Legal obligation if any working with real estate agent

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Legal obligation if any working with real estate agent

I contacted a real estate agent and asked her to look at a property for sale for me in New York I am residing in Nevada. She looked at the property and got back to me with a brief opinion. I asked her to present an offer to purchase the property . She wrote up the offer I wanted presented and submitted it to the listing broker for the home.
My question is am I legally bound to work with this agent or can I go directly to the listing broker or another agent. No paperwork was signed by me to work with her in any way. Is she entitled to a commission from me or broker if I bypass her and close the deal on the home with the broker or another agent.

Asked on January 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Without a written contract, you are not obligated to *generally* work with her, but if she presented *this* offer to *this* seller for you, the law would find that she is entitled to a commission for it under one or more of several theories: oral contract (oral agreement or understanding that she would represent you on this purchase); unjust enrichment (she did the initial work; the law will not "unjustly" (or unfairly) "enrich" you by letting you get the benefit of her work without paying for it); promissory estoppel (she expened effort on your behalf in reliance on the promise--even if only implied--that she would be paid for her work, and that can make that promise binding). If this deal falls through, feel free to go to another agent; but if you buy the property where she wrote up and presented the offer, she is entitled to a commission.


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