Do Buyers or Sellers Pay the Buyer’s Real Estate Agent?
This has caused a great deal of confusion in the real estate industry and with consumers. Generally, a listing agreement between the seller and the seller’s listing agent specifies how much the listing brokerage will pay the selling brokerage for bringing a buyer.
Yes, you read that correctly. The seller, in effect, pays your buyer’s agent to negotiate on behalf of the buyer, not the seller. C. A.R. buyer broker representation agreements state that if anybody other than the buyer pays the commission, then the buyer is relieved of the obligation to pay it.
There are instances where a buyer may pay a brokerage directly such as when there is no commission offered because the property is a for sale by owner. But typically the commission is paid by the seller to the listing brokerage. The listing brokerage divides the commission in some fashion with the broker of the agent who brings an offer.
Buyer’s Agents Usually Do Not Work for Free
When you ask a buyer’s agent to show you property, you are implying that you will eventually write an offer through that buyer’s agent.
Procuring cause is a complex process that determines which buyer’s agent is entitled to a real estate commission when a buyer works with more than one agent. Generally, the agent who writes the offer gets paid.
Therefore, if you ask an agent to spend weekends driving you around, sharing knowledge and helping you to select a home, it is only fair to be loyal to that agent.