Can we directly contact a potential buyer after deal fell through between our FSBO home and an agent?

Asked by pamalexander1965, Colorado Springs, CO Thu Feb 28, 2013

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Rick DeVoss’ answer
Rick DeVoss, Agent, Ft Worth, TX
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Dear Pam,

Since your return on the question says "Colorado Springs", I cannot attempt to tell you about Real Estate laws and practices in Colorado. But if the transaction happened in Texas, then I'll give you the benefit of my 33 years of experience here. (None of us are probably sure about why Trulia posts a question under the Fort Worth heading when it comes from an out-of-state customer.)

In Texas: There is never anything preventing someone from contacting another party in a tranaction, or a negotiation for a transaction. Whether or not it is proper is a different question. But if you DO cross the line and do something that someone thinks you should not have done, they can always take you to civil court over it. If a party is represented by an Agent, then all communications should go through that Agent. If you feel that the Agent has not done their job properly, then you should contact that Agent's Broker, and discuss it with them before you go forward on your own.

The Agent in your case may or may not have been legally representing the buyer. But that issue is between THEM. If you call the buyer and he buys your house, then HE may have to pay the Agent a
commission if they had a Buyer Representation Agreement that was signed by the buyer. But as long as that Agent was not representing YOU, then you really have no obligation to that Agent whatsoever. And let's assume for a minute that the Agent really WAS representing the buyer. --- If you call the buyer and he wants to talk to you, he can do it. If he doesn't, he will tell you to call his Agent. And if he actually negotiates the terms of a deal with you without consulting his Agent, he is a fool...!

But that would be his loss, not yours! So, if you feel the transaction went south because the Agent was not following through on the negotiations, then by all means call the buyers and ask them if they are still interested in the property. You could always get the Agent involved IF they are....

But here is the real problem you are facing: YOU NEED AN AGENT TO REPRESENT YOU! You said you were a "FSBO", and that is why you are having a problem in the first place. If you had hired an Agent to represent you in the sale of your house, you would not be in this situation in the first place. So ask yourself what you are really saving by taking on this FSBO project. A good agent probably could have had your house SOLD by now! Do you know how long the average house is staying on the market these days??

Do you have the education and training to act as a real estate agent? Do you have the skills to negotiate without getting emotional about selling your home? Do you know all the ins and outs of how to write a real estate contract? Do you understand the state laws as they pertain to Mineral Rights? Do you know how to pre-qualify the prospective buyer? Are you at all worried about letting strangers walk through your home? A good crook will case the house for valuables, and then come back when you are out. Do you know that every buyer who stops to look at a FSBO house thinks THEY are going to save 6% on the cost of buying the house? And I'll bet you thought YOU were going to save 6%, didn't you? Well --- it is not mathematically possible for BOTH of you to save the same 6%, so guess what happens when you start negotiating with the buyer?? Somebody is going to lose!

Stop wasting your time writing questions like this on a silly website, and go HIRE AN AGENT to represent you and get your house sold for top dollar. The Agents in town will probably be able to sell the property for more than you can on your own anyway!

With my sympathies,

Rick DeVoss

ULTRA Real Estate Services

1 vote
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Manchaca, TX
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Sure you can...happens all the time.
1 vote
Maryanne Jac…, Agent, El Cajon, CA
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Yes, you have no agreement with an agent-You are Selling your home on your own.
IT is your right to do that, If the Buyer has signed an agreement to pay their broker than it is the responsibility of the buyer to pay, OR if there is no agreement to pay than it is presumed that the agent will procure a commission as being offered in the MLS for instance, 2.5 or 3%.
If you are not listed on the MLS than there is no commission offered.
There for the agent must find the buyer's a property that is listed on the MLS and is offering a commission in order to get paid.
Did the buyer find your home on their own? If so, you and the buyer are procuring cause not the buyer's agent.
Did you sign a one party listing contract? If so, then that may change the situation a bit.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Feb 28, 2013
At times agents KILL THE DEAL I have seen where seller / buyer pushed both agents out worked the deal out HOWEVER agents were still paid due to they brought buyer to the home.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer

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0 votes
Dear Miss No Last Name: You should really think twice about posting negative comments about other Agents on a public website. I get embarrassed when I read your postings like the last one!

Rick DeVoss
ULTRA Real Estate Services
Flag Thu Feb 28, 2013
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Manchaca, TX
Thu Feb 28, 2013
If the deal that fell through was in Fort Worth, I can only tell you how things are handled in Texas. If you want to try and make something happen, don't wait on the agent to call you, be proactive and call the former purchaser. Agent's don't have ownership rights over their clients so if the agent gets upset, that's the agent's problem, not yours. Go for it.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Since the potential buyer in this case was the customer of the selling agent it probably would be best to go through their agent to be on the safe side.

Anyone can call anyone else...whether or not they are willing to talk to you is another issue.
0 votes
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