I found a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) home that I love through a family friend. The seller has sold two of their homes before with no broker help from them or the buyer. They don't want pay any amount to a broker. I contacted the homeowner well before I signed a "buyers agreement". I was in back in forth contact and even saw the home before I hired a realtor. (Long story but the seller was not sure if they wanted to sell or wait till after the new year to sell)

My buyers agreement is not very long so this is the only paragraph that pertains to buying fees...

"BROKER'S FEE. The Buyer shall pay the Broker compensation in the amount of ("Broker's Fee") described above, whether through the services of the Broker, or otherwise. Any compensation paid to the Broker by  the Seller or a listing company shall be credited against the compensation due under this Agreement. The Broker may retain any additional compensation offered by the seller's representative, even if this causes the compensation paid to the Broker to exceed the fees specified above. In no case shall the compensation be less than the fees specified above."

Also states I can cancel at anytime but do not want the broker to come back and want that 3% at a later date. (The realtor has no idea I have been looking at this FSBO and did not find it for me)

Paying the 3% fee to my realtor is out of the question since this home will stretch my budget anyway. What are my options here? Any advice? Thanks.

  • Welcome new user. What is an FSBO? Pls don't use obscure abbreviations!
    – Fattie
    Aug 22, 2020 at 23:48
  • "fourth" is spelled "forth"
    – Fattie
    Aug 22, 2020 at 23:48
  • I'm sorry. It's "for sale by owner".
    – Ron Hubert
    Aug 23, 2020 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Without seeing the entire agreement it is impossible to say. Most buyers agent agreements have a clause that they need to be paid in the event that you buy any house in some time period after you hire them, because...well, because they want their money. (Although also to prevent buyers doing deals behind their backs). If yours genuinely doesn't then you may be OK. But if it does then yes, they will ask for their money

Your best bet is to ask your agent. Unless you were contemplating something underhand they will find out anyway. Alternatively get a lawyer or another agent to look at the contract. If the agent really did nothing to help you find the property, and you saw it before you hired them, they may waive the fee. But they probably feel they should be compensated for the work they did helping you look for properties, even if you didn't find one through them.

EDIT: In comments you say that your agreement is cancellable and you only have to pay if the property has been presented to you by the realtor. That sounds like you will OK, but nobody can be sure without reading the whole contract. You also say "I love my realtor", which forces me to repeat what I said above: ask your realtor this question. They will know the answer.

  • Excellent advice. Still, unless spelled out, any transaction initiated during the time one is under contract is presumably subject to commission. This can go either way depending on the personality of the realtor. Aug 23, 2020 at 12:22
  • Thanks so much for the reply. Our buyers agreement is not that long, most of it has to do with dual-agency. The following is a paragraph that has to do with cancellation... CANCELLATION. Either party may cancel this Agreement with days written notice to the other. However, if Buyer enters into a Contract of Sale to purchase a property which was presented to Buyer by Broker prior to cancellation. Is cancellation a way out of the agreement so I can move forward with the FSBO? This is all bad because I love my realtor and also do not want to miss our on a perfect home. Thanks
    – Ron Hubert
    Aug 23, 2020 at 21:12

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