Once you have made a decision to sell your home, and you have settled on a Realtor to assist you, you will be asked to enter into a Listing Agreement with the Realtor with whom you are working. While I have seen Listing Agreements which are “non-exclusive”, which means they set forth what you will pay if anything, when a Realtor brings you a buyer who closes, most Listing Agreements I have worked with provide for “exclusive” rights for the Realtor during the term of the Listing Agreement.
What that really means is once you have entered into an “exclusive” Listing Agreement, you are obligated to pay a commission to the Realtor even if you find the buyer without any assistance from the Realtor. In most instances, the Realtor will permit you to “exclude” from commission people with whom you have spoken prior to signing the Listing Agreement. I have also seen a provision where the Realtor will assist you even when the “excluded” buyers are involved, but for a lower fee.