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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC)

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Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Yes. As a buyer-agent. 

Years and years ago. I made Arizona real estate history. The seller was a real estate attorney. His mother was the listing agent. At close of escrow, he instructed the escrow company not to pay the buyer-broker commission - on the basis that our buyer-broker agreement and listing agreements are not valid in the state if Arizona even if signed by the parties.

I sued his mom (the listing agent) and the mom's brokerage who claimed they never received the money from the seller thus could not pay the buyer broker fee. The state association got into the fight on my side.

Like a bull-dog that would not let go, I self-represented myself and on behalf of the brokerage as well. Did all the research and prep. I was going in there to win.

The seller even filed a 300 page legal memorandum about why I should have my license revoked - to disparage me, and to encourage me to drop the lawsuit against his mom. 

Months and threats later, on trial day, as I open the door to the courtroom, the seller (attorney himself) had hired an attorney to represent him - this attorney handed me a check for the full commission in lieu of a trial. I refused. Full commission plus all my expenses, plus my time $ equivalent was negotiated and paid in full.

This made Arizona real estate history.

Jul 14, 2019 07:29 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

ha....I had a builder who decided the I made enough money!!!  I had an exclusive right to sell all of his homes and I was pumpin' 'em out faster than he could buid them.... 

I brought him to our local "district court" and not only did I win, but he had to put the last 3 closing commissions in escrow with our office.... 


Jul 14, 2019 05:52 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

I can't say I have ever heard of such an incident.  

Jul 14, 2019 02:53 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

The seller does not pay the buyers agent, they pay their agent's broker, and the broker shares the commission with the agent and the buyers broker.

Jul 14, 2019 02:51 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

No, I have not. However, since sellers don't actually pay a buyer agent's commission a buyer agent could have grounds to sue the listing agent for it. The seller offers a commission their listing agent, who in turn through mls, offers to share their commission with a selling agent. At the end of the day, if a buyer closes on a transaction, their agent brought a ready, willing and able buyer... their own performance might not have anything to do with whether they should be paid for it or not.

Jul 14, 2019 04:39 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Haha, have I had a seller client not want to compensate the buyer's agent? Yeah.

Did we have a choice? No.

Have I had a buyer tell me don't even show me their properties, I don't ever want to deal with them again? Yep!

This is why we try to do good and be good.

Memories are long when you feel you got screwed.

Jul 14, 2019 07:46 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Never had that happen, Paul, but if it had that would not be the decision of the seller or the buyer.  The agreement, as you know, is between the seller and listing agency.  By placing the listing in MLS there is a clear offer of compensation... with no stipulation for acceptable performance. 

All that being said, if poor performance were a factor, there were many times the buyer's agent did not deserve to be compensated.

Jul 14, 2019 07:21 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

No. If a homeowner tried this, especially at closing, it would not fly, the terms are already set in the listing contract. A seller tried to discredit me to get out of a listing agreement, the contract stayed with the brokerage, the home sold and I got paid.

Jul 14, 2019 08:22 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

The parties to a contract may be unhappy but refusing to honor the contract is not a solution. The seller is obligated to pay the agreed commission and the listing agent is obligated to pay the buyer's agent the amount that was offered for bringing in the buyer.

So, far, I have not had a client who was foolish enough or upset enough to attempt to avoid fulfilling their obligations.

Jul 14, 2019 08:07 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

We recently had a seller demand a decrease in commission because the buyer had accessed the home without permission.

Jul 14, 2019 07:41 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

I have had a seller who was unhappy with the performance (or lack, thereof) of the buyer's agent and did not want them to be paid, but that decision was not in their control.

Jul 14, 2019 06:23 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Destin BeachPro
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

No but interesting story I am sure.

Jul 14, 2019 05:12 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

It is via the listing Broker , listing contract w/ the Seller and MLS cooperation rules determines how the Buyers agent is paid. So it would be a Listing Brokers final decision.

Jul 14, 2019 03:40 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I have a few sellers who think they have mastered teh nternet refuse to buy a buyer agents commission wanting a discount. I then explain how teh buyer agent is aid from the listing agent commission. I also explain they may be limiting buyers but not encouraging buyer agents to bring their buyers. On the closing side, i have had a few buyer agents who showed up for nothing not deserve to be aid but were 

Jul 14, 2019 03:10 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

No this hasn't happened in any closings I've attended.

Wow, that must have been quite the closing you mention! 

Jul 14, 2019 02:50 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

No sir not yet, but the week is just getting started tomorrow

Jul 14, 2019 01:49 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh YES! It was a living nightmare for me but, ended on a wonderful note.

Here's my post about the nightmare - Here Comes DUH Judge!

Jul 14, 2019 09:11 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Only once on a FSBO and my Buyer was a young man who had no problem stiffing me despite a whole lot of work put in by me. This was the one and only time I had a bad experience working with an active duty military person.

Jul 14, 2019 07:41 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

It is the art of the deal, believe me.

Jul 14, 2019 05:26 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

We are obligated to pay the co-op agent the fee marketed in MLS. However, if there is nonperformance on the part of that agent and if the seller does not want the agent paid, I would discuss the issue with the managing principal broker of the buyer's agent and figure out a solution.

Jul 14, 2019 09:41 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD


Jul 14, 2019 08:45 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Not directly as you have stated. I've had many big bad banks on short sales reduce commission stated in the contract. 

Jul 14, 2019 08:25 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

I've not seen this ever. It must have been an extraordinary transaction.

Jul 14, 2019 06:28 AM
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTAcondos.com
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker


Jul 14, 2019 06:01 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I know the majority of thought about it but moved on...In all fairness it is a lot of money and hindsight plus having a back-seat during the process makes it look so easy. The front lines says otherwise....

Jul 14, 2019 05:43 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

I have 'heard' such expressions, however, in the end everyone got paid.

Most common disturbance occurs when agent for the buyer hands a check to the buyer from moneys the seller intended for professional fees.

Our own practices can create a hostile closing environment.

Jul 14, 2019 05:14 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Never had to deal with this situation.

Jul 14, 2019 05:14 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Knock on wood I have not.

Jul 14, 2019 04:43 AM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

The amount of commission that buyer's agent/broker is paid for is listed on the mls, AND on our listing agreement the listing agent/broker set a fee that a seller needs to pay them and from that fee listing broker is to pay xxx to buyer's broker.

Jul 14, 2019 01:40 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Want to haggle after quickly finding an all cash buyer. Realtor's job is too easy they don't deserve the commission signed on the contract.

To get loan business some loan agents here will list for free or full refund.   

Jul 14, 2019 06:39 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

No it hasn't happened to me but know of others who have suffered...not sure if they pursued it or not but hope so. Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR has a great story!

Jul 14, 2019 01:10 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Never happened to us.  A

Jul 14, 2019 07:36 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

No. I have not had this happen to me.  But I am sure there could be some legitimate reasons this could happen.

Jul 14, 2019 02:03 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Yes.  Perfectly legal in CA.  Wells Fargo denied me the commission on a short sale because an officer of the company buying the property and I were related.  I filed with the attorney general's office on the basis of discrimination and violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (a California law).  Crickets in response.  Didn't matter what the MLS said about commission splits either.  Almost sued Coldwell Banker over it, but I liked the agent and the Broker on their side and didn't want to cause problems for them.

Jul 14, 2019 12:37 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist


Jul 14, 2019 10:44 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

At closing, yes, but only until "the check clears", which is ironic because the big asset, the HOME was handed over to the buyers BEFORE the same check cleared. Very petty.

Jul 15, 2019 06:46 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

No... Theoretically,  the escrow would withhold the commission regardless of the client protest. They would probably hold it till a principal and a broker go through an arbitration and litigation, if necessary. 

Jul 15, 2019 12:03 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

I have never experienced that issue.

Jul 14, 2019 09:44 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

No, and hopefully won't.

Aug 01, 2019 04:15 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

No, I have not experienced that

Jul 15, 2019 07:46 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow,  I never heard of that before

Jul 19, 2019 10:29 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

No, fortunately - no.

Jul 19, 2019 08:20 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

commission is set forth in the listing agreement and I don't think the closing is an appropriate setting to be bitching about it.

Jul 15, 2019 01:33 PM