Hoshen_2006, Home Buyer in Temple Hills, MD

My realtor is asking flat fee of one percent of the offer price ( 250000) which is $2500. Is it normal ?

Asked by Hoshen_2006, Temple Hills, MD Mon Apr 1, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Just check on the MLS listing what the offered fee is to find out whether the 1% asked is ON TOP of the offered commission paid by the Seller and is split between the Listing and Selling Agent. While commissions are always negotiable, there are local standards that should be used as guidelines. Read your Buyer's Agency Agreement carefully to confirm that this is what you signed for. Angela C. Eliopoulos, Long & Foster Realtors, DC-MD-VA-International.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 2, 2013
When you sign a Buyer Agency agreement, you are making a contract with your Realtor that you will pay them either a Percentage of the Purchase Price, or a Flat Fee, and often times there is an additional Administrative Fee paid as well. Now, when you get shown property, the Listing Brokerage will usually offer a "cooperating fee" to the Buyer's Agent which will in most cases be the same amount that your agreement that you signed with your Realtor. There are instances where the "cooperating fee" is less than the agreement you signed, and you would be responsible for the difference.

Example - If you purchase a home for $200,000 and the Buyer Agency agreement says that you will pay 3%, and a $300 Admin Fee, then your total due to the Agent is $6,300. If the co-op is 3%, then you only pay the $300 difference at settlement. If the co-op is 2.5%, then you pay the $1,300 difference at settlement.

If the agent is asking for a flat fee of 1%, be sure to ask if there is a co-op being offered from the Listing Brokerage as well.

I hope this is helpful!

Hillary Nash McAuley
Nash Holdings @ Exit Elite Realty
202.907.7301 c
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi Hoshen,

It appears by your question that you may be the buyer. It is very unusual in the metro DC area for buyer agents to ask for their client to pay them a flat fee commission, UNLESS it is a situation where you are purchasing a property where there is no commission being offered by the seller. There is a paragraph in the Regional Contract for agents to fill out requiring the buyer pay them a flat fee, but it usually ONLY kicks in if there is no commission being offered by the seller - this is typically in a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) situation. Some agents may add this in to their contract so they can receive a total 3% commission when only 2% is being offered by the seller. It is a way to ensure they receive what they consider to be the local standard commission. Personally, I feel that's the cost of doing business, to take what is being offered and not expect more than that, or to require your buyer make up the difference simply because the home they selected is not offering the local standard commission.

Either way, you should have a conversation with your agent about why they are asking for this and when it kicks in and if it is on top of any commission being offered by the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hello Hoshen,

I'm not sure if you are a buyer or a seller. In any case, if you already have a buyer or seller agency agreement signed, it's time to ask yourself a simple question that in many cases clarifies most, if not all the aspects of your transaction: what the contract says?

Typically sellers pay a commission to their agents, which is a percentage of the selling price. This percentage is usually split evenly between seller and buyer's agent.

Without knowing more details of your particular case it's difficult to provide you with more specific information. It's possible that this particular broker operates this way, however I must agree with my colleagues when they say that this is highly, highly unusual.

Adriano Gomes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi Hoshen
It's unusual to ask a buyer ( I assume you are the buyer) for an additional fee since it's most common for the seller to pay the listing agent a commission which is normally split between listing and selling brokerages. You are better served by having a realtor on your side. But you can ask questions:
1) You should have signed a buyer agency agreement. Check your copy of it to ensure that you did not agree to an additional flat fee

2) What is the commission being paid by the seller?
- ask to see the full MLS listing, the percent commission is near the bottom of the listing.
- 2.5% to 3% is the usual commission split.

good luck
202 552 5624
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi Hoshen,

If you are a buyer, paying a commission (flat fee) to your agent is highly unusual. The agent fee is almost always paid by the Seller of the home. But if this is how your agent prices his/her services, it should have been explained to you before going out to see houses.

Most real estate companies do charge buyers an administrative fee of $200-$400 which is payable at settlement.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://Wheretoliveindc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Are you the Buyer or the Seller of the property? And is this 'flat fee' is on top of any commission? (Normal both the Buyer and the Sellers agents fees are paid by the Seller)

Katrina Hill

Central Properties, LLC
1353 V Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Cell/Text: 202.409.8334

K. Ann Decor & Design Homes
Home Staging
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hey Hoshen_2006,

It sounds like your Realtor is asking one percent of the offer price for the administrative fee. All fees and commissions vary and are negotiable. If you have not signed the buyer agency agreement, I would love to seat down with you and discuss what my company could offer you. Please free to call me at (202) 670-6677,

Talk to you soon,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
That is very low compared to many commissions being paid. My confusion on the question is why you are just now negotiating commission if you already have an offer? Did you not have a listing agreement prior; spelling out all of the fees?

Is there an amount you are to pay the co-operating agent (the one bringing the buyer)?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
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