Question Details

Yvette Weath…, Home Buyer in Jamaica, Queens, NY

Do I have to pay a broker to help me find a house to buy?

Asked by Yvette Weatherspoon, Jamaica, Queens, NY Thu Aug 21, 2008

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I do not know about real estate in Jamaica, so you need to check with an agent in your area.

In the US typically the seller of a home contracts with a Realtor to sell his property. The most common type of listing (there are different methods) is an Exclusive Agency Listing, which means that the seller is only using this one agent to sell his home and is offering to sell his home and pay the broker that brings a buyer an incentive, called the Selling Office Commission (SOC). So in most cases the seller pays the cost of commission to sell the property.

Most agents who represent buyers work on a commission basis, meaning that the agent is not paid unless the buyer buys a property with that agent. In order to even the playing field, good agents and buyers sit down and work out an understanding that is formalized in a Buyer Broker Agreement, which allows the agent to represent the buyer and also states that the agent is entitled to a fee if the buyer buys a property.

I think the most important issue that buyers have is unmet expectations. Sit down with your agent and work out a plan regarding the type of home you want, your budget, location, etc. This can avoid frustration later.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Not necessarily. If you use a Buyer Agent (who is associated with a broker) and you buy a MLS-listed property, the listing agent will share his/her commission with the buying agent, so you don't pay anything extra. It doesn't save you anything to try to buy without a buyer agent, because that commission is already part of the seller's contract with the listing agent, and the sharing is required by the MLS. If yu buy a "By owner" proerty, your agent may be able to negotiate with the seller to pay his/her commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
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