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Old 08-19-2007, 03:31 PM
 
10 posts, read 41,382 times
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Help! A month ago we put our house on the market and yesterday we got an offer. After negotiation we verbally agreed on a price. All of the negotiations took place over the phone through our selling agent.

After a sleepless night, my husband and I have decided that we no longer want to sell (yes I know - why didn’t we think of that earlier?). Anyway, at this point, we have not signed the offer. Can we back out without penalty? What kind of consequences could that be (beside the seller and his agent hate us)? Yes we are going to talk to an attorney tomorrow, and yes we plan to compensate our agent because he did a tremendous job. I just wonder if anyone out there knows anything about the legal implications and could share some insight. Appreciate it!
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:52 PM
 
735 posts, read 3,240,453 times
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If the P&S was not signed by both parties, then you can back of the deal free and clear- no legal implications at all.
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:24 PM
 
10 posts, read 41,382 times
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That would be nice. Thanks for replying! I read from somewhere that if the agents find a buyer that meets your criteria then you need to pay the fee. Could the seller agent and the buyer agent say that they found us a buyer (although not the full price) and therefore we owe them the full commission?
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Old 08-19-2007, 05:15 PM
 
735 posts, read 3,240,453 times
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No- they cannot since there was no P&S signed. You have the right to NOT sell. However- I would read over any agreement you have with your agent regarding stipulations. You may owe them an hourly rate for their time to date..
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:41 PM
 
Location: 42°22'55.2"N 71°24'46.8"W
4,844 posts, read 9,884,164 times
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Real estate transactions require a WRITTEN contract (unlike transactions for personal goods, which only require an oral contract). You can back out w/o any legal implications w/the would-be-buyers. As for the real estate agent, they can collect their finders fee if you back out only if they bring you someone who is willing to pay FULL ASKING price. So you don't have to pay them either. From what you're telling us, it looks like you're only obligated to pay your listing agent the advertising/listing fees that they incurred out of pocket, which should be a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,615 posts, read 9,434,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treeomatic View Post
That would be nice. Thanks for replying! I read from somewhere that if the agents find a buyer that meets your criteria then you need to pay the fee. Could the seller agent and the buyer agent say that they found us a buyer (although not the full price) and therefore we owe them the full commission?
That language in the listing agreement is there to protect the broker from people who, for whatever strange reason, are not really interested in selling but just like the attention of having strangers traipse through their house. If a seller makes too many objections and continues to refuse to sign contracts where their selling criteria have been meet, ie price, ability to close, any contingencies negotiated, and time lines to name a few, the broker has the ability to declare the seller is not acting in good faith and demand payment of the listing fee upon termination of the listing period. In all likelihood, they would have to sue for this in court and I don't know many brokers who want to be known for suing their clients.

It is there for leverage against clients that are chronic time wasters, not for someone who decides that a specific deal is not quite right. I wouldn't worry about that. Just tell them that you have thought more on the deal and regret making a snap verbal decision, and then continue the negotiations if they are still willing to work with you.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:12 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,396,228 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeomatic View Post
Help! A month ago we put our house on the market and yesterday we got an offer. After negotiation we verbally agreed on a price. All of the negotiations took place over the phone through our selling agent.

After a sleepless night, my husband and I have decided that we no longer want to sell (yes I know - why didn’t we think of that earlier?). Anyway, at this point, we have not signed the offer. Can we back out without penalty? What kind of consequences could that be (beside the seller and his agent hate us)? Yes we are going to talk to an attorney tomorrow, and yes we plan to compensate our agent because he did a tremendous job. I just wonder if anyone out there knows anything about the legal implications and could share some insight. Appreciate it!
Yes, if it's not in writing, yes.
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