Should I sweeten the commission for a buyer's agent?

Asked by Rtrulia, 30319 Sun Jul 19, 2009

*I want to invest in distressed property costing in the $50K to $150K range. My plan is to do some rehab, rent and hold.

*I want a buyer's agent to screen properties for me in order to show me only those that are real good deals (i.e. based assessing neighborhods, comps, rents, etc.).

*Because I expect full service from my agent and will be bottom fishing for property (including many low ball offers), should I sweeten the deal for the agent (e.g. by tossing in a couple of extra $1,000 on top of his / her commission)?

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Bryan Furse, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Thu Jul 30, 2009
We should talk... e-mail me at
0 votes
Stephanie Mc…, Agent, Canton, GA
Mon Jul 20, 2009
Sounds like you may have had problems getting the attention of a "good" agent in the past or why else would you believe it is necessary to sweeten the deal, or offer a bonus??? Agents must abide by the laws and standards of practice, code of ethics. "Assessing neighborhoods" is a very subjective evaluation criteria - we can give you an idea of how much turnover the neighborhood has seen in recent years as far as sales, but only the buyer can determine whether or not a given neighborhood suits his or her needs or, in the case of an investor, business plan. Best of luck - you picked a great time to jump into real estate investing. I am sure that your agent has warned you about the difficulty in obtaining investor financing right now - COMPLETELY different environment for investor loans than it was just a few months ago. More than one lender has informed me that investor loans have proven to be the highest rate of foreclosure since January of 2008. Maybe some front end investigation on that front might save you alot of time and frustration if you haven't already got your financing lined up.
0 votes
Bill Piper, , Atlanta, GA
Mon Jul 20, 2009
I don't think you need to pay extra to get a good agent's attention. If you're a serious investor,looking to buy multiple properties, an agent will make enough money long term to justify the time. The transactions are easier because investors pay cash or already have their financing lined up. Once you and your agent have developed the formula for the type of property that works for your goals, finding the properties is easier.

What kind of agent do you need to be working with? Someone who's not afraid to go to a questionable property or neighborhood, who knows how to scan the area for trouble - I've had one investor car-jacked while at a property we were about to close on. Needless to say we killed the deal because we knew he'd be a target every time he was there. Your agent should be familiar with REO and HUD properties and the drill for closing them. They should know how different REO brokers do things (they're not all the same) and how to work them to make the deal most advantageous to you.

What's in it for the agent? Multiple sales that come from working with investors looks good in their stats for marketing purposes. Many investors are networked with other investors which can provide referrals. I market my investors properties for rent, so I make that commission also, plus you get to list the rentals again when the tenant leaves. Renters are a prime source of leads for 1st time buyers, who are about the only people buying right now, other than investors. The sign calls off of the rental listings are a source of prospects for both rentals and sales.

Good luck.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Jul 20, 2009
It you want to attract buyers of agents?

Our recommendation is if your fee for professional services is a fair one, consider using any additional adjustments to decrease the price of the home or present some type of incentive to the buyer.

Focus on attracting buyers.

Good luck
0 votes
Dave Caplin, Agent, Duluth, GA
Mon Jul 20, 2009
What a refreshing question, obviously from a seasoned investor. I will answer that question with a question!
How many propertiies are you going to purchase. I work with many invertors, but they are buying more than a few properties at a time. I have many lenders lists of REO properties, and also FDIC lists. Many of my investors buy 10-20 at a time. Because of the volume, I do NOT expect anything more, and I give them the best service I can. But, if they want to compensate me with a little extra then I would not turn it down!!! :-)
If you need any help fron an OLD PRO, call me at 678-878-9599 or email at
Dave Caplin, MBA, CCIM
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
KW Commercial
0 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Mon Jul 20, 2009
Why would you increase the vig for an agent to do their job. What dopey agent is going to carry around someone that they haven't already qualified? I'll answer that - many of them and those are the ones that should leave the biz.

Price it aggressively, ensure it's posted all over the place and understand that about half of the properties selling are coming from direct consumer marketing - not just the MLS. Price it right, expose it properly and it'll seel.

0 votes
Tony Teixeira, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sun Jul 19, 2009

I think adding to the commission is a good way to get a good agent to work with you, considering the price point of the properties you are interested in.
If, by the way, 30319 is your preferred zip code, that's where my team is based.
If you drive around Brookhaven, you'll see our signs saturate the area.

If you need assistance in Brookhaven or elsewhwere, don't hesitate to call or e-mail.

I've been doing a lot of searching in Buckhead and vicinity lately with clients, there are a couple of steals right now!

Tony Teixeira
404-848-0982 fax

Muffley & Associates
#1 Selling Keller Williams group in Atlanta 2007/2008/2009
#2 Selling KW group in South East Region 2008/2009
TOP 20 Selling KW group in the Country 2008
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0 votes
Rick Payne As…, Agent, Norcross, GA
Sun Jul 19, 2009
Hello Rtrulia,

I think your point of view is " Marketing Motivated " and has potential to motivate agents. However, as a Buyer's Agent I welcome the opportunity to do aggressive business with a motivated Investor and that investor adds to my commission based upon the success of our partnership. To learn more about me as a Realtor please visit my website at Especially, preview my cover page " About me" and the other added value information I have on my website. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding why I believe we could mutually do a lot of business together. My contact information is 678-427-5512 (cell) or email me at

I look forward to hearing back for you in the near future.

Rick Payne
Keller Williams Realty
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