Home Buying in 54701>Question Details

Rachael Koger, Home Buyer in Altoona, WI

Does a buyer have to pay a realtor for their services? Is the realtor paid through closing costs?

Asked by Rachael Koger, Altoona, WI Tue Dec 31, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


in most areas a buyer broker is paid a fee posted in MLS by the listing agent so there is no additional cost to the buyer. Commissions are negotiable so some agents may charge more so ask up front what they charge and most important what they offer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
A majority of the time the buyer does not pay. When you choose the person you want to work with to buy your new home they should cover who pays what and how much.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
As Scott said, ask up front, but 99% of the time the buyers agent is paid a portion of the commission paid by the seller at closing. In 25 years I have never asked a buyer to pay me a dime.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
No, buyer does not "have to" pay realtor. But a buyer should confirm with their prospective representative as to how they will get paid and how that may impact their relationship. Buyer's agency is a great way to get representation from an agent acting on your behalf, not the sellers'. Keep it simple and ask your agent to provide details on the approximate costs of closing a purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2015
Just a follow up on Charles Tiffany's comment. Some companies and/or agents do charge a fee for your business. I do not find that to be specific to whether the company is a franchise or not. Some franchises do, some do not. Some independent companies do, some do not. Bottom line: Ask you agents if they will be charging you and if so how much. If not, you might want to ask them how they are getting paid and how that might impact their relationship with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 11, 2014
True. Like.
Flag Tue Feb 11, 2014
Every transaction that is completed through a Realtor has an offer of compensation. That may come from the Listing Broker, Seller, Buyer or any combination. If you choose to have representation in the transaction, then you hire a Buyers Agent aka Buyers Representative. I would strongly suggest you look up http://rebac.net to determine the merits of hiring an ABR-Accredited Buyer Representative, how a buyers agency contract works, and why there are advantages.

Often times, the offer of compensation is not discussed but is very important in how the process works. Only about 50% of the Realtor transactions in our area are done through Buyer Agency, which means half of the consumers did not receive representation in the sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 11, 2014
Rachael, an agent pursuing your business should be able to produce an estimate on paper of what your costs will be. Watch out for the franchises, they usually charge a fee just for doing business with them and in the end, you want a quality agent not an agent from a quality franchise. There is no definitive standard on how real estate agents can procure money from a buyer, so ask them to produce a statement on their estimated charges for doing business - it's your money! Good luck and make it fun and business at the same time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
"Careful Charlie"???? Really??? Are you from the Real Estate Mafia that's gonna hafta ruff Charlie up because he stated his opinion? The only questionable word in Charlie's answer is "usually"... not a good word here, perhaps "often" or "sometimes" would have been better. But everything else looked spot-on to me. Do I need to be careful too? Wow....
Flag Wed Jan 7, 2015
Careful Charlie.
Flag Mon Feb 10, 2014
It depends on the agent and there firm. Some agents will charge a brokers and some are required to charge a brokers fee. Your agent should explain where his/her payment is coming from. ( Splitting commission that is offered by listing agent and a brokers fee or just the commission that is being offered)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 6, 2014
All the answers below are basically correct. In Wisconsin real estate agents work as seller's agents through the listing contract or through co-broke agreements with other companies. In that case the commission is paid by the seller. The buyer has the option of having an agent work as their buyer agent by signing a Buyer Agent Contract. In that case you would be responsible for the agent's commission. That does not mean that the commission has to come directly from you. For example, your agent may accept payment they receive from the sellers commission to offset what you owe. However, what you need to be aware of is that if the agent does not receive payment from the other source (or the money they receive is less than you owe), you may still be responsible for paying their fee. A good example of this would be if you decide to look at a house with a different agent. The agent that showed you the house might get the commission you were expecting your agent to receive. Now your agent will have to collect his fee from you because a Buyer's Agency agreement basically says the agent gets paid if you buy a house. Ask a lot of questions, get direct answers before you agree to a Buyer's Agency agreement. I am in favor of buyer's having their own agent, but It is a contract! and so not something you should agree to without full knowledge.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 6, 2014
Good answer, but not ENTIRELY accurate. When a Buyer asks an agent to assist them and there is NO BUYERS AGENT contract, that Buyer still HAS an agent who is looking out for the interests of the Buyer. The only thing the contract does is protect the agent against the Buyer ditching them. While that can be a good thing, I think it is most often a bad thing. If I'm not serving my Buyer well, they probably SHOULD ditch me. Of course, there ARE plenty of Buyers out there who will do the wrong thing (whether intentionally or not) that make this sort of contract attractive to agents. I just don't see anything good in it for the Buyer.
Flag Wed Jan 7, 2015
Rachael. No, the buyer does not!
There are rare exceptions.
What a buyer will be required to pay depends on the real estate they choose to buy.
Buyers and sellers have demanded more options. These options have been provided and has created a more complex real estate environment.
Relax. Have a conversation with a Altona, WI REALTOR and they will share with you their minimum compensation requirements. When that is disclosed, you should state. "Do not show me any real estate that does not pay your compensation in FULL." Then have the agent prepare and sign that agreement.
Professionals love working with knowledgeable buyers and sellers. Your question is reflective of the type of buyer we all like. When the buyer presents the agent something to sign, that would be really cool!

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 31, 2013
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