Can I sell to a buyer without a realtor if we were previously involved with a realtor?

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Can I sell to a buyer without a realtor if we were previously involved with a realtor?

The buyer was interested when I had the real estate listed with a realtor. We could not agree on a price. I have fired the realtor but the buyer is still interested. Can I sell to this buyer without paying commission to my previous realtor?

Asked on May 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Most likely not--you probably do have to pay. The first thing you should do is to check your agreement with the realtor--those typically provide that should you sell to someone who saw the home while the realtor was listing it, you would have to pay the commission even if the sale is consummated after the termination of the realtor's agency. If there is a clause like this, it is enforceable.

Moreover, all contracts have what is known as an "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing," which is the obligation to treat fairly with the other party and not do anything to deny him or her the "fruits"--or benefits--"of the bargain"--or contract. It would likely be held that to show a house to buyer when you have a realtor, fire the realtor, then sell to the buyer violates this covenant (is unconscionable or unfair treatment) and would entitle the realtor to sue you for the compensation she should have been paid.


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