they decide to buy your home, it will sell for less. Most listing agreements have a protections clause which states that if the listing agent was the reason the buyers purchased the home, and do so within a certain time frame (the length varies, normally three to six months), then the agent is owed a commission. Once the period expires, techincally the agent would not be owed a commission. In your case, if the buyers are living there because of the Realtor's marketing efforts, then morally I would think that you would owe both agents commission (and of course they need to perform the transaction when the buyer's finally buy).
The bigger question is what is the buyer's Realtor doing to get their home sold if home values are declining? Just based on your post is sounds as though all parties would be better served if the buyers get their home sold and purchase yours
Just like the agreement that you have with your Listing/Lease Purchase agent, does the renter / buyer have a brokerage agreement with their agent which specifically states how much they owe their agent during a specific time period? If so, then they owe their agent a commission - whatever was agreed. Most of the time, that agent is paid by a portion of the Listing Agent's commission.
Did the agents fill out an "Instructions to Closing Attorney" form that details the payment of commissions from Seller proceeds at closing and sign it? If so, then the Listing agent has a duty to pay the Buyer's agent as a "commission split."
You have a Listing / rental Agreement with a time limit, and your agent procured a buyer/lease purchaser - unless there is a time limit, you owe them the agreed upon commission.
Your agent owes the other agent a portion of their commision - whatever was advertised.
If the two agents are not detail oriented and circumspect, then they may not have an Instructions to Closing Attorney agreement - who gets hurt the most without one of these? The Buyer's agent. It makes the $$$ official.
As for you, don't be cheap and stingy - cheap and stingy is so distasteful- deploy good karma in all of your real estate pursuits.
Linda New, Broker
The full commission is what is owed, but legally speaking you might have an out. You'll need to look carefully at the contract. There's likely a clause in there that speaks directly to the amount of time that passes. There is also a part in the contract that says the seller will not try to go around the agent and if the buyer signed a buyer brokerage agreement, there is an clause in there as well.
So no matter what, if the agent was the procuring cause then someone is liable for the commission. After all no transaction at all would take place without them.