For Sale By Owners represent themselves. If you hired your buyer agent by signing a Buyer Broker Agreement, then your agent represents you. If you did not sign a Buyer Broker Agreement, then the agent doesn't even represent you. That's number one.
If you did sign the Buyer Broker Agreement, then your agent is working to protect only your best interests and if they got the price down $15k, that is a great thing. The fee he/she wants to charge should be going to the FSBO and not you. If the FSBO does not want to pay your Realtor then someone has to and that would be you. You don't expect the Realtor to work for free do you?
Had you signed the Buyer Broker Agreement, you would have seen how the Realtor is paid should you decide to buy from a FSBO.
So, yes, is it fair that Realtors be paid for doing their job. Don't you like to be paid when you go to work every day?
The fee is usually a percent of the sale price.
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I agree with Sean. It sounds as though your agent worked out a reduced
sales price for you and the seller refused to pay her any commission.
Acknowledging the extra issues that Don pointed out about the savings you
are getting as a result of your agent's work and the work she has and will provide you in purchasing the
home, as well as seeing to it that the seller provides the necessary documentation to complete the sale,
entitles her to a commission. How much that commission will be, must be agreed to by you and your agent.
Tell her about your reservations and weigh what she says in light of her work and the property and cost.
Prudential Indiana Realty Group
Leaving that aside, what does your buyer's agreement with your agent say? You and your agent are bound by that agreement. If it's a straight commission arrangement, then you owe whatever that commission is. If it's a commission with a minimum or floor, then you owe the greater of the floor/minimum or the percentage commission.
Beyond that, I'd suggest you may be approaching it the wrong way. The questions I'd ask are: How much did she save you? And what's the value of the property?
For example, if she saved you $3,600 by being involved, then even paying a fee of $3,500 leaves you ahead of where you'd otherwise be. On the other hand, if she only saved you $2,000, then you're paying more than if you'd done it yourself.
Second, what's the property worth? If it's only worth $17,000 (fair market value), then she hasn't contributed much of value to the transaction. On the other hand, if the property's worth $100,000, then you'll be making (or saving) a ton, and her services are quite valuable.
Let me give you a similar scenario. Real estate wholesalers put properties under contract, then assign the contract for some profit. Example: A property might be worth $100,000. A wholesaler puts it under contract for $25,000. The wholesaler assigns the contract to another investor--perhaps a rehabber--for a $10,000 assignment fee. Is it fair that the wholesaler found the property and put it under contract, then sold the contract for $10,000? Yes, if there's a reasonable profit for the next person in line.
Same with your situation. First, though, you and your agent have to be guided by the buyer's agreement you signed. Beyond that, though, consider the factors above.
Hope that helps.
Are you sure she is getting paid from the seller as well? My guess would be the seller isnt paying her and she is trying to get paid. And if you think any commission is not what makes you happy then you negotiate that.