My boyfriend and I are looking to buy a home together in Los Angeles, CA.We found a home we love. The owners are two developers (business partners). They told us from the start they prefer not to user real estate agents. They referred us to their loan broker. I used him to refinance my current home and he did an excellent job (best loan broker I have ever used). He has very high regards XXXXX XXXXX sellers. He told us that he worked with them on many deals and all deals went very smoothly.My boyfriend has a long time friend who is a real estate broker. She has helped us by sending us MLS listing, subscribing us to the MLS. She also came with us to view a few homes. However, my boyfriend found the house we liked without her assistance (it was over our top price range). She was OK with us buying the house without her help.However, when we were ready to make the offer, my boyfriend was concerned about not having our representation. He negotiated a lower commission with her for this house. She submitted an offer via the MLS agent. We found out that the owners were using a friend to list them in the MLS but have an understanding with him that he will not be involved with the sale of the property (and not deserve a commission). They put it as part of the suggested real estate contract. She then submitted another offer to the sellers directly, but it was well below the asking price and they did not want it. They told her what was their botXXXXX XXXXXne and told her there was no point in negotiating if we could not come up with their botXXXXX XXXXXne price. After a while the whole deal seemed to not go anywhere. Our real estate agent told me there was nothing to do. I called the owners and they said they would sell us the house, but not through brokers. We looked at other homes for a while and realized we could meet their botXXXXX XXXXXne price and it was a good deal. They also told us that our agent was very short with them and they would rather not deal with her. However, they told us that if we wanted to use her and pay her directly, they would be fine with that. I overheard her talking with the seller and noted her rolling her eyes all the time and making snide remarks.My boyfriend and I have had good experience with the sellers and would love to buy the house. I am afraid that her involvement would just hurt the deal, and would rather use a real estate lawyer to protect our interests. We have no written contract with our agent.So my questions are:What is our obligation to our real estate agent regarding purchase of this house? Both in what is customer and fair and also what is the legal situation?What are the major things we need for protecting ourselves when we buy directly from the sellers?
State/Country relating to question: California
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I see that you want information about a buyer's agents ability to force the payment of a fee. That can only be done where there is a written buyer's agreement and where the buyer's agent has met all requirements under the terms of the agreement to earn their fee.
A real estate agent working as a buyer's agent typically will require a written agreement and will understand where they do not obtain a written agreement there likely will be no payment for efforts to locate a home.
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Thank you John,You answer addressed many of the issues I have raised.However there are 2 that were not addressed:What are the major things we need for protecting ourselves when we buy directly from the sellers? And - the fact the real estate agent submitted 2 offers on our behalf of that house - does that change your assertion that we have no liability to her?
A buyer's agent is not due compensation unless they have a written agreement in place no matter the steps they take such as submission of offers. If offers are not accepted, an agent's services could be terminated as there is no obligation to continue the relationship absent a written agreement otherwise.
There are many considerations for a buyer. Those are specific to the needs of a buyer typically and the property at issue. For example, contingencies in a contract for situations in which financing cannot be obtained or for a Home Inspection to be completed. Buyers typically want a home inspector to examine a property. A real estate contract must be in writing to be enforceable. The standard contract normally includes important sections pertaining to issues such as disclosures. For example, if a home has suffered a fire previously.
In sum, there are many considerations in real estate transactions. Broadly those may address the structure and land, title, financing, contingencies, closing, and other obligations and responsibilities of each party. Here is a guide providing information in a more specific format which you may find useful as a reference. See:
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