Home Selling in Atlanta>Question Details

Milly, Both Buyer and Seller in 94560

If I'm selling a house, can I offer the agent who brings me a buyer a % and a cash bonus if it's sold within X amount of days?

Asked by Milly, 94560 Tue Oct 22, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


You can, Milly, and it probably won't have the desired effect.

To the real estate community, selling office bonuses signal overpriced listings.

All the best,
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
I totally agree, the bonus really is a waste of money and if a buyer sees it they want it or want to reduce the price offered by that amount so the agent never gets it.
Flag Tue Oct 22, 2013
Of course you can.
However, as Mack suggested, there are things you don't know you don't know.
The effectiveness of such a strategy depends greatly on HOW you are selling your home.
Flat FEE?
Limited Service?
Fuill Service?
Attempts to compensate for a poor strategy most often culminate in lost time.
The question you ask is best responded to by the real estate professional you have hired.
Such a 'turning towards' effort will result in assessing the market and developing a 'get real' strategy for getting your home sold. Half of what your offer sugests is clearly seen as nothing but vapors. Such attempts at blatant deception, trickery, mis-direction, does not attract business but repels business.
Rethink your strategy. As it is presented, you have completly misjudged what will result in the sale of your home.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Well, there are several ways to look at this. From a Seller's perspective, let's say there are 4 homes (or condos) similar to yours. You offer a Selling Agent bonus. It does not mean your home is overpriced, it means you WANT to sell, and are trying to get agent to see your listing above others. As agents, we have a duty to disclose that we are getting a bonus. Now, an agent COULD use that bonus as a negotiation item on YOUR behalf. In otherwords, they tell the seller, remove the bonus and reduce the price, or pay closing costs, make repairs we've found during an inspection, etc.

In reality, if we, as Buyer's agents are representing our Buyers properly, a bonus should not direct us to a particular listing. We should have our Buyer's needs first in mind.

If you are willing to offer a Bonus, think why? As others have said, it might be better "spent" by lowering your listing price or any of the other items noted above.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Mack McCoy knows what he is talking about. One of the smartest dudes in the business.

Ask your agent this question: "what are the reasons for offering a bonus, when Mack and Lee tell me that I should know better than that?"
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Yes, it all has to be addressed on the HUD1 at closing - nothing under the table.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Hello Milly,

You have the right to offer any incentives to the listing and/or selling agents. Those incentives must be disclosed. I would encourage you to include this in the listing agreement. It also must be disclosed on the settlement statement (HUD). Hope that answers your questions.

LaShonda Solomon
Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Signature Partners
(678) 477-5226
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 27, 2013

I have recieved bonus' on both the buying side as well as the listing side and would say they work under some circumstances. Best left up to your real estate professional representing you to help you decide if its the right option for you. If you aren't represented by an agent get one asap.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 25, 2013
This is a great question!

Absolutely, these incentives are used all of the time in real estate transactions. A local real estate professional would be able to speak to possible options that best meet your needs.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 25, 2013
As long as everything is disclosed on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, then that is possible. It might be wiser to use the money to help ensure the property is priced correctly to begin with.

Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia with over a decade of mortgage lending experience.

Prospect Mortgage offers a full selection of mortgage programs including:
Conventional | FHA | FHA 580-639 FICO | FHA 203(k) Renovation (Streamline & Consultant) | HomePath® | HomePath® Renovation | HomeStyle® Renovation | VA | USDA | GA Dream | Jumbo Financing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 24, 2013
Well, this is not as easy a question to be answered...
Are you selling by owner without a Realtor? Then any Realtor who will bring you an interested buyer to see your home, should really make sure that you sign a paper that you the owner agree to a one time showing and a certain % commission to this showing agent, if and when his or her clients buy your home. In general, at least in my area that is what we usually do.

As far as a bonus goes, not sure if giving it to the Realtor would work, especially NOT if and when it is
connected to a certain sale price, realize that the Realtor who brings the Buyer is working for the Buyer and the Buyers interest not yours, and when making an offer the Buyers Agent will sit down with his
Buyers and show them similar homes that have recently sold, and they have seen others similar to yurs that are currently on the market, so they will be educated buyers.....

And please remember YOU the Seller do not really set the final sale price of your home, there are two
other or may be even three that will influence what you finally sell your home for
the homes condition, age, upgrades, curb appeal and location
The current market value of similar homes in your market area
And most importantly what a ready and willing Buyer is actually ready and willing to pay...

So you will have to negotiate, and there will be two good reasons for the buyer to pay a good market value, but not buy an overpriced home and here is why

When the buyer applies for the loan, the lender will send out an appraiser and the property better appraise out well, in order for the buyer to get his / her loan...

Rethink your intentions, and may be you will decide to work with a local listing agent, to price your
property right, competitively right in your market for your type of home, and may be instead of offering a bonus to a Realtor, you may want to offer that to the buyer - Think about it......

Or if your home needs any staging, painting, little upgrading to make it more attractive on the photos on the internet as well as to the visiting buyers, you may want to use the bonus amount you have in
mind for that.

hope this helps you think about it in more detail

Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE 
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties Brokerage, 30 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, Illinois 60093
Check out my website at htttp://tinyurl.com/YourRealtor4Life
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 23, 2013
Giving bonuses do work. Not sure if you're selling the home on your own or with a Realtor. The Realtor would need to divide their commission according to your instructions.

The point of a bonus is just an added push to marketing and selling your property. It shouldn't be used as the major selling feature or reason for someone to show the home. If you are priced correctly, the home is in great condition, all marketing has been done properly, you have great photos, etc. a bonus is just a small piece to that big picture.

If your home needs a few things, it may be best to make sure the home is listed as a %50/%50 split and spend that bonus money on a new vanity, paint, curb appeal, staging, etc.

It just depends on how you're selling your home and if all other aspects are in place...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
The answer is yes. Good thinking!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
The answer is yes. Good thinking!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
You can, it has to be paid to the agents company and not to the agent themselves, it also has to be on the HUD, you would be better off setting the percentage for a buyer agent higher, letting your listing agent promote it in MLS and their marketing and you would attract more buyers that way
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Yes. It is all considered part of the commission. As others have stated, it must all be disclosed (no cash under the table).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Yes, just make sure you disclose it to all parties and it is on the HUD1 settlement statement. If you are selling by owner, it has to be negotiated ahead of the agent showing the home and has to be in writing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Yes you can. Like Tim said, you want to make sure all is disclosed on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement at closing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
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