If one realtor showed me a property 6 months ago, am I required to put in an offer with her or may I use another closer one?

I prefer not to work with the first realtor again. We put in a short sale with her and it fell through. Now we are working with a closer, better realtor. Am I required to use the first since she was the one who originally showed me a property six months ago?

Asked on August 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The first and most important thing to do is  check the contract or agreement you signed with the realtor, if any. These agreements usually specify that if you later buy a property which the first realtor showed you, you will owe commissions to that first realtor. The contract or agreement may also obligate you to work with this realtor for  some period of time. Terms like the above in agreements with realtors are enforceable.

Even in the absence of such a term, there are grounds under which the first realtor might be able to force you to work with her or pay her, such as if it appears (or could be reasonably claimed) that you deliberately let the first deal fall through specifically to avoid her commission. Assuming she is at all competent, you are much better off continuing to either work with her, or getting agreement up front on a commission split, so as to avoid potential litigation later.

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