I represent a buyer who wants to purchase a home that is for-sale-by-owner. The owner tells me he will pay me a fee if he signs a contract with my buyer and that contract closes. Is there a form I can use to secure my fee?

You could use the Registration Agreement Between Broker and Owner (TAR 2401), available exclusively to Texas REALTORS®. This form allows you to register your buyer to cover the purchase of the owner's property during an agreed time period. It also contains language to provide that the owner will pay your negotiated fee should your buyer purchase the property. The agreement doesn't allow you to list the property for sale or require the owner to pay you a fee should the owner sell the property to someone else. This form could be used in situations where the broker is representing a buyer interested in farm and ranch or commercial property that is for-sale-by-owner. It is not intended to take the place of a buyer's representation agreement between a broker and his buyer client.

Do I have to report my client's sales price to the MLS?

Yes. MLS rules state that sales of listed property, including sales prices, shall be reported promptly to the MLS by listing brokers. As such, the Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement Exclusive Right to Sell (TAR-1101) includes a notice in Paragraph 6(A) that goes over this requirement so that the client is aware of their broker’s obligations.

It is a misconception that Texas’s status as a “non-disclosure” state means that a listing broker does not have to disclose sales data to her MLS. That is not true. Rather, it means that the state government, including local appraisal districts, cannot force anyone to provide the sales price to it.