Since we cancelled our house listing and the realtor released us from the contract and removed us from the MLS, if we sell between the cancellation of the listing and the end of the listing contract, are we obligated to pay her commission?

Asked on November 13, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends:
1) If the contract stated that any home sales while the contract was in force will lead to commissions, then if you sold prior to the end of the contract, you'd have to pay. You write that you were "released" from the contract: if you have something in writing from the realtor terminating, cancelling, etc. the contract, then as of the date it was cancelled, etc., it would be over.
2) Even if the contract were over or cancelled as of when you made the sale, if you sold the home to someone who saw the house while the contract was in force, you would most likely have to pay the commission: the law doesn't let you escape commissions you'd overwise have to pay by simply waiting to sell (to someone who'd seen the house while the contract was in place) until after the contract is over.

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