What to do if our real estate agent said if he could not sell the house in 3 months, we could end the contract free and clear but he has not kept his word?

UPDATED: Aug 11, 2015

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What to do if our real estate agent said if he could not sell the house in 3 months, we could end the contract free and clear but he has not kept his word?

After 3 months he says if we sell the house in the next 6 months he gets a percentage. We lined out that part of the contract but he never gave us a copy. What are our options?

Asked on August 11, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

IF you truly crossed off (lined out) that provision AND he accepted that changed term--i.e. either explicitly accepted it, by signing or initialing after you did that; or implicitly accepted by beginning working after receiving back that change--then you should not have to pay him if the home sells in the next 6 months, since he would have accepted working without that provision. But the issue may be proving it: if you do not have a copy of the modified contract, then if there is a dispute (i.e. if he sues you for a commission), it may be very difficult to prove in court that he gave up the right to the commission, since a commission was part of the base or original contract and is very common in the real estate industry. Regardless of your legal rights--i.e. to not have to pay a commission during the next 6 months, if that is what you and he agreed to--you must be able to prove the supporting facts in court;  if you can't, there is a reasonable likelihood he could hold you accountable for the commission that was in the original contract.

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