Geoff Edwards, Home Buyer in Marina del Rey, CA

My house is not on the market. a Realtor brought a buyer to me and asked me to sell to him. Who pays commission?

Asked by Geoff Edwards, Marina del Rey, CA Sat Oct 9, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Geoff,
I just answered this question for another seller. I don't like this sceanerio and I would be very careful to open my home to anyone who claims to be an agent with a buyer.
Real Estate contracts are legally binding agreements which will address all issues of your sale, including commission issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
I would be very careful of this situation. It seems a little strange to me! If you did plan on continuing with selling to this buyer, you the seller would be paying the commission for the Realtor as probably both the listing agent and the buyers agent, better known as dual agency. This would come out of your proceeds from selling the home, escrow and title handle this during the transaction.

I would highly recommend getting a second opinion of what your home is worth before pursuing this option. Feel free to call me or email me anytime and I would be happy to prepare a detailed home comparative market analysis for you, this way you can truly make sure they are not taking advantage of you.

Have a good day,
Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 17, 2011
Hello Geoff,

If you want to get top dollar you should be on the market! WOW! If someone is bringing you offers and it's not on the market then it smells fishy or you must have one amazing house. To get the best price for your house why not list it if you are considering selling or your'll get bottom feeders!

I am always here to help. Just sold a home nearby :)
Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Customs are meaningless, what does the contract say? Unless the contract indicates you owe a commission or feel very generous, I don't know why you would owe one.
When I've done similar situations, I either have a buyer’s agency agreement with my client indicating that they will pay me or it is clearly spelled out in the purchase & sale contract that X% of the purchase price is due to me for bringing all parties together.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
As a side note.

Even without a contract you and the agent that came to your door can be in an "agency" situation. Words and actions which lead the principal (buyer or seller) can create agency. This is "Implied or Accidental" agency. This can have consequences for both parties.

Get something in writing to avoid confusion:

If you sell the home through another agent to the buyer that the original agent brought to you, it is possible that a commission will be owed to that original agent. If you do use a different agent which may be a good idea, let the new agent know how the transaction began. An addendum may be used to clarify who is the listing agent and who is the selling agent and eliminate any confusion with regards to commission.

If you sell the home without the use of an agent and something goes wrong that causes you damage of some sort, it is possible that that original agent could be liable for the damage due to his initial contact and instruction to you.

Just some FYI!

Best Regards,

Eric Soderlund
Steven Anthony Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
As others have said, it depends on what you and the agent have negotiated. Most often though, the seller pays the commission out of their proceeds at the closing table.

Best of luck to you!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010

It's customar for the seller to pay for professional services.....nationally these fees cover a range of between 5 and 9 percent and involve a wide range of services. These fees are traditionally shared between the two parties involved in the sale ..buyer's agent and seller's agent.

If an agent is bringing you a buyer it would be fair to expect that you would not be responsible for a listing portion of the common fees. Thus, it would be fair to assume that you could easily build a case for paying professional fees in the range of 2.5 to 4 percent.

Whatever you do be certain this is agreed to and in writing before entering into a contract to sell.

We hope you find this information helpful.

Best wishes,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010

It all depends. In most instances the seller signs a listing agreement with a Realtor and agrees to apy a percentage of the sale price as commission. That percentage is split between the sellers agent and the Buyer's agent equally.

In your case the buyer's agent brought a buyer to you and asked if you woudl liek to sell to them... it will depend on if he has you sign an agreement to show the home and how much of a commission he puts in. or you can tell him that it is the buyer's responsibility to pay his commission because you were nto actively marketing the home for sale.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Geoff, I live in Marina Del Rey so I have a good idea what your home is worth, I hope you do too. Sometimes agents knock on your door and want you to sell. The first question is do you want to sell? Second question is what are they offering? Is it worth what the neighborhood comps call for? Is it the offer competetive to what else is out there? Drop me a line and I will be happy to give you a true value. If it is a good price and you are willing to relocate to somewhere else, then it might be worth paying the commission, than again maybe not.Look forward to your response. Endre
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
In a typical situation where a seller list his or her propery on the MLS they pay a commission between 4-6% (negotiable) towards the sale. Half will be offered to the outside broker who will represent the buyer and the other half will be for the listing broker who represents you the seller. If there is only one agent in the transaction "dual" agency then typically the seller will negotiate a lower commision on the entire transaction. As example if you hire an agent to list and sell your property at 5% commision 2.5% for each broker but the listing agent ends up representing the buyer it is common for the seller to ask for or the agent to offer the commission to be reduced to 4% on the entire transaction. In this instance you have not hired the listing agent and they have not spent any marketing dollars or time on marketing your home so you could feasibly negotiate for lower then 4%. If you offered a "pocket" listing the the agent who brought you the deal then they have most likely put some time and energy into bringing you the buyer. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 9, 2010
Commissions are negotiable. If you decide to sell off the market, ask the buyer to pay since they'll essentially have no competition buying your home.
You may want to consider getting an assessment of your home's value from a Realtor. If you'd like a complimentary one, contact me before you move forward with this buyer.
If you are seriously considering selling your home to this buyer, who is representing your best interest? The buyer has an agent. Ask yourself if you need representation too.
Best Regards,
Kim Halverson
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 9, 2010
It depends on how you want to play it out. There is no contract, so there is no obligation on your part. If you choose, you can not pay a dime and tell the agent to get paid from the buyer, but you run the risk of losing a buyer.

If you choose to pay, the question is how much? You'll get all kinds of different answers. My opinion: I'm not paying someone who came and knocked on my door with a buyer the same commission I'm paying someone when I will be expecting them to market my home until it sells. The end goal of the job is the same, however the means to that goal are very different.

Most FSBOs are open to paying a buyer's agent a commission for bringing a buyer. It makes sense because without them there might not have been a buyer. Without a buyer, you're not moving on to the next step in life. Your case could be unique because you may not need or want to sell.

Ultimately, who pays the commission is up to you. If you want to sell, consider paying it because the buyer might move on. If you don't need or want to sell, put it one the buyer and see how bad they want the home.

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 9, 2010
In a "normal" real estate transaction, where a seller enters into a contract with a listing agent , It is the seller who pays both the seller and buyer agents commission. The commission is negotiable and not set in stone. If you are interested in selling your home, I would contact a local real estate expert and discuss in detail your question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 9, 2010
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