Canceling buyer's agreement, still have to pay the agent on an upcoming by owner sale?

Asked by Wanting Out, 66205 Tue Jun 29, 2010

Signed buyers agreement for a sale that fell through. I didn't have time to read the agreement (I know, stupid). I didn't realize I was bound to him for 3 months. Now I want to cancel the contract. My agent is not avail on the weekends, which is a pain for me. When I was out driving around just looking at properties because he was not available (again) I met someone who wants to trade properties with me. She has not listed her house yet, and neither have I. The buyer's agreement makes it sound like if I buy anything in the next 180 days, even if he never showed it, even if I cancel the agreement, he gets 3%. Can that be? I am doing all the work! Even when I tell him about a property that I found driving around, he can't always find the listing to show it to me. By the time he takes me to places I want to see, they are under contract. He is really nice, but I am clearly not a priority client and I want out. My lender suggested him, so he will know if I purchase.

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Maggie Hawk, Agent, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Tue Jun 29, 2010
You're asking for legal advice. The only person who can answer a legal question is a lawyer. You're asking if it's OK to break a contract. You need to ask a lawyer that.

However, regarding the real estate, I'm going to play the devil's advocate here, and ask you to please keep in mind that much of the work a Buyer's real estate agent does happens between contract and closing. When two parties exchange properties, there is twice as much of everything. Two purchase and sale contracts to negotiate, two appraisals, two home inspections, two surveys, two title searches, two title examinations, two closings. Twice as many opportunities for things to go wrong. Exchanges are more work.

It sounds like you need to level wtih your agent. Tell him your concerns. If he can keep both contracts together until closing, he will definitely earn his commission. Good luck.

Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
(386) 314-1149
Watson Realty Corp.
0 votes
Wanting Out, Home Buyer, 66205
Tue Jun 29, 2010
I don't really want a new agent. I also don't want to call, report him, and then be stuck dealing with him still. I also don't want to get re-assigned, and then give the new commission to a new person. I am arranging to trade properties with someone and just want to hire an attorney and leave agent out of it. No one listed my property or hers. He can't show me properties. Agents won't show me their properties because I have an agent. It is crazy. I found this deal, I don't think anyone should make a commission. If anyone is going to get a commission out of the deal, however, it should be the person who I have worked with. I don't see the point in finding a new agent and saying "here, I made this deal on my own because the last agent was not available to help me." Want 7%? You're welcome. I also don't want to get sued for making a deal without him. Is there a way out?
0 votes
Ben Edsall, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Tue Jun 29, 2010
Well stated Anna; unfortunately this is not all that uncommon, and it really puts the rest of us in a bad light.

Tell the agent that you are not happy with their performance and if they will not provide the service you need then you should go to the supervising broker of the company and tell them your concerns.

I'm probably the least greedy broker in the world, if I can't show on a particular day I will send another agent to show and split any commissions with them. I'd rather you find your home and be happy, then try to force you to stay with me.

Tell them you want another agent or you want out of the agreement.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Jun 29, 2010
If you wish to terminate your agreement with your agent--do discuss all of your concerns with your agent first--if the chat is unsatisfactory to you, contact the broker owner or office manger of the realty office--ask for termination of your agreement or ask to be assigned another agent for the duration--oftentimes, it's not the agent who decides any agreement terminations, but the broker owner and or office manager.
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