I was looking for an apartment in Yerushalayim to rent, and I contacted realtor agents for assistance. The minhag is for the renter to pay the agent one months rent as a fee for finding them an apartment. One realtor showed me an apartment that was not suitable for our needs. The main “psul” was that there was no bathtub in the apartment. After being unsuccessful in finding an apartment with an agent, we paid to use the service of “Yisa Brocha,” where owners list their properties directly without agents. I contacted one listing, and after speaking with the person on the phone (the owner’s son,) I realized that it was the same apartment that the agent had shown me. So I asked him, “is that the one on XYZ street that doesn’t have a bathtub?” And he replied that indeed it was the one without a bathtub, so I told him that I was not interested. Ten minutes later I received a phone call from the owner telling me that he would put in a bathtub if I would sign on the apartment. I agreed to sign and take the apartment. I decided to let the agent who originally showed me the apartment know what happened. She then told me that she spoke to her Rov who stated that I am chayiv in paying the fee since I saw the apartment through her originally. I want to know if I am indeed obligated to pay her since her showing the apartment to me did not lead to my taking the apartment. I found it on my own and the owner only agreed to my terms of the bathtub with me and not an agent.
From your story I would think you are not chayav but I am only hearing one side-Prob in the end you’ll go to a din Torah where both of you can tell your story.