Can a buyer make an offer ona home shown to themby a realtor but for which there is no signed agreements with any of the parties?

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Can a buyer make an offer ona home shown to themby a realtor but for which there is no signed agreements with any of the parties?

I sold my home through a locally own reality group. The sale was completed in June and we are now looking to buy a new home. I have contacted the agent that sold my home and she has shown us 3 homes. We have not signed a buyers contract. I had her show us a for sale by owner listing, she has informed the seller he needs to sign a 1 party listing and will be charged 2.4% commission if we write an offer. She as since started the price negations without my approval. This home is in need of intense remodeling.I am currently walking contractors through looking for estimates. My offer will be based on those estimates. I have started to speak directly to the seller and he has expressed to me he has no interest in signing a commission deal with my agent but has offered a referral fee. What can I do without incurring any legal  liability with the realtor?

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To avoid legal liability, don't by a home this realtor has shown you. Even if you have not yet signed an agreement, if you asked  the realtor to show you homes, there is still a verbal agreement that she will be paid for doing so if you purchase one of the homes you saw with her. This is strengthened by the fact that you had used this realtor previously; it would be therefore very easy for her to claim that it as former client, you were continuing the relationship under the standard terms and conditions. If you should buy a home which she showed you, there is a very good chance you would face legal liability if she chose to push the point. That's not to say that you can't try to negotiate her commission down, if she hasn't had to do much work or if that's what it takes to make the deal work; but you need to get her approval. Otherwise, you face the possiblity of being sued.


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