Question Details

Pamela Figue…, Both Buyer and Seller in 07828

Can I ask my agent to take a lower rate when I relist?

Asked by Pamela Figueroa, 07828 Sun Jan 3, 2010

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Mack makes a good point, Pamela must be acting as a sub-agent of the listing agent. How does she get paid? Figure the brokerage fee goes to the listing brokerage per the MLS, then the lsiting agent gets thier split and they pay a referall fee from that. Why would anyone do that? Rokinblu got it, in all his wisdom, passing the buck.
"Here sweetheart, I'll list your property and let you do all the work and if, (and I do mean if) the property sells I'm good to go. If it doesn't sell it isn't my decisions that are stinking up the place".
Pamela should stop looking at money in her wallet and look to sell the property. She can do it as a FSBO with disclosure that she is licensed but not active, or she should just back the heck off and let a pro sell the property. That will mean she should stop thinking she knows the value better than anyone, that she deserves part of anything and get rid of the animals, clean out the smell and the home, on pre-arranged dates that are published open home times.
Published open home times should be on the web, in the newspaper, using a skywriter -whatever everyone else in the are is doing.. Bring the buyers in and sell the palce - this isn't brain surgury but it isn't easy either. Mostly because we have to get the principal out of thier own way.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Ya know, I think I'm interested. I wonder if they're used in Texas at all. I would be a natural. I'm really good at passing the buck. lol
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Rock'n

>> I can see the posts coming ........a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client........would you do your own surgery.....and so on. Not talking about you Pam, but you know what i mean, because you probably heard some of that from Weichert. lol

LOL. Well it's a good thing that you are a "well-educated consumer" and NOT a professional so that your FSBO provided you with proper represenation :-)

Hey there are times I'd like to email you - if that's ok would you send one to me - mine is in my profile.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
"I hope your current agent is utilizing the internet."
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I wonder how many agents read that sentence and said to themselves "Well, duh." However, I have a hunch that there are a lot more of your colleagues out there than you think whose use of the internet is solely the MLS. They are clueless about postlets.com, epropertysites.com, vflyer.com and the likes of. They wouldn't think of placing an ad in craigslist and stay on top of it by deleting and reposting it every 48 hours. Those are just a few things that as a non-pro I know about, and I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hey everyone... thanks for the information. I sat down with my agent yesterday and we agreed to 5% and no referral commission. We also lowered the price again.. I am now 55k under what we started at.

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My advice would be forget the number you started at. I went to a listing presentation yesterday. They "started at" 499,000 and had a 350,000 offer, which they blew off. Now they are listed at 399,000. They were way too high from day one. Forget the number you started at. It will only aggravate you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 8, 2010
Hey everyone... thanks for the information. I sat down with my agent yesterday and we agreed to 5% and no referral commission. We also lowered the price again.. I am now 55k under what we started at.
Oh, and I am with a broker. My license is hung with a local Weichert broker, but as a referral agent. I do pay fees, but not as much as an full time real estate agent and no insurance, yes, that's why I can't list the house.
Thanks again
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 5, 2010
I'm still wondering what she does. I mean, I get the point, but, still, it doesn't add up.

Here in Washington State, agents cannot practice on their own, they must be affiliated with a brokerage. So for Pamela to do this here, she'd have to be a brokerage, with all the stuff that she says she doesn't have.

And who in the world needs a referral agent? Who allows her to sit at open houses?

Actually, never mind. I don't really care. Pamela, you're a license holder, you know the answer to the question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Mack,

As per Pam:

"A referring agent seeks out potential buyers and sellers. We can even make phone calls and sit at open houses. We then turn those potential buyers and sellers over to agents and they take it from there. If they buy or sell, I get a cut.
Because i am a buyer and a seller, I can also refer myself. I have a real estate license just like anyone else, but I don't do this as my full time job."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
And I wonder, what is it that a referral agent does?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Jefferson, referral agents can't list on their own because they don't belong to the local board of realtors (no MLS access), and they don't have errors and omissions insurance. They are licensed though, so they can be paid a referral fee.

Pamela, one thing I do offer is, if I bring the buyer also, I will take 1 percent less. Perhaps your agent will do that. As far as advertising in the local paper, don't fall for that. Sellers always ask me where I wil advertise, and I say I do no print advertising. We ask all our buyers where they saw the listing and they RARELY RARELY RARELY say in the newspaper. Buyers come through the internet or another agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
All to your agent and rules of brokers office . Many agents can't, only way you would know ask .

Listing agents expenses are involved plus broker fees. Each agent has their own business plan.

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
"I'm looking for a house and not once have I looked at a house FSBO... not once"
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How about a little temptation?

http://www.forsalebyownerbuyersguide.com/ForSaleByOwnerHomes…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi Pamela,

>> I am not a listing agent.. per the agreement as a referral agent. I would have to become a listing agent with a brokerage and that in itself is costly. I really don't want to be bothered selling my own house. Its work and I know the potential is there, I just don't want to deal with it all.

Ok well fair enough then. Not everyone wants to deal with selling their own house and you know better than us what you want and don't want to do.

The referral agent thing is weird to me but that's an interesting thing as I've not heard of it before.

>> I'm looking for a house and not once have I looked at a house FSBO... not once.

Well ... this is a separate thing then. Is it a fair assumption that you can BUY homes any way you want? Or are you somehow obligated by contract to use a Weichert buyers agent?

I would guess that, like most people, that you either do not wish to or can't afford to carry two homes at once. So this would seem to put the priority on the selling front. Since your agent isn't performing, some type of action needs to be taken there.

There are all sorts of houses that you might look into as a buyer, depending on your needs, desires and time on your hands. Only some of these are on the MLS. Have you ever considered a multi-family and becoming a landlord? I love it but it's not for everyone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
I am not a listing agent.. per the agreement as a referral agent. I would have to become a listing agent with a brokerage and that in itself is costly.
I really don't want to be bothered selling my own house. Its work and I know the potential is there, I just don't want to deal with it all. I'm looking for a house and not once have I looked at a house FSBO... not once.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Uh Oh Jefferson,

I can see the posts coming ........a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client........would you do your own surgery.....and so on. Not talking about you Pam, but you know what i mean, because you probably heard some of that from Weichert. lol
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi Pamela,

>> As a referring agent for weichert, I can't sell my own house. I asked.

>> A referring agent seeks out potential buyers and sellers. We can even make phone calls and sit at open houses. We then turn those potential buyers and sellers over to agents and they take it from there. If they buy or sell, I get a cut. Because i am a buyer and a seller, I can also refer myself. I have a real estate license just like anyone else, but I don't do this as my full time job.

I'm still really dubious that you "aren't allowed to Sell Your Own House". I can't imagine why a licensed agent would NOT be allowed to list their own home for sale. Unless somehow there actually is Very specific Language in your contract with Weichert, then that house is Yours and You can do what you like.

We already know that you are less than happy with the performance of your "agent". We also know that your "agent" is NOT doing everything they should to market Your Home. That house is your investment not theirs!

Why not FSBO - you are a real estate professional, right? I don't get it ...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
"Hey rockinblu... can I post my own house in any of those places? Do you really think craigslist is a good place... I'm afraid of the calls I might get... or should I refer them to my agent."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pam,

Yes, you should always use the agent that's representing the property as the contact person. Yeah, the naysayers will tell you that all you will get from craigslist are tire kickers, scammers, and thieves, but if they could tell you with a 100% certaintity where your buyer will come from, they wouldn't be in the RE business. All that being said, there's nothing wrong with you pitching in on the marketing. The link below is to a blog of mine. While it's directed to FSBOs, there are still some ideas in it that you may want to implement to supplement your agent's efforts. I got a buyer from a combination of craigslist and Zillow. If your agent uses a site that syndicates as the first three that I mentioned in my previous post, your listing will appear on numerous sites with just the one posting. IMHO,there's no excuse for an agent not to take advantage of that situation. Hopefully, your agent is.


http://www.trulia.com/blog/rockinblu/2008/08/thinking_about_…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
I have a real estate license just like anyone else, but I don't do this as my full time job.
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It doesn't seem to me that your agent is a full time agent either if the calls are going to you and you are sitting the open house.
Since you have a license you know that all commissions are negotiable by law.
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jr's scenario is a perfect example of a seller who doesn't understand selling property. Id I was in jr's shoes I's simply agree IF I got to set the offer price and determine the sale price. Bingo 6% and a fast sale.
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Advertising will never sell a house. It doesn't matter where it's posted as long as it's posted where the buyers in your market look - and it's priced to attract them. Then it has to look physically (curb appeal)attractive at that price and access to view it should never impede the process.
Then the skill of negotation and the experience of a good agent, in weeding out the best offer from the chaff and keeping everyone on board, is where the money is earned IMO.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Hey rockinblu... can I post my own house in any of those places? Do you really think craigslist is a good place... I'm afraid of the calls I might get... or should I refer them to my agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
A referring agent seeks out potential buyers and sellers. We can even make phone calls and sit at open houses. We then turn those potential buyers and sellers over to agents and they take it from there. If they buy or sell, I get a cut.
Because i am a buyer and a seller, I can also refer myself. I have a real estate license just like anyone else, but I don't do this as my full time job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Pamela, what does a "referring agent" do?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Pamela,

I hope your current agent is utilizing the internet. I noticed that other agents were trying to win you over with pictures in the newspaper and other local publications. A National Assocation of Realtors profile of home buyers showed that only 6% of buyers shop for homes throuhg newspapers, and 63% use the internet.

Make sure your home is being advertised in the correct places with the internet being the number 1 focus.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
JR... I understand all that, really I do, but I have had calls from other agents saying that they would put pictures of my home in the local paper and they advertise in the local papers as well. My current agent has never done any of that. Not only that, but when the home needs to be shown, I take all the calls and (not any fault of my agent) have to cage the animals. I have missed countless days and hours of work because of it.
The agent has agreed to the 5% and I am re listing with her even though I have been tempted by other agents because of what they seem to offer.
I thought once of just trying to sell it on my own with advertising and websites....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Oh I just saw you are a REFERRAL agent, I see why you feel as you do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
IMO if the home had been listed at the correct price it would have sold or there would have been activity. I now see you penalizing your current listing agent who has worked on the listing 6 months. You say you are in the business, you don't seem to be aware of what a listing agent does. You say she has never shown the house. I have sold lots of listings that I have never shown. You say she didn't do an open house. You ought to know an open house is not an effective way of selling. That said, I have frequently taken expired listings away from an agent at a HIGHER commission. As an agent you should know that those callers are just trying to buy your listings. The only time I have reduced my commission is if I've had a dry spell and need a listing, and I'm always sorry I did, but you can ask your agent to reduce their commission.

On a related note, I took on an expired and the homeowner, who wanted me to reduce my fee suggested that if I sell the home in 30 days she'll give me 6%, if it takes 90 days she'll pay me 5.5%, if it take 120, 5%. . . . I asked, let me see if I understand, the longer and harder I work, you want me to be paid less. How about this, if I sell it in 30 days you pay me 5%, 90 days 5.5% and after that 6. Needless to say I did cut my commission but only by a .25%. There are lots of numbers between 5 and 6. And I did get the home sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
As a referring agent for weichert, I can't sell my own house. I asked.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
>> Well, she will still get 5%, I think thats a good rate and... she has never shown my house and never had to do an open house, so .... not a bad fee for a few phone calls and one visit to the house.

Seriously? I'm confused .... why exactly do you want to keep this "expert" working for you? It sounds like you have your own license. Why not FSBO, give 2-3% to any buyers agent that brings you a buyer and adjust your price to the proper market asking value, based on recent Sold Comps?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Well, she will still get 5%, I think thats a good rate and... she has never shown my house and never had to do an open house, so .... not a bad fee for a few phone calls and one visit to the house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Hi Pamela,

In New Jersey, commissions are negotiable. So yes one can ask.

However what you should ask also is if you lower the commission what could be some consequences.
ACTION/REACTION.
If you are fine with the potential consequences and your agent is fine with a lower rate, then all is good...
Web Reference: http://yourhousefast.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
The market has changed. It's tough out there and sellers are being forced to sell often at a loss. Some realtors are sympathetic to that, others are not. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
We have had to drop our house 45k since the initial listing and now that the listing is up, I have had 3 phone calls (and it just ended at midnight last night) offering a 1% lower commission on the sale.
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Sounds like some agents are trying to buy the listing not really interested in helping you sell your home. Let's slice the pie. You are a referral agent so you are expecting part of the commision. The price has been reduced $45,000 so the commission has been reduced. 1% com. reduction lowers the commission even more. What's left? I would be cautious of anyone soliciting the listing knowing the commission breakdown.

If you are a referral agent, then you should have an understanding of how this works and how agents are motivated. Make sure that the agent you choose is working in your best interest and doing the best job they can for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Thanks everyone for your input. A lot of help.
I do feel a little guilt taking away from the agents commission, but at the same time, if she had been on top of this, I would never have got the calls because the house would have stayed on the market.
She admitted to the mistake, she had the wrong date in her planner.
I think I may offer to reduce my commission.. thanks again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
I don't think that it is unreasonable to ask your agent for a lower commission rate. They have probably invested a lot of time and money into your property and do not want to lose it altogether. Since you are going to use this agent for the purchase of another property they will probably agree to the reduced commission.

You could also offer to reduce your referral commission at the same time- Just an idea...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Unreasonable, no. Which would you rather have - the expireds-caller for 1% less, or your current agent at the current price? (My current agent at the expireds-caller's price).

I'm thinking you're going to wind up with the expireds-caller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Pamela,

Unreasonable?..maybe not depending on how hard your agent has worked to get your home sold. One question I would have is when you listed your home with this agent what was the initial price you had wanted to list the home and what did your agent suggest you list the home at? You mention that the price has already been lowered $45,000, and maybe if the price has been priced correctly when your orignally listed the property it may be sold.

Another point to keep in mind is that because you are collecting a referral on the sale of the home the agent is already taking a pay cut on the money he/she is making. It may be wise to allow the commission to stay the same with the current agent but impose a shorter listing time period to let them work to get your home sold at the current rate.

With regard to the phone calls you are getting from other agents, this happens to every homeowner once their home expires from the MLS. I would go keep the commission where it is at if you are happy with your current agent, if not go find the best agent to sell your home. Sometimes a higher commission is much better then getting a unqualified "cheaper" real estate agent.
Web Reference: http://www.RyanManney.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Here is the issue. We have had to drop our house 45k since the initial listing and now that the listing is up, I have had 3 phone calls (and it just ended at midnight last night) offering a 1% lower commission on the sale. What would you do?
I am a referring agent, so this will effect my commission as well.
I will also be purchasing with this agent, so she will make a commission on that as well. I as a referring agent will only get a commission on the sale of my home, not on the purchase.
Do you really think I am being unreasonable?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Sure.

Would you mind if they asked you for a higher rate when you relist?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Yes.

Commissions are negotiable.

However, your agent doesn't have to agree to a lower rate. And, in fact, the agent probably won't. Reason: Your agent has already invested a lot of time, effort, and money into marketing your home. Your home--whether because of price, appearance, location, or other factors--is proving more difficult to sell than others. It therefore requires more time, effort, and money to market than others. That's not an argument for a lower commission.

Still, as noted, all commissions are negotiable. And you won't know unless you ask.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Commissions are always negotiable between you and the agent.

Anna
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 3, 2010
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