Buying or Selling a Home/Agent compensation


Dear Ms. Wildasinn, Thank you very much for volunteering on this site!  You seem to have some awesome credentials!  I realize you are an expert in the state of California, my real estate scenario is in Louisiana but is generic enough so that it should not be a problem for you.  Background:    We are selling a house in Louisiana as a FSBO.    (We are doing FSBO mostly due to major financial challenges we are about to face).   
We have paid an agent $400 to give our home an MLS number for 6 months.   As part of the listing, we have agreed to compensate a buyer’s agent some amount.    And sure enough, whenever we are contacted by an agent, one of the first things they wish to reconfirm, is if we are indeed willing to pay them a (usually specified amount of) commission.  
We just recently received an offer from an agent.    (She has the same last name as the buyer  and we  learned, she is the ex-wife of the buyer).    
In conversations with the agent there has not been any mention of compensation for her, nor is there anything in the contract.   We are a bit puzzled about this.   If it is not in the contract, would she have any legal basis for asking us for anything later?
The offer stipulated – among other things – the following:    the buyer wants to rent my house from June 1 till September 1 and then buying it.    Buyer doesn’t have a house to sell but we learned he is the Air National Guard and will deploy sometimes in September.   (We wonder if maybe the increased pay then is factored in and is the reason, or if he doesn’t want to break his apt lease).   
Should I be concerned about the terms of this contract?    
How could I make sure the buyer will be able to buy after two months of already living in my house?    
What should I put in the contract to protect my interest?
I am thinking about proposing a rental agreement for $40/day – starting on 1 June - until the closing.  
But while hoping for the best, would like to prepare for the worst and would like to also propose them an agreement that would state that if by 1 September the buyer cannot buy the home then the agreement will convert to a conventional rental of $1900/month w/ a $5000 security deposit?
Also, should I be concerned that the buyer's agent – as of yet - has not asked for any compensation from me?      Could this come up later if it is not in the contract?
Once again, thank you VERY MUCH in advance.    


Pablo Durissimo

Hi Pablo,

Sorry for the delay, holiday weekend and all.... hope you have not signed the contract to accept the deal... sounds like a few issues at hand.

1. Is the buyer truly approved? this is a huge issue for FSBO sellers to ascertain, and for good reason, you are not familiar with the lending process as an agent, there are so many issues to a listing, we earn every penny,but that said... you need to find out WHY they can't close till Sept... and they are cutting it close if he deploys... does he have a power of attorney with someone who can consummate the deal is he is overseas... and can't do a consulate in another country?
2. Renting back is a tricky issue BEFORE the deal closes... what if he finds things about the home he doesn't like in those 2 months and then wants to renegotiate the deal? you don't have anyone looking out for your best interest and giving you contingencies from what I read...
3. In that rent back there should be NON-REFUNDABLE money, that in a default you would keep in addition to the security ... see if there are option contracts in your state
4. On commission, you stated in the MLS a compensation either in $$ or %% of the sales price I assume? and in the contract there may be note to refer back to the MLS listing as compensation, and the agent may not need a seperate agreement (although with all FSBO's I do a separate compensation contract# for the exact reason you are debating paying her... you owe her, she brought the buyer #family or not) if the deal is closed...
5. Have your closing attorney look over the contract before you accept, there may be a number of counter items you want to address, and this is part of the process in negotiating, the price is not the only issue... terms can destroy a buyer or seller...

Hope this helped

Buying or Selling a Home

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Connie Wildasinn-Broker,GRI,CPRES,Realtor®


Broker,CPRES,GRI,Realtor®, Investor since 1979. Buying or Selling Residential and Income/Investment Properties, How to understand the process, how to negotiate through the transaction, What to Look for - But more importantly 'What to lookout for!', How to tell if the time is right - or hold on and wait. Why "Not to listen to your friends and even your family members", Who really has your best interest at heart?. Understand why any market is a good market and how to spot a good investment for you! If you are looking in California.. check out my website and if you need assistance in a neighborhood I don't service, I will locate a local agent to that area who actually knows their profession and can assist you in your needs!


4th generation Realtor in the real estate business, I have helped for over 2 decades clients buy and sell, I am the owner of a local brokerage in the Los Angeles /Long Beach area, and have been a top producing agent in the area since I became licensed. Working through a deal is different to every client, no two people or deals are exactly the same. Knowing how to bring professional advise to the table with clear and concise understanding of real estate world. I can help you handle your buying, selling and investing, managing a 1031 Exchange, working with Equity Sales,Certified in Probate Sales (one of a handful!), Pre-Foreclosure, Regular and Short Sales there is little that I have not seen come across my desk over the decades!


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