Tachiebluebi…, Other/Just Looking in Bethany Beach, DE

I am a buyer, if I have an attorney handle my contract/offer, who gets the commission? Does the listing agent take all? Or still only half?

Asked by Tachiebluebird, Bethany Beach, DE Wed May 19, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Angela Dolber, Agent, Whitinsville, MA
Wed May 19, 2010
Here in MA, if the attorney has his real estate license as well, I believe he can receive some of the commission as a facilitator or buying agent if he wants to help you with the offer, home inspection, and P&S process. You need to check with him/her as to your relationship with each other.

If you came with no real estate agent on your side, then usually the listing agent will receive the full commission as agreed upon by her/him and the sellers. The commission is taken off the overall purchase price and then split between whatever agents are in the transaction, and if there is a buyer's agent representing you (which I strongly recommend these days if you've never bought a home before), then it would cost you nothing extra to have that extra guidance to help you negotiate the price, be there with you at the home inspection, work on the language for the P&S Agreement, help you find a reputable, experienced mortgage broker for financing, making sure deadlines are met by all parties involved, etc.

Just another thing to keep in mind...If the transaction doesn't go through, then your real estate agent doesn't get paid until you close on a home, but if using your attorney throughout the deal and the transaction doesn't go through, he/she may still charge you for their time per transaction.

If you'd like someone to represent you in your home buying experience, let me know. Prudential has a great website you can utilize for free to search for properties, giving you up to date information on the homes, with addresses and maps, neighborhood info, etc. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions on the home buying process or if you'd like someone to show you homes as well. Take care and I wish you well with your search!

Angela Dolber
Prudential Prime Properties
Web Reference:  http://www.thedolberteam.com
1 vote
Maggie Frazi…, Agent, Cumming, GA
Wed May 19, 2010
Unless your Attorney has a Real Estate licence and is indicated as a facilitating Broker in the transaction, he/she is not legally allowed to receive a commission.
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed May 19, 2010
The commission is negotiated between the seller(s) and his/her agent at the time of the listing contract--therefore, the listing agent will receive whatever amount was agreed upon at that time.
0 votes
Tim Cahill, , Arlington, MA
Wed May 19, 2010
All the previous answers are correct and explained better by some than I could. In this case, I just want to point out the fallacy that exists among home buyers that they have to pay for a buyer's agent to work on their behalf. This is completely untrue, and as you can see from the answers, if you choose to go it alone in the home buying process, you still don't save any money in the end.

Actually, since lawyers charge at least $100+/hour, if you want your attorney to do the work a buyer's agent would normally do, it will cost you a LOT more in the end. So why not enlist the help of a qualified buyer's agent - it's FREE!
0 votes
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Wed May 19, 2010
Unfortunately that agent will keep the entire commission. Unless you can find a company like ours: http://www.territoryre.com that listing agent is entitled to keep the entire commission per a contract they already have in place with their selling client.
Web Reference:  http://territoryre.com
0 votes
Ron Roberti, , Barrington, IL
Wed May 19, 2010
In Illinois that might depend on how the listing agreement was written. Since there was no commission to be paid to a cooperating broker the listing agent might only get 1/2 or less that the full listed commission.
0 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Wed May 19, 2010
In Massachusetts attorneys can recieve the cobroke commission. Depending on the attorney they may perform the functions of real estate broker for you as their client. You would have to discuss this with your attorney to see how they handle this. Some may be willing to work in this capacity and possibly refund you a portion of the commission or they may refer you to a real estate buyers agent they work with. It can't hurt to ask, only way you'll know. Good luck in your search.
Web Reference:  http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed May 19, 2010
The listing agent takes it all. It then may be divided between the listing agent and his/her broker.

Example: Let's say the commission is 6%. (It's fully negotiable, and could be more or less.) The seller has signed an agreement with the listing agent agreeing to pay 6% upon sale of the property. Now, you come along, using an attorney. You buy the property. The seller owes the listing agent 6%. Your attorney (assuming he's just an attorney and not also a real estate agent) gets nothing.

Sometimes listing agreements may be written to modify the commission if the other party isn't represented. It can happen, but would be unusual. Even then, though, that's an arrangement between the seller and the listing agent.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Greer Swiston, Agent, Newton, MA
Wed May 19, 2010
Buying in Massachusetts ... there is traditionally a listing contract between the seller and the listing agent. that specifies a commission to the selling agent and states how much of that commission is offered to pay a co-operating broker who brings in his/her client to buy the property. (see sample contract at http://www.formsforrealestate.com)

As you can see, there may or may not be a similiar consideration offered to a "Facilitator" which would be your attorney if he/she happens to carry a real estate license. Some times, the facilitator is offered less than a buyer's agent would, because there is the high potential of more work for the Listing Agent if not dealing with another experienced real estate professional.

There is often an agreement with the seller on what happens if the Listing Agent brings a buyer direct (i.e. the buyer doesn't have a buyer's agent).

The only potential "savings" for the buyer would be in the offer price ... which one might use the commission as an arguing point (for a lower purchase price) or even a negotiating point (ask for a cashback with a higher purchase price). THis would all have to be negotiated before the final P&S is signed.

It potentially complicates your offer. Depending on your arrangement with your attorney, you may or may not be saving yourself any money.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed May 19, 2010
The listing agent received the commission that the seller has agreed to pay to the listing agent. If there is no buyers agent then they do not have to pay a buyer broker. If your attorney is licensed and represented you from the beginning of the transaction, than they would be due a commission as offered in the mls.

When there is a buyers agent the listing agents job is shared by that listing agent, when there is no buyers agent, the listing agent completes the full job of handling the listing duties and duties required for you the buyer, earning their full commission.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Bonnie L. Ho…, , Asheville, NC
Wed May 19, 2010
When you purchase a home, there is usually a broker on both the listing and selling side of the transaction. The commission paid by the seller is usually split 4 ways. The selling agent, the buyer's agent, the seller's office and the buyer's office each get a portion of the commission. The only time that a buyer would be responsible for paying any commission is if they sign to pay the commission in case the seller's office does not pay a buyer's agent. All brokers/agents do not get paid unless they complete a transaction between the seller and the buyer. The lawyer gets paid separately for his/her services. They do the title search, prepare the deed and other services determined by you and the sale. It is always a good idea to have a lawyer represent you in a sale to insure that your interests are being met. Agents are responsible for making sure everything is done to ensure a smooth transaction and that all the needed paperwork is done before the closing. They can not give legal advice. Since the seller pays the commission and you are a buyer, I would definately want a lawyer to represent to represent you and would recommend that you, but the choice is always yours.
0 votes
Jason Stevens, , Englewood, FL
Wed May 19, 2010
The listing agent would get the entire commission being offered by the seller. Seeing that it costs you nothing to use a Real Estate professional as a buyer you may want to employ the services of one. Although having an attorney in your corner is an excellent idea, the attorney is there for legal advice and guidance but will not take you on a home tour, recommed or be there for inspections, deal with negotiations, etc.. If you still decide not to use a Real Estate agent you can try and negotiate with the listing agent to reduce his commission so you can get the house for a little bit less money but the broker is under NO obligation to do so. Good Luck with your home search.

Jason Stevens, GRI,ABR
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more