I have verbally committed to a Realtor but have not signed a contract, and I may have a potential offer through a neighbor. What should I do?

Asked by B24117, Painesville, OH Tue May 1, 2012

I am selling my house and have verbally committed to listing with a Realtor but have not signed a contract yet. Yesterday a neighbor stopped over and asked if we were listing with a Realtor because he is interested in buying our house as a rental property, but a primary driver would be circumventing Realtor costs. Our Realtor has visited the house once to give us advice and has also done some research about comps in the area. What is the right thing to do in this situation?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Tripp Young, , Denver, CO
Tue May 1, 2012
Contact your Realtor and ask them to help you through the transaction. I am sure that they would be happy to discuss how to accomplish everyone's end goals and they would understand that you deserve a break on the brokerage. Making this a win-win situation for all parties concerned is easy to do with the right mindset-which should always be "The Golden Rule"
1 vote
I called our Realtor and asked what we should do, and she was very happy for us and super helpful. She offers assistance for situations like this for a flat rate, and we will definitely take her up on it if things pan out with our neighbor, otherwise we'll just list with her as planned. Thanks everyone!
Flag Tue May 1, 2012
Bob Combs, Agent, Beavercreek, OH
Tue May 1, 2012
Legally you have no commitment to the Realtor without you signing that listing agreement. Yes a case could be made about the verbal agreement but clearly the Realtor was not the "procuring cause" of the buyer coming to you. But since you are looking for advice on doing the right ethical thing, I think you should talk to the Realtor and work out a deal for providing services. Since the Realtor does not have to spend money on marketing and time on showing the property it does cut the costs and so is likely to give you deal on handling the transaction.

There are a lot of pitfalls between here and closing and that Realtor can be extremely helpful in keeping the deal together. It will be well worth the money.
1 vote
Carol Perdew, Agent, Manteca, CA
Tue May 1, 2012

Buyers may try to go around a listing agent and buy the home direct from the seller. Typically, buyers will offer less money because they know the seller is not paying a commission. Sellers should be aware that in real estate sales, verbal agreements are not enforceable. Selling a home on your own can be challenging since the seller will not have access the CAR real estate contract that is prepared by attorneys to address the aspects of the sale. Sellers are not aware of the statutory disclosure forms that are required for the sale. Selling a home without representation does not necessarily save you money and my leave you open for liability.

Carol Perdew
Prudential California Realty
(209) 239-7979
DRE 985176
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue May 1, 2012
Well, think about this from a buyer's point of view. We all want to snap something up that seems well-priced before it comes on the market and we have to compete with others. And, of course, not having to pay the middleperson always seems like a deal sweetener.

I think it comes down to this: do you think that you have found the person who is willing to offer you a better deal than you could get from the open market?

All the best,
1 vote
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Selling in Painesville Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more