Transaction Brokerage Florida

10 Replies


My wife and I are under contract to purchase a condo that we had made an offer on in Destin, FL after calling the listing agent directly. I indicated over the phone we were not represented but did not get it in writing that there was no Brokerage Relationship unfortunately. 

So, long story short I asked him how commissions were handled and he stated that he was now my transaction broker and would be collecting both of the sell and the buy sides instead of issuing a credit to me at closing like I expected beings I was representing myself., or so I thought. 

My questions are as follows: 

Do I need the no Brokerage relationship form prior to making an offer through the listing agent? 

Even though FL law assumes transaction brokerage do I still need to sign the agreement to make the agency as we only signed the offer? 

Thanks for your insight here as we learn the ropes of another state I guess. Seems to me this is a shady practice and is what has given realtors such a bad reputation when they do these things. Have a great day thanks in advance for any and all advice I appreciate it. 

@Nick, I'm sorry to hear that this agent doesn't want to play ball with you. While transaction broker is assumed in Florida, that definitely doesn't mean that he is unable to only take half of the commission. The commissions around here vary wildly, anywhere from 4% - 8% total that is typically split. Because the market is so hot right now, there has been a trend of certain seller agents taking 60% and only offering 40% to the buyer agent.  

It sounds like that agent is either very confident it will sell (with or) without you or just taking the risk of losing you as a buyer in an attempt to earn more money. 

To answer your questions specifically:

-You can change your brokerage relationship at any point.

-As transaction broker is assumed, you never need to sign something for that to be true. 

I hope that helps! 

Ditto what Matt says! Yes no assumptions. When I find a buyer on my listings I discount the whole commission for my seller. (Established in writing beforehand) 

Maybe you can ask the agent if he does similar? Indeed if you were repped by someone else he would not take a cut. So worth pushing on that a bit.  In any case good luck with the transaction! 


@Nick VanDer Sluis You are wrong in your assumption that a listing agent is supposed to credit you 3% for the buyer agent side, because you don’t have an agent.  By default he has Become your agent.....he still has to deal with You as the Buyer, just exactly the same as your agent would, if you brought your own.  You are assuming he is doing something shady here, which he is not.

As mentioned, in FL the default client relationship is as a Transaction brokerage have to deal with the client honestly and fairly but can not act to the detriment of either party.

As an agent yourself, I don’t know why you’d assume this. A listing agent has the option, when executing the listing agreement with the seller, to give a discount, not typically the full 3%, if he also represents the buyer, but is by no means required to do so.

I do think he’s banking on selling it as it will go in the crystal beach area no problem I have no doubt. 

Anyway thanks to both of you I appreciate it very much. Going to walk on principle and hope the industry trends get the best of the old school mentality and his overpaid position will go away. Spoken by a realtor himself haha 

@Wayne Brooks when you tel some you represent yourself that does not equate to transaction agency. Volunteering to fill out a contract so we can use electronic signatures is also not brokerage in my opinion but I’m not a lawyer. Anyway wasn’t about being wrong or right just asking for input and your logic seems blurry old school in nature as well in my opinion. In today’s day an age those canned responses have now been used for a decade and are virtually useless given so many alternatives to purchase a home these days . However I do appreciate your input and opinions so thanks.

@Nick VanDer Sluis Well, we all have our own opinions.  But opinions don’t really matter here....the logic/law here is that the agent has a contract with the seller stating what commission will be paid of which you are not a party to.  Just because you feel like it should be cut in half because you come in with no agent doesn’t affect that.

Another canned response from someone trying to protect an ever dwindling income because our jobs are not that tough. So Yeah logic within that law knows that even though those funds come from the seller they are paid for buy the buyer. So, when you can wrap your head around that and allow people who are as smart or smarter than your are to understand the fees and how the system works there is nothing wrong with trying to save yourself some money as a buyer by representing yourself in a contract that is standardized and publicly available for a reason. Process that and let me understand how I need to be a party to a transaction to understand how it’s structured. Your time of filling out a contract isn’t not worth 10k+ ever and you’ll never convinced me with any facts that it is in today’s day and agenda of marketing/listing a property. 

@Nick VanDer Sluis I don’t work as an agent, and haven’t for years....nothing to protect here.  And yes, I’m pretty sure I understand who pays for what, and the implications of that.

You seem to be hung up the thought that since you didn’t bring an agent the listing agent Automatically has to cut the commission in half.  As pointed out earlier, it’s something can be often negotiated with the listing agent Before signing a for some reason didn’t do this and just assumed it would Automatically be cut in half, which as an agent familiar with listing contracts you should have known better.

Ask the realtor for a "realtor contribution to client" 

For example, any client I work with on the buy side, get 50% of my commission at close.

There is definitely a rebate-agent in your area. Most people on BP have no idea about it. 

@Wayne Brooks no I am not hung up on that fact that it should be "automatically credited back" so maybe re-read the question before you put words in someones mouth as I have not iterated those words sir. I was simply trying to understand how agency/brokerage was established in the state of FL...that's it. 

Yes shame on me for having that conversation over the phone versus getting it in writing prior to signing as I should know better you are correct in that sense...hence my questions to the group regarding brokerage. However, it is very apparent to me in dealings with others as to why the real estate profession is where it is in this country. Spineless, unethical and greedy realtors who believe they are entitled to 5-7% of a home price for a few hours of work....and that's really all it is. It's not cumbersome work and the world has figured that out.