Are there any penalties for breaking a contract with a real estate agent when buying a house?

Asked by Nicole Elliott, Sacramento, CA Mon Aug 18, 2008

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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
If only Nicole had reported back on what she did nearly five years ago . . .
0 votes
Eddie Martini, Agent, Auburn, WA
Mon Mar 25, 2013
What happened? We would need to know why you have this desire prior to giving a solid answer.
0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Mon Aug 18, 2008
If you are writing about the purchase contract then: your contract is not with your Realtor, he is not a principal. You the buyer are a principal. Your contract is with the other principal in the transaction -
The agent is the professional who filled in the blanks on the CAR sales contract for you. The agent is an agent. You are the principal.

If there is a reason to get out of the contract with the seller that is covered by your inspection contingency during the contingency time period then your agent should either help you get out of the contract if that is what you must do. or help you to see if it makes sense to proceed with the deal. You may just have buyer jitters, cold feet,, buyers remorse. Humans are emotional, there is no shame in that. However, if you are wishing to cancel a $100,000 plus deal over some needed repair that represents a teeny tiny fraction of the value of the deal then you are being emotional. - That is okay. .
You are not Captain Spock, so it is ok that your emotion wants to be part of your real estate experience, just make sure that your logical side gets to play a part too.
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Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Mon Aug 18, 2008
Hello Nicole. As the others have already said, what constitutes a breach of contract depends on the type of agreement you have with the agent. If there is a breach, then there can be consequences if the agent's brokerage decides to pursue their legal remedies. Why would you not try to get a written release so that you don't have to worry about later consequences? I don't understand why it's so difficult for people to communicate with their agents when there's a problem. Are we really that intimidating? I would much rather release a client by mutual agreement and know why they were not happy with my services than find out later that they just went ahead and breached the agreement.
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As part of your job, you are nice to people. As a salesperson, you work to build a personable relationship with your client. We start to get to feel like we're almost friends with you (if you are doing your job to its fullest extent). When the times comes we want to break with you, its difficult; you've always been nice, friendly, helpful, and eager. Then we have to tell you we don't want to work with you anymore? It's uncomfortable. In my case, I am currently in an exclusive buyers agent contract because I had to put a last minute offer in on a house I was interested in. We got word someone else was going to put in an offer, and we wanted to make sure we at least had a chance. The exclusive contract was shoved in front of me (for a third time) and I just said "whatever, this clearly isn't going away" and signed it. Now that our offer has been turned down, and I've found what could be a really sweet deal on a FSBO with no realtors to dip their fingers into the pot, I want out!
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Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Aug 18, 2008
The following answers gave a comprehensive overview of the buyer's rep contract. Would you mind elaborating on why you want to cancel the contract? And what type of contract that you originally signed? If you did not sign a contract you are still obligated through the agency disclosure associated with any offer you made on a property.

Would be curious as to more specifics on your question.
Web Reference:  http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Aug 18, 2008
Read your buyers rep agreement, more than likely YES if they showed you the property. You could be sued. You also need to receive an amendment to your agreement void your current contract with buyers agent. http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Aug 18, 2008
that depends on what your contract reads. if it is a buyer broker contract it should have a clause that states what happens if the contract is broken, if they helped you find that house, you break the contract and you buy that house, i would say yes you would be responsible.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
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