Carolyn Thom…, Real Estate Pro in Bethesda, MD

Should agents demand the difference between what the buyer agrees to pay and the commission a seller pays?

Asked by Carolyn Thompson 301- 674-3056, Bethesda, MD Sat Jun 25, 2011

Buyer Agency Agreement, paragraph 6d. States that the buyer agrees to pay the difference between what is agreed to in the Buyer Agency Agreement and what the seller is offering.

Are you finding that more agents are discussing this with their buyers up front and making sure through the process that they are prepared to pay the difference?

You may go into a deal thinking your commission is one %, but have it knocked down by the short sale lender. Should we get paid less at the stroke of a pen, especially when short sales are harder - not easier.

Help the community by answering this question:


On paper the answer is yes to your primary question.
If you are the only Realtor in Bethesda, MD the answer again is yes.
In the real world and in most cases it is not going to happen.
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5 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
I am believer that a percentage of something is better than the percentage of nothing. So in response--no I would not ask for the difference but in a tactful way let the Buyer know what you are doing to help them get the house they want. Then watch as they go out and tell family and friends what a great agent you are, and enjoy the referrals that your "generosity" will generate.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
Phil, your answers are pure poetry!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
I don't. I tell my Buyers up-front that my fee is paid by the Sellers......period.....what a bummer half-way through contract negotiations with your first-time home buyers who are already stressed with buying their first sofa, pictures, dishes, etc. just to hear from their agent ..." Oh by the way.... referring to 6d on this agreement you signed back in owe me $800.00 "....

The friendship....future business from my Buyers family and friends are more important to me than collecting $800.00 at closing from my buyers who more than likely need it more than I do.....

"The bar is there for a go......and rise above it".....Robert B. McArtor
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
Demand. I'm not sure I would use that term.
However, I need the buyer to understand if they are tempted to purchase one of the many $30,000 condos in this area that a new set of requirements come into play. Splitting the commission on a $30,000 condo isn't very attractive! Also in this scenario the listing agent will defer as many expenses to me as possible disguised in our area as MLS fees which they want me to pay. This is solely revenue augmentation in disguise. The MLS fee can range from 0 to $500. There are no restrictions on the amount of this fee and it typically goes straight to the pocket of the listing agent.

It is important for the real estate professional to share with the buyer the complexities of today's environment and each listing may present a unique set of challenges. In our best efforts to find exceptional deals that meet the buyers needs, sometimes we need to go beyond the MLS. In providing such service, the buyer must be willing to respect such efforts for finding the property they want but would never have found without a committed real estate professional. That respect is demonstrated by assuring proper compensation.
It's a business, not a hobby!

TU for Phil.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 27, 2011
Hi Carolyn,

I always accept the compensation provided in MLS - that is what is listed in our buyer agency agreement. Sometimes that is 3.5% sometimes 1.5% but either way our team has chosen never to make the buyer pay the difference. It was more of an ethical than a business decision for us.

I know this isn't for everyone but this is our practice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
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