Commission held hostage

Real Estate Agent with Windermere/ Professional Partners

Have any of you started to run into this?

I have had a listing that has been on the market about 6 months with one sale fail back in the beginning.  Since then about 4 -5 months of minimal showings.

Finally offer comes in for purchase well below the list price.  Mind you this whole time I had been trying to ge the seller to adjust the price to keep pace with market trends to no avail.  We negotiate to the point were we are $5,000 apart whis is still $15,000 below list.  Oh yea this is an estate sale with three siblings splitting the proceeds and not one other condo unit in their development has sold in 6 months.

I go on, the seller finally agrees top pay $2500 of the buyers $5,000 closing cost that she needs.  The buyers agent has already kick in some to ge the price down. 

My seller tells me if you want to make a sale you pay the other $2500, if not cancel the listing and I have a renter ready to go.   What was I to do, needed to recoop some marketing cost and did not want to cancel the listing.  He even stated I can get a form 19 "Cancel Form" from one of his other realtor friends.

Are we getting to the point where sellers are going to start holding our commissions hostage?

Jim Tutton

This may have been more of a rant.

Comments (7)

Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Gee did you tell him it was almost Christmas? I would guess that each of the sibling have talked and agreed that they each want an exact net check for $50,000 each and not a penny less??? Been there done that with sibling heirs.

Dec 08, 2008 08:04 AM
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

It's a tough call no question.  Would he really have rented it - who knows.  Hope it closes fast and you get it out of your hair!!

Dec 11, 2008 04:44 PM
Wanda Thomas
Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN - Billings, MT
Billings Montana Real Estate

This really is the pits, but many a Realtor has bent to this demand, so much so that the Realtor friend has probably helped with the suggestion.  For me, and this is just personal, I would just say "darn, we are so close!  The reason I work for a percent instead of a flat fee is because I do depend on the best price for you instead of just a flat fee for me.  Well maybe we will get another buyer down the road."  Then walk away!  If they come back, great, if they don't, that's the way it goes.

Nothing gets around faster than the great old story of how a seller shorted a Realtor cause they knew they could!  That message spreads really fast.

Dec 12, 2008 10:13 AM
Doris Freeman
Reliant Realty - Gallatin, TN
Broker/Agent, Realtor

Typical for an estate sale with more than one seller, it's called Greed!  It's free money to them and they want more, forget your costs and work.  Luckily I haven't had it happen but I know people that it has happened to.

Good luck and Have A Great Day in Spite of Them

Dec 17, 2008 02:22 PM
Robin Scott
Robin Scott, REALTOR® - Austin, TX
Broker, REALTOR® - Austin Texas

It's shocking and I'm sorry it's happened to you. I'm sure they'd feel differently if their employer suggested a pay cut on the work they had already preformed.

Dec 18, 2008 08:46 AM
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty /

Hello!  First, what did you do?

Second, I agree with Doris above.  It is a power play.  And perhaps they do have a renter.  Not sure what I would have done.  Likely one of two things.

Either I would have accepted the demand if I had to have the money due to the market or if I could survive without the commission, I would have pulled away to see if he followed.   By that, something like, (sincerely and without sarcasm), "You know, perhaps you are right.  Renting may be best and you may even enjoy being a landlord.  It's a little work but I've done it and most tenants are great and even if they aren't it works out sooner or later.  I think I have one of those forms in my office and if you want to come with me we'll go over it and get this wrapped up today.  Clearly, my work getting you the price you wanted has not met your needs and in this market I wish I could have done better for you.  I'm sorry to have let you down."

The A**es will sign and you'll be done with someone that will probably create even more problems and demands before it is all through (because once you give in once... they'll keep taking more).  Those that bluff may reconsider since you pulled away instead of pushing them.  

Let me know what happened.  Best of luck! G

Dec 18, 2008 10:44 AM
Connie Betz
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate - Omaha, NE
Top Omaha Realtor - Omaha Homes for Sale

Jim, just read your post and was wondering the outcome?  Did you make a sale or was it rented?

Jan 25, 2009 01:05 PM