Jul. 24, 2012
Dear George: I entered into a Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement with a REALTOR® to sell my home. I’ve always thought that the seller should pay the listing broker the standard fee and the buyer should pay his own broker. But my current agreement has me paying the listing broker a percentage of the sales price and paying any cooperating broker half of that. Should I renew this agreement when it expires next week, or am I paying extra fees?
Answer: There is not a “standard” fee for paying REALTORS®. It seems like your current REALTOR® didn’t adequately explain the agreement to you. Your current Texas REALTOR® charges a total fee but is willing to split that with another REALTOR®. The bottom line is that if you’re unhappy with your REALTOR® or the fees outlined in your agreement, change REALTORS®.
Dear George: I leased my rental property for one year to two women. One of them left after a few months, and the other has assumed the full rent. I suspect that the remaining woman has allowed her two sons to move in, even though she told me the sons only visit occasionally. Can I evict her or raise the rent?
Answer: The answers are in your written lease agreement. If you used a Texas REALTOR® for this agreement, the women would be listed as tenants and the terms of default by those tenants would be specified: not paying rent, guests or children staying longer than certain periods, etc. If her children are staying in the property longer than the agreement allows, she would be in default and eviction might be possible. If you were not represented by a Texas REALTOR®, it’s impossible to know what the terms and provisions of your written lease agreement are.
E-mail a question to ask George & Chuck or fax it to 713-978-6684. The answers to questions in this column do not contain legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.