Agent is asking me to open an escrow account for 15,000 to sell condo. Is this a fair price?

Asked by Will, Southwest Community Assoc., San Antonio, TX Wed May 8, 2013

Just moved to Tx. cause the bad economy in Ca. Left my condo rented in Los Angeles being rented for 1000. Still paying 800 out of pocket with assc. fees included. Just bought a house in tx and want to sell condo in l.a. Couldnt refi nor sell condo. Don't want to ruin credit with short sale. Agent told me she would sell it braking even with a mortgage of 160k and second for 30k, amount still pending. Asking me for 15k escrow acc. to cover her 5% commission and paperwork expenses. Is this price fair? Pls. advice. thanks in advance.

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Guy Gimenez’s answer
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu May 9, 2013
No way. If the agent is that concerned about her commissions, she clearly has doubts about her ability to successfully sell the condo. I'm of the opinion that anytime money is out of my possession it's at risk so think long and hard before working with that agent.
1 vote
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu May 9, 2013
I never collected commission in advance... the agent must be feeling that there is not enough money in the deal to pay their commission... that is why they want you to put it up front.

If you are feeling uneasy about trusting someone, you should not do business with them and vice-versa... I do not particularly enjoy working for people who do not trust me, and I go through great lengths to communicate with clients and explain the reason for how I structure deals... if they are still not convinced, I walk away because the potential for problems later on are bad feelings is too strong.

Best of luck and feel free to contact me if you need any help.

1 vote
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed May 29, 2013
Everything's negotiable and predicated on whatever the market will bare. All things being equal it doesn't ring of anything devious. But just make sure if the deal falls out you're not out.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue May 14, 2013
Sounds like the sales price will be 190,000

At $15k the commission is more than 7%.

Not to slam another agent, but that seems very high!!!

Bottom line a "fair" commission is what seller is willing to pay and agent willing to accept.

Best of luck to you
0 votes
Myrna Averia, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue May 14, 2013
Commission is negotiable. Also, do you already know the comparables for your property? Attempt to list it on the MLS. Properties are selling! Interest rates and inventory are so low, qualified buyers are clamoring to take part o current real estate market

Contact a local realtor.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu May 9, 2013
It really doesn't matter:
If you SELL, you will need the ESCROW and the money in there, to complete the transaction.
If you don't sell, the Escrow company will refund your money.

Your Agent is guiding you right; trust her.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu May 9, 2013
Hi Will,

I agree with those who believe the commission is fair; however, I'm getting the feeling you really do not have a solid exit plan to reduce your financial exposure.

For example, while Federal debt forgiveness for a PRINCIPAL residence has been extended out to January 1st of 2014 by The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 (typically forgiven debt is taxable event under IRS code). As of the date of this post California has NOT passed a similar extension; however, AB42 (Perea) and SB30 (Calderon) have been introduced to extend CA debt relief.

Personally, I would recommend you speak with a CA CPA to investigate a plan to reduce your exposure.

0 votes
Tony Norohian, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu May 9, 2013
In short it is a fair amount to pay BUT, you can get away with paying less...much less. Give me a call to discuss.


Tony Norohian
Investor Choice Realty
310 210 9070
0 votes
Muriel Levin, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
HI Will,
It seems that you got a lot of different answers to your question. Why don't you call the escrow company and get a detailed list of your closing expenses. They would do that for you. Then you would know exactly where this money is going.
Give me thumbs up if this is useful to you!

Muriel Levin, Broker - Realtor
HAFA certified,Certified Negotiator, Short Sale and Foreclosure Resources Specialist. Residence, income properties and commercial leases.
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0 votes
Brian Byhower, Agent, Hermosa Beach, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
That sounds fair, but why are you worried about your credit? You already bought a house. Are you planning to buy something else that is defendant upon your good credit? If you let it go through the short sale process you will not need to put in $15,000. Wouldn't it be better to ding your credit for around 3 years and save $15,000? It's up to you.
0 votes
SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed May 8, 2013
5% is very fare and actually kinda low comission for this price.

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