Many Realtors are not being paid anywhere near full commission by the banks and sometimes sellers. The buyers use our services at no charge typically.
We have to do miles of paperwork and the research that goes into finding that home for you requires many hours.
There is behind the scenes activity that goes on that you may not be aware of in between phone calls, driving, research, showings, negotiations and don't forget licensing fees, board fees, MLS site fees, marketing fees, broker fees. We are running a business. Many times we don't get paid at all for months or over years of work.
My rule of thumb is if its an "easy" deal with limited time involved, I do not charge extra. But if there are many hours and many offers made ( which is common these days as the market is rebounding and there are in certain cases, multiple offers) then I do charge an additional amount.
Think of your boss asking you to work for a week or a month with only a quarter of your paycheck to be paid.......
With all due respect I work days, nights and weekends and even on my vacation. This is not an easy job.
Keeping in mind what the current marketplace has done to business on the whole, maybe it's not such a bad thing to have some of the services pulled out into flat-fee basis--as long as those services are then discounted from the commission.
I personally do not cater to the notion of charging a buyer's representaiton fee, but many brokers do, because there really is no other way to keep a buyer from changing their mind after hours and hours have been invested into a home search--not to mention gas!
Darla Schroeder, Realtor, GRI, e-PRO
Century 21 Real Estate Associates
Madeira Beach, FL 33708