Do agents get bonuses from the buyer?

Asked by Catfan510, Belgrade, MT Sat Nov 26, 2011

We recently bought a house using a local buyer's agent who came highly recommended. We really love her, but she keeps lightheartedly talking about her "bonus" from us. We can't tell if she's dropping hints or just kidding--should we be budgeting for her bonus?

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Kelley Halle, Agent, Manhattan, MT
Sat Nov 26, 2011
I certainly hope that she's kidding! I work in that market, and have never heard of buyers paying their agent a "bonus" as a standard practice. I once had a very grateful couple give me a gift certificate to a local restaurant as a thank you for all my time, but I certainly didn't expect it, and NEVER hinted for it! Buyers' agents are paid a share of the seller's commission at closing. Some buyers' agents have their clients sign a buyer broker agreement that gives a minimum commission due at closing -- say 3% -- and if the seller's agent is only offering 2.5%, then the buyer is expected to make up the difference -- but your agent would have had to explain that to you at the time you signed the broker agreement -- and it certainly wouldn't be considered a "bonus". Enjoy your new home!
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sun Nov 27, 2011
I would be a proponent;
some of the deals we work deserve it.
But, when someone hints and grovels.......
Your call.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Patricia Joh…, Agent, Corona, CA
Sun Nov 27, 2011
She must be kidding! If she wants additional money from you after being paid by the seller then she would have to get it in writing from you. You do not owe her any additional money and tipping is not appropriate. Check all the documents you signed with her and make sure you did not sign anything giving her additional money. If you did sign something that gives her additional money and she did not tell you what you were signing you have an issue with her and will need to start with talking to her broker.
0 votes
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Sun Nov 27, 2011
It’s very rare that agents get a bonus from the buyer since the seller usually pays all commissions out of their proceeds. When we list our properties we usually include a small bonus or larger then typical % for the selling agent so that our properties stand out a little more and get shown more than our competition. We use this as part of our marketing system to increase the visibility of our listings in our marketplace.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Nov 27, 2011
This is your 'lighthearted' way of acknowledging that you realize the exceptional service provided.
You should not interpret this a being suggestive.

However, as Dan pointed out, the most important resource of ANY real estate professional is the willingness of their past clients to recommend their agent to family, friends and neighbors.

To prepared to answer, "Who do you know that would benefit from the same level of service you have received that is considering moving or buying a home?"

Provide that list before closing and it is more than likely an exceptional surprise is in YOUR future.
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0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Nov 26, 2011
The best bonus any agent can ask for is your recommendation to friends and family. There is no "tipping" rule like at the local restaurant or bar. Occasionally a seller may offer a bonus, larger commission or other inducement to an agent, but this is not your responsibility.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Sat Nov 26, 2011
I would think she is joking. We get paid when it closes and rarely do I see or have heard of a bonus. Sometimes there is mention of one in a listing, but it is rare that the agent actually gets it - often we give it away to make things work out.
0 votes
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