DEAR BARRY: Our Realtor has been showing us listings for several weeks. But last week, we found a for-sale-by-owner property and made an offer to the owner without calling our agent. Since our Realtor spent so much time trying to find a house for us, are we obligated to involve him in this purchase? –Rob

DEAR ROB: This type of situation is a sore spot with many real estate professionals. Your Realtor devoted many hours to your search for a home and now will receive nothing for those efforts.

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