Any way to avoid buy-agent commission? We have found a house by ourselves (it is for sale on MLS and listed

Asked by Michelle, White, GA Sun Feb 24, 2008

by an agent). The agent has a 6% commission fee. We want to represent ourselves, open escrow, get loan, title search, inspections ... by ourselves. I have read that if we don't have anyone represent us the selling agent keeps the whole 6%. Is there a way to write the contract so the price is reduced by 3% or something? any options? Thanks, Michelle

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70
Chris Word, , San Francisco, CA
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Michelle, the listing agent for that home is in league with the home owner, or the seller. The seller and the agent's brokerage have agreed on a fee that is to be paid to the brokerage. That money is designed to attract buyers who have agents to the home, and these days 6% is a handsome reward to market a property. When a buyer who has an agent comes to make an offer and closes escrow on the property, traditionally half of the broker's fee is rewarded to the broker who brought the buyer. Also the buyer's agent completes a whole host of tasks associated with the transaction and expends a lot of hours working for the buyer.

You, as a buyer, are not a party to the listing contract and therefore have no claim on the fee being paid to the brokerage. If you decide to represent yourself (and every agent in the world will tell you this is a mistake, failure to believe this could result in you not covering your timelines or agreements in the purchase contract and can endanger your deposit coming back to you - but that's your business), and you are living in a State that requires a sales license to take a fee on the transaction of a home purchase, then you really have no recourse, and the listing agent is awarded the full commission. Quite frankly, that agent will have earned that full commission if your purchase contract is selected by the buyer, because you without an agent is a risk to the seller. With that risk, I would bet that the listing agent is going to make sure each and every disclosure is signed by you, and they will also probably add more paperwork to make sure you understand that your rights are not being enforced by your own agent since you have decided to work without one.

You can try to negotiate some form of cash back from the seller in the form of a credit for closing costs, but that will be money given to you above that of the fee the seller is paying to his broker. The chances of that happening might be slim in the current market - that depends mostly on your local market though. You cannot, however, ask for portions of the broker's commission unless the broker has specifically marketed the home with some statement saying you'd get money back and that money comes from a broker's commission (called either a reduced commission with credit to buyer, or like Zip or Redfin, whom state that a percentage of their fees go to their buyers).

Here are your options:

1. Since the commission is only going to be paid to a broker or his/her agent, then select an agent to represent you and tell the agent you also want to negotiate a credit back to you at the end of escrow.

2. Don't select an agent, and negotiate for a credit back at the end of escrow.

3. Make an offer by less the percentage you'd think you'd be rewarded if you were an agent yourself (it seriously weakens your offer, but that's your business).

Why you should select an agent:

1. This question is a reason why you should interview and select an agent - you have some misunderstandings that are basic, and you will have more in the process and you can get into a legal tangle with the seller and the brokerage should something go very wrong.

2. Real Estate brokerages carry insurance policies designed not only to protect their firms, but to protect the members of the public that use their services. So, if there's a problem with your transaction, the brokerage will, by virtue of their Errors and Omissions Insurance, also cover you as well. If you don't use an agent, you will be without these services and protections. You would only have yourself to blame - really.
9 votes
Maureen, Home Buyer, 90210
Mon Mar 3, 2008
I respect what a hard working and ethical realtor can offer a seller or buyer. I have worked with approximately 10 in the last few years, and only 2 were worth their commission. Rarely did they work hard for ME, even though I was ultimately paying them. After a number of failed listings, I went FSBO and sold the house in 3 weeks. Ive bought houses that were listed and gotten good deals, and Ive also gotten good deals where NO realtors were involved. Point is that, a consumer CAN educate themselves, AND find trustworthy help that is NOT a realtor, AND save the 3% commission. Again, stop trying to compare yourselves with a profession that offers a TANGIBLE service. WHY should a realtor step in the last moment of a deal, offer you zero service, and STILL get paid 3% of the house? If the listing agent has the sellers BEST INTEREST in mind, they will renegotiate their contract to allow the seller to give the 3% directly to the buyer as an incentive. There is NO argument that a realtor who has done little to no work for the buyer, should get ANY commission. Maybe you posters are indeed the best of the crop, but as a whole, most realtors dont do jack. The defense realtors is always the same, yet when you actually deal with one, they totally turn you off to buying a house. Educate yourself, save money, and get it done right. Its not rocket science.
7 votes
totally agree. I have to pay lawyer and inspection and I find the house myself. Why because I do not have license the seller agent can take that as an excuse to earn extra 3% which they do not do anything
Flag Sun Nov 11, 2012
J R, , New York, NY
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Bravo to the previous three answers! Adrienne and Rhonda's were GREAT answers. If anyone doesn't like the plastic surgery example, I can think of others. I have a friend who writes book indexes for high level textbooks. Sometimes an author says "how hard can that be, I'm not paying anyone" and then she has to write a new one for the next edition because the author can write a book but not index it. Why should I pay $38 for an entree? All the cook does is, well COOK, for pete's sake. I can go to the butcher, get a 3 oz filet minion and a lobster tail for $12 and cook it myself! Why does a baker get paid so much for a cake he bakes with $10 worth of ingredients? You get fake nails put on for $50. You can do it yourself for much less but your nails look like crap. Or a haircut, for goodness sake, I buy a scissor and cut--how freaking hard is THAT?! Why should I pay someone $75 bucks?! The key is these people know what they're doing and you don't.
7 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Maureen is definately uninformed and looking at the zip . . . wasn't that a TV show and now a famous plastic surgeon show.
Maureen walks into a plastic surgeon's office and says I found you myself so I don't want to contribute to your overhead, staff or any of your other business expenses. I want you to take off 20 years on my face. I know a bit about plastic surgury and my mom has had lots so she can advise me on what to do. Just cut and for that I get to pay less. But Doc - you should just do what I want, don't pay attention to your liability. don't pay attention to your professional responsibilities. Don't worry I won't sue if after the surgury. If you refuse to work with me it's unethical.
No I'm not comparing myself to a surgeon. I'm just trying to state this so Maureen can relate. Surgury is easy and nothing ever goes wrong. Right?
God save us all from bozos.
6 votes
I'm sorry not sold on your example . Yes you just compared a surgeon ( if something goes wrong someone can become disfigured or more serious issues can happen to an agent that negotiate and needs paperwork signed . I think yes you can avoid the sales agents just like in car business u can negotiate straight with managers
Flag Thu Jan 19, 2017
Jed,
You claim to be a real estate broker, and yet you don't even use proper grammar or spelling! Just for example, its spelled "surgery"...with an E. Go get an education, mouth-breather.
Flag Wed Apr 22, 2015
Julie (Toon…, Agent, Hilton Head Island, SC
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Hi Michelle,

If you feel that you can represent yourself, just make an offer and present it to the listing agent. It really doesn't matter what the listing agent is charging the Seller - that's between the Seller and the listing agent. If you try to make your offer contingent upon the listing agent reducing their commission, you are interfering with a contract to which you are not a party - Tortious interference with contract rights -

Bottom line - if you like the property - just make an offer on the property for the price you are willing to pay and see what happens.
6 votes
Michael Ford, Agent,
Mon Mar 3, 2008
what makes you think the agent has a six percent listing fee? and why do you care? you're not hiring an agent by your own statement.

ignore the commissions and just make the offer you want...it kills me that buyers get all locked up over 2-3%. in this market...if you can't negotiate that much off a home in you should stick to having an agent do your bidding.

further, if the 2-3% makes this a go or no go for you...you should not be buying real estate. if your margin of error is that thin you should reconsider the deal.

I get the occassional request for rebates such as you propose. I advise the person asking that the property is in the MLS for a reason...BUT I am ONLY offering commissions to other licensees to bring their clients to the deal. The commission is paid by the seller to the Listing agent...the listing agent decides what the cooperating agent gets...not the seller. You make a common mistake of misunderstanding the nature of a Listing Agreement...and as an unrepresented buyer you are not a party to my contract any more than the cooperating agent is.

perhaps one of the two agents that you liked in your past dealings will step in for you and handle this deal...or do you want something for nothing...an agent paid by the seller to work for them for 3% and work for you for 0%...you're funny! i see liability writ large in your post.
5 votes
Adrienne Sen…, , 19380
Mon Mar 3, 2008
I love how every agent that responded to this thread gets a BIG thumbs down, because it is not the answer they want to hear. Prospecting and lead generating is an expensive business and a very long process.
Does the public think that every single home a Realtor puts on the market is handed to them on Silver platters with a golden Spoon attached. No, it doesn't work like that. It takes hard work , Advertising and Lots of money to get a listing. You have to talk to many sellers and buyers considering moving and then earn their trust and follow up.After they are done interviewing agents, they just MAY choose you to list their home or buy their next one.Then more work begins and more money is spent. This is a job , just like your job. You may not agree with the pay scale.I may think you are overpaid for your job also.But Real Estate is a HUGE part of the American economy. The agent that listed the house worked hard to get that listing and make it available for you to even know the sellers have decided to sell their home.
They didn't call the BUYER and ask if you wanted to purchase the home. YOU found it because the Realtor exposed it to the Public. All you did was see the Realtors marketing effort and exposure. How much money did you spend ahead of time locating this seller and his home. The Realtor that listed it has an agreement with the seller for xx% no matter who the agent has to split it with.You would not have known it was for sale had the Realtor not connected with the seller first.
Maybe you could pay some of our marketing budget and income taxes that we contribute to Uncle Sam every year, just as you do.I pay a whole lot of money, gas, time and frustration every year for marketing just like Walmart does and Pepsi.Do you begrudge them for making money and advertising? If all the Realtors dissappeared, they would reemerge because there is a want and a need for this profession.
5 votes
The reason for this is excessive real estate commissions. At 6%, there is an oversupply of agents scrambling for commissions, so you have a lot of commissions. At 2%, there would be a reasonable number of agents handling a high volume of listings, and 4% would be saved off of the transaction price - a huge benefit to buyers and sellers.
Flag Fri Dec 28, 2012
Khrystyna Ch…, Agent, Downtown San Diego, CA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Wow,
I've been reading this thread for the last half an hour.
I actually read it all, since was very curious to hear what realtors as well as just buyers had to say..
You know the bottom line is that it seems buyers do not understand our work in the real estate transaction.
I believe it is our responcibility to educate them and walk them through the process as well as clearly and verbally explain to them what our job realy consists of.
Our job as agents is not just to put the sign in the yard, it is not to just show home in your car and write an offer.
It consists of much more that that. Most of it, is actually conducted at the back end of the transacation. We get paid not just for being a tour guide or putting the property on MLS.
Our job is to uncover and understand our clients needs, is to educate them on the market place, what's currently available and what you can get for your $ on today's market conditions, as well as negotiate in their earnest and on their behalf as well as help them get financing and walk them through the whole process of escrow.
People don't seem to realize that we do this day in and day out and our knowledges, responsiveness, negotiation skills are valuable. As well as our ability to market the property ( from our own pocket ), actively prospect for buyers or buyer's agents, hold open houses, etc.
The List goes on.
I think if every agent met with a client for an initial consultation and exactly explain to them what i it is that we actually get paid for, it would make so much more sense to the population in general, instead of putting ppl in your car without any prior interview, preapproval and buyer represantion agreement and devaluating in their eyes us all as agents.
4 votes
"Our job is to uncover and understand our clients needs"
No one understand my needs better than me.
"to educate them on the market place, what's currently available and what you can get for your $ on today's market conditions"
We've got the internet now.
"negotiate in their earnest and on their behalf "
This is a little bit laughable.
"help them get financing"
You're going to loan them money?
"walk them through the whole process of escrow"
Finally a useful service! But reasonably capable people can usually learn this themselves.
Face it. The internet is rendering much of the role of the agent redundant...
Flag Tue Feb 26, 2013
J, , USA, Mobile, AL
Mon Mar 3, 2008
If it were me and I am an agent by the way, and if I was purchasing a property in another state where I wasn't licensed I first would ask the listing agent if he or she would be agreeable to contributing a portion of the commission, actually back to the Seller ( let's say that the co-op is 3% I might ask the LA (Listing agent) to contribute only 2.5% back to the seller that way it's still a bit of a extra bonus for the LA and you could tailor your offer accordingly,

I also would have no problem signing any disclosure saying that there is no Client agency between me and the listing agent, although I am very confident I have the experience to handle the transaction from start to finish, the question is do you?

I read an earlier post that suggested "tortious interference', while I don't claim to be a real estate attorney, I find this to be a scare tactic, because in order for you to execute the above idea you would be seeking the cooperation of the agent from the start and why should the seller care as he or she is not paying out as much. therefore, such a claim seems silly.

If you get squared away clearly on the representation issue and you are not having the listing agent handle all the work load and are also insuring that agent they are getting more out of it than if another agent were involved (assuming a 6% overall commission they are getting 3.5% instead 3%) and most importantly can get the deal closed, especially in this market, I think then a smart agent would jump all over it!

If you think about it whether you get the credit back or the seller does is six one way half a dozen the other although I think psychologically speaking it comes across for perhaps my lack of a better word more "diplomatic" to have the seller gain the credit.

For those who say this can't be done I will say everything is negotiable expect I believe death and taxes, lol

Just my 2 cents.
4 votes
Tman, , 30642
Mon Feb 25, 2008
>>>>> "I walk into the furniture store and explain that I did not find the store because of their advertising or PR, but rather I found it on my own. Therefore, could you, Mr. Furniture store, reduce the amount you pay to the marketing company ..."



Deborah,

Advertising dollars are based on money spent and the residual of that money spent .. that includes any and all traffic, market penetration and the percentage of sales "over and above" existing numbers and sales for the same period....

If one singular person comes into "the furniture store" and purchases because he found it, fell over it or drove through it, it won't matter ... but the client can and will deduct it off the standing contract if they so choose - it's done everyday ...

One of the large boat Manufacturers just held back $87,000 of a $200,000 contract because the advertising agency missed the zip code by 1 number - and the zip had nothing to do with the Miami boat show ...

Have you noticed when Rooms To Go or Ashley furniture has one of their sales, they have greeters ... those greeters get names and numbers - if nothing else "What brought you here Mr & Mrs Jones.?" ... thats how the Ad companies get paid.

.... so much for your theory, we need to get you out more.


;^)
4 votes
KB, , San Francisco, CA
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Go to redfin.com and find an agent in SF. They'll give you a 2/3 of their commission at closing, do the paperwork, etc.
Web Reference:  http://www.redfin.com
4 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Chris hgas give you some very good and through advice. One thing he didn't mention is that the listing agent will become your agent also unless you sign away your rights to representation. The listing agent will not be able to advise you on what forms need to be done or what timelines need to be followed. If you don't clearly and definitively sign acknowledge your lack of agent representation then the listing agent will be you agent by implied or assumed agency. If the listing agent does take you through the escrow, they are entitled to the full commission or they can reduce it for the seller with whom they have a contract.

Do you have any knowledge of contract law or real estate law? If not then when dealing with what is usually one of the largest purchases of your life and an area that is fraught with liability and lawsuits get representation.
Web Reference:  http://www.jedlane.com
4 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Please we are all waiting to hear with Baited Breath
_________

'Baited Breath'.... funny.... (breath with a hook in it?)

'Bated Breath'... as in "abated" or "stopped" ... indicating that you're "holding your breath".


end of Elvis' grammar lesson #262.... we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
3 votes
Charlie Mader, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
You can represent yourself and ask for a price reduction equal to the commission. I would caution you that this is not for the naive.
3 votes
Steve, , 92227
Tue Mar 4, 2008
Michelle: never mind the fear mongering, it does work, I have had the real estate Buyers Agent Commission credited to me several times when buying a home, and have had a few friends who have done the same. In one case I was credited more than $15,000 on the closing date! The money saved was subsequently used to take my family on an all inclusive vacation to Mexico, with the remiander used to purchase some new furniture for the home. If you are unsure of anything with regards to the Contract of Purchase & Sale, you can always have the contract subject to the review and approval of your lawyer to give you some peace of mind. I have had lawyers review my agreements for fees ranging fro $150 - $200. Well worth the money given the savings involved!
Cheers
3 votes
Chris Word, , San Francisco, CA
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Michelle, you asked:

"Do we have to ask the home owners to re-write their contract with the listing agent so he only gets 3% or do we just write our names on the purchase offer where it asks % & name of representation? "
Thanks-michelle

You cannot make that negotiation unless you are a licensed agent. Licensed agents would know what to put there because the listing agent would have given them the information on what the percentage of the commission reward is. You are asking for money that is not promised to you at any point on the timeline.

Really, get an agent for yourself, it costs you nothing as a buyer, and the listing agent is taking care of the agent you're going to select.
3 votes
Michelle, Home Buyer, White, GA
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Do we have to ask the home owners to re-write their contract with the listing agent so he only gets 3% or do we just write our names on the purchase offer where it asks % & name of representation?
Thanks-michelle
3 votes
Michelle, Home Buyer, White, GA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Thank you for all the input. It seems that it may be easiest to just go with something like buyside.com and get 75% of the commission as a credit from them. I know that the agent is getting 6% because I asked about the contract. I also think that in the current market, the buyer has a lot more options and the seller had better be a bit flexible. Thank you for the tip about writing in a credit into the contract, I will have to look into that a bit more.
-Michelle
2 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Mon Mar 3, 2008
If the listing agent has the sellers BEST INTEREST in mind, they will renegotiate their contract to allow the seller to give the 3% directly to the buyer as an incentive.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Maureen, I have a newsflash for you: There aren't many sellers who are going to give YOU the 3%. They're just as heck-bent on KEEPING the 3% as you are on saving it.
2 votes
Chuck, Home Buyer, 22314
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Deborah,

The furniture store was a great example. However, I like the ones where agents compare themselves to surgeons better... ha ha...

What do you mean when you say "For these reasons, you might find some agents/brokers may not be receptive to your concept of representing yourself"? That sounds very unethical, not doing business with someone because of their choice to represent themselves...

Thanks...
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Sometimes working with a rebate company will not provide a return of buyer agent $$. I have heard of recent coop commissions having a base commission for producing a buyer and a bonus for provdiing all buyer agent services. Example: The base commission is .5% with a 2.5% bonus. This means that a company that did not provide all buyer agent support services could not claim the 2.5% bonus, and that the listing agent would retain the bonus for picking up that workload. If the rebate company is willing to perform all buyer agent functions as outlined as requried to receive the bonus, they can claim the bonus and they are free to rebate any or all of it to their buyer clients. The challenge is that many rebate companies are not set up to provide these comprehensive services. I am familiar w/ this coop compensation of base commission plus bonus to provide fair compensation for fair work and services provided. When the workload shifts to the listing agent, he/she is compensated apprpriately for the work performed.

Someone has to schedule showings, inspectors, appraisers, etc. Someone has to discuss and explain the details. If you are able to do this equally as proficiently on your own, you can ask a listing agent if any consideration might be given. The ulitmate decision on that rests with the broker. You can ask....but chances are the answer may be no.

A marketing and listing contract exists between the seller and the broker. You are not a party to that contract, and actually, neither is the lisitng agent. You cannot write in a different commision amount on your purchase offer. Only the seller and broker can modify the terms of the listing contract. A seller contracts with a broker for marekting and representation through, and even post closing. The listing broker offers to share his/her fee with other brokers if another broker has a buyer. If the buyer does not come through another broker, it doesn't reduce the contract amount.

Compare: A furniture store hires a local advertising agency who runs a marketing and PR campaign. I walk into the furniture store and explain that I did not find the store because of their advertising or PR, but rather I found it on my own. Therefore, could you, Mr. Furniture store, reduce the amount you pay to the marketing company by "x" $$ and take those x "$$" off my purchase. After all, they didn't get me as a customer, I found you. I tired this last week, they said no. They said they had to pay their marketing company in accordance with their agreement.

The sellers agent has an obligation to market the property for the commission amount that he/she might only retain form the seller side. However, when there is a legitimate and professional buyer agent representing the buyer, the workload, and the liability is reduced for the seller's agent. In absence of a legimitmate and professional buyer agent, the seller's agent now absorbs additional workload and also additional liability in the transaction.

BTW....our company insurance is rated by volume, and in absence of another agent, we pay insurance premium on the entire amount. If there is another broker, we pay premium on 1/2 the sales amount. In absence of another agent, the broker liability and expense may also increase.

For these reasons, you might find some agents/brokers may not be receptive to your concept of representing yourself....or if they are....you might be asked to sign extensive waivers that limit the listing broker's liability.

Disclaimer: The numbers used in this repsonse were the numbers provided by the question poster and are for education and illustration only. Commissions and fees are negotiated between brokers and their clients and vary according to the services provided, companies, and regions. There is no such thing as a standard commission.
2 votes
Chuck, Home Buyer, 22314
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Michelle,

KB has the best advice. See if Redfin is available in your area.
2 votes
Sally Rosenm…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Michelle,
Just tell the Listing agent you are representing yourselves and that the offer price reflects that deduction of 3%.

That being said, the Listing Agent may or may not help you with the paperwork. If it were me, I would make sure you had all the correct paperwork and try to help you understand it. But I would caution you both verbally and in writing to contact a real estate attorney as I, the Listing Agent, could not be liable for any errors on your part. An attorney can do it for his or her hourly rate.

If you do not want to use an agent OR use a real estate attorney, I think you are making a BIG mistake. But your question was can you... and the answer is yes.

Good luck!
Sally
Web Reference:  http://www.sallyrosenman.com
2 votes
Deborah Ritc…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Feb 24, 2008
yes, you can write the contract so that the list price is reduced by 3%, or 5% or any percent that you can get the seller to agree on. You can't renegotiate the agreement between the seller and his agent. You can't place a claim on the commision, nor write yourself in as the agent on teh contract to get the 3%. but if you feel confident enough to represent yourself, open escrow, get the loan, do the title search, etc.. by yourself, then you should be confident enough to negotiate yoruself a great deal.
2 votes
Michael Ford, Agent,
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Mark, yes the internet is definitely removing the "gatekeeper" element of the listing data which MLS's are striving mightily to maintain. i am sure they will not succeed in the long run and i completely agree that the need for a fully compensated list agent is lessened...and getting lesser by the year.

as regards 6% commissions, they have gone the way of the buggy-whip in my trade areas. the beauty of the run up meant that savvy seller (you?) were able to contract for well less than the typical 6% and even as recently as yesterday i had an agent remark that one of his pals had their close neighbor list with a legit local agent for well less than the typical 6%...if i recall it was a 4% deal. on a $1,200,000 that's a still a nice piece of cake. we both agreed that the "friend" should have led with his best rate first and had that nice piece, but he was a dope that got his lunch ate by a smarter agent. stupid can be expensive no? it cost the guy $18,000. you can't fix stupid. i will work for 1.5% or $18k on a 1.5 million home...all day long

on lower priced properties below 150-200k we still see sixers all the time. the structure of this industry is crazy inefficient and the typical agent has three palms to grease (broker, agent, franchise vig) unless they are independents, like me. they cannot survive long on less after everyone takes their cut

we also see 6% commissions on shorts sales commonly, but really, since the bank is paying...no seller cares.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Y'know, Khrystyna, life is short, and if people want to play real estate agent on their own transactions, I think we should let them.

However, it doesn't mean that I'm going to pay them for the privilege.

Again. The brokerage commission is payable to the listing broker, who then agrees to share the commission with the selling broker upon completion of a transaction. Unless agreed upon beforehand, the Listing Broker not only has no obligation to share the commission with a self-represented buyer, and, for the purpose of educating Steve (agent) on this matter . . . so what if they fire the Broker? They're obligated to pay the full commission if they sell the property within (some specified time) anyway. You're not going to get the selling-office side under either circumstance.
1 vote
Jenell Blue, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Tonya, I believe you hit the nail on the head. I am sure that is what Michelle has been asking all along.

Jenell
1 vote
Tonya Brobeck, , Everett, WA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Michelle,

it would solely be up to the listing broker to make this call. They may or may not allow it. As stated below, you would need to prepare it in your offer. Again though, I have to ask why? Buyers are not paying for their RE agent, the seller is. Now if your asking for 3% off the asking price for the home, why not just write an offer for 3% less and see if the seller takes the offer?
1 vote
Steve, , 92227
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Michelle. "Yes you can" receive the benefit of the selling commission. I have done it myself several times. If you have found the house yourself, and feel that you are competent enough to prepare your own offer (it's not rocket science - you can even have your lawyer prepare the offer if you need help). Just make sure that when you prepare the offer, you insert a clause that states "that because the buyers are representing themselves, the seller agrees to credit the amount of the Buyer's Agent commission (3% of the purchase price) as a credit to the purchase price on the closing date". In my experience with this, if the Listing Agent has a problem with amending the listing contract with the seller, the seller will fire the listing agent.
1 vote
Jenell Blue, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Michelle,

Why would you care if the Realtor listing the house keeps the entire commission that he/she receives from the Seller? You, the Buyer, never pays commission 'money of any kind' to an agent. Buyers do not pay Realtors to purchase homes.

You can use a Realtor (other than the Realtor selling the home) and ask that Realtor to rebate you a part of 'their' commission during Escrow. Money should never touch the Realtor's hand, period. Money is handles by a third party, Escrow, Attorney.

Jenell
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
This is an old story, going back to the very first days of co-brokerage, when enterprising home buyers would go to the listing agent and say, "since you're willing to pay the buyer's agent a commission, how about we skip the buyer's agent and divvy up that portion among ourselves?"

The fact of the matter is that the listing contract is a legally-binding commission agreement between the Seller and the Agent (brokerage), to which the Buyer is not a party. The Buyer has no legal claim to the commission whatsoever.

There are brokerages that will act as buyer's agents and share that commission with the buyer, which is a different matter. Somewhere recently on Trulia was a complaint from a buyer that they weren't able to collect their rebate in cash or credits because the lender wouldn't allow it.

The Listing Agent is not going to allow an unrepresented buyer to open escrow or direct title, btw. Are you?
1 vote
Adrienne Sen…, , 19380
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Thank You!!
Had no idea.Been saying that for a long time in life. Who says you don't learn anything on Trulia!
And Elvis does have an edumication.
Here's the proper definition.
bat·ed, bat·ing.
–verb (used with object) 1. to moderate or restrain: unable to bate our enthusiasm.
2. to lessen or diminish; abate: setbacks that bated his hopes.
–verb (used without object) 3. to diminish or subside; abate.
—Idiom4. with bated breath, with breath drawn in or held because of anticipation or suspense: We watched with bated breath as the runners approached the finish line.
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Good for you Rhonda! Great answer. I repeat, I have spent the last week calling both sides attorneys, the bank, they buyer and the seller and now I am handling an issue at town hall also. Are you ready to do all that Michelle? Do you think the seller or the seller's attorney is going to want you calling them?
1 vote
Chris Warmuth, , Spokane, WA
Tue Mar 4, 2008
Hi Michelle, you can ask that the listing agent do your portion (3%) for a reduced amount and pass some of that savings onto you via a reduced purchase price. Please keep in mind though that if this agent does his due dilligence, and is a good agent, I guarantee he WILL be doing a lot of work on your behalf regardless of you wanting to do everything yourself. Their is a lot that you will not know how to do and this agent will be doing for you, if for no other reason to simply make sure the deal happens for the seller, who is paying good money to make sure the home sells. That being said though, this agent did not have to do the normal work associated with a buyer to find a house, showings, research, etc. So.... in short, I certainly feel this agent should do your half for more like 1%, and reduce the home price by 2% for you. This is a fair figure for him to make and certainly a good deal for you with the work this agent would be doing. This agents primary concern should be to get the house sold for his clients, not commissions. We can't work for free and good agents earn every penny of their commissions. However, we certainly can and should be flexible with our fees to best serve home buyers and sellers achieve their ultimate goal. Best wishes and just be fair with your negotiation process for all concerned. Take care! Sincerely, Chris warmuth. Windermere/North Spokane, WA.
1 vote
Michael Ford, Agent,
Tue Mar 4, 2008
i am really enjoying this thread!

while i wouldn't compare myself to a surgeon i am very comforable comparing myself to an attorney. If you went to court and informed a judge you would be representing yourself there would be a period of silence followed by the strong advice of the court that you reconsider that choice and they might even require you to have co-counsel at hand to make sure that they didn't have to do the work of defending yourself for you.

the fact that you are unrepresented, and desiring to represent yourself, makes anyone in the trade for more than a few months GROAN. is the sellers agent expected to give you guidance, forms, schedule your inpections, manage your file and see the thing to a timely close, hold your hand in any way? i am amazed that you'd expect anyone to deliver their services without compensation.

Can you imagine how they'd feel if the deal went sour and they were determined to have taken on any liability for having done so? Gratuitous Agent is a term we all have heard...none of us wants to be the chump who both worked for nothing AND gets named by both attorneys should the thing get to that.
1 vote
Steve, , 92227
Tue Mar 4, 2008
Michelle: yes there is a way to get paid when you buy, but most agents will never let you know this. You simply write into the contract of purchase and sale that "the seller will credit the buyer with the amount of the "Buyer Agent" portion of the commission (you should specify the amount) on the closing date." This works because the seller is obligated to pay the buyer agent portion of commission regardless of whether it goes to you or his listing agent, so there is no additional cost to the seller. It also works because the fee becomes a credit on the closing of the sale and is not paid to you directly - which would be against the law as commissions cannot be paid to unlicensed agents. Hope this helps.
Steve
http://www.HomeBuyAndSell.com
1 vote
Vivian Young, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Michelle, interesting question. I read it, all of the responses and then re-read your question again. Contact the listing agent and make your offer in writing. Don't worry about who makes what amount. It's not your concern. You have an idea of the home value right? Good, offer that amount and see what happens. Good luck on buying your home!
1 vote
Maureen, Home Buyer, 90210
Mon Mar 3, 2008
I love all the typical scare tactics from the "pros" here. Of course a realtor is going to push you into representation. If you can research the process on your own, and have a well informed friend/family member that can advise you; its easy to buy a home. The offer forms are simple, and the bank can help guide you through the paper work. Dont let realtors scare you into getting representation. Why would you go hire a realtor at the last minute, after you did all the leg work? Worthless, unless you enjoy losing 3% of the house value. The listing agent is doing a disservice to the owners if they try to discourage or turn away offers from buyers without representation. Im sure many realtors never let the offers get to the buyers when they might have to lose their comission. And you wonder why realtors get the reputation they have.
1 vote
Gerry McLoug…, , Naples, FL
Sat Aug 17, 2013
Hi Michelle.
Check out my fsbo tips. I have a network of really good agents if you need a free referral. Best Wishes, Gerry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAOVoR7LFvY&sns=em
0 votes
Vivian Young, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Dear Michelle:
Be prepared to get sued by the Seller!
0 votes
vivian, why would a seller sue a buyer? i am always amused when agents trot out the lawsuit card. in 25 years i have seen VERY few suits.

the greater likelihood is an expensive mistake, or some aggravation or unnecessary delays or expenses...but lawsuits are actually pretty rare.
Flag Sat Aug 17, 2013
Lee Forbes, Agent, Bradenton, FL
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Avoiding professional services is like jumping over a dollar to pick up a penny. IF you are experienced enough to circumvent using an agency to get an offer does not mean that you are prepared to overcome the tribulations of inspection issues, buyers remorse, unspoken negligent disclosures and the thousands of other turbulent potentials between contract and closing!

Lee Forbes - Broker/owner in Bradenton, FL
http://www.forbespropertygroup.com
0 votes
gooddealjim, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Aug 14, 2013
lets say the house is not listed but you know the seller is getting ready to sell...both of you go to the local real estate board of realtors...ask them (they sell both) you want to buy a buyers pkg and sellers pkg of all the typical docs used in a sale...you go home and or to a real estate attny and ask him (for about$200) to walk you thru the transaction...the seller does the same thing...now go to a local escrow company (a 3rd neutral party--so they do not favor either the buyer or the seller) submit all the papers...if by chance something is missing or incorrect the escrow officer will phone you and tell you of the mistake...then go in and correct the error or something that may have been overlooked...FULL commission SAVED...its like buying a car, all the required typical forms, are at your disposal, fill them out send them where they need to go and done...
0 votes
you make a good point jim...in a situation where the buyer and seller simply need the deal reduced to writing there's no need to even go the local realtor store (FYI, most will NOT sell to the public), they simply need to get to an attorney and have it drawn up. tell the attorney to put a local agent on an hourly retainer to get the local disclosures compiled and any deal can be done for less than $2,000.00. I did a deal like that recently where the buyer and seller had hammered out the details.

I charged a flat fee for the disclosure package and some light transaction management.
Flag Sat Aug 17, 2013
gooddealjim, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Aug 14, 2013
Go to the agent selling the property-tell him you could get your own agent to represent you but if he will reduce the 6% fee to 4% you will simply use him and then he gets 1% more and you pay 2% less---or tell him to pay 2% of your out of pocket fees--if another buyer comes along with an agent representing the buyer guess who the listing agent is going to work harder for--many ways to work it, be creative but you want the listing agent on your side so YOU will be sure to get the house
0 votes
fückyoutrul…, Home Buyer, Alabama, NY
Thu Sep 8, 2011
It's hard for me (personally) to blindly accept the word of agents about whether or not agents are fairly compensated. My two main questions are:

1. With the internet making it easier to sift through listings, does that not reduce the traditional role of the agent?
2. As housing prices went up for 15 years straight, and commissions stayed at 6%, agents got outstanding raises each year without having to do any extra work?

I'd prefer to hear from actual homeowners who have bought AND sold both with and without an agent.
0 votes
Steve, , 92227
Thu Feb 25, 2010
Let's be honest here, while the Buyer does not technically pay the commission by writing the cheque, it is a fallacy to say that the buyer is not paying the commission. In determining their selling price, the seller calculates the net sale proceeds they will receive after deducting all real estate commissions. To put it another way, the seller adds the commission on top of their net sales price, which means that the seller's price is actually higher than it would otherwise be, if it were not for the commission. In effect, the buyer really is paying for the commission in the purchase price. That is why just offering 3% less is not the answer. Why not offer 3% less, and still request a credit for the 3% buyers agent fee when representing yourself.
0 votes
Michael Ford, Agent,
Wed Feb 24, 2010
the date is just below the question itself.
0 votes
Tonya Brobeck, , Everett, WA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Thanks Jenell! Mike where is the date on this question to know it's 2 yrs old? Just curious....good to know
0 votes
Michael Ford, Agent,
Wed Feb 24, 2010
michelle,

please let us know how you worked out your problem. this question is two years old today.

how did the listing agent handle your desire to take possession of his or her commissions?
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Feb 24, 2010
My question what paperwork are you going to submit?

If MLS the listing agent represents the property owner all offers must go thru that agent

Up to listing agent / property owner if their choice reduce by 3% no one can determine that except in listing agreement .

Title search - must be completed by title company only

Inspections / open escrow - Yes you can do that on your own however that is after you have an executed sale agreement

However once again what document are you using which is Stated regulated present your offer.

Lynn911
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Jenell Blue, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Wed Feb 24, 2010
Agents being paid hourly... I wanted to say that there are a few Brokers who have that model, yet I believe it is rare.
Next, Michelle wanted to know if she could save by representing herself, I agree with other Realtors in that if the person handling the transaction (Michelle representing herself in the purchase of a home) is not experienced in handling the paperwork, then I would recommend against it.

I do know quite a few people who are not Realtors and they sell and buy homes, yet they know what they are doing and in many cases are attorneys, married to attorneys, worked for Realtors in the past, etc. They have that specific knowledge needed to protect themselves in the event something goes wrong within the transaction.

Good luck Michelle.

Jenell
0 votes
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