Out of state deal in Alabama, handyman told me about his aunts house but listing agent wants full 6% commission

5 Replies

Hi everyone, I am trying to purchase a property out of state in Alabama bordering Florida but have a couple questions.

A handyman that is working on my house told me about a house in Alabama that his aunt is trying to sell.  It seems like a pretty good deal.  I am not being represented by an agent and when I called the realtor (century 21) she said that it is written in the contract that if a buyer comes along without an agent that she still gets the 6% commission.  Then she said the lowest she could go is 5%.  The family who is selling the house has had it for sale for over 5 months and the contract with this lady with century 21 is going to expire at the end of this month.  The house is in a rural area about 35 miles from the century 21 offices and they said the realtor had not shown the house once and that when their contract expires at the end of this month they will find another realtor.  (probably a realtor agency who is located closer to their house).  Now here is my question, since this realtor hasn't done anything to promote the property and the person who told me about the property is the nephew of the owner, could we just wait until the end of the month when their contract with century 21 expires and then hire a lawyer to close and draw up the contract?

Also the homes in Nevada and Florida that I have purchased, the closing costs were paid for by the seller.  However this realtor in Alabama said that I would be paying the closing costs which are almost $800.  Is that the norm in Alabama?  Should I request that the seller pay for them?   Or at least split them?

In closing the sellers seem like nice people, they are motivated to sell and we have already agreed on a price.  It would be nice if we could wait until the contract with century 21 expires and then just do the transaction and save the 6% commission but I don't want to wait an extra month if there is some other loophole in the contract that says we will still have to pay her a 6% commission even though the contract has expired (because I inquired about the house while the contract was still valid or something like that) .  3% would be OK but since she has not even scheduled one showing and has been evasive regarding some of the questions I have asked her regarding the house etc., 6% seems a bit excessive.

Thank you for any insights regarding real estate transactions in Alabama.

If it is possible to wait for the contract with century 21 to expire at the end of this month is there a way to hold the deal in the mean time?  Would you suggest we contact a lawyer to handle the closing and aim for a closing date a couple days after the century 21 contract expires?  The house is listed for 55K the seller offered to sell it to me for 35K.  I am afraid that if I don't have a way to hold the deal that this lady from century 21 may put more effort into finding a buyer if she knows the seller will take 35k since she will lose the listing soon.

So just wondering if I can make the seller to commit to the deal now as there are other properties I am interested in now also.  So don't want to have this money tied up for the next month if the deal will ultimately fall through anyway.

@Cam Mckin   Actually, the contract with the agent probably extends well beyond the expiration, just to cover such possibilities. They normally cover any potential buyers in contact with the agent or the sellers during the listing period, and extend that part of the contract for an additional 180 days. And you will not be able to deny such contact, even if you wanted to. 

I know every penny counts and we should try and keep our costs low, but I want to ask you a question...

If this was a private transaction (no agent involved), would you still do the deal if the price was $36,750?

@Cam Mckin  

You need to have the owner review their listing contract to find out when the expiration is and how long after the expiration is the agent still able to capitalize on the sale if they have been contacted by a buyer. You contacted the listing agent so you are likely under that stipulation. Yes the agent is due the 6% and do not have to take less unless they both agree to and modify the terms of the listing agreement. 

thank you for the responses,  yes I figured they would have covered every conceivable possibility in the contract but it never hurts to ask.  As I may have mentioned I dont mind paying the 3% but 6% seems a little high as she did not find the buyer and apparently did not show the property once.  But no big deal. 

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