Real Estate Law
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Is there a stated "protection period" usually paragraph 4 under standard real estate listing forms?
Usually there is a "protection period" stated in the agreement. Usually in the ballpark of 60-180 days. If there is no protection period, it could be argued that the agreement ended on the expiration date and you can obtain a new broker or the law permits that a new agreement with another broker during the protection period will end the original agreement.
However, it is unlikely that a judge would not order commissions be paid if a buyer is secured during the listing period and yet does not close until after the expiration of the listing agreement. In other words, if you did not have an offer and closing date then you may get away with negotiating new terms. The fact that a buyer is willing and able to purchase and a closing date is set you would take a big risk ditching the realtor and claiming no commissions are owed.
It could be used as a negotiation for a reduced commission fee. I do not how much leverage you would have but it is very strange that the Realtor is asking for an extension other than being overly cautious.
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There is nothing unlawful about negotiating that a new commission rate be consideration for your agreement to extend the listing agreement. However, there is no clear leverage that you have in this case to negotiate strongly for a new rate. In other words, you can use the fact the agreement has expired and the Realtor wants an extension, but you still have risk of more headache and possible future litigation over the commission if an agreement can not be reached. Both parties have some risk however if a deal can not be reached which gives the parties incentive to agree to some form of modification.
Won't hurt. I am surprised they didn't spell out a protection period but that has opened the door for you. Good luck.
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As I mentioned you don't have a lot of leverage here but the fact is that there technically is no protection period clause and there is possibility that this could end up in litigation and to avoid that and costing legal fees something should be worked out. So you may state that its not your fault there is no protection period in the original contract so it would seem appropriate as consideration for an extension that a reduction in commission be provided.
However, as stated, not a lot of leverage and just a lot of headache at the end of the day if this reaches impasse. If I'm in your shoes I am trying to get a reduction but if she is completely unwilling I am not going to push too hard and move on with getting the house closed and begin writing a new chapter.