Posted by B.L.Renfrow on October 25, 2000 at 22:37:22:
Good grief…if that seller doesn’t develop a spine pretty quickly, they’ll have far bigger problems than a PO’d Realtor!
I might sit down with them and go over their listing agreement in detail. That will spell out the terms and conditions to which they are obligated, and may put their minds at ease.
Remember that the Realtor works for the seller…and the seller can cancel the listing and “fire” the Realtor at any time, no matter how much he intimidates them.
It is true that most listing agreements do contain a provision entitling the broker to a commission on any sale taking place within a certain period of time after the listing expires…but a sale to someone brought into the transaction by or because of the Realtor. Thus, a sale to someone contacted by the seller, who was not shown the home by an agent and had no contact with an agent, would NOT require the payment of a commission if it took place after the listing expired.
Of course, the reason for this provision is to prevent a buyer who, having been shown the house by or because of an agent, waits for the listing to expire and then goes directly to the seller. That’s not right either. But that’s not the situation you describe.
I would not contact the Realtor myself. What I would do, after explaining in detail to the sellers their alternatives, is strongly suggest they call him ASAP and cancel the listing. If they can’t bring themselves to do that, and the deal is worth it, just be prepared to move when the listing expires. Most lenders won’t actually start foreclosure proceedings until the payor is at least 3 payments behind, so you probably have some time…though I might not go out of my way to tell the sellers that.
I have signed agreements with sellers in two cases immediately following the expiration of a broker’s listing. However, in both cases the sellers had contacted me. Had I become aware of the house because of the listing, or a broker’s sign, they could have made a legitimate argument of being entitled to a commission. But that was not the case…and we all knew it. I never heard a word from the brokers in either situation.