Is it true that you have to have an active listing to finalize a sale?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it true that you have to have an active listing to finalize a sale?

I’m anxious to end a broker agreement. I would like to pull the listing now however fully prepared to

pay the commission should any sale close that originated during the agreement. Is this OK?

Asked on December 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) No, there is no need for an active listing to finalize a sale. If that were the case, there would be no privately negotiated sales, or sales directly between friends and family members, where the property was never listed in the first place.
2) If you pay the realtor a commission for any sales that originated during the term of the agreement--which includes any where the buyer saw the property during the listing, even if an offer was placed later--the broker will have no grounds to sue you: he or she will be getting everything to which he or she is entitled.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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