Buying or Selling a Home/what to do


   My wife and I are looking to buy a retirement home.  We have picked a couple of areas, one out of state.  We have had 3 agents show us homes in different areas.  One of the agents keeps handing us a contract and tells us we have to sign.  The contract says she is our exclusive agent and something about a 3 1/2 commission that we would help pay if the sellers agent doesn't give that much.  I said "You are not going to show us houses out of state or far away."  She said "Don't worry I would let you out of the contract if you bought far away."   
  We feel uncomfortable because if we buy in one of the other areas from another agent what does that mean? We would have signed that she is our only agent. Can we just tell her that we don't want to sign the contract or that we will sign when she finds us the right house?
   Also when we find the right house we are to put down money.  How much should we put down and what happens if the deal falls through, do we get our money back?

If you're uncomfortable with ANY agent, Dan, you simply tell her so and start working another agent. She is asking you to sign an exclusive "Buyer's" listing, meaning you are obligated to her even if you find a house with another agent. She is doing this to assure that she is going to get paid after working with you.

If you are not that comfortable with her, she should have informed you that she works exclusively with buyers. Nothing wrong with that. Not all buyers are happy with that arrangement. Tell her that you will sign a purchase agreement for a house that she is instrumental in helping you find.

The bigger the down payment shows the seller and his agent that you are serious about buying their house. Yes, if your deal falls through, then you should get your earnest money returned to you unless you have pulled out for no valid reason. Just make sure that you have a very good reason for cancelling the transaction. Your agent should protect you in that end. I do wish you well.

Dick Dennis, Broker

Buying or Selling a Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dick Dennis


With more than 41 years as a real estate broker, I can solve most any problem presented. If I can`t, I do my research. Problems with mortgages, trust deeds, foreclosures, odd ways of conveying titles. Most any good Realtor can answer questions satisfactorily, but I answer questions that most cannot. Also, ask about my hard-copy newsletter, The Landed Gentry. It can also be sent to you via PDF.


Solving real estate problems for 37 years.

National Association of Realtors

Publishes The Landed Gentry, guest writer in Who's Who in Creative Real Estate, First Tuesday, Financial Freedom and many newspapers

e-Pro Realtor, Certified Distressed Property Expert, Who's Who in Creative Real Estate

©2016 All rights reserved.