It depends on whether you have a written listing agreement with the agent...and if so, what type.
The common top three listing agreement choices are:
1) Open Listing
2) Exclusive Agency Listing
3) Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing
An open listing lets an owner sell his/her home by themself. It is a non-exclusive agreement, meaning the owner may execute open listings with more than one real estate broker and pay only the broker who brings an able buyer whose offer the owner accepts. The big difference is an owner will probably pay only a selling broker's commission, which is about one-half of typical fees. The reason is because the owner is unrepresented. Therefore, owners do not pay a broker to represent the owner, but do pay the broker to represent the buyer. However, if the owner finds the buyer themselves, the owner will not owe anybody a commission. Open listings are not popular with many full-service real estate brokers and are not allowed on the multiple listing service.
Exclusive Agency Listing
An exclusive agency listing is similar to an open listing except the major difference is the broker will represent the owner. The owner still reserves the right to sell the property themselves and not pay a commission. The broker is free to cooperate with another brokerage, meaning the second brokerage could bring an able buyer whose offer the owner accepts. Typically, the broker is paid a listing commission that is shared with the selling broker, so the owner pays both fees.
Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing
An exclusive right-to-sell listing is the most commonly utilized instrument. It gives the broker the exclusive right to earn a commission by representing the owner and bringing a buyer, either through another brokerage or directly. The owner pays both the listing and selling broker fees. The owner cannot sell the property themselves without paying a commission, unless an exception is noted in the contract.
Exception to the contract: Say, your next-door neighbor has expressed an interest in buying your house. Often a listing broker will give the seller X number of days to produce a contract with the neighbor without owing a commission.
It makes great business sense to speak with the broker right away, explain the circumstances to them and possibly work out a flat fee payment agreement and still have the broker to consult throughout the transaction. Selling a home involves a lot more than just finding a buyer. Getting the transaction from contract to close is the most difficult part and requires an expert who's familar with the process and will have your interest as a key focal point. It's almost guaranteed at some point you will need this broker throughout the transaction.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs...Experience is Priceless! Miami Best Real Estate Team, 786-704-8482 www.OnePlaceOpenHouse.com