Buying or Selling a Home/Negotiating a contract


Dear Mr. Hans Weber!  Thank you very much for volunteering on this site!   While you are selling real estate in the state of NY and my scenario is taking place in LA, I hope you'll be able to help me out.   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,

Thank you for your questions.

Let me say that in New York where I work Realtors do not write contracts of sale.  Lawyers do that.  So I cannot guide you in specifics of contracts.

It sounds like a complicated scenario you are involved in.

Of course the buyer agents showing your house will ask what the commission is.  They need to earn a living selling real estate.  The current buyer's ex-wife is his agent and perhaps she is not expecting a commission to help her ex or just expecting the one you have offered in the listing.  That you need to ask.

You should have recieved a mortgage preapproval letter for the buyer.  Renting prior to closing is common and could be part of the contract.  Of course there is no guarantee the buyer will be able to close, but the bank letter would be the best evidence of that.  You can call the mortgage lender.

Your rental idea terms are good as they are flexible and give you and the buyer options.

If you had a good listing agent where the house is they could handle all these issues for you and assure that the marketing, sale and closing went smoothly.  Sometimes listing the house with a Realtor will get you more money for the house that FSBO.

I hope these answers have helped a little.

Sorry for the delay, it was Memorial Day weekend.


Buying or Selling a Home

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Hans Weber, Licensed Broker Associate


I am able to answer questions related to buying or selling residential real estate in New York. There are many questions buyers and sellers have about the process of buying or selling a home that they are afraid to ask or that might seem too simple to ask. For instance: in a house, why do some doors open in and some doors open out?


Licensed real estate agent in New York State in 1988.
Serving buyers and sellers as a full time occupation since 1988 with over 300 successful residential real estate transactions.

National Association of Realtors.
Westchester County Board of Realtors.

Graduate of Pace University in 1988 majoring in business and minors in taxation and computer science.

Awards and Honors
Consistently one of top sales awarding winning agents for Coldwell Banker in Westchester County.

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