Do companies relocating an employee a long distance sometimes pay a buyers agent fee?

Asked by Movinback, Fairfield, CT Sat May 9, 2009

Is a buyers agent fee 3% and born by the buyer and what do you get for your (or your companies) money? So many agents are lax, like recruiters. From my experience,they drop the ball unless a sale is in their lap.

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Anne Astley, Agent, Old Lyme, CT
Sun May 10, 2009
Normally, in a relo situation, the relo company who referred the business to an agent takes around 40-45% of that commission. Relo is definitely additional work compared to just a regular buyer as we have to deal with the relo company and provide updates regularly on what we have been doing with the buyer. If you are the buyer then the seller pays the commission. Don't forget that the agent does not get the full 3% of commission - of that 3%, depending on the company you work for and what level your sales are at, you may have to give 50% to the company, then there is usually an admin fee taken off, then the 40% relo fee, then the tax man takes his bit - so depending on the price of the home you are buying it may not leave a whole lot for the agent. Hope that helps you understand a little better the relo procedures.
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J R, , New York, NY
Sat May 9, 2009
The commission is usually paid by the seller. What do you mean so many agents are lax, like recruiters? What's a recruiter?
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Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Sat May 9, 2009
The buyers agent fee is almost always covered by the seller. Relo companies who set you up with agents are actually making the agents pay THEM... which, after splitting withe brokerage and the relo company, doesn't leave the agent with much. So, it is not uncommon to find these relo agents are the bottom of the barrell (not always, but if you do the math the good ones simply demand more for their time). You will likely find better luck by finding your own agent and asking that they work with the relo company. Many people, even agents, don't realize that you can do this.

But, you can - I think it is actually a RESPA thing where the fed doesn't allow companies to require you to use their referred servicers.
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Christopher…, , Westport, CT
Sat May 9, 2009

In Connecticut, when you sign a buyer representation agreement with a real estate agent, typically you are asked to guarantee the agent a certain commission level if and when you buy a property during the representation period. This amount is negotiable.

With that said, when you purchase a property listed with another agency, or even the same agency, there is usually an offer of compensation to the buyer's agent to sell the property, paid by the seller. This number is variable, but in most cases this is between 2-3.5%. So, if the buyer agent receives compensation from the seller and that fulfills the terms of your buyer representation agreement, the buyer owes no commission.

If you should decide to purchase a "For Sale By Owner", short sale property or other distressed/unusual property, there may be no offer or guarantee of commission by the seller. In this instance, the buyer may be responsible to pay his/her agent's commission.

I have never seen a relocation company pay a buyer agent commission, but then again I have never run into a situation in which this commission wasn't paid from the seller side. Even in the case of a For Sale By Owner, it is usually possible to negotiate with the seller to pay the buyer agent commission. It is something that might be negotiable with the relo company, but something that would have to be discussed with the company and employer.

As far as agents that drop the ball... In every industry there are those who don't follow through. The important thing for you to do is interview agents, discuss your needs, wants and concerns and choose someone that you feel comfortable with and who listens to you. Along with the bad, there are some really great agents out there who do their job well and care about the people the help.

If I can be of any assistance, don't hesitate to ask.

Yours truly,
Christopher Rich
HomeStyles Real Estate
Managing Broker, REALTOR, ABR, e-PRO
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Carmen Di Bi…, Agent, Nyack, NY
Sat May 9, 2009
In New York, agents generally do not receive compensation from the buyer. In cases of FSBO's or where the listing agent is not offering co-brokerage compensation, the buyer pays the fee. As in all real estate transactions, fees are negotiable. As for employer relocation compensation, my experience has been that the employee negotiates a package with the employer that is very specific as to compensation amounts, for what, and to whom.
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