Home Buying in Lancaster>Question Details

Laura Martin, Home Buyer in Lancaster, PA

How should you handle a private sale when you already have a realtor?

Asked by Laura Martin, Lancaster, PA Mon Jun 30, 2008

We found a house on our own from a private seller. Do we have to pay our realtor or does he need to be involved?

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If you have signed an agreement with the realtor (as others have said) then yes you are legally obligated to let them get their commission. But this is only during the time period you have signed for! Technically you could wait until your buyer agreement is over. But that seems a little shady to me (unless your realtor didn't really show you that many houses or didn't do that much work for you).

If you use your realtor, the private seller is usually willing to increase the price of the home enough to give the realtor their 3% commission.

But if you do decide to make an offer on the house without a realtor, there are forms you can download to make the offer yourself (the purchase contract). I would thoroughly research this avenue first.

Be careful though.....I notice that homes listed for sale by owner are almost always more expensive than homes listed with a realtor. The owners are out to get every penny possible. Plus you are directly dealing with the owner, who is usually very attached to their home and will be greatly offended if you offer a more realistic lower price.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 14, 2008
As the previous posters indicated, it would be essential to have your own representation. So I would suggest to have your realtor contact the seller to move foward with the paperwork.

It would fall back on if you have a buyers agent relationship with your realtor. If you do not, then you are not obligated to that agent. If that is the case, I would still recommend being represented.

Good luck !
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
If you've signed an agreement with the Realtor, then your obligation is specified in the document you signed.

Others on Trulia will point out that you would still benefit from representation. Finding a property is only one portion of what a Realtor does. Negotiating, coordinating the details, assisting with the transaction are all important.

If you don't use a Realtor, you should have some professional representing you. A lawyer would be another option, though there are things that a Realtor knows how to do that most lawyers don't.

But, to answer your specific question, it depends on the contract.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Hi Laura,
If you are in an Exclusive Buyer Agency with a Realtor, the Realtor's agency does need to get paid when you purchase a home. I would have your Realtor contact the seller to see if they are willing to pay the buyer commission to your Realtor's company. If not, then it would be your responsbility to pay it at settlement depending on how your Buyer Agency contract is written. As a Buyer, you will still want your agent to represent you in the sale of this home as that's what you hired him to do. The seller has no representation and it would be in your best interest to continue to allow your Realtor to represent you. Your Realtor will be the one to write up the Agreement of Sale and to negotiate for you. I hope you find this information helpful to you. Best wishes :)
Web Reference: http://www.CherylFuss.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
If you hired the realtor to represent you in SELLING your home, and did not SIGN any additional paperwork for "Buyer Representation", then NO, you do not have to involve him/her. However, involving your realtor would be the 'considerate' thing to do and you can offer to pay him/her a FLAT fee for advice and maybe even assisting in the paperwork to make sure the transaction FLOWs in your favor and not in the favor of the Seller. IF you signed a Buyer Contract, there is usually wording in that contract for buyers that shop outside the assistance of their Realtor. Again, if you signed an agreement - - Always - - - - Go to the Contract.
Web Reference: http://www.hansbarger.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 7, 2009
When you have a buyers agreement signed,something we at Castellum don't require, You should assume that you have to pay the agreed commission .You could negociate with the seller that you get a rebate to pay for your realtor ..But if you already agreed on a price ,the realtor is now useless in this price negociation ,but can help you with the transaction and that is still worth money. Also issues might come up in the inspection and that is where your realtor can help a lot.
Without a signed agreement you can do what ever you want.I still advice you to use the realtor for this transaction and remember commission rates are negociable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 5, 2009
Please remember that most of the comparable homes that were considering in the pricing of this property will have included a commission. Part of the price of the home is the cost of getting it sold.

If a home is priced right there is room for a commission to be paid without raising the contract price above the market value. If no commission is being paid, then that home is worth less to the buyer, just as if there were no garage, or no fireplace.

A FSBO is trying to save money; if you buy from a FSBO you are trying to save money. You can't both have the same dollar, so why not let your agent go to work for you and get you the home at a price and with conditions that are in your favor?

Eileen's Green team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
If you have any further questions in regards to this then feel free to contact me at 717-816-4685 or visit our website.

Best regards-
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Good answer Bill, I am a Realtor in Lancaster, PA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009

It would be in your best interests to continue through this process with the support of your agent. Many FSBO's will entertain a buyer that is represented by an agent. Keep in mind, with out the support of an agent this arrangement could leave you very vulnerable to whatever might happen.

Our advice, don't ditch your agent.....you probably need one more today than ever.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009
I do not know how far you are in the process, and if you signed a contract with an agent. Did you agree on a price with the seller? If not, I would contact your agent tell him about the situation .Tell him/her what you want to pay for the property and see if he /she can get that for that price including a commission.That does not have to be 3 % .If you don't have a buyers contract you might still want to use the realtor to make sure every thing is done right. I would insist that the seller pays for that. Worse case you pay the agent your self. Make the seller understand that if things go wrong he/she is liable for damages ,what can be very costly.The same is valid for you .This is an important purchase ,not a coat that you can return the next day.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
I would have to say, quite certainly, that a considerable amount of work goes into matching buyer and seller, and that your Realtor should be involved. Allow your representative to represent you and also allow them to work out the details with the seller. Purchase and Sale Agreements change continuously, seller's property disclosure forms....myriad issues are considered. Hopefully, you've been serviced well by your Realtor, and have learned a great deal about your market and its current trends. Thus, you may feel the comfort you feel in your current dealings because of that.

You never "have" to do anything, but you probably took great care in choosing who you would work with, and I'd trust that first instinct. There's so much information available, that you could have opted to go it alone from the very beginning, but you didn't. There's something to be said for that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 24, 2008
If you have a Realtor, that means you have signed a Buyer Agency Agreement. You need to contact your realtor and have them proceed in your best interest, whether or not you have found the home directly. Your Buyer Agency Agreement states that you owe your Agent a commission whether or not you found the home directly. Wouldn't you want the professional experience that you originally signed for from your Realtor?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 24, 2008
If you did not sign a buyers agreement with an agent, by all means buy it without an agent. I have done this several times and have saved a great deal of money. When you involve an agent YOU the buyer will end up paying the sales commission because the seller will want an additional 3% or more! You could end up paying 3+% MORE than what the house is worth.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 23, 2008
You should first get the address and phone # for the Seller. Then you should take the info. to your Realtor. Your realtor will contact the Seller and see if they will consider a commission if they bring a client, usually Seller's are willing to work with a realtor on the buying end. You really need respresentation when you purchase a home. That is how it is done in Lancaster, PA. Other areas may be different.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
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