Do we owe a commission if we get a showing and contract AFTER listing agreement has expired?

Asked by Ken, Flagstaff, AZ Fri Apr 24, 2009

We canceled our listing and paid $500 for services already performed. Two weeks later, we have an interested agent contacting our previous agent, asking to show the house (again, no longer with a listing agreement). Expecting an offer, do we still have to pay a commission since there is no longer a listing agreement?

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri Apr 24, 2009
the interested agent contacted your ex-agent. Your ex-agent (who was no longer under contract with you) was under no obligation to bring this to your attention. He could have ignored it.

Instead, he contacted you and asked if it'd be okay to show the property. Most listing agreements have a "protection period" in them, that states "if a buyer comes to you through the efforts of this agency, in the [30-180] days following termination... a commission is owed."

Now usually that clause is designed to capture people who were shown the property DURING the contract period. But I would think that since the showing was generated through the efforts of this agency, the wording would cover them, and commission would be due.

I'm not a real estate attorney, and this is just my opinion, and shouldn't be considered legal advice.
3 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Apr 25, 2009
Just for the record, folks, I never said I didn't want to pay the commission nor did I indicate that I wanted to rip someone off.
I didn't take from your question, that you were trying to "rip someone off".... I thought you were just trying to understand where you stood, and why. No harm, no foul.
2 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Under these circumstances, Rockin... even if they'd gotten that "unconditional release", it's possible that since they "called and asked if they could show this new person"... that might be considered 'tacit" approval to reinstate the prior rules for this one showing.

The agent SHOULD have asked when arranging the appointment... OR provided a one-time-showing form, that outlines commission... but 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing.

again... not a lawyer... blah, blah, bladisclosure...

btw... this is the "good" kind of problem to have... there are millions of people cross-country who'd trade places with you in an instant... and be willing to pay that commission.... you have a contract!
2 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Apr 25, 2009
That Elv!s fella, sounds freaking brilliant! :-)
1 vote
Stew Keene, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Apr 24, 2009

If your listing agreement states that you will owe a commission after the listing had expired for anyone shown the property then you would owe a commission if it listed the date and occourred within that timeline.

Since your time line was 2 weeks, then this would likely apply because most have at least a 30 day clause.

Most listing agreements will state 30-60-90 days after the listing cancellation or expiration.

The agreement will also state procuring cause issues as well and you should review those.

That being said, here's the way I feel about your situation.

The Realtor obviously did their job in that their advertising brought an interested buyer and their Realtor to the home.

Why would you not want to pay a commission that very fairly is due the listing agent who advertised your property and why wouldn't you want their representation to protect you and help orchestrate the selling process?

My advice is to be fair and contact the listing Realtor you worked with before you get in too deep with legal issues and money owed. If your goal is to sell the home, then having two cooperating Realtors will benefit you more than it will hurt you.

Best of Luck,

Stew Keene
Signature Realty Group
Scottsdale and North Phoenix Arizona Residential "Area Specialist"
1 vote
Realty ONE G…, Agent, Flagstaff, AZ
Sun Nov 18, 2012
The answer is possibly. I would suggest reading lines 59-64 of your AAR listing agreement. Does this answer your question?
0 votes
Realty ONE G…, Agent, Flagstaff, AZ
Wed Apr 11, 2012
You "may" owe a commission depending on how your listing agreement reads. If you used the Exclusive Authorization and Right To Sell Listing Contract I would look at our listing agreement lines 59-64.
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Amanda Werni…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon May 11, 2009
To say that you had a "less than pleasant" experience is obviously an understatement. Unfortunately, not all Realtors are as professional as we would ALL like them to be. Saying that, there are so many professional's out there and the best way to find them is via referrals from your friends and relatives. I'm not sure which company you originally chose, and in reality, it doesn't matter. Some charge a-la-cart fees, but most pay for EVERYTHING up front, at no cost to the seller, which can cost a pretty penny, only to have the seller cancel the listing and the Realtor is left with the costs incurred. Most don't have a problem with this and understand it is the nature of the business. Keep us all posted on what happens! I am interested in knowing the final outcome!
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sat Apr 25, 2009
so....what you're saying is you'd rather go out and find an agent who has not done any work represent you in the sale of your home? You're not planning on handling the contract, negotiations and paperwork yourself, are you? Or...even worse...are you planning on having the buyer's agent represent you?

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Sounds to me like the agent did his job. Plus, he trusted you that you would pay him by showing the home without a listing agreement.

Pay the commission.
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Ken, Home Seller, Flagstaff, AZ
Fri Apr 24, 2009
Just for the record, folks, I never said I didn't want to pay the commission nor did I indicate that I wanted to rip someone off. Just trying to clarify that issue in my mind.

Funny though, they really had no interest in us between the listing time and the showing, and now a pending offer. They didn't even care enough to discuss options with us when we asked to cancel, nor b e present when we canceled - just took the money and ran. Oh, wait, that wasn't that funny. It was insulting.
0 votes
I know this post is years ago... But wanted to voice my opinion. It sounds like they didn't do much or take great care of you. More than likely, an old posting was still on zillow or trulia or something with the agents contact info still on there...Another agent called the old listing info..and There you go...The Agent called you about a showing!! I think that you paid $500 and that person should be done....Period..You paid for their time and expense.
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Fri Apr 24, 2009
The term we use is called "procuring cause". Do you think that the cause of the agent contacting your Realtor was due to their marketing of your home? IMHO then they have earned the commission.

You should read your listing agreement thoroughly.

0 votes
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