Do we have to pay half of the listed rent to the realtor?

Asked by Diane, Westwood, NJ Thu Apr 30, 2009

Our realtor didn't find any tenant that we were happy with, so we decided to find a tenant of our own. Now she wants half of the monthly fee anyway. Can she require that?

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Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Thu Apr 30, 2009

In my experience most listing agreements be it for sale or for rent obllgate you to 180 days (6 months) post the expiration of the listing (unless you object to this clause - and that is your right) to remain obligated to the listing broker for any buyer/rental THEY INTRODUCE to the property.

However, I do not believe this applies to a renter that was NOT INTRODUCED to the property by the Realtor - don't let them push you around.

Love and Peace,
Francesca, Realtor, ePro
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Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Fri May 1, 2009
Definitely read your agreement over carefully. Your agent may even have ability to charge you a full month's rent per gareement you signed. Whats more is that you may have been required to refer to her any prospective tenants. If these are the case suggest you pay her the half fee but have her put paperwork together to be certain you dont violate any laws. (ie get the security deposit properly made and tenant notified ...) If you are paying for the realtor's service make certain you get as much as you can. (inspections, records, credit reports...)
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Maria FORSBE…, Agent, FORT LEE, NJ
Thu Apr 30, 2009
Wow, I do believe she can if you signed an listing agreement with her, some Realtors follow up on on the agreements and that is why it is important to know your Realtor and find out what could happen in a case if the house remains vacant for longer time and how long the agreement should be for.
Sometimes clients speak directly to landlords after seeing the property with a Realtor just to avoid the rental fee, the Realtor needs to be protected in such cases.
The Realtor also occurs expenses when they advertise the property, mls fees and advertising fees and personal time.
I do not know the full scenario and even if she did not rent it out she spent time and money and you should have been explained to turn all clients to her while the listing was active. Good luck!
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Apr 30, 2009
Hi there, good advise from Diane. Your answer will be found in your listing agreement - generally the language stipulates that you refer any interested parties to your agent to avoid the scenario you describe. Whether a rental or sale, brokers/agents will usually not agree to list your home and allow you to work on your own outside of the listing arrangement. Depending on the langugage of the listing agreement that you signed, you agent may very well be due commission. As Diane mentioned, if you can't resolve with the agent, ask to meet with the broker.

I'm glad you found a good tenant. Good luck to you!

Jeannie Feenick
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Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Thu Apr 30, 2009
Did you sign a listing agreement with the agent? If so, read it and it should explain whether or not you have to pay if you rent on your own.
If you did not sign a listing agreement and it is considered an "open listing", I don't see how she can request payment. But, payment would go to the Broker, not to the agent.
So, I would speak with her manager if you have signed a listing agreement that requires you pay the company whether they find the tenant or you do. You might be able to negotiate something less.
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