I met a new buyer who had a home to sell in IL. I am licensed in MO so referred her to an IL agent with a verbal agreement (also email) of the fee.

Asked by Jennifer Svoboda, Saint Louis, MO Sun Sep 29, 2013

The buyer then decided to buy in IL instead. She texted me to tell me they bought a home and would be listing theirs soon. The agent never contacted me. I'd like to hear your opinion on whether the agent owes me referral fee for buy side..

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Hector Tello, Agent, Arnold, MO
Sun Sep 29, 2013
I'm curious did the buyer tell you s/he would rather buy in IL or did h/she just buy it and texted you after it was a done deal? Did you not contact the buyer at any point? was it a surprise? were they not calling you back? I would imagine some time would have gone by for them to find, offer, close etc.

When I refer someone I send them the referral agreement with purchasers name and no contact info, once the agent/broker has signed and returns it to me I return a full copy with my signature and client contact info.

If there is no agreement the buyer agent owes you nothing until s/he lists the buyers home. Professional courtesy the buyer broker should compensate you seeing that you have a referral for the listing side and the buyer agent never called to let you know about the buying side. Unfortunately some agents are sketchy as hell and will let money get in the way of professionalism or common sense.

Good luck!

I'd put the brokerages name out there once this is resolved, as a warning to other agents down the road.
1 vote
I'd speak to the agent and see what s/he says, unfortunately without a signed agreement they don't owe you. Hopefully the agent and broker are professional and pay you what is rightfully yours. Good luck wish you the best!
Flag Sun Sep 29, 2013
It was kind of a surprise. They weren't going to be moving for quite a while as they needed to get their home market-ready. I did text the client a couple of times to check in and she they hadn't made any decisions. Then out of the blue she texted me and said they saw one in IL that they didn't want to miss out on and bought it!
I also emailed the agent a couple of times and she said "I won't forget about you" type of stuff.
It seems everyone agrees she should pay up because it's the right thing to do. I understand I may be screwed. I do have a colleague looking for an agent to list two homes in her area. We'll see if I refer her...
Flag Sun Sep 29, 2013
Konny Schaef…, Agent, CHESTERFIELD, MO
Sun Sep 29, 2013
Perhaps a friendly phone call thanking the agent for assisting your clients, would serve as a reminder of your referral fee. It's possible the agent simply overlooked it and would be grateful for the heads up. Hope it all works out.
1 vote
Penny Davis, Agent, St Louis, MO
Sun Sep 29, 2013
Did you mention the percentage in the email and get an affirmative response from her accepting? If you didn't get the actual referral from signed by your broker and yours, you may have a hard time collecting, but you should definitely try.
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sun Sep 29, 2013
While you have an agreement (of some kind) regarding the sale of their Illinois home, you have nothing regarding their purchase.

Technically, they owe you nothing on the purchase. The reality, however, is that they should do the right thing and pay you a similar referral fee on the purchase, in my opinion.
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Sun Sep 29, 2013
You know what they say about contracts and how they must be signed. You cut a corner and got cut. The Ill agent owes you a referral but with noting in writing and each of you in different Boards of Realtors it might be tough. Go for it and try, if you have emails you might get lucky.
1 vote
Marcia Kelly, Agent, Topeka, KS
Mon Oct 21, 2013
Always get a referral agreement in writing signed by all parties.
0 votes
Jennifer Svo…, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Mon Oct 7, 2013
Thank you all for your responses. I called the agent and spoke with her about the referral agreement. She said that she didn't think she owed me a referral for the buy side. I told her that I disagreed. I tried to be as nice and reasonable as possible. I even told her about the opinions that were expressed on Trulia;) She said she would speak with her broker and get back to me. so...tick tock..a few days passed and I didn't hear anything. I contacted my broker (who rocks) and he immediately called her broker. He said they are going to pay up.

Lesson learned though! I tend to do everything by the books and occasionally I agree upon things in a casual manner when I feel like I can trust people. I will follow my gut from now on!

ps. I did have an email acknowledging the fact that they were going to buy in IL instead and that it was good for her..not so good for me. She replied to that email, "....thanks for the referral".

Thanks again, everyone!
0 votes
Eric Bronner, , Saint Louis, MO
Tue Oct 1, 2013
Hi Jennifer,

I don't think we've had the pleasure of meeting yet. If you'd like, I'd be happy to look over the email and give you an opinion, from a legal perspective, whether or not you have a "contract" with the referral agent. My sense is that you do, and I'd be happy to write a letter on your behalf, if you'd like to go that route.

Joel has my number, so please go ahead and give me a call or send a text if you'd like to talk!

Eric Bronner
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Sep 30, 2013
The most you should EXPECT is an "I owe you one' from the agent.
Anything beyond that should cause you to dance in the street because you just benefitted from that that which you neither deserved or earned.
That sounds harsh, but isn't that EXACTLY the details which professionals are epected to NEVER overlook?
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more