Who pays the buyer's agent? Me, the buyer, or the seller of the condo or someone else?

Asked by Judy, 01002 Fri Mar 11, 2011

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Al Pratte, Agent, Providence, RI
Tue Mar 29, 2011
Hi Judy,
Generally speaking the commissions are paid from the seller's side. However, the buyer's agent may have negotiated compensation with his/her client. The buyer's agent would negotiate this in case a property was found that was not , for certain, payable through the seller's side. For example, this may be the case with a for sale by owner (FSBO) type listing. I hope this helped.

Market Al
0 votes
Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Wed Mar 23, 2011
The one that claims it on their taxes as an expense is the one who pays it. The commission can be on one or both sides of the transaction.
Web Reference:  http://www.capegroup.com
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Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Tue Mar 15, 2011
The commission comes out of the Sellers proceeds in most instances.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Mar 12, 2011
In almost 99.99% of real estate transaction the seller pays all Realtor fees (listing & buyers agent)

Same as you would when you sell any property in the future
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Jim Paulson, Agent, Boise, ID
Sat Mar 12, 2011
It is negotiable as to who pays for the buyers agent. If a property is listed in the MLS, (at least here in Idaho), the seller has already agreed to cooperate with a buyer's agent and compensate them. A buyer signs a buyer brokerage agreement when they determine which agent to hire that will outline the exact agreement between you and that agent. It should cover things like: For Sale By Owners, unlisted properties, if you build a home, etc.

Best of luck!
Jim Paulson
Owner/Broker - Progressive Realty Corp. in Boise, Idaho
0 votes
Joyce Lin, Agent, Leominster, MA
Sat Mar 12, 2011
Hi again Judy,

Let me see if I can cover all the contingencies in one place...

If you're working with a Buyer Agent, they should have had a conversation with you at the start regarding their Commission and how it will be paid. These agreed to terms should be writing, preferably via a Buyer Agency Contract.

With that said, you can either be purchasing a property that is listed in MLS or is for sale without representation (aka for sale by owner).

1) MLS Listed Property - the Listing side is offering a percentage to the Buyer Agent via the MLS Listing.

A) If there is a Buyer Agency Contract, and the amount the Listing side is offering is less that your Buyer Agency Contract indicates, then the Buyer would pay the difference.

B) If there is a Buyer Agency Contract and the amount the Listing side is offering is more than your Buyer Agency Contract indicates, then your Buyer Agent must disclose that to you.

2) Property For Sale Without Representation aka For Sale by Owner:

A) If you have a Buyer Agency Contract and are purchasing a home that is NOT in MLS, you would be responsible for the amount agreed to in the Buyer Agency Contract. UNLESS the Seller is willing to pay all or a portion of that amount.

B) If there is NO Buyer Agency Contract, then it would appear the Buyer Agent would be working for gratis.

All REALTORS® are held to the standards in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

With regard to compensation, the Code of Ethics states:

Article 7
In a transaction, REALTORS® shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the REALTOR®’s client or clients.
(Amended 1/93)

I hope this helps!

0 votes
Christine Mo…, Agent, Wilbraham, MA
Sat Mar 12, 2011
The seller. If the listing agent brings in a buyer they don't have to pay out a split to the other agent. Most people use a buyers agent so they expect to have another agent involved anyway.
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Amy Mateus, Agent, Ludlow, MA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Typically it is the seller...which is one of many reasons why it is such a great idea to have a buyer's agent working on your behalf...you have someone looking out for your best interests at no cost!
Web Reference:  http://gracegrouprealty.com/
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Andrew Adams, , 01915
Fri Mar 11, 2011
It sematics...and doesn't matter! Since the seller pays the agent with the proceeds from the buyers purchase of the property...you could just as easily argue the buyer pays the commission.

I don't really think that is your question. Why do you want to know who pays the comission?
0 votes
Well if it doesn't matter, will you pay the commission, please!
Flag Fri Jul 12, 2013
Yannis Tsits…, , 01742
Fri Mar 11, 2011
it depends on what kind of listing it is:
a.was that an MLS listing? If yes, did the listing office offered Buyer's agency commission?
b. is this a for sale by the owner?
You will need to provide more info, in order to receive the best answer to your question.
Best regards,
0 votes
Tony McMahon, Agent, WHITE PLAINS, MD
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Judy, as Joyce said the seller pays the commission to the listing agent , who than splits it with the buyers agent. There are instances lets say if you find a property being sold by an owner with no agent that you may have to pay the commission agreed upon in the buyers agency agreement since none may be offered by the owner/seller. As a practice most buyers agents will accept the commission split being offered by the listing agent without charging the buyer the difference if the commission is lower than the buyer agency agreement states.
0 votes
Joyce Lin, Agent, Leominster, MA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Judy, it depends on the Buyer Agency contract you have with your Buyer Agent.

The Buyer Agency contract is written for a specific percentage of the sales price. If the Commission being paid by the Selling side is less than what the contracted amount, then the Buyer pays the difference.

I hope this helps!

Certified Buyer's Rep
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