We have been working with a Realtor recommended by our insurance company but have found our perfect house FSBO

Asked by Chorister1, Green Bay, WI Mon Aug 3, 2009

We haven't signed anything with our Realtor... are we under any obligation to them? The seller obviously doesn't want to have to pay commission to our Realtor, and we don't want to miss out on this house.

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Karen Wenzel, e-PRO’s answer
Karen Wenzel,…, Agent, Brookfield, WI
Mon Aug 3, 2009
My suggestion would be to be upfront and honest with your agent. I know I would appreciate knowing if a Buyer I was working with found a property that was FSBO. It sounds like you do not have a Buyer Agency agreement with your Realtor.
But, before you jump into this, you may want to be absolutely sure that the property is priced fairly and that everything is being disclosed properly. The money that you (and the Seller) think they will save could be eaten up quickly if you have an issue arise that could derail the transaction (or things could show up later...)
Maybe see if your agent can do a one-party listing agreement with the Seller- allowing him/her to represent YOUR interest in the transaction. This way you could be assured that all the proper contingencies could be included in the offer, and the agent would be acting on your behalf (rather than the Seller) You could write your offer with the commission being paid by You to your agent (and adjust your offer price accordingly)
Otherwise- it would be prudent to hire a Real Estate Attorney to draft the offer and work on your behalf during the transaction. Again- a cost you would bear- but it could be WELL worth it in the end.

Whatever you decide- all the Best to you !
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2 votes
Mark Niedzie…, , Franklin, WI
Mon Aug 3, 2009
If you haven't entered into a Buyer Agency agreement you should be okay. You may want to have your Realtor talk with the FSBO to see if they are willing to pay a Buyer's Agent fee. I have worked with buyer's in the past that purchased a FSBO home and we were able to work something out with them. The FSBO may be willing to pay a smaller fee than if they had listed with a Realtor in order to sell the home. With a tighter market sellers may be more flexible.

Good luck!
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Nov 30, 2009
Keep in mind FSBO's are not always bargains--these sellers usually believe they can get more money since they are not paying a Realtor's commission--you do need your agent to provide you with comparable listings and what they actually sold for and other advice as to the paperwork, etc.--therefore be honest with your agent and if he/she went/goes the extra mile why not reward the person anyway-- or include the Realtor's fee in your negotiations with the seller. Again most FSBO's are not the best bargain in town.

0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Nov 30, 2009
If you're looking to do the right thing, then, if the Realtor provided value to you, I think you should pay them something for that.

Value comes in many forms. Often, agents provide value through education - did they help you learn more about the market now than you knew before you started working with them? Did you learn something of value about the process, about evaluating homes, would you honestly of recognized this home as being perfect and the price being acceptable before you began working with them? Are you better prepared to negotiate with a FSBO now?

I can't answer these questions for you, that's for you to decide.

On the other hand, if you want to know if you can skate and leave the Realtor bone dry, then, the answer is, probably yes.
0 votes
Brad Hornick, Agent, Green Bay, WI
Mon Nov 30, 2009
Be HONEST with your real estate agent. If you are not happy with their service or market knowledge it may be time to tell them so and interview several more agents. If your agent invested a lot of time and gas money showing you homes, you should respect their investment and allow your agent to contact the FSBO FIRST to see if that FSBO would be willing to work with them. There are so many things can go wrong in a transaction. Many times FSBO's are not aware of all the liability that is part of a real estate transaction and will welcome the help. If the FSBO will not work with your agent, you should at the very least be prepared to hire a good real estate attorney to represent you. Be aware that the attorney fees will need to be paid regardless if the deal goes together or not. Since most attorneys don't go through homes they are writing offers on, you will have to know if there are any issues in the home that the attorney should address in the offer. When you are making one of the biggest investments of your life is NOT the time to try a save a few bucks on professional representation! A GOOD agent is well worth their fee and can SAVE you thousands of dollars in attorney and court costs later. Good luck with your purchase, I'm pulling for you!
0 votes
Gwenn Tanvas, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Green Bay, WI
Mon Aug 3, 2009
Hi Chorister1 - Did I spell that right????? I agree that honesty is the best policy and it does not sound as if you have an agreement with the agent showing the property. I am sure that the Realtor will appreciate your being up front and telling them how you feel about the service, or lack of relative to your experience. It may proove to be a valuable lesson for all. It is so important to provide a high level of service and make sure that the client is getting the very best. It is great that you have found the home of your dreams.

I am a certified mortgage planner and not a Realtor - I apologize if I offended any respected Realtors out there . . . not my intention. Good Will plain and simple. Go for it Chris...... If I can be of help planning your financing, please feel free to contact me. My office number in GB is 920-965-0700 x 106 - I wish you the very best in your new home..... Make it great and amke it your own.....
0 votes
Chorister1, Home Buyer, Green Bay, WI
Mon Aug 3, 2009
A little bit more information:

A) Our Realtor hasn't been very helpful in FINDING us any properties to look at; when we have found properties online, she has taken us to see them, but she hasn't been able to come up with anything for us to look at.
B) The seller is a Realtor who isn't currently practicing because she is moving out of the area. (Does she have certain obligations because of this?)
0 votes
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