homeBuyer, Home Buyer in Sunnyvale, CA

If you find a house to buy and then bring in an agent to close the deal, is it rude to ask for a rebate

Asked by homeBuyer, Sunnyvale, CA Wed Sep 17, 2008

I've been looking for months on my own and doing all my own research. I finally found a place that I really like and then I contacted an agent to help me close the deal. The 3% commission on the property would be about $20k of which I've requested a 1% ( $6.5k ) refund on since I've only met my agent one time and that was to go over the house that I wanted to purchase. Is this rude or a perfectly reasonable thing to request?

Help the community by answering this question:


A good agent won't consider it to be rude, they'd consider it to be negotiation. Assuming that you didn't bring this up in the middle of the game, I'd say you're fine.

Whether the agent accepts a 30% pay cut is entirely up to them.

The question to ask yourself is do you want someone to just handle paperwork? Or do you want an agent who can actually guide you and help you to get the most out of the transaction?

I've had deals where the buyer and seller were already together, already agreed on everything, and only needed someone to make sure the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed...I handle that as a flat rate because the scope of the work is completely mapped out and that's all I'm being asked to handle.

But if you want me to negotiate on your behalf, research the property to assist in making sure that all is as it seems to be, help to schedule and be present for inspections, and bring time, effort, and most valuably my experience to the table on your behalf, then I would be less inclined to rebate anything.

Another thing that I take into consideration is if you're doing multiple deals with the agent? I happily offer "volume discounts" to my repeat customers.

That being said - It doesn't mean I'm willing to do that for every joe public who wants to save a couple of extra thousand dollars on their $600,000 house by taking it out of my childrens mouth.

Make sense?

If you take your time and choose the RIGHT Realtor...they'll be able to help you save more than that $6,500 you're trying to take out of their income...but they might not be willing to work as hard if you start the relationship off by asking them to pay for 1% of your house (but then again...depending on the particular situation I would do that in a heartbeat in exchange for a 1% ownership interest in the home).

Again - ask for whatever you want - no ask, no get.

Hope that helps!


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
I'm not a real estate professional, just a home owner who will probably buy and sell again in the near future.

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Jarvis. Do you think that the agent will have done sufficient and quality work to justify a $20,000 comission? (This means the house is ~ $670k) If not, then I think a rebate or negotiated commission is acceptable. They didn't help you find the house, since you looked for months on your own. For an average salaried professional earning $80k, this is 3 months of work, or roughly 500 hours of work. Will your agent put in that much time? Have you just met with the agent and are still evaluating them?

From your own research on the internet, how much lower are houses in your area going for below the asking price? If they are already going for 5-10% below asking (and sometimes much more in some parts of the country), then you could offer a lower price just by market conditions and not because of the negotiating ability of your agent. Could you ask several agents what their best price commission is, either % of flat rate, would be for them to manage the deal on a house you have found on your own? There may be agents willing to do the transaction for a fixed or per hour rate. It also depends on how much you want the house in question. If you are willing to walk away if you can't agree on a price with the buyer and/or a commission with the agent, then you have the power. If you want the house at almost any cost, then you have less power. Another way to negotiate would be to say that they can have 5% of the difference between asking and selling price, as an incentive for them to negotiate harder to get you a lower price.

Personally, I think it is unreasonable that real estate agents have not lowered their comissions in a market with rising home price or on more expensive homes. It's hard to believe that they do twice as much (and earn twice as much comission) on a $300k home versus a $600k one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
I'd say it's very rude if you ask me, unless you ask for it up front.

Tell me that you are going to do most of the work and not bother me, then I'll be able to make a decision.

Don't meet with me then go and believe that you are doing all the work (when it hasn't even begun yet, by the way) then go and ask for a rebate. It'd be like your boss coming to you in a middle of an assignment and asking for you to cut him a check. That wouldn't make sense, and neither can this.

How about this happy medium? I believe that the value of an agent is in their negotiation ability and their ability to manage the transaction. Why don't you challenge your agent?

Ask them to save you at least 3% off the price of the home or they pay the difference. It's an easy guarantee without all the gimmicks from the "Ill buy yours" billboards.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
It is never rude to ask for rebate in this market. Just remember your agent has to clear it with his broker!!
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer