Our house was not on the market, but a buyer's agent contacted us saying his client wanted to buy our house. Who pays his fee?

Asked by ragmanfl, Orlando, FL Fri Apr 12, 2013

We feel that since our house was not on the market his client should pay, but the realtor wants to raise our asking price a substantial amount for his payment and we think that is going to kill the deal.

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Jim Olive’s answer
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Here's my take, and it's a bit different than many of the views here...
This is not ALL that different from any listing request. When a Realtor approaches a homeowner (happens every day by phone, letter, door knocking) about listing their home for sale, s/he is typically doing so "in the dark". S/he knows the home has value, but typically does NOT have a buyer in his/her pocket. This Realtor still brings value to the homeowner...s/he is going to sell the home and get a commission. NOW...add to the mix that this Realtor already HAS A BUYER! That is SIGNIFCANTLY more valuable than just wanting to list your home, they have brought what might be the ultimate solution for selling your home. So, unless you just don't want to sell your home (perfectly acceptable!), then this agent should be your best friend and you should be willing to pay him/her whatever you would pay any other agent to sell your home PLUS a premium for bringing a buyer and potentially a very speedy sale of your property. Because you are in Florida, the agent would have you sign a listing agreement that establishes a "Transaction Broker" arrangement, which means that the agent will represent both the buyer and the seller in a limited fashion, with the agent's primary responsibility to the TRANSACTION, not to either party, which will mean the agent will be setting the price in the interest of making the transaction work, not to the buyer's or seller's best interest. But that's okay! If you want to hold out for more money (because this buyer obviously really likes your home, or wouldn't have started this whole thing) you can, and the agent, recognizing that the transaction will not happen without more money, will work in that direction.
And remember, even though the seller typically pays the commission, it is always true that the buyer brings all (or most) of the money to the table, so in a sense, the buyer is paying all the fees.
1 vote
Antonio Vega…, Agent, Saint Cloud, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
If your house was not on the market, then there should not have been "an asking price". So what you are actually saying is that you agreed to sell your home, and agreed on an asking price before even talking about commissions....bad strategy.

Clearly you have not signed anything with the agent regarding paying him/her a commission. Therefore nothing stops you from saying that since that was not part of the contract, he must collect from the buyer.

On the other side, the agent should not have been showing your home until you had agreed on the commission split if he/she got you a contract. So both sides are wrong.

You also mentioned being concern that if you raise the price then the deal could be killed....but you had no interest on selling the house (you were not listed for sale to start with)...so now you have a new interest to protect.

The situation must be solved by negotiation between all 3 parties. It is not uncommon on for sale by owners for the buyer to pay one half of the agents commission, then the seller pays the other half. After all, someone will have to handle all your paperwork and forms and tell you the steps to follow to have a closing....so unless you are hiring a lawyer to handle your side of the deal, you are still better off offering compensation to the agent, who will be acting as a transaction broker between the two parties. Was this answer helpful? If so please click on the "green thumbs up" or the "best answer".

Tony Vega
La Rosa Realty
2 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Fri Apr 26, 2013
It is pretty standard in FL for the seller to pay.
If you only pay 3% to this agent - you have preserved your time, marketing $$$, avoided
aggravation of cleaning, staging, de-cluttering, verifying, writing up contracts, escrowing the money, coordinating title, inspections etc..and still saved 3% more you'd pay on a regular transaction.
It is a super deal for you.

How the agent negotiates the price with her/his client - is her/his problem.
Let them do this. If it does not work, pay her. After all, you need a buyer, and this
agent has brought the buyer. It sounds like you are getting a good price there.
If not - you are in control, and you don't have to sell if you don't want to.

Best of luck,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
1 vote
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Sun Apr 14, 2013
If You sign a listing agreement with the agent there will most likely be a commission involved. The commission will be paid form the sale's proceeds.

Raising the price I a tool to secure the agent gets paid, while making sure you get the price you agreed to sale your home for.

Even though your home was not on the market, if you agree to list it , it will be.

The agent will have quit a bit of work to do, since it appears in this case he/she will be representing the seller and the buyer. They are entitled to compensation.

If you are not comfortable with the terms, then do not list your home. Besides once you sale your home, will you be buying another one right away? will you use this agent as your buyer's agent when you buy again?

I think you have a lot to think over before you get too deep in this thing.

Best of Luck to You!!!
Kawain Payne, Realtor
Prudential California Realty
1 vote
Ron Climer, Agent, Hendersonville, NC
Sun Apr 14, 2013
The best person to answer that question is the agent that contacted you. Ask him. If he expects you to pay him, you should have a wriiten agreement. If he intends to collect his fee from the buyer , that should be stated in the sales contract.
1 vote
Gloria Gibson, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Trust the buyer's agent. After all that agent is the professional and earns her living helping people buy and sell homes. The agent knows how to make the deal work. There is a small thing called appraisal. If the agent is wrong about the price of the home the appriasal will not come up high enough. so the price will have to be lowered or the house will go back into hybernation. If the house goes back into hybernation, the agent will get $0. She cant' make a living with $0. Believe me she is trying to make the deal work and she is doing double the work.

Raising the purchase price is a way for the buyer to finance the commission into the price of the house. It is normally not that the buyer would not like to pay their agent's commission, they usually do not have it. Therefore this is a way from them to finance it into the mortgage. Believe me it works. Relax, it will be alright.
1 vote
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Not enough info to really comment. If it's not on the market, why would you care about killing the deal? Either the net deal is attractive or it's not. What else are you not telling us?
1 vote
Jennifer Bar…, Agent, Winter Park, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Hi Ragman FL,

It really depends on you and how much you want to sell your home. Normally you would pay 6% they are only asking for 3%. It is not common for the buyer to pay the commission. Think about if you would have listed it. You would be paying the standard 6% and would have to see how long it would take to sell, deal with showings etc. I would make sure you get a CMA from a neutral party to make sure you are getting a fair price. After the buyer’s agent represents the buyer and not you. So your best interests are not considered. If you need a free CMA I would do that for you. It is free and you owe nothing. If you are not interested in moving then I would not pay it. Let me know if you would like the free CMA. Are they asking you to pay for the owner’s title policy? What about closing costs? If I can help in anyway let me know. Also do you have a place to move to? I work with several buyers and I can give you a reference for you to speak with (not a piece of paper that anyone can type up)
I think it is important for you to speak with a neutral party who has no monetary interest in the transaction. Feel free to check out my profile to see if you are interested in working with me.

I hope this helps.

Jennifer Barker
Exit Realty Central
http://jenniferbarker.bestorlandohomesearch.com/ (Search for a new home here)
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
A home with a purchase offer that was not for sale equals an expensive house.
You, as the home owner, should exploit this to your advantage. Repeat, YOUR ADVANTAGE not the buyer agents advantage.
The concern regarding 'killing the deal' on a home that was not for sale suggests to me there is something else going on.
All things regarding the 'professional fees' in real estate are negotiable.
YES, you can have the BUYER pay the fees of their agent.
This is not a rare as you think.
Let me be blunt with you Ragmanfl...going into this transaction without representation is a ....well, bad idea. Who pays the fee is fundamental. Clearly you will benefit greatly with seller representation.
Please call an Orlando professional. You will be surprised regarding the options available to you. Remember..everything regarding professional fees are negotiable. But the cost of NOT KNOWING' will prove substancial.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Someone is doing a lot of work for you, making you money, and you don't want to give them their "due"?
You do not deserve the service!
1 vote
, ,
Sat May 4, 2013
Truth be told if you don't want to sell then don't. I've had this happen to me once after purchasing our historic home. It is quite aggravating to say the least to have agents knock on the door seeing if we'd sell.

The seller normally pays the fees. You could arrange something where the buyer pays if they want the house so much. I wouldn't sign anything with the listing agent because it could be entrapment where he truly may not have an interested buyer and is just trying to get you to sell your home.

Besides if you weren't planning on selling where would you go?

Lots of things to think about.

Have a great weekend.

Christina Solorzano;
CEO & SR Credit & Mortgage Consultant of
Everlasting Credit
Ex-Mortgage Broker of more than 10 years
0 votes
Michael Joynt, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sat May 4, 2013
It's like beating a dead horse!! I don't understand why agents continue to discuss commission on public forums like Trulia. Which part do they NOT understand of the Antitrust Laws? Is it the part that they should disassociate themselves immediately from the slightest discussion of commission rates or do they not realize who and who is not a member of a competing firm? Openly discussing it on Trulia I would say could violate the Sherman Antitrust Act and if it somehow doesn't, it's a fine line that I certainly do not want to cross!

The above quote was copied from a real estate blog site, you all may want to review this. Something's are meant to be disgusted in the privacy of ones home, not on the web.
0 votes
Carl Head, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sun Apr 14, 2013
Truth be told, the agent probably doesn't have a buyer, and is only trying to get the listing...
0 votes
No, he actually brought the person over to see the house. After we decided to put a price on the house, the agent said he was going to tack on 100,000 for his commission.
Flag Thu Apr 18, 2013
No, he actually brought the person over to see the house. After we decided to put a price on the house, the agent said he was going to tack on 100,000 for his commission.
Flag Thu Apr 18, 2013
Melissa Goss, , Center Moriches, NY
Fri Apr 12, 2013
He is working for the buyer, not for you... so the agent telling you to raise the price is just strange to me. It seems he is not working in his buyers best interest either, but his own pockets best interest. Did you sign a disclosure with him? If so it is best you read it closely.
0 votes
Jose De Leon, Agent, ORLANDO, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Since he is representing his buyer, his buyer should pay the Realtors commission, as you do not have it on the market. My recommendation is that you place your home for sale with a professional company first, like ours, that will give you exposure to hundreds of more qualified buyers that could possibly pay more. That way you have a better selection of offers to choose from. I can provide you with a free market analysis on your home. Just need an e-mail address or we can talk over the phone. Best of luck! :)

Jose De Leon - Realtor - Listing Agent
Florida Relocation Real Estate
0 votes
Karen Weathe…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Go with your gut feeling! Have you already researched the market value of your home? Are you getting a fair price for your home? If so, and if you are motivated to sell, don't let paying a commission, kill a potentially good deal .As others have indicated, the agent's commision is completely negotiable and it is typical for a seller to pay the agent (s) commissions. If you have any doubt, get professional advice from someone independent of the transaction! Best wishes.

Karen Weathers, REALTOR
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes
Richard Rutl…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
The basics of this conversation only leads me to think is that you should have a Professional Real Estate Agent represent you through the process.

1. Take out the guess work, 2. include your costs for the sale and get your value, & 3.get represented.

I work in re setting the market myself. Which sounds like what you are about to enter into.

Should you like to move forward,

I am Richard Rutledge
Grace Realty of Winter Park,FL
My E-mail is AgentRich407@gmail.com
My Office # is 407.494.1891
or Cell # 407.494.1891

Thanks for Reading, I hope its been benifitial thus far
0 votes
Daniel Barto, Agent, Naples, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
I agree with Annette. This is your best opportunity. When you say, 'kill the deal' are you referring to appraisal? That could impact you negatively depending on the contract details. You should be represented by a seperate broker other than the buyers agent. That would be the best way to protect your homes value and the entire transaction. If you already have a buyer and you get seller representation to handle the contract negotiations, title co and closing. Then I'm sure you will find an agent willing to reduce commission accordingly. I would represent a client in this situation for half the typical fee to the seller. The buyers maybe able to pay seperatly, but that really all boils down to the negotiations and how the deal is structured.
If you need any further advice do not hesitate to contact me through my profile or by following the link below.

Best of luck to you,

Danny Barto
Galleon Real Estate
Web Reference:  http://GalleonProperties.com
0 votes
Paul Buscemi, Agent, Oviedo, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
I believe it can be a "Win Win solution" for all parties. As mentioned, the Real Estate professional's commission is negotiable. More importantly do you want any representation? Real estate transactions are much more problematic these days. Can you afford to have a transaction started and then stall because of lack of knowledge? No such thing as a slam dunk today.
0 votes
Carol Bauza, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Hi ragmanfl,

I agree with Annette.....
Talk with a realtor in your area and have them list your property for you....working "with" someone is better than going through it alone!

Carol Bauza
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes
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