It is often assumed in a Realtor’s day-to-day interactions that home buyers and sellers understand who is paying the Realtor fees and commissions. As of late, many buyers have expressed to me that they went with Realtor X because he or she was not charging them a commission when helping them find a home. While this is true, it is often a deceptive sale for some realtors to gain a client.
Here are the facts: BUYERS NEVER PAY A COMMISSION TO A REALTOR. Commissions are always the responsibility of the seller. Typically, the commission is broken down into two parts.
1) 2.5% – 3% to the agent who is listing the home
2) 2.5% – 3% to the agent who is bringing in the buyer.
Depending on the market, this could range from 5%-6% of the total purchase price. This payment is solely the seller’s responsibility. It is important to note as a homebuyer that when you turn around to sell your place 5 years down the road, you will be responsible for these costs.
Often agents will take advantage of homebuyers who do not understand the commission structure. Buyers who do not understand the commission structure agree to work with them and it typically is the beginning of a rocky home search.
Another disconnect with buyers / sellers and Realtors is that it is believed that a Realtor’s job is solely to sell the home or help the clients find a house. At Iseley & Walsh Real Estate Group we know the job does not stop there! Realtors earn their commission on the level of services they provide. Our team has a 4-page document outlining important tasks that need to be done once escrow opens. This could be anything from ordering HOA docs to negotiating request for repairs. A good Realtor’s value is in their ability to quarterback all the responsibilities of escrow to assure a successful close. Just because you agreed to a purchase price, doesn’t mean the deal is done.
I cannot express enough how many times buyers or sellers have tried to cut corners with Realtor fees or discount shops only to receive poor service, feel lost in the transaction and ultimately lose a coveted property. Trust me, seeing someone who was already emotionally attached to a place lose the property due to “going cheap” is not an easy conversation to have.
In closing, I think it is important to focus on two things when picking an agent. First, understand that the seller pays all commissions. Second, understand your Realtor’s roles and responsibilities. Feeling comfortable communicating with your agent should be at the top of your list. You want to know that person has your best interests in mind, will be there to answer any question you have and ultimately will help guide you to a successful close of the property.