Questions About Real Estate? Ask Phyllis!

What Happens If I Find My Own Buyer?

Dear Phyllis,
I tried the for sale by owner approach to sell my home. I put a sign out in front and then got the word out to my Facebook and Instagram pages. After several weeks of non-stop phone calls that resulted in nothing, I contacted a real estate agent. I signed a Listing Contract with him, and he sent a photographer to the house to take photos and a drone picture. Right after the photos were taken but before the listing became public, someone called me and agreed to pay my price. It doesn’t seem fair that I should have to pay my agent the whole commission when I found the buyer on my own. How do you suggest that I bring this up? Jenna

Dear Jenna,
The contract you signed is binding. Your Realtor may be out of pocket for the photography and drone photo. In addition, s/he has spent time helping you prepare for picture day. S/he probably made a marketing plan and started writing marketing copy for the MLS and other advertising.

Before you do or sign anything talk with your real estate agent. Your agent may believe that your home will sell for even more money than what this party offered. Once your agent determines the likely selling price, there are several ways you and your agent may decide to go about this.
• The two of you may opt to list the home in the multiple listing service (MLS) as planned. You will then learn if you might net more even after brokerage fees are paid.
• You can ask your Realtor if you do sell to the buyer you secured, if he would reduce the commission. You really will need your agent’s assistance in completing all the mandatory real estate disclosures.

Note that in every transaction Realtors have liability for anything that may go wrong. Your agent doesn’t just sell your home; he oversees the entire escrow and loan process. It truly is a time-consuming task.

Keep in mind that you signed a contract. If you and your agent can’t come to a compromise, you might consider consulting an attorney. I hope the two of you are able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.