For me, it's a function of time. I don't have a wholesale rule of rebates like a Redfin, but it is always open for discussion. If you know what you want and don't have to mess around looking at stuff for weeks/months on end, a rebate is likely in order. I can do what I do best and manage the purchase and make sure you're covered on all fronts. Less time for me, less risk for me, ... I would accept less money. Would only seem fair. On the other hand, if we're 6 months into a house hunt going out every week, ...I wouldn't be too inclined to offer any kind of rebate.
You could always go to a discount buyer company and just pay for your showings - there are all kinds of options out there, but of course I believe you get what you pay for there (that is my personal opinion of course:))
Do you have a house to sell as well?
Please feel free to get a hold of me if you want o know more.
Sometimes, buyers with smaller independent brokerages have a little more flexibility on what they can offer. You are likely to get several responses about the benefits of using discount and full service agents even though you said you didn't want that to come up. I don't want to get involved in that discussion except to say to you to make sure that both you and your agent have a clear understanding of what their duties will be based on the discount and circumstances.
Contact a few agents and inform them you are looking for a discount and see what their response will be. Obviously I would love to be in that pool of agents depending on your circumstances. Good luck on your home purchase...just remember if you do use a rebate model to make sure that everyone has the right expectations as to level of service. Going with a rebate can at times come back to hurt the buyer when it comes to levels of service...just be careful and you should be fine.
Ok, start the thumbs downs on me now.
My office is right on Hewitt Avenue in Everett. I work with a partner and we both balance our expertise and backgrounds to offer full and satisfied service to all our clients. Interview agents to find someone you are comfortable in working with and confident of their abilities and then discuss your real estate goals, including discount. My partner and I can meet with you and answer your questions. Sarah.Gravelle@Century21.com
One thing a buyer's agent should do for you is to conduct a thorough needs analysis with you. There is an old saying in real estate; "buyers are liars". Not only is that an insult, it's also untrue. The saying stems from a time when agents didn't do a good job of representing buyers and were willing to spend months driving them from home to home. If your agent spends some time conducting a needs analysis with you, and continues to ask questions when you're viewing homes, you're likely to find a great home in a short amount of time.
For me personally, it's definitely a subject which is open for discussion. It comes down to what you have in mind, an individuals circumstances (both the prospective client and the agents) and the details pertaining to the property listed. I'm often asked about discounting my listing commission as well (which listing commissions are more commonly seen negotiated) but when working with a buyer it really comes down to the property and the listing agreement already in place (assuming there is one). I've done For Sale By Owner transactions where I've represented the buyer, and in addition, end up doing work the sellers agent would do if the sellers had one. With that scenario, I expect at least 3% and in the past, I've had sellers agree to pay that when the offer is good and fair. Keep in mind, sellers set the selling commission and some only offer 2 - 2.5% to a buyers agent and in that type of circumstance depending on the price of the property and and all the details involved (including potential "hurdles") which may surround it are certainly topics to take into consideration when negotiating something in the form of a rebate. I did have a friend who wanted me to put an offer in on a half a million dollar home once where the seller was offering 3% to the buyers agent. These friends wanted me to take 1% for me and my company to split in accordance to my contract with them, and have me apply the other 2% to their closing costs. I refused. I perform a quality service and like having the liberty to choose to work with those who are going to appreciate that.