Do I need to pay a commission to a realtor if I didn’t sign an agreement with him?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I need to pay a commission to a realtor if I didn’t sign an agreement with him?

I was going to list my house for sale with a realtor but never sign any paperwork or agreement with him. He ran some comps for me. He put a lock box on my house without me knowing. I want to use a different realtor instead, but in order for him to get the keys he needs to open the lock box that the first realtor put. When the house sale, do I need to pay the first realtor a commission?

Asked on January 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, you don't need to pay if you never entered into an agreement with him, with one potential exception: there are legal theories under which if, even without an agreement, if he brought you a prospective buyer and you ended up selling to that person, you'd have to pay some amount of commision--but that's only if you with the specific buyer brought by that realtor. Without an agreement, you won't be liable for anything other than that.

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