Home Buying in Maryland>Question Details

Annie, Home Buyer in Frederick, MD

How much will having a buyer's agent cost me, and are there any good websites that rate agents?

Asked by Annie, Frederick, MD Fri Nov 23, 2007

I'm in Maryland, if that helps.

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Answers

69
If you kids don't stop this behavior right now I'm reporting you to the commission your respective brokers and the board. If you want to argue - be a man and call each other. I get emailed every time you put up another bunch of crap, stop it. Go sell some real estate, you are just proving to everyone who reads trulia that their are childish realtors out their.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Nicolas Of course you have the authority to cut your commission, its YOUR commission. Just because you haven't in the past doesn't mean that you can't, it probably means you don't know how. I don't know or care what kind of relationship you have with your brokerage, as a buyer in a buyers market I may only be interested in those agents with healthy relationships with their brokerages.

JR: Wrong. I do not have the authority to cut commission. I am an independant contract who has my license at an agency. That agency has rules. I cannot cut my commission without approval. I realize that may not be what you believe, but you are not a real estate agent.

Nickolas: I think that your responses are conditioned for different types of markets then we are seeing in Maryland.

JR; Does the market not stink in Maryland, too. Are prices not tanking? Are homes not overpriced and are they not selling. That's how it is here, but I am not willing to cut my own throat and take half the pay because sales are not falling in my lap. I have done what smart independant contractors do, but most of the public is not capable of doing, because they live paycheck to paycheck, and it they miss one paycheck, they're up the creek. I have saved my money to tide me over if I have a bad year.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Hi Annie,
I have read many of Mansur's answers on Trulia. He is a very competent Realtor. I do not know him personally, but have developed a very favorable opinion of him from the insights he shares on this forum. If he services your area, I would recommend you chat w/ him.

My other suggestions would be to Google for buyer agents in your area, and read a few websites. You could also check the website http://www.CRS.com. This Council of Residential Specialists awards a designation to Realtors who have competed thresholds in both volume and education. You can search your geogrpahy on their site for Realtors who hold the designation. The designation ABR stands for Accredited Buyer Agent and these Realtors are members of the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council. You can search their site for members in your area here: http://www.rebac.net/MembershipDirectorySearch.aspx

I wouldn't rule out an agent because they did not have one of these desginations, but it is a source to begin your search. Be wary of using rating sites without knowing how the ratings were acheived. I have seen rating sites that were severely manipulated or based upon payment for position. The two recommended sites I provided are part of the National Assocation of Realtors. You can learn more about these and other designations here:
http://www.realtor.org/runivers.nsf/pages/designation?OpenDocument

Good Luck!
Deborah
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
JR has already admitted that her housing market is in a steep downturn but she would rather not work then renegotiate with her broker.
~~~~~~~
I have "admitted" nothing of the sort. And I'll warn you about lying about what a poster said and making personal attacks.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
This topic is about how much buyer agent services cost. I initially entered this dialogue because there were agents touting how their services were FREE. It made me laugh. The RE industry is not a charitable organization and no one works for free.

My point stands well defended. Buyer agent services do cost money. The buyer is the one with the money and thus ultimately the buyer pays for everything. Thus buyers pay for Buyer Agent services.

I have supported that argument with facts, statistics, and examples. I have given suggestions on how a buyer could negotiate to recoupe some of that money.

Unfortunately there are some that try to detract from the essence of the argument. James Graham has added very distinct gems of information about RE services and cost as well as clearly justified the value of his services. JR on the otherhand is what forum-goers call "trolls". They try to hijack the thread and turn the discussion to the topic of their choice.

I'm not interested in the details of your personal life JR if your broker wont approve a reduction in commission then you should think about getting a new broker or getting your own license. What I am interested in, and what this post is about, is what are the cost of having a buyers agent.

I think that the answer to that question as ironed out in this thread is that Buyer Agent services cost 3%, paid by the seller, paid for by the buyer and are negotiable. The cost of buyer agent services are negotiable with buyer agents willing to refund a portion of their commission to the buyer even before the first house is shown. Newportfiji added that typical commission refunds are between 25 and 33%.

I would like to add that in a buyers market, agents often chase qualified buyers that are truly interested in making a purchase. Thats why its called a "buyers market" and often to continue working they will discount their services in areas that relate to buyers. Search for those discounts and you will probably find them as Maryland is in a deep buyers market.

As a bonus, this is such a buyers market that the ramifications extend beyond RE agents into all aspects of the industry. I called three title and settlement companies to get quotes on their services. Each successive call resulted in a lower quote by about 100$ each time. Confused, I called the first one back and they appologized and told me that they misquoted me with 2007 rates and their adjusted price was 100$ lower then my lowest standing offer. From highest to lowest, there was a 40% reduction in service cost. In my mind it adds up to one thing; for some reason or another they are out of work and are struggling to remain busy.

I, like a lot of other consumers, don't like being gouged. Alarm bells should go off if someone tells you their services are free. I have not bought a house yet, I am searching daily for ways to make my money go farther. One of those ways is to look at commission rates on RE agents.

I will purchase a house when Sellers stop asking you to take a depreciating asset off their hands for current market value, when lenders risk-models start including how attractive the lendee is and not how many sub-prime mortgagees have pooped their pants in your area, and when RE agents stop asking for 150% more then they should be making.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Hello Annie, NOT having a Buyers agent is when it will cost you. Hiring a Buyers Agent will cost you nothing except maybe a brokers transaction fee of around $200, every buyer should hire an experienced Buyers Agent to exclusively represent their best interests!! And I'm not aware of any rating system for Realtors, check Google or Homegain.com. Now if I may, let me say - the seller does not pay the buyer agents fee/commission, the listing broker pays the selling broker/ Buyer Agents their commission that they negotiated with the seller. The listing broker rather than wait for the listing broker to have a buyer for that house is offering to pay another broker for bringing a buyer, usually half the commission. Should the listing broker sell the property then the listing broker is intitled to keep the whole commission. This is why the MLS was conceived, to share listings for faster sales. And the seller does not build in the full commision when setting their price, some may like to, but it's not the way the system works. Buyers actually determine the sale price ie: fair market value. I do agree that real estate commissions have inheriently been built in over the years of appreciation. And I'd like to comment on "Nicholas" answer, he is so miss-informed and off base with that answer, do yourself a favor and ignore it. Good Luck. You can review my qualifications as a Buyers Agent on my website listed below.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 29, 2008
Thank you Amanda.

I understand that the cost of doing buisness in the RE industry is not cheap. I have conceeded that fact at least three times in the previous posts. This is a hot-button topic for RE agents. It is also a hot-button topic for home buyers.

My main point is that if you were making a living doing RE in 2000 and prices of homes have gone up 187% then you are making almost three times what you did 8 years ago. I'm sure that RE agents didn't work for free 8 years ago they made consistent, good wages enough to support themselves. The work hasn't changed and it doesn't cost 187% more to do buisness then it did 8 years ago.

If you made 45,000 dollars a year as a novice RE agent in 2000. Someone motivated, with a high-school education and 40-90 hours of training under thier belt then you could be happy with a good salary. Fast forward 8 years and that person is making 129,000 dollars a year doing the same amount of work. Nothing has changed except inflation and possibly a higher cost of advertisements. Scale the numbers for the novice RE agent to reflect actual starting salaries but the principle still holds true.

In comparison, I have a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering and I don't make 120,000 a year. I pay taxes just like everyone else. I have overhead just like RE agents including, books, tuition, countless hours spent during nights and weekends studying.

I state this only to support the overall argument that RE agent services cost money. There are excellent RE agents out there that are smart, motivated, work hard and realize that the cost for thier services has outstripped the buyer just like the cost for the home has in the last 8 years.

A lot of arguments from the RE community seem to stem from the fact that not all showings produce sales and thus there is some pad in your services to cover the non-selling, non-buying cusomers who drain your time. Better vetting of buyers and sellers would be prudent in those cases. I don't talk to a RE agent to waste thier time when it comes to showing houses.

I'm not comfortable paying for those services at those prices and I'm sure there are a lot of buyers that will agree. The Maryland market is suffering from a lack of consumer confidence as much as from sub-prime lending. I think one of these confidence issues is the cost of RE agent services.

Yes, I revived a dead post to correct inaccurate information. My appologies.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Nicholas,

Excellent post ...

It matters not what JR thinks, she can accept it or not ..

The changes are already in play - and there will be more changes in the next 30 months then any other time.

Many full service agents are taking price reductions already ... you're seeing agents in Florida taking 3 and 4% (or less) to move a house .. the same in Georgia, the Carolina's, Ohio, MI and PA ...

Flat fee's are growing by leaps and bounds everyday ... folks in Detroit paying $12,000 to sell a $500,000 home ..or.. a flat fee of $15,000 to move a $800,000 home in Boca Raton, etc etc..

Offices filled with agents, air conditioning, electric bills and faxs and "no sales" are being stimulated by getting some of the pie, instead of none of the pie...

Last week after a long holiday in Florida playing golf, we spoke with 20/25 agents from Miami to Jacksonville .. most are doing it for 2.5 or 3% or a flat fee, they need a paycheck, bad ..

So they "are" getting their brokers permission .. and the brokers are happy to get the money.

So, whether the agent travels the road of refund ..or the road of discount, it's being traveled .... it doesn't matters who doesn't jump on the bandwagon .. their spots are being taken by the ones who "are" jumping on the bandwagon.


: ^)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
You have the term as plurl so;
Heres my brokers phone number 801-545-7300. I don't think anybody has done any thing wrong!
P.s. don't call us kids
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
I'm not interested in the details of your personal life JR
~~~~~~~~~
I have not hijacked this thread, nor have I given details of my personal life. If you read the other thread I linked to, the discussion (which was about WHO PAYS COMMISSION, which is what YOU have hijacked this thread to be about) you would have the answer to who pays the commission, and what I buyer's agent costs a buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
J R your ability to talk yourself out of work amazes me. Instead of making a reduced commision you would rather not work at all. Very interesting. Consider your post ignored from now on.
~~~~~~~~
Nicolas, I have plenty of work. I have plenty of sales and listings. I work hard. And I CANNOT reduce my commission with my broker's permission, no matter how many times you say I can. i also cannot offer concessions to buyers. And I will not offer concessions to buyers. My buyers think I work very hard for them, and although concessions may attract MORE buyers, I'd rather work with seller, and I have enough buyers who appreciate my efforts.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
And please do go to the link that J R posted and say "hi" to Myke for all of us!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 1, 2008
Its not unheard of for the Selling Agent to contribute to the sale also. Might try the same technique on the Selling agent too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, please do. We always carry our checkbooks around to help out people who can't afford to pay. It's part of our job. @@
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 1, 2008
Never fails to amaze me.

Buyer agent services are not free. The seller pays them. The seller considers your offer in light of the fees they have to pay to sell their home. In the end it cost you, the buyer, no matter how they try to spin the situation. It is your money not the sellers.

I suggested a way to get some of that money to fall in your direction and not the agents.

I recommend getting a buyer agent, it will do more good then harm. In a buyers market those fees are negotiable and can be swung in your favor.

Simple fact is that you have a lot of real estate agents that are not working in those hardest hit areas and very good ones would jump at the chance to represent you, as can be seen by the number of replys on this website. Use that to your advantage.

I'm not mis-informed or off-base.

Rule #1: Everything in Real-Estate is negotiable except Taxes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 1, 2008
Annie, Sellers pay your Buyers Agent fees for your behalf! So, that’s mean, Seller pays the commission to the listing agent to sell the house, listing agent will share the commission with your buyer agent! However, buyer agent may have other fees, broker administration fee, or transaction fees!

Usually, buyer’s agent gets paid by the seller, and you will use their services for FREE!

They are many sites out on web that promote agents, or rank them. However, not all agents are listed on those sites! Agents either have to advertise with those sites, or pay to promote themselves.

Good source, CRS.com

-Reza
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
The buyers agent's fee is in the transaction. Listing agents charge a fee to the seller to be paid at settlement if the property sells. The listing agent offers a percentage of that fee to cooperating agents of which the buyer's agent is one. Most agents and brokers do not charge retainer fees or fees up front. Most buyers agents work on a contingent fee basis. If you buy a home and close, they get paid through the transaction. If you do not, they do not get paid. There are other business models but the above represents about 95% of brokers policy.
Most buyers agents will require a Buyer's Representation Agreement whereby the buyer protects the agent's fee by agreeing to work only with that agent. If there is such an agreement and the buyer buys a home without the agent, the buyer would be responsible for the fee if the contract of sale was initiated during the pendancy of the Buyer Representation Agreement.
Maryland has a "presumed buyers agent" understanding, but it doesn't protect the agent's fee, which is why they usually work with an agreement.
Make sure the Agreement, if there is one, permits cancellation by the buyer on notice rather than being tied to an agent for a long period if things are not working out well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 2, 2008
Annie,
The seller pays the buyer’s agent their commission so the cost to you is either zero or close to it. Some brokers charge a broker administration fee or something along those lines. I would be aware of a site that claims to rate agents; usually the site is just collecting leads and selling them to agents who will pay for the lead. Ask friends and family for a referral or find an agent that takes the time to contribute to this site.
Good luck, Michael Doyle
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2007
Hi Annie:

A buyers agent will not cost you anything. The seller pays a commission to the listing agent selling their home and that comission is spilt between the two agents.

There really aren't any websites that rank agents. There is a website rebac.org that has a directory of agents that have received a nABR designation (accredited buyers reprsentative). This is additional training and certification in working with buyer clients.

My suggestion would be to meet with 2-3 agents and interview them. Tell them what you are looking for and that you are a first-time homebuyer.

I would be happy to help you and know the area well.
Web Reference: http://www.northropteam.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2007
The seller pays the buyer's agent so don't hesitate to use one!

As for rating website, I'd be careful. Anyone can rate an agent (mom, dad, uncle aunt).

What u want to look for in an agent is: are they full or part time, do your personalities click, how knowledgeable are they about the area and response time to your requests/needs.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2007
I'm not sure about websites that rate agents either, however I would love to find one. I have been having a big problem buying a foreclosure in Linden VA on Granny Smith Road, I have the funding from the bank, all inspections are done, we are ready to close....yet after 120 days there is still no response, they've misplaced the deed?! I thought the deed was required to sell, additionally I've found out that the listing agent isn't licensed to list or sell properties in Virginia. Jeesh! I've got some people looking into this further but would like to see for myself where complaints can be made or licenses confirmed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Hi, Annie - wow, what a bee's next got stirred up here! I know my answer may 'get lost' in the jumble, but I wanted to say that I don't know of any websites that rate agents. However, you should be able to get onto your state's website for the real estate commission, and find out what agents have complaints against them, or at least which ones have been found 'guilty' of something.

Another thing I would check if I was you - if you're in a certain price range, I would ask the agent if that is the range they usually work in. The reason is, even though there are many wonderful agents loaded with integrity, there are some who would be tempted to give their attention more to people buying in the higher range, where they'll make more money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
rate an agent?? An agent would have to be a absolute idiot not to be able to help you find a home in this market. If the agent you chose locates a house listed with another agent, usually there is a commission split offered by the seller of the property (actually you will pay the commission when you finance the house SUPRISE!)

however, if you sign an agreement with your agent, (and if the agent is smart, he wouldnt waste 4 dollar gas unless you sign ! ) and the agent shows you FSBO property, you may pay the commission (still financed the house ! )

Best thing to do is work with someone you can easily communicate with and especially use a full time agent!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
Normally the cost is zero. . although some agents may charge you "Transaction Fees" They range between $195 to $695 > I'm clueless about the fact where this money goes after getting paid commission already.
As far as rating Realtors. ..the best way to find a good one. .is to get a referral from someone that you trust.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
Hi all!

Can we please keep the discussion to info related to the question and not get in fights. Our community guidelines are here:

http://www.trulia.com/guidelines/

Thanks,

Rudy
Social Media Guru at Trulia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
No problem,

Your actually the first poster here to remove information. I have done the same.

GL to you also Reza.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Nicholas, Opps! You are right! I have answered this before. Seems like you own this threat, and base on your analysis you are on top of it.

GL!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
James and J R are you the same person? Do you have conversations with yourself in threads where you don't belong to increase exposure for your website? Schizophrenia affects many Americans every year, seek help.

I'm begining to get dejavu from those little tildas that you smear across the screen.

I take it back, I wouldn't trust the opinions of James in any forum.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
At anytime you can get your story consistent J R. Your wisdom is beyond my years and the whole RE community is holding their breath to hear what you have to say next. Add some value or go away.



I quote:

Nicolas Nickolas

Does the market not stink in Maryland, too. Are prices not tanking? Are homes not overpriced and are they not selling. That's how it is here, but I am not willing to cut my own throat and take half the pay because sales are not falling in my lap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please point out to me where I said I would "rather not work". I am working. I am selling. Houses are overpriced but correctly priced houses sell and quickly. Now you can point out my bad grammer and "leet" speak, unless you're through personally attacking me. You are obviously jealous of what you consider an overpaid job. If we're so overpaid and why not do it yourself. It's so easy to get a license, as you trolls usually point out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
At anytime you can get your story consistent J R.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nicholas, you are consistently accusing me of things I did not do. I would appreciate it if you would cease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Utah hasn't experienced the decline in market values that most of the nation is experiencing. This is probably due in part to the state of thier RE market before the housing boom; houses were most likely terribly undervalued. James is still riding on increasing property values. I would just like to point out the following news articles about Utah though. I don't know enough about Utah geography to say if they directly apply to James' market in Draper though but they don't paint a pretty picture for Utah.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to clearify the utah market from someone that is working in Utah, whether you believe it or not the newspapers or the articals you are reading are false!

March 2007___Salt lake county___3200 acitve listings___2400 Undercontract listings
Today___Salt lake county___8300 active listings____980 under contracts

Do the math a 259% increase in active listings: awesome market
and also -244% decrease in under contracts

You can try to figure this or that from your articles but it just isn't true in my opinion!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
After reading this thread that apparently started back in November of '07, this is obviously a hot topic. As an agent who works full time, is a single mother and pays for everything herself including a mortgage, daycare costs of $8k a year it never ceases to amaze me that the overall consensus of real estate agents is that we are lazy and greedy. I make decent living, nothing over the top, but I work harder for my money more than anyone else I know that has a salary based 40 hour a work week. I work weekends, nights days and whenever I can in order to meet my clients needs while still trying to maintain some sort of life outside of work. .
So let's look at the average commission of 3% of a buyers side. I may work 6 months with someone trying to find a house that is 250k. I have spent countless hours with them, gas, buying them lunch while we are out, time on the phone with them, other agents, setting up appointments,maybe writing one or two offers before finally finding a house they love and then going through the home inspection, making sure the lender they have chosen is doing their job, following up with the title company to make sure they have their stuff together. Now the 3% would be 7500, which say on average your brokerage takes 20%. Now you are at 6k. You can subract another 20 % for taxes, $4800 and then divide that by the hours, time and not to metnion the other costs that go into being a real estate agent like dues, website fees, marketing expenses, etc. And this number dwindles quite quickly. AND that is saying the person ends up buying a house, not renting for another year, not moving away, not just changing their minds.

I would also like to see anyone that would like their clients calling them at 6am or 2am perhaps while watching fireworks with their families on the fourth of July, all because someone just saw a house come on the market and they area desperate to know when they can go see it. We work around your schedule as much as possible while trying to keep some sort of balance in our own lives. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and am not complaining, but you tell me of another industry that is at the whims of their clients as much as real estate.

I would never ask my financial planner to credit me some money from his own pocket so I could buy more stocks from him. Financial advisers are extremely well paid and they do not credit their services. I provide my buyers exceptional services and feel that I am worth every penny that I get paid. I would be hesitant to seek representation from an agent who is so eager to discount their prices. Most of my business comes from referrals and repeat buyers and sellers and I have only been doing this for less than 3 years, so I think that says something when people are coming back and not requesting a discount.

Every market is different, but here in Baltimore, things are staying somewhat strong but sellers need to realize that if they want to sell their home, make it look good, price it right and trust your agent. Buyers, if you want to buy, there are great prices but yes, somethings are still high, but again, trust your agent to do an analysis of that particular area because especially here in the city, each neighborhood is different.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
At anytime you can get your story consistent J R. Your wisdom is beyond my years and the whole RE community is holding their breath to hear what you have to say next. Add some value or go away.



I quote:

Nicolas Nickolas

Does the market not stink in Maryland, too. Are prices not tanking? Are homes not overpriced and are they not selling. That's how it is here, but I am not willing to cut my own throat and take half the pay because sales are not falling in my lap.

Spam it again Tman! No matter how many times you spam it, doesn't make it tru.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
6%.? ... those days are slipping by faster than a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby...

JR: Keep spamming it Tman, it STILL isn't true!
~~~~~~~~

But adding more commission doesn't excite buyers, it only excites the agent ...

Buyers want to be shown and buy what they want .. not a house that their agent is going to make an extra $6,000 on ... consumers just went through 7/8 years of this -- it's poor business to say the very least, and a criminal act at best.

Instead of going to court and catching the vast firestorm of heat and bad press, do you have idea how many brokers are paying "good faith settlements" for just that reason..?

If you want to move a house ... paying the closing costs works .. painting pink bathrooms and maroon dining rooms works .. updating a kitchen works .. paying for a 2 year home warranty works .. spending money on a nice landscaping job works .. paying for the buyers move works, and adjusting the price definitely works.

Money spent "on" a house, get buyers "into" a house ... bonus money is like a balloon on a non-windy day .. it goes nowhere.

Paying some salesman (or lady) more money to move some product is exactly what used car salesman do on the last day of the month .... are you a used car salesman James.?

JR: I dont believe cash incentives or bonuses to agents sell houses. That said, I don't think cash incentives sell houses to buyers either. You either want the house your or you don't. I would never refuse to show a customer a house that offered a 1% comp, but I WILL work as the buyer agent in that case and get 3% because I don't work for 1%. If, however, the buyer wants to look at houses between 400,000 and 500,000, it's no problem to pick out 10 of 20 of those that are priced right, in good condition, and PAY 2.5 or 3%. There are only about 300 to choose from.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
I am extremely interested in opinions from agents in Maryland though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Tman,

I have already pointed out that James and JR have issues and markets that don't relate directly to a Maryland buyers. For reasons already disclosed they continue to fuel the debate though. Its really not worth your time to diverge into side issues.

Utah hasn't experienced the decline in market values that most of the nation is experiencing. This is probably due in part to the state of thier RE market before the housing boom; houses were most likely terribly undervalued. James is still riding on increasing property values. I would just like to point out the following news articles about Utah though. I don't know enough about Utah geography to say if they directly apply to James' market in Draper though but they don't paint a pretty picture for Utah.

http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/266133/18/
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695254900,00.html

Apparently Utah may be impervious to falling housing prices but they are not impervious to the slowing of new home sales/permit applications that we are seeing in the rest of the nation. No new construction means a lot of out of work people.

JR has already admitted that her housing market is in a steep downturn but she would rather not work then renegotiate with her broker. She also has a problem spelling people's names right, bad grammar, and uses "leet" speak.

As an educated consumer I would probably discount thier opinions in this forum (Maryland > Home Buying). I would discount JR's opinions in most all forums. I would respect James' opinions in forums relating to RE in Utah.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
Tman
6% days are gone, are you kidding? Do you honestly think that people aren't demanding more from thier agents in this market? I can go out and get listings all day long in a down market! Thats because the current listings are expireing and the agents are giving up trying to sell them. They go out and list the home for 4% and let the property sit on the market for 6 months, because 90% of realtors aren't going to show it for the 2% being offered to the buyers agent.

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule, where 20% of the agents are making 80% of the money, it applies to most industries. This is how it is in real estate, I am fortunate enough to be part of the 20%. So if you figure that 20% of the agents are working with 80% of the buyers. Do you really think that the top tier will show one of your listings? I think not!!!!!!!! So now that you have lost 80% of your prospective buyers who really makes more for thier home; mr. seller with a 6% commission, or mr seller with a 4% commission? In this market no matter how you look at it sellers are desperate to sell. So what are they looking for? Buyers!!!!!

Sellers are desperate to get buyers so they are happy to pay 6% or even 7% in this market. If I sell the home and make them more money for the house and bring them piece of mind. Just because the non producing 80% of the agents out there are dropping like flies and going to those desperate measures such as listing for 4% doesn't mean that all of them have learned how to calculate that a commission of 4% still equates to 100% of nothing. They will eventually learn that throughout the year as they fail to stay in the industry like some of the brokers going out of business right now!

You have no Idea how much time and money some of the top agents spend working for our clients. I worked monday through sunday this year and never took 1 day off for 4 and a half months, because I am thriving in this market and am having a hard time keeping up with my current business, that is why I have expanded from 1 to 4 agents with another one coming soon. My clients know that I work a full week and trust me to handle thier real estate investments, and I say investments because you have no Idea how fortunate buyers are; to be buying real estate in this market.

You will never appreciate what we really do, because it is hard for you and others to fully understand what that is! Maybe you should start by not asking your doctor to cut some of his expenses, it may not be worth it!

"Call me a used car salesman or whatever you want", either way that car sales man apparently sold you the car!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
I never said work for free .. nor did I say: "show listings that they wont get paid on".

I've sold many properties, sometimes I paid the buyers agent 1% .. sometimes as much as 3% depending on the time, place and property ...

6%.? ... those days are slipping by faster than a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby...

But adding more commission doesn't excite buyers, it only excites the agent ...

Buyers want to be shown and buy what they want .. not a house that their agent is going to make an extra $6,000 on ... consumers just went through 7/8 years of this -- it's poor business to say the very least, and a criminal act at best.

Instead of going to court and catching the vast firestorm of heat and bad press, do you have idea how many brokers are paying "good faith settlements" for just that reason..?

If you want to move a house ... paying the closing costs works .. painting pink bathrooms and maroon dining rooms works .. updating a kitchen works .. paying for a 2 year home warranty works .. spending money on a nice landscaping job works .. paying for the buyers move works, and adjusting the price definitely works.

Money spent "on" a house, get buyers "into" a house ... bonus money is like a balloon on a non-windy day .. it goes nowhere.

Paying some salesman (or lady) more money to move some product is exactly what used car salesman do on the last day of the month .... are you a used car salesman James.?



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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
I am offering a $1,000 dollar buyers agent bonus on top of the 3% to the buyers agent that brings me a buyer for this property;

http://www.utahrealestate.com/786169

Do you think I get agents wanting to show my listings? They make more so why not!

I have never paid a buyers agent less than a 3% in 6 years for selling any of my listings. I think that is a huge incentive for a seller to list with an agent who is reputable. In most cases commissions do sell homes more than you think.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
I must have forgot where it said in the Code of ethics that myself or any other agent has to work for free by showing a listing that doesn't offer a commission? Just so you know I show everything including fisbos, I get my clients to save even more money by the negotiations by buying from people without representation and thats also the same when I show listing from an unrepresented / discount brokerage. I have always got paid so who wins? Yep my buyers! You are crazy to think agents want to show listings that they wont get paid on. Everyday we have listings offering buyers agents bonus's. DR horton offers a 5% in utah to the buyers agent. Who do you think agents bring thier clients to...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
James,

I think you have it a little turned around: .. In down markets, agents need buyers and sellers more than ever.

3% on a $400,000 home is $12,000 ... listing agent gets $6,000 and buyers agent gets $6,000 .. or however they want to arrange it.

If the listing agent is raising the commission to get a buyer in, then the seller better be getting himself a new listing agent - pronto.

Commissions don't buy homes, never have .. buyers buy homes.

The first time the buyer gets any wind of a "commission showing" ... the buyers agent will be looking for another job - pronto.

Lets not forget that little word that gets tasseled around by realtors - "ethics"..

The agent is showing a home because it means more in their pocket..? .. didn't we just go through that...?



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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Back to the question above:

Are there any good websites that rate agents?

If you go to my website and register
http://jamesgraham.blueroof360.com

I have rated myself as the best in Utah (i'm not biast)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
It matters not what JR thinks, she can accept it or not ..

The changes are already in play - and there will be more changes in the next 30 months then any other time.
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Spam it again Tman! No matter how many times you spam it, doesn't make it tru.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Tman
Your answer was good except I think the numbers are a little off. If an agent listed a property @ 3% they would get $0 because you won't find a buyers agent showing properties unless they are getting paid. This just doesn't happen, how can you spend money marketing properties when you are getting zero dollars in return. When an agent says he will do it for 2.5% or 3% he means it will 5 be for 5.5% to 6%. There are more and more Listing agents raising the buyers agent commissions to even 4% to try to get buyers. In down markets sellers need us more than ever!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
The back and forth offered below is actually helpful. Some areas are very, very different than others, and I can "vouch" for the fact that, at least in this area, many brokers DO require permission to make any rate reduction ( which all are negotiable from agency to agency). Most areas are past this, but I don't know what the "state" of the questioners Realtor community require or practice with regularity. Different local practices tend to structure the responses. Call as many as possible in your area.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
JR your position is weakening rapidly, not only does this prove you can reduce your commissions but that it is a viable way to do buisness in a buyers market.
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It proves nothing. I cannot reduce my commission without my broker's permission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
I was poking around a few real-estate agent web sites and this turned up regarding cash back from the buying agent. This RE agent is offering a 1% consession if you purchase a home with them as long as there is 3% available from the Selling Agent. It appears that others have already jumped on this idea to generate more buyers.

http://www.ocrealestateadvisors.com/cash+back+at+closing.htm

JR your position is weakening rapidly, not only does this prove you can reduce your commissions but that it is a viable way to do buisness in a buyers market.

I don't want to buy in California but of the three hardest hit areas, California, Maryland, and Florida all share the same characteristics that have equated to this housing mess.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
The first question you should ask yourself is whether you actually need a realtor. The harsh reality is that realtors are becoming obsolete. You can get most of the information you need about houses on the market and previous sale prices by looking online. Trulia, Ziprealty, Homeseekers, and Zillow.com are a few sites you can visit to search for available homes in the neighborhood of your choice. These sites offer a wealth of information about each property and allow you to compare listings.

Once you have selected a house, you can submit an offer on your own. I would suggest that you spend a few hundred dollars and have any proposed agreement reviewed by a real estate attorney, who will be much more knowledgeable about the process than a realtor.

If you do use a realtor, MAKE SURE that they rebate or refund part of their commission to you. Many consumers don’t know that most realtors will refund part of their commission (a refund of 25-33% is the market rate). If they are not willing to rebate, there will be many more willing to do so, as the market is slow.

Be VERY WARY of any referral from another realtor. It is just their way of getting their hands on the commission, as they will likely obtain a referral fee from the agent they recommend to you.

Best of luck to you.
NewportFiji
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
J R your ability to talk yourself out of work amazes me. Instead of making a reduced commision you would rather not work at all. Very interesting. Consider your post ignored from now on.

James, if you were an agent in Maryland I would hire you. Too bad your in Utah. It appears that your focused on seller services and commisions though. I'm more for pinching buyer agents.

I know a contentious area for RE agents is the commission based structure because its how they earn their living. The arguments that you are using are very powerful for explaining why you should get paid. I have already conceded that agents provide powerful services and should get paid. But those arguments pale when held up to the fact that home prices have risen 187% and thus commissions by the same amount.

If you can convince me that the cost of being a RE agent have risen by 187% in Maryland then I will get out my checkbook an cheerfully pay your wages when you help me buy a home. The reality is that the cost have not risen by 187% but rather they have risen about 26% mostly due to higher cost of advertising to make your products known.

I proposed one change to correct that imbalance that can be used by home buyers. Take it or leave it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Nicholas
I agree with most things you are saying, I just want to clarify a little bit on why I work for a full service brokerage. I can go work for a company that is structured like a discount brokerage, and my commissions would go down and would my abilty to sell the home: Newspaper advertising, internet presence, magazine adds, proper signage, full time staffed marketing department, infonow, 3D home tours, Real Keyboxes, MLS, Realtor.com, Loopnet.com, an office, secretary, office administrator, printers, mailers, open houses, agent office tour, listings emailed out to 1000's of people, feedback from showings, ability to have thier property shown from a team member at almost any thime.

I can go on and on about what my clients get, but what is most important is that all of these tools are there to sell the home as fast as possible. You see if I make 50% of the commissions selling a $200,000 home I make $3,000, if I work for a discount brokerage I can make a 100% commission minus a monthly desk fee of $99 per month however I probably wont sell the home because the company is probably blackballed amongst realtors for not paying a full commission or for not providing a full service for the client , which causes way more work for the buyers agent and a possibility of compromising the whole transaction. 100% of nothing on a $200,000 home equates to $0 no matter how you run the numbers. This is why discount companies look for that flat fee. I would much rather do what I am hired to do, which is Sell the house by finding a buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
JR,

I wouldn't advocate making this type of offer known to the buyer agent at the closing table and I never suggested such an action. That would be one of the most deplorable situatations that I could imagine. Make your intentions known right away, "I'm interested in a buyer agent that is amenable to XXX proposition".

If your not interested then pass on the offer, no one gets their feelings hurt.

Of course you have the authority to cut your commission, its YOUR commission. Just because you haven't in the past doesn't mean that you can't, it probably means you don't know how. I don't know or care what kind of relationship you have with your brokerage, as a buyer in a buyers market I may only be interested in those agents with healthy relationships with their brokerages.

I think that your responses are conditioned for different types of markets then we are seeing in Maryland.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
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