Home Buying in San Mateo>Question Details

Christelle, Home Buyer in San Mateo, CA

Can I buy a house from another agent other than mine?

Asked by Christelle, San Mateo, CA Wed Mar 5, 2008

with an agent that I don't care much for. We are still in contract until May of this year.
There is a home that we had put an offer in and it fell through, but it is back on the market and I want to buy directly from the seller's agent. He (seller's agent) says that evne though I signed that contract, I am free to make an offer with whoever I chose, and that worst case scenario, my current agency could bring his agency to court to go after the comission that would have been collected by my previous agent, but in this situation, the seller's agent is willing to drop the 3% comission to 0 because he really just wants to get this house sold and he will be collecting the 3% on his side anyways, so really there is no comission to go after. Are there any liabilities for me or anything that can happen?

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If you signed a buyer/broker with your agent..than YOU are liable, not the other agent for lost commission. Be very careful. Please read any paperwork you have signed carefully. Also you may want to discuss this with your current agent and see if you can work something out rather than end up in arbitration or court.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
I'm assuming this has been handled by now, but it is always a slippery slope when you try to do things behind people's back. Have you told the agent why you aren't happy with them? Are you able to back out of the contract you are in? Have you removed your contingencies? There are too many questions to ask before anyone can give you an answer about liability. The short answer is you could have liability to both your agent and the sellers of the proeprty you are in contract with. Buyer agreements are not used here, so you don't typically have any specific requirement to use that agent going forward.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
It depends on what you signed. You say you are under contract until May. I don't know how your Exclusive Buyer agency contract is worded, but in NY it states that will try our best to obtain commission from the listing broker. However, if no commission is offered it is the responsibility of the buyer to pay whatever percentage of the sale price is agreed upon in your contract. Therefore, even if the MLS was offering out no commission your agent may have legal recourse against you. I would seek the advice of a real estate attorney in your area before proceeding.
Web Reference: http://www.wnyhomevoice.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
Yes, Yes, Yes. It is called procuring cause.

There are big red flags popping out everywhere in your question. There are so many other professional and viable ways to handle this situation other than opening this can of worms. This situation unfortunately happens often and agents know how to handle it professionally versus 'going to court'.

Get legal counsel immediately and don't assume by any means nothing can happen to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
I am so glad you've asked this question because other buyers need to know what they are doing to themselves and to others.

I guess the best question to ask yourself is: "Why am I doing this?"

And the possible answers:

"So I could save the seller some money." OR

"Because I don't care about this agent who has worked with me for x months, he will not get paid and does not deserve to be paid." OR

"Because I really don't care what happens as long as I get the house." OR

"I could probably get myself into a bad deal by not having my best interests represented. Heck, life is short, why not?"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
If you have an agency agreement and are not satisfied with the representation or service you are receiving you are free to terminate the agreement. Buyers agency agreement is agreement between you and your agent and can as such be terminated as well. After that you are free to choose who do you want to work with and they are no question. Good luck and please don’t settle, there are so many great agents out there and there is no reason for you not to receive a outstanding service!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2008
There would be a commission to come after - the commission is offered in the MLS - if the unethical agent that is lacking integrity tells you he/she will forego the other part of the commission, can you really believe that? There seems to be a lot of plotting and planning here on the agent's part. Stop and ask yourself why he/she would do that. If he/she is plotting to cut someone out of a deal you have to ask yourself what their motive is.

So, the person you are in contract with probably has the legal recourse to come after you for that 2.5-3% commission. Most agents WILL collect on both sides if they do both sides of the deal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
I understand, but what can they come after me for since there is really no comission to get since there would be none going to the seller agent working as my buyer agent - what could they sue me for?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
It sounds like you are bound to your agent until May. I question the ethics of this other agent. Would you really want someone that is acting without integrity to represent you in what is probably the biggest investment in your life?

He is giving you inaccurate information and is being unethical. It would be good to speak to the agent you signed the agreement with.

Even if your agent releases you from your contract I would be VERY skeptical of doing a deal with this listing agent in my opinion.
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
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