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Old 03-24-2014, 01:00 AM
 
12 posts, read 21,167 times
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I need some advice. A few months ago I found an real estate agent who showed me about 5 houses. I didn't like either. He then tells me he wants me to sign an buyer-broker contract, and he will continue his search. I initialized a few spots, but I never put my signature at the signature line, because I didn't agree with some of the terms (for ex, I didn't want to pay for his commission). I told him in person I didn't want to make this official, but just "window shopping." I told him that I am going out of town, and I told him I'd get back to him.

I never got back to him, but he never reached out to me as well. (So, we only spoke about 2 times in total.)I did my own leg work, and a few months later I purchased my own home. As soon as I purchased the home that I found, I am now being sued and sent to court for "breach of contract." The amount he's suing for is a big chunk.

What are your opinions on this matter? Should I take out 2.5k for an attorney as I was quoted by some? Please advise. Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,298 posts, read 5,460,819 times
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So basically you don't have a fully executed buyer agency agreement if you did not actually sign on the signature line.

Under procuring cause you would have a strong argument for abandonment.

That's crazy. That agent is very stupid to make a sworn enemy out of a consumer like that. We all deal with buyers and sellers that we do work for yet never get a sale.....that doesn't mean we SUE them, geesh. But if he is taking you to court, I would hire an attorney then file counter suit for court costs, attorney fees, etc. This sounds pretty frivolous from what you have stated. I would also look at filing a complaint with his local board of Realtors if he is a member.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,748 posts, read 9,980,675 times
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yz

Did you buy one of the houses the agent showed you?
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,713 posts, read 35,591,413 times
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If you didn't sign, the document isn't executed. You have to have a meeting of the minds in order to have mutual acceptance of a contract and that signature represents that.

Also a few months without contact is definitely abandonment.

Have to agree with LCT on this one.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:38 AM
 
5,048 posts, read 7,996,477 times
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I wonder if he forged a signature.

It could help if you stated things clearly in a letter stating your facts and add in some of the terms here such as abondonment...sent to a few places since you want to head this thing off quickly now....to his broker/owner, the town/city Association of Realtors, the state real estate commission and the state licensing board. That last, provides licenses for all corporations.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:54 AM
 
7,642 posts, read 9,548,995 times
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Unfortunately, any idiot can file a lawsuit--even if it's without merit. Write up an account of everything that transpired--houses you saw with agent, dates, discussions about the "contract" you decided not to sign, lapse in time, personal efforts to find another house, etc. Contact the licensing commissions and boards as suggested previously...and also contact an attorney who might work pro bono or on a contingency basis. (Firm up your complaints with the attorney before sending them off to the boards and commissions.) And sue the agent for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

EDIT: Try contacting a free Legal Aid Society or some such group. Maybe they can help. If you're near a law school, sometimes they have student groups which investigate some of these types of problems. You could even try local media to see if they'll run a story on this agent.

Last edited by jackmichigan; 03-24-2014 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:27 PM
 
5,048 posts, read 7,996,477 times
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I'm thinking once the assoc and boards hear about this they'll say what is this guy doing to our reputation...or, ol' soandso is at it again, he's got to be stopped...or the report of an investigation into him and his company will have his broker or him decide to reconsider suing.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: All Over
4,004 posts, read 5,110,067 times
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LIke another poster said, if you bought one of the houses he showed you you'll probably have to pay, if not you probably won't
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,298 posts, read 5,460,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlemagic View Post
LIke another poster said, if you bought one of the houses he showed you you'll probably have to pay, if not you probably won't
This is not necessarily true, and does not sound like it will hold if what the OP stated is correct.

There are two paths this could take:

Local board path:
Procuring cause (which is what deems WHO is paid a commission) is an UNINTERRUPTED chain of events that leads to a sale. Per the OP, he purchased "a few months later" without contact from the agent and without a fully executed buyers agency agreement between him and that agent. THAT'S the broken "link" in the chain. Also, procuring cause does not take agency relationships into consideration when considering who was procuring cause....even with a buyer's agency agreement this agent more than likely would NOT be deemed procuring cause in this case. Arbitration will ask why the agent did not get back with him....thus abandonment will probably be the outcome. There is no "threshold" rule in arbitration under NAR guidelines (who shows the house).

I sold a house last year....client had a prior agency relationship with another agent, found house that was showed to her by that agent, called agent THREE TIMES over a week period to write an offer and the agent never returned her calls. Buyer got a referral, found me....we went to see the property and wrote the offer that day. Other agent was PISSED when she found out, but its her fault.....she was deemed in abandonment of her client and was owed nothing, board deemed her agency relationship as a non issue when considering the judgement. That agent, for the record, had gone out of town on vacation, had not notified any of her clients she would be out of town, and had no one in her brokerage covering for her while she was out of town.

Court path outside of board membership: No judge will award this agent anything if its handled in court. These matters are usually handled by binding arbitration as that is the most efficient and least costly method. But the OP still had to deal with it, thus they need to hire legal counsel and counter sue for attorney/court costs/expenses.

If this agent is a local board member, the board COULD pick this up as an ethics violation due under the premise of "public trust". Technically the agency documents are a state licensing law issue which is generally separate from ethics/arbitration issues handled by the local board membership. Under NAR guidelines the Grievance Committee at the local board can help the consumer file the complaint and also can take up the complaint as their own and send it on to Professional Standards. If he is threatening legal action this is the first step I would take. Potential punishment by the local board and/or state licensing authority could make him rethink taking a commission suit any further.

Bottom line is this agent is VERY stupid for doing this IMO if what the OP has stated is indeed the full facts.

Last edited by LCTMadison; 03-25-2014 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,380 posts, read 69,812,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xz0rb View Post
A few months ago I found an real estate agent who showed me about 5 houses.
I didn't like either.
What about the other three?

Quote:
He then tells me he wants me to sign an buyer-broker contract
I initialized a few spots...

... I told him
... I told him
I never got back to him...
Talk is cheap and about meaningless.

Quote:
...a few months later I purchased my own home.
Where? Was it one of the five you were shown by this agent?
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