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Natasha Lett,  in

"For rent by owner" renter' agent want full commission.

Asked by Natasha Lett, Mon Jul 29, 2013

I am renting my single family home in Maryland and I am advertising and showing myself. I have no agent. A renters agent showed her client the home and the client is interested.
The renters agents said that I would have to pay the whole fee of 1 months rent and that they would no ask the renter to split it due to there company policy. This sounds like bs as I am not the client and did not make any agreement to pay that amount.
In addition, they said if I had an agent they would split the fee with that agent. I thought the whole point in for rent by owner was to save on commission. I'm willing to pay 1/2 but no more.
If the client wants to rent from me and I don't agree to pay that fee then she can't get the house? Something seems fishy.

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Answers

8
Natasha,

Your concern is warranted on the commission but please consider this. What is the qualification of the tenant?? Does the tenant have a exceptional credit, a very stable work history and a very clean rental history. If this is the case and you feel the prospective tenant is overly qualified and will care for your property as if it was their own you may want to consider paying a "FULL MONTH'S commission.

Either you pay on the front end to not have to pay on the back end, doing so will help the remainder of the rental lease go very smoothly.

Greg Myers
RE/MAX Realty Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 31, 2013
Your offer is very fair and, in my opinion, it is wrong of the agent to not disclose this up front via a one-time showing commission agreement. You'll have to decide what is best for you. Pass on this tenant or pay the fee. You might want to contact the agent's broker or office manager to discuss the situation. I think a 1/2 month's rent is COMPLETELY FAIR and I can't believe the agent wants a full month which is what you would normally get when list and sell the home. Wishing you all the best.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
In general, tenant's agents receive half of one month's rent, but this is assuming that the agent is also dealing with a listing agent. If a landlord does not have an agent and is, therefore, an unrepresented customer, then the tenant's agent usually has to do much of the work that a landlord's agent would do in a rental transaction.

Many agents do not do rentals simply because it is not worth their time to spend X hours over X days showing X homes, all for a paltry $500 to $1500. Keep in mind that what the landlord pays out to the tenant's agent as a commission is almost always split with the agent's broker, so the agent is not keeping all of the money. I know quite a few agents who charge one month's rent for their services as a listing agent plus a half month's rent for the tenant's agent/co-operating agent. They don't do too many rentals, but they don't really want to do rentals in the first place.

You have no obligation to pay any commission/half a month's rent at all, but you also might lose this tenant. If the tenant has good credit and a stable job, then you might want to consider working with the tenant's agent. You'll have to assess the risks versus reward of letting this potential tenant go versus waiting for another viable tenant to come along. If you have to wait another month or more, you will then have just paid one or two month's of your mortgage, thereby effectively erasing any "savings" you might have made by not working with the first tenant's agent by paying the full commission.

I think you'll also have to assess if the tenant's agent is going to truly do all of the work necessary to see the job to completion or if he/she is going to remain in the shadows of the transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
As a Realtor, it would be nice of you to pay 1/2 of 1 months rent to this agent. However, you're of no obligation to do so. It seems a little pushy, greedy and overly ambitious for this agent to try to get a full months rent from you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
If the Realtor brought you the renter you can decide to pay them, or simply don't rent to them.
If you cut the Realtor out of the deal & rent to his/her prospect then I would think he/she would go after your renter for commission...if they had an agent agreement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 31, 2013
You let the agent in... now... in my area, the tenant would pay this fee... not the landlord. If you never signed an agreement to pay this agent, you owe him or her NOTHING. If the agent insists on this fee from you, you can either pay it and get their tenant, or not pay it, and send them on their way....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
If you are advertising and showing yourself then how did a renters agent show your property? It sounds like you're creating /allowing your own issues. If you do not want to pay a commission don't allow agents to show your home. If you allow this then address working with them upfront.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
I should have wrote i'm advertising and generally show myself as a for rent by owner, this instance a agent wanted to show it to their client.
Flag Tue Jul 30, 2013
Hi Natasha!! Generally, the tenant's agent receives half of 1st month rent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
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