Home Buying in 56301>Question Details

Dustin Hall, Home Buyer in Minnesota

How much does it cost me as a buyer to be represented by a Realtor?

Asked by Dustin Hall, Minnesota Wed Oct 27, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Dustin,
That is a very common question that I recieve as a Realtor. You actually don't pay your Realtor a commission when buying a home!

Commissions are paid by the sellers. When we as buyers agents help our buyers purchase a home, the SELLERS agent is the one who pays us.

So you get all of our expertise, and you dont pay us!

I hope this helps,

If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.

David Vee - Realtor

Or search all the active listings on my website, and save your favorites.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010

The brokerage fee is typically paid by the seller when you complete the transaction with a Buyer Representation Agreement as long as the terms of the agreement are met. It is wise to review and fully understand your and your brokers responsibilities under this agreement. Your agent should explain it completely. If you have any concerns you can reach out to me at 320-253-0354 or Steve.Cash@results.net or visit http://www.SteveCash.net

Steve Cash
Web Reference: http://SteveCash.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 6, 2013

Pretty much all of these answers are correct. The best answer is "It Depends." Each individual transaction will have its own unique answer to if you have to pay a buyers agent and potentially how much. More often than not, the seller or the listing brokerage is going to compensate a buyers agent. However, there can be administrative commissions outside of the normal commission that a company will ask you to pay. For you to best grasp the compensation to a buyers agent, you should actually read over the standard Minnesota Buyers Representation Contract (especially the section on compensation). I have posted one to my blog that you can read at your leisure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 28, 2010
I know people have answered this question in their own ways but want to address when its answered as you don't pay anything. The cost to you would be outlined in any representation agreement that you will sign with a Realtor, however there will be a place on the agreement where you can mark that any compensation received from the listing agent/seller would be credited to what you owe. So in essence you wouldn't be paying any commission to your Realtor if your Realtor gets paid from the listing agent/seller which in most instances is the way it happens. There are some exceptions that's why I want to stay away from saying you don't pay any commissions to your agent.

Using a Realtor to help you find a house has many huge benefits so I encourage you to interview and work with someone you feel comfortable with.
Web Reference: http://www.lennyfrolov.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Hi Dustin!

What a great question! So many buyers do not understand how a buyer's agent gets paid. It doesn't cost the buyer anything in most circumstances. This is because a buyer's agent will get a percentage of the commission paid by the seller of the home at the closing table. When you meet with potential real estate agents it is a good idea to ask specifically about any upfront or additional fees because they can be negotiated.

Good luck with finding a great agent and new home.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Dustin, you shouldn't have to pay anything. This is a negotiable item though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Hi Dustin - to answer like the other agents, the commission is paid by the seller whether he has his house listed or not... The agent you choose to work with should also be able to negotiate the commission with those properties that are for sale by ower.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Short answer is, YOU don't pay anything out of pocket, necessarily. But, it is important that you ALLOW your agent to get paid by virtue of the MLS commission split. Your agent will go over that with you when you enter in to a contract so you understand how the whole thing works.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Hi, Dustin!
This is a great question!!!! This is one of the BIGGEST misunderstood issues in the real estate transaction. So many things have changed in the last 20 years surrounding how buyers and sellers can be represented in a real estate deal. I welcome you to do some reading about this through this article:

And, here are some articles for you to read that gives you a kind of step by step idea of how this thing works:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Keep in mind that the commission is negotiated between the seller and his/her agent; if two agents are involved in the transaction, the commission is shared; therefore, unless you have an agreement with your agent to pay above what the seller is already paying, it should cost you nothing to have your own representation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Just to clarify Patrick's comment:

If you have no written contract for representation from a REALTOR no commission can be charged to you. The Broker Administrative Commission that some agents charge can only be charged if you sign a representation agreement with them... we can't charge you for something without disclosure and agreement.
Web Reference: http://www.mnseller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Won't cost you anything, but it will be the best decision you can make. Make sure you find a good one!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010

I'm glad you asked this question. So many buyers think they'll save money by not having to pay a commission if they work directly with the listing agent. As other's said below, the seller pays the sales commission.

Also note that many brokers (Real Estate Companies) charge an administrative commission or something similar. It's like a transaction fee and is usually under $500 but it will be charged as part of the transaction whether or not you're represented by a realtor.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Buyer's agents get a share of the listing agent's commission if you purchase a home listed on the MLS - which is why the MLS works so well!.

That commission may or may not cover all of the commission due to the buyer's agent - the amount of commission and the terms under which it is paid is something that is spelled out in your buyer's representation agreement when you decide to work with a particular agent. Those specifics are consequently negotiable points.

If you buy a for sale by owner (FSBO) house then the agent would need to seek compensation from the owner of the home directly and/or from you. In most cases though you'll choose an MLS listed home anyways.

Your agent should be upfront with you regarding compensation details and you should be fully aware of the situation before making an offer.

I am not trying to scare you - this is usually a pretty straightforward thing... it is just that sometimes this can be a big point of contention and so I wanted to give you a full answer.
Web Reference: http://www.AaronSOLD.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Typically, it costs you nothing for a realtor to represent you. The realtor's commission is paid by the seller. If you're looking for an agent, consider using trulia to find an experienced agent.

Best of luck!
Web Reference: http://www.DesariJabbar.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
The fees are typically paid by the listing agent however in your agency contract, the agent may outline a fee schedule in the event the seller is not paying the selling agent's commission. This could happen if you choose a FSBO (For Sale by Owner) home.

Stacy Carter
Associate Broker
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
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