I live in Georgia and am the executor of my mother's estate, part of which includes a house in Mississippi that had not been lived in for a few years and needed a good bit of updating and cleanup, but is in a good area. To get an idea of what to do with the house (renovate, sell as-is, etc.) we met with a broker/agent (known by a friend in the area) to ask her opinion. When she met us at the house, she brought along an investor ("flipper") with whom she works and seemed more interested in getting us to consider an offer from him than giving us any advice on the market in the area. She did, later, send us a link to some misc. nearby sales and listings, but didn't work up any kind of valuation or comparables. Investor did make a verbal offer (thru her) that seemed too low, and we advised her so and that we were looking into other options. At no time did we list the house with her (or anyone) or make or sign any type of agent agreement. She has periodically contacted us to see if we had any interest yet in selling to her investor.
We talked to various contractors and other agents and eventually decided that if we got a better price, it would be easier to sell the property as-is, rather than try to oversee renovations from another state. When the agent asked again recently, I told her we might be interested at a better price, and eventually the investor worked up to an agreeable higher offer (sold as-is, subject to a termite inspection, buyer pays closing) and she sent it to us on a boilerplate Mississippi real estate contract form. Closing is set for Jan. 18. The only things on that form that address her status are a checked line:
"The selling firm and its salespersons represent the buyer(s). The seller(s) is/are not represented and is/are not a customer." and a following line:
"(C)Compensation. The parties under this contract or through any other negotiated agreement agree to pay as per listing agreement or prior offer of cooperation and compensation."
What concerns me now is that the broker/agent has made a couple of remarks that seem to indicate that she may be expecting some type of commission from us, the sellers. We were under the impression she was working for her investor buddie. The first remark was made when my sister (from Texas) was over at the house when the investor was back with the agent taking a look before upping his offer, and was something to the effect of "I'm only charging you 3%". My sister had not been dealing with her, so asked me later if we had an agreement with the agent (this was before we got the contract offer). I told her not that I knew of, and this seemed confirmed by the wording of the offer.
Today, though, in a forwarded email to the closing attorney (I need to work out deed particulars with them) she said "It's an FSBO. They are paying me 2.5% of the contract price." and seems to be refering to us, not the buyer.
I'm a bit hesitant to question her just yet, as she still might be able to throw a wrench into things with the investor before the termite report clears (or is resolved should treatment be needed or something) and closes the last "out" for the buyer, but figure I will at least need to clarify things with the closing lawyer at some point before closing.
Sorry this is so wordy, but as a reader and sometimes contributor to the forum, I didn't want to make others have to fish too much. In any case, would be glad to hear anyone's opinions or advice.