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The incident is based in Arizona.

An agent was assigned to us a part of our relocation. The agent showed some houses which I had done the research for. So I had found the house and asked them to show it to me. Later one of the houses got pulled out of the market which was listed by another agent. I later learned that the seller was going to advertise the home as 'Sale by Owner'. I contacted the seller directly and we negotiated the final price of the house. The seller wanted a letter from my agent stating that she will be waiving off her commission as the house is no longer on the market. I contacted my real estate agent asking for the letter, but she spoke to the seller and upped the home price to include her commission.

I have not signed anything with neither the relocation company nor the real estate agent agreeing to work with them.

Is it still right for the agent to ask for commission since the house has been pulled out of the market since my agent showing it to me.She spoke with the owner, added her commission and came back to us with the new updated higher price. If the seller is doing a sale by owner with zero percent commission, is it ethical for my agent to add her commission and charge me the commission as the seller is not willing to pay commission

Update: This is how I understand based on what I learned: The agent can still insist on being the representative as they are technically the 'Procuring cause'. But it is incorrect for the agent to bump us the already negotiated price to reflect their commission. As this point the agent is working pro-commision and not pro buyer. It is highly unprofessional behavior. That is what was explained to me

  • No, she wasn't... – user1807337 Nov 27 '19 at 23:47
  • Who pays the relocation company? You? Your employer? Does your employer have a contract with the relocation company? PS You might want to change the title, which is not clear on what exactly the agent did and for whom. – Just a guy Nov 27 '19 at 23:51
  • The employer pays the relocation company. Not sure what their contract says. I will contact them on Monday to understand the clause – user1807337 Nov 27 '19 at 23:59
  • Yes, it is lawful to change the price since you have not entered a contract with either party. However, I would wait for you to edit/update your question with the language of that clause, since the situation --including also the detail in one of your comments-- reflects a bizarre switch of interests or priorities between the seller and the agent that raises some questions. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 28 '19 at 11:05
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    @user1807337 Thanks. This is clearer. If I have time, I see if I can write up an answer that adds anything useful, but really, the bottom line is simple: Your situation is complex (and complicated) enough that to get a good answer, you need to hear from an AZ lawyer who specializes in real estate. Since you aren't likely to find such a person here, you probably want to talk to one in real life. – Just a guy Nov 29 '19 at 20:52
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The agent is (probably) entitled to her commission

This is a matter that will be dealt with by the contract between the agent and their principal and obviously you don’t know what it says. However, in general, an agent is entitled to their commission if they introduce the buyer to the vendor even if they are no longer the agent when the sale takes place - the agent clearly did this.

It appears that the agent has pointed this out to the vendor and the vendor has decided to pass this cost on to you. It’s up to you whether you accept this new asking price.

  • Well, they did not introduce me to the vendor. I did my research, I figured out the houses and she showed me. She did not put in any effort in searching this house. Neither did she do any work in giving me comps. When I asked, she just said, they are basing off of the seller agent's comps. I did my own research in getting the list of all houses that were sold in the last 3 months, average price of all houses that went on contract and she just acted as a messenger forwarding my emails. – user1807337 Nov 27 '19 at 23:13
  • Then she came back and said, we are lowballing the seller and decided that our price is not fair. She came back with a fair price which was the price I and the seller negotiated + her commission. That is why I think it is unfair that she charges my a $10K commission for just opening the door – user1807337 Nov 27 '19 at 23:14
  • @user1807337 we deal with the law here - we don't do "unfair". Legally the agent is entitled to her commission notwithstanding that you don't think she did much to earn it - she did something and that's enough. – Dale M Nov 27 '19 at 23:31
  • Thanks Dale, that was my question. I don't know what the law states about that in the US. – user1807337 Nov 27 '19 at 23:38

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