Buying or Selling a Home/Terms of a contract
Dear Jessica Bryan,
Thank you very much for volunteering on this site! I am blown away that someone with your extensive knowledge is kind enough to help others just to help - and you don't even care about the ratings...!
I have a few simple questions. But first a quick 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.
I am currently on the road but will answer you when we get to our destination in a few hours.
I apologize for the delay in being able to answer. The contract does not (and SHOULD not) contain any information about a commission. Normally there is an addendum that is presented to the seller as an agreement for compensation. Since your property was listed on MLS it already sets up the agreement and among some agents that is considered ample agreement.
As for the closing; it is a delayed closing and as such what you have described as a rental per diem charge is exactly what you should do. However I would probably charge a higher earnest money deposit up front. Make it nonrefundable if the buyer doesn't close but otherwise to be credited to the purchase price at closing.
I hope that this answer helps you. I wish you all the best.