If a buyer starts out working with a real estate agent but then later decides that the relationship is not working, is there any legal obligation?

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If a buyer starts out working with a real estate agent but then later decides that the relationship is not working, is there any legal obligation?

If a buyer began working with a real estate agent but then later realizes

that there are personality conflicts, is the buyer under any legal obligation to

continue working with that agent or is a buyer obligated to make an offer/place

a bid with that agent, especially if the buyer feels that agent does not have

their best interests at heart? The real estate agent has not taken the buyer to

see all properties they asked to see and the real estate agent has not responded to some texts that the buyer sent. The real estate agent did not inform the buyer of the agent’s work hours/schedule.

Asked on August 27, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While you don't have to place a bid on any particular property, unless you can show that the contract is terminated by the agent's breach (see below), you are otherwise held the terms of the contract--which likely (in the typical contract) means you will owe the realtor a commission if you buy anything, including without realtor's help, during the term or duration of the contract. 
IF you can show that the realtor's performance and nonresponsiveness is so extreme as to constitute "breach of contract," you can terminate the contract, but unless the realtor has plainly violated some defined term or provision of the contract, this is a subjective determination: when there's no clear-cut violation, is the behavior so bad that a court would consider this a breach? If a court does not, you could be ordered to pay commissions if you buy a home, even if you worked with an also paid another realtor.


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