Who Pays Real Estate Agent Fees? (Correct answer)

How does the buyer pay a real estate agent?

  • Unless the buyer has elected to personally compensate her agent , buyer ‘s agents are paid from their broker who receives the commission from the listing broker. The real estate commission is pre-determined by the seller in the listing agreement.


Do buyers ever pay realtor fees?

Realtor fees — also known as commission — are part of almost every real estate transaction. However, buyers don’t typically pay them. Instead, realtor fees are usually wrapped up in the seller’s closing costs. They’ll also usually have closing costs they have to cover.

Does seller always pay realtor fees?

For the most part, Realtor fees are usually paid by the seller at the closing table, as the fee is generally subtracted from the proceeds of the impending sale. Some sellers may negotiate for the buyer to pay the fees at closing, but, again, that’s the exception. Just know this: sellers will typically pay the fees.

How can I avoid buying realtor fees?

5 Tricks to Save Cash on Realtor Commissions

  1. Go for half. The typical commission is 6 percent, which is split by the agent for the buyer and the agent for a seller—3 percent each.
  2. Shop around.
  3. Ask what you’re getting for your money.
  4. Hold out for a higher selling price.
  5. Find alternatives.

Can you negotiate realtor fees?

You can! No law sets real estate commission rates, so you are free to negotiate. If you offer a lower commission rate to your realtor, be aware that they may refuse and even back out as your listing agent. There are a few reasons real estate agents may be willing to accept lower fees, though.

Are realtor fees negotiable?

Are commissions negotiable? Commissions are always negotiable; that’s the law. “A home seller can negotiate when they have a property that is move-in ready, updated, or high-end,” says Kevin Lawton, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Bordentown, NJ.

Is it OK to ask seller to pay closing costs?

By having the seller pay for certain items in your closing costs, it enables you to make a higher offer. Therefore, you’ll effectively be paying your closing costs throughout the life of the loan rather than upfront at the closing table because they’re now built into your loan amount.

Why do Realtors get 6 percent?

This commission is taken right off the top of the selling price of the home, so many sellers don’t really feel the impact because they never had the money to begin with. This rate landed at around 6% of a home’s selling price, which included commission for both the buyer’s and the seller’s agents.

What percentage do most realtors charge?

How much are Realtor fees? The typical real estate commission fee averages about 5 percent to 6 percent of the home’s sales price. The exact terms of an agent’s commission vary between sales and by which firm they work for.

Who pays real estate agent commission fees

The question of agent commissions is one of the most often discussed topics in the real estate industry. Who is responsible for paying realtor fees? What is the purpose of these fees? Are they able to be negotiated? It’s true that the specifics of agent fees might be a little hazy at times. Let’s take a moment to set the record straight!

How real estate agents get paid, and who really pays them

In accordance with Forbes, the agents who represent the seller and buyer divide a commission fee at the closure of escrow (which is normally 5 to 6 percent of the purchase price of the house, according to Forbes). The notion of who pays the commission might be difficult to grasp, which is why it’s no surprise that some brokers try to make things as simple as possible by informing the buyer that the seller is responsible for the money. That, on the other hand, is not totally correct. Despite the fact that the payment is officially issued by the seller, the funds originate from the money that the customer pays to the seller in exchange for the payment.

At closing, buyers are effectively on the hook for the costs associated with this process.

Because it is often included in the purchase price.

What do these fees cover?

Even while many of today’s purchasers choose to house hunt on their own, others prefer to engage with a real estate agent to discover their dream home. People who engage with a typical buying agent will discover that their agents spend the majority of their time gathering property listings, driving to tour properties, and conducting price analyses in order to assist them in making good bids on the homes they are interested in purchasing. Upon accepting and escrowing the buyer’s offer, the agent’s time will be spent coordinating inspections and appraisals, negotiating repair costs, completing all of the closing paperwork, and performing some minor bookkeeping (the agent is responsible for maintaining the financial account used to pay inspectors and appraisers).

Are agent fees negotiable?

If you are a real estate agent, you might be startled to hear that not only are commission costs negotiable, but many agents also expect their clients to do so. In the opinion of Elizabeth Weintraub, some transactions are more conducive to negotiation than other transactions. One example of this type of transaction is a dual agency salesor sale, in which one agent represents both the seller and the buyer. It is sometimes a typical approach used by sellers in some regions of the nation to ask a listing agent if they will agree to cut their commission if they represent both the seller and the buyer, according to Elizabeth.

Agents that work in high volumes or who have a “lock” on a certain market may be less willing to negotiate their commissions and fees.

The most important thing to remember in any scenario is to just ask.

This post is designed just for informative reasons and should not be interpreted as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice of any kind. Opendoor constantly urges you to contact out to a professional counselor about your specific circumstances.

Related guides and blog articles

When purchasing a home, how much does it cost? How to Negotiate a Real Estate Purchase Offer Approximately how much do closing expenses for buyers and sellers cost? More articles and blog entries on the subject of home purchasing

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Who Pays Real Estate Fees?

The vast majority of people who purchase or sell a house do so with the assistance of a registered real estate agent. In addition to knowing their local markets, these specialists also have excellent bargaining skills and can typically make the entire buying and selling process smoother. Real estate agents receive a commission in exchange for their knowledge and skills. Here’s an explanation of how real estate commissions operate and who is responsible for paying them.

  • Real estate commissions are always variable, but are typically between 4 percent and 6 percent of the sale price. When two agents collaborate on a real estate transaction, one representing the buyer and one representing the seller, the commission is often shared evenly between them. The real estate agency receives a portion of the commission to assist in the payment of expenses such as advertising and office space.

How Do Real Estate Commissions Work?

Buyers and sellers are rarely charged by the hour when dealing with real estate agents and brokers. A commission is a percentage of the sales price that is taken by the broker. The commissions paid to agents are determined by the contracts that buyers and sellers enter into with their representatives. While it is common for the real estate fee to be shared evenly between the buyer and seller agents, a contract may specify that one agent receives a higher percentage of the commission than the other.

There are multiple degrees of licensure for agents and brokers; nevertheless, either can become a realtor by becoming a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Prior to that, it is distributed to the listing and selling brokers.

A percentage of the sum is then shared between each broker and the agent, sometimes 50/50, although it might be any percentage that the broker and agent have agreed upon.

  • 1.25 percent for the listing broker
  • 1.25 percent for the selling broker
  • 1.25 percent for the seller’s agent
  • 1.25 percent for the buyer’s agent

Each broker and agent would get $2,500 for a sale of $200,000 or more.

How Much Is a Real Estate Commission?

Real estate commissions are always negotiable since, otherwise, agents would be in violation of state and federal antitrust laws. As a result, commissions vary from transaction to transaction. Despite the fact that 6 percent has long been considered the customary price, commissions are currently frequently between 4 percent and 5 percent. According to research firm RealTrends, the average real estate commission in 2020 will be 4.94 percent of the sale price. Please keep in mind that the commission is calculated as a percentage of the home’s selling price, and the actual amount will not become clear unless and until an offer is accepted and the house is sold.

Who Pays the Real Estate Commission?

The question of who is responsible for paying a real estate agent’s commission is where things become a bit complicated. The charge is often paid by the seller, which is standard procedure. The fee, on the other hand, is often included in the price of the house by the seller. As a result, the buyer eventually bears the cost of the charge, although in an indirect manner. Consider the following scenario: a buyer and seller (both represented by a real estate agent) reach an agreement on the purchase of a $200,000 house.

The charge is deducted from the cost of the residence, rather than being added to the sale price.

Consequently, despite the fact that the buyer would pay $200,000, the seller would gain $190,000 from the transaction. It should be noted that closing expenses and other fees would be added on top of this extremely simplified example.

Are Real Estate Commissions Worth It?

One of the most frequently heard complaints about real estate fees is that they are either excessively exorbitant or that the service provided by real estate agents is not worth the money. Seller’s agents can earn a substantial commission for performing relatively minor tasks such as taking photographs, determining a listing price, and putting the house on the market on the first day it is listed. On the other hand, it might take weeks, months, or even years to sell a home, depending on how distinctive or costly the property is.

Additionally, the agent will be responsible for any long-term costs associated with maintaining the home on the market, such as signs and advertising expenses.

The same is true for purchasers.

If purchasers were required to pay an agent on an hourly basis, they would most certainly feel pressured to make a selection.

Flat-Fee Real Estate

Of course, there are listing agents that work for a set charge, such as $100 or $500, and are thus less expensive. In terms of cost reductions, this is unquestionably advantageous to sellers (and ultimately purchasers); however, the problem is that these agents may only provide limited representation. Traditional real estate agents will work with you from beginning to end of the home-buying or home-selling process. In addition to assisting you with staging your property, taking professional photographs, registering your home with a multiple listing service, advertising your home and hosting open houses, a seller’s agent will also bargain on your behalf.

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Although flat-fee or discount brokerages may be less expensive, you may not get what you paid for.

If you decide to go this way, be sure to research the services that the agent provides ahead of time to ensure that what you receive meets your expectations.

The Bottom Line

The majority of buyers and sellers deal with real estate professionals. Agents are compensated for their efforts by receiving a commission, which is a proportion of the final sales price. Despite the fact that the fee is often borne by the seller, the amount of the commission is typically included in the home’s listed price. In this approach, the buyer is ultimately responsible for any real estate expenses that may be incurred. Keep in mind that commissions are usually adjustable depending on the circumstances.

The greatest real estate websites, on the other hand, may be able to allow potential buyers to conduct their search for a property without having to engage with a real estate agent at all.

Who Pays the Real Estate Agent? Commission and Fees, Explained

The assistance of a skilled broker is beneficial to both buyers and sellers, but who pays for the services of a real estate agent? If you’re preparing to embark on your home-buying adventure, it’s probable that you’re considering working with a real estate agent. However, how does a realtor get compensated when you purchase a home? Because buyers and sellers are both responsible for paying different fees, it’s critical to understand the best practices for a normal property transaction before getting started.

Who pays commission to the realtor?

Having the assistance of a competent broker is extremely beneficial for both buyers and sellers, but who pays for their expertise? In the event that you’re prepared to embark on your home-buying adventure, you’re probably considering employing a real estate agent to assist you. However, how does a realtor get compensated when you purchase a home. Because buyers and sellers are both accountable for different costs, it’s critical to understand the best practices for a normal property transaction.

How much are realtor fees?

A standard commission for real estate agents is 6 percent of the total purchase price of the property being represented. Unless an alternate agreement has been reached, the seller is responsible for paying the fee at closing. It’s important to understand all of the terms of a real estate agent’s fee before signing any agreements with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand about the fee structure. In most cases, items such as photography, the cost of listing the property, and the cost of any printed materials or signage are included in the charge, in addition to the real estate agent’s services, as is the case with most other services.

Can you negotiate who pays the real estate agent?

The terms of the listing agreement, which includes the real estate agent fees, can be negotiated between the seller and the brokerage or real estate agent. It might be difficult for a buyer to stand out in a competitive seller’s market or bidding war, but offering to pay some or all of the real estate agent’s fees can help them stand out from the competition. In reality, although while the buyer is typically responsible for the majority of the closing fees, they are also up to negotiation. The fact is, a smart agent will go out of their way to make sure you receive the best price possible, and this is just one example.

Who pays the rental agent’s commission?

Rental agents operate in a distinct manner from purchasing agents. It is up to the landlord and the renter to decide who is responsible for paying the rental agent’s fee in this situation. Brokerage costs for locating you a rental property often range between one month’s rent and 15 percent of the property’s annual rent, depending on the circumstances. In certain instances, the landlord compensates the broker for assisting him in locating a desirable renter. However, in some regions, such as large metropolitan areas with a high rental population, the renter will be forced to pay the broker fee, even if the landlord engaged the broker in the first place.

When it comes to customs, each area has its own set of rules, so always make sure you understand who is responsible for what and how much it will cost before agreeing to deal with a rental company.

Who Pays Real Estate Agent Commissions? Typically, It’s the Seller

In our minds, a world in which every real estate transaction is straightforward, certain, and rewarding is what we are working toward. As a result, we strive to maintain high standards of journalistic integrity in all of our postings. A HomeLight review of transaction data found that the national average real estate agent commission rate is 5.8 percent of the final house sale price, which is below the national average of 6.2 percent. So, who is responsible for paying the real estate agent commission?

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2020 poll, 77 percent of sellers stated that they were responsible for the agents’ compensation.

(Image courtesy of krakenimages / Unsplash)

In the majority of cases, the seller pays for real estate agent commission

According to the figures provided above, the 5.8 percent number includes fees for both the selling agent and the buyer’s agent, who each receive a portion of the overall commission payment. In most cases, sellers are responsible for a 6% fee. The seller’s representative will receive around half of the money, with the remaining half going to the buyer’s agency. Shawn Hartmann, a renowned St. Paul real estate agent with 16 years of experience selling properties and over 400 total transactions, says that this is how it works 99 percent of the time.

As a result, the buyer is ultimately responsible for bringing the cash necessary to pay agent commissions to the closing table.

There are a couple of rare exceptions

While the above-mentioned pattern is the usual, there are a few instances in which the commission structure differs.

The seller enlists a flat-fee listing agent or discount brokerage

Some listing agents (about 3% of all listing agents nationwide) charge a flat fee for their services rather than earning a commission depending on the ultimate sale price of the property. Due to the fact that these agents are paid on a commission basis, they may not have a vested interest in boosting the sale price of your house. Aside from that, flat-fee brokers often only provide a limited range of services, such as putting up lockboxes for unoccupied house showings or merely advertising your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

In the end, this might result in a big decrease in your sale price.

The seller negotiates their listing agent commission

While the commission amount is a contractual arrangement between you and your agent, bear in mind that when it comes to real estate agents, you actually do get what you pay for. A real estate agent that is prepared to reduce their commission price may be desperate for new customers or unskilled in the art of renegotiation. In the end, professional brokers that charge a 3 percent commission easily recover their cost by increasing the net revenues from the sale of your house.

In accordance with HomeLight’s data, top-performing agents sell houses for an average of ten percent more than their peers – a differential that more than covers the agent commission and then some.

The seller negotiates for the buyer to pay commission

Another exception to the rule is when a seller negotiates with a buyer to have the buyer cover a portion or all of the seller’s commission. According to the National Association of Realtors, 11 percent of agents are paid equally by buyers and sellers, while another 6 percent are paid completely by purchasers. If you’re wanting to save a little money, this can seem like a good alternative. However, Hartmann warns against it, stating that “if sellers inform purchasers that they’re going to have to pay commission, they’re going to frighten those buyers away.”

The seller sells FSBO and saves on listing agent commission

In addition, when a seller negotiates for the buyer to cover a portion or all of the commission, this is an exception to the general rule: According to the National Association of Realtors, 11 percent of agents are compensated jointly by buyers and sellers, while another 6 percent are compensated solely by buyers and sellers. If you’re wanting to save a little money, this can seem like a good alternative. However, Hartmann warns against it, stating that “if sellers inform purchasers that they’re going to have to pay commission, they’re going to frighten away those buyers.”

The buyer is not represented by a real estate agent

As previously stated, if a seller’s buyer does not engage with an agent, the seller will not be responsible for the 3 percent buyer’s agent commission. According to the National Association of Realtors, 88 percent of purchasers acquire their houses through agents or brokers, with the remaining 6 percent purchasing directly from a builder or builder’s agent. This means that just 6 percent of purchasers who purchase properties on the market do so without the assistance of a real estate agent. (Photo courtesy of Sidekix Media / Unsplash)

You don’t hand over commission for nothing — the fee pays for valuable services

When you work with a seasoned real estate professional, you have access to a wide range of important talents and services. Listing agents and buyer’s agents provide a variety of services in exchange for their well-deserved commissions. Here are some of the services they give:

Listing agents

  • The marketing of your house: Listing agents often spend a significant amount of time and money promoting your home to prospective purchasers. Your agent will not only make use of a Multiple Property Service (MLS) to ensure that your listing receives wider exposure, but they will also make use of social media, local advertisements, open houses, and other tactics to put your home in front of qualified leads. Pricing: When it comes to selling a house, pricing is one of the most crucial elements to consider. If you overprice your property, it will sit on the market until it attracts low bids
  • If you underprice your home, you will lose money on the transaction. An professional real estate agent is well-versed in the local property market and can accurately determine the fair market worth of your house. They will evaluate the features, location, structure, and other elements of your house in order to establish the most effective price plan for your sale. Following a home inspection, your agent will assist you in determining what repairs your buyer’s lender demands, which structural and safety concerns need to be addressed, and which fixes may not be required in order to complete the transaction.
  • Decluttering and designing your property in order to make it appear as desirable as possible are part of the staging process. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged houses sell on average 86 percent quicker than unstaged properties in the same market. To entice buyers, your agency may bring in pieces of furniture or employ virtual staging to draw attention.
  • Negotiating: There are several moving components involved in the process of going from an initial bid to a final transaction. As a listing agent, you will engage with purchasers to iron out the details of your contract, including working out contingencies, title searches, and all other components of the closing process, while lobbying on your behalf to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Buyer’s agents

  • Buyer’s agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service, which allows them to provide their clients a more diverse range of suitable homes
  • Searching the MLS Property matches are reported in the following ways: Buyer’s agents choose the finest available properties based on their customers’ tastes and pricing objectives, saving them the time and effort of combing through hundreds of irrelevant listings
  • This saves buyers time and energy.
  • The process of setting up showing appointments: Buyer’s agents collaborate with homeowners and listing agents to schedule appointments for you to visit and inspect possible new houses in person. Moreover, they take clients on a tour of the property, pointing off its most attractive qualities, as well as any flaws they have discovered
  • A buyer’s agent acts in the same manner as a listing agent in advocating for their clients’ interests while negotiating the purchase price and parameters of the transaction. A buyer’s agent does extensive research on a property and leverages their prior knowledge of the market as leverage throughout the negotiating process. Following the completion of a transaction, a buyer’s agent assists their client in understanding and completing all of the appropriate paperwork.

Choosing the right agent is important

You’re paying your agent to sell your property for the highest potential price, so you should feel confident that they have the necessary expertise and competence to complete the task. “You will eventually receive what you pay for in the long term,” says Hartmann, “and I’ve seen many individuals regret second judgments they’ve made after selecting the incorrect agent.” Utilize HomeLight’s Agent Finder to get started on your search for the ideal real estate agent. This convenient tool will pair you with the three most qualified agents for your home sale.

Having done so, you’ll have the support of an experienced industry specialist on your side.

Who pays the buyer’s agent commission?

22nd of September, 2021 Isn’t it true that employing an agent is completely free when purchasing a home? This is one of the most often asked queries we receive from first-time homebuyers: “My real estate agent buddy informed me that their services are completely free.

Is that correct?” Here, we’ll dispel this common homebuying misconception and investigate who is truly responsible for paying the buyer’s agent commission.

Who pays the buyer’s agent commission?

(Spoiler alert: it’s you, the homebuyer.)… The commission charge you pay to your agent and the agent representing the seller is normally 5-6 percent of the purchase price of the house. And while this charge is officially paid by the seller, it is taken into consideration when determining how much a house should be listed for. Due to the fact that these costs are incorporated into the listed price of a house and since you are the only one who will be required to pay money at closing, the buyer’s agent commission is passed on to you when you purchase a home.

According to articles published on Realtor.com, HGTV, and The Balance, honest real estate brokers believe that the seller’s and buyer’s agents should be paid the same amount of commissions: According to Ruth Johnson, a Realtor® in Austin, TX, the standard procedure is for the seller to pay the real estate commissions of both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent in the same transaction.

  1. In this respect, you may claim that the buyer is responsible for the costs.” Obtainable via Realtor.com – “Who Is Responsible For Paying The Real Estate Agent When You Purchase A Home?” When determining the price of their property, sellers take into account the cost of commissions.
  2. The monies are transferred from the seller’s account, giving the impression that the seller pays, according to Fred McGill of SimpleShowing.
  3. Because it is often included in the sales price, this is the case.
  4. – Elizabeth Weintraub, a Broker-Associate with Lyon Real Estate “Who Is Responsible For Paying The Commission To The Real Estate Agent?” says The Balance.
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Agent fees are your single largest expense when buying a home.

It is true that a downpayment of between 3 percent and 20 percent of the purchase price would be required, but have you considered the inherent cost of your real estate agent? Because real estate agent fees are included in the asking price of a house, you, as the buyer, are effectively footing the cost when it comes time to close on your home. In theory, a customer might acquire a property for 3 percent less than the listed price if the purchaser engaged in direct negotiations with the seller and their listing agent rather than through a buyers agent.

This is due to the fact that a $291,000 offer with no buyer agent commission is identical to a $300,000 offer with a 3 percent buyer agent commission in this scenario. In other words, the net proceeds to the seller would be the same in any scenario.

So, what are you paying your buying agent for?

A buyer’s agent used to have to physically retrieve property listings for their customers, drive them around on home tours, price each home based on comparable sales, and manage all of the paperwork associated with the offer and closing process before the internet was invented. Traditional real estate brokers may still spend up to 80 percent of their time driving potential customers around who may never end up buying a home and marketing themselves in order to acquire new clients, despite the fact that today’s purchasers prefer to house seek on their own time.

This is why we let you keep up to half of our commission

In summary, the role of buyer’s agents has evolved, but their fees have not kept pace. And it isn’t only the internet that has made the procedure simpler for both the agent and the consumer; it is also the developments in mobile technology that have made the process easier. As instances of how the mobile revolution (roughly 2008-2012) has significantly altered house buying in ways that benefit both agents and consumers, the following are provided: A few examples of mobile/bluetooth access to lockboxes are: online house value models; real estate search applications; mobile-ready maps, such as aerial and street view maps (from Google); mobile-ready property boundary identification; e-sign via mobile device; and mortgage e-sign.

The majority of homebuyers put forth a significant amount of effort to discover the home of their dreams.

Therefore, we reward our clients by permitting them to keep half of our commission in the states of Florida, Texas, and Georgia (the markets we serve).

How can SimpleShowing afford to give back half the buyer’s agent commission fee?

Our agents keep 1.5 percent of the commission, with the remaining 1.5 percent being returned to our purchasers. We are able to refund a portion of the fee because we have concentrated our efforts on making the homebuying process more efficient, allowing us to pass the savings on to you. The seller or listing agent might still be contacted directly by consumers, however the majority (and especially first-time homebuyers) require some assistance in negotiating the conditions and bringing you through to the closing table.

There are relatively few out-of-pocket expenses while looking for a property, which is why it’s unnecessary to pay a real estate agent thousands of dollars to just open a few doors and create a purchase agreement.

How we’re different:

  • As a substitute for relying solely on a single agent who may or may not be available, we’ve developed a model in which buyers have access to a whole team of homebuying experts who are available to assist, answer difficult questions, and communicate with seller’s agents for property-specific information. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week
  • Our agents are employed by SimpleShowing and are largely responsible for showing property and drafting offers to purchase them. It allows them to spend less time prospecting for new customers, which allows them to show you houses on-demand when you book a showing through our website or mobile app. Our top-rated local purchasing agents will only work with you when you’re ready to visit a property or make an offer. We believe that because our purchasing agents work solely with you when you’re ready to purchase, they are able to deliver their knowledge at the most critical stage of the buying process: having your offer accepted and leading you through the subsequent negotiations, closing, and escrow processes
  • And, because your buying agent hasn’t spent the majority of his or her time driving you about or seeking for new customers, we can provide you with complete assistance as well as significant savings at a moment when you require it the most. As a result, when you buy with us, you earn thousands of dollars back – 1.5 percent of the purchase price, or $5,000 on average, towards closing fees

We believe that homebuying doesn’t have to be hard, and that your dream home doesn’t need a gatekeeper.

Purchasing a house is a time-consuming, difficult, and expensive endeavor. Despite this, nothing has changed in 80 years. As a result, we’ve created the current method to shop. SimpleShowing’s purpose is to make buying a house easier and more affordable for everyone by instilling confidence in them that they will be able to own their future. In the past several years, we’ve assisted thousands of people in the purchase of hundreds of properties in Georgia, Florida and Texas, saving them more than $1 million in needless costs.

Questions about buyer’s agent commission or how our commission refund process works remain unanswered. Send us an email or get in touch with us to chat with one of our home-buying specialists.

Get in touch. Send us a message now.

Many property buyers and sellers are confused about who is responsible for paying the real estate agent who is engaged in the transaction. Take a look at how real estate agents are compensated and how they distribute their commissions to have a better understanding of who pays real estate commissions—whether it’s sellers, buyers, or both.

Key Takeaways

  • Frequently, house buyers and sellers are unsure about who is responsible for paying the real estate agent who is engaged in the transaction in question. Take a look at how real estate agents are compensated and how they divide their commissions to have a better understanding of who pays real estate commissions—whether it’s sellers, buyers, or both.

How Real Estate Commissions Work

A real estate commission is the amount of money that real estate agents or brokers are compensated for the job that they perform when you purchase or sell a house. Real estate agents are employed by a real estate brokerage firm. A real estate broker is often better educated than a real estate agent. Unlike real estate agents, brokers are allowed to work independently or to create their own firm, but real estate agents are obligated to work for a broker. All commissions paid to a real estate agent must first travel via a broker before being credited.

How Brokers Compensate Real Estate Agents

The divisions of the commission differ. New agents can earn as low as 30 percent to 40 percent of the total commission paid by the brokerage firm, depending on their experience. Other charges, such as advertising, sign leasing, and office expenses, may be subtracted from the total sum due. Top-producing agents may collect 100 percent of their commissions and pay a desk fee to the broker. Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

Listing Agent Fees

The most typical kind of listing agreement between a seller and their agent grants the agent’s broker the exclusive right to advertise the property. In exchange for the broker’s assistance in bringing a buyer to the table, the seller agrees to pay the broker a commission. These commissions are often expressed as a percentage of the sales price and are divided between the listing broker and the agent who brings the buyer to an open house.

Co-Brokerage Splits

Fee distributions among brokers are not usually equitable or equitable in nature. In a buyer’s market, sellers may wish to consider requesting that their broker send a bigger portion of the commission to the buyer’s agent. In a seller’s market, the buyer’s broker may get less than the seller’s broker, and there is no defined formula. The majority of the commission’s divisions are based in their respective regions. When selling a home, it is usual for a listing agent to earn more than the buyer’s agent in several areas of the country.

Who Pays the Real Estate Agent?

According to this argument, the buyer is always the one who pays the commission. Why? Because it is often included in the purchase price. If you are a buyer, you can include closing charges such as commissions in your mortgage payment schedule. The following are the most common ways commissions are structured.

The Seller Pays the Buyer’s Commission

A buyer’s broker arrangement is one in which the specified brokerage and agent act on behalf of the buyer. Buyers and sellers are most often responsible for paying a commission to the broker. Some buyer broker agreements include stipulations that provide the brokerage with compensation for the fee it is owed minus the amount paid by the selling, if the seller pays the difference.

For example, a cooperating listing may agree to pay a broker a reduced proportion of the sales price in exchange for the broker charging a greater percentage of the sales price in return. If the broker does not agree to waive the amount, the buyer may be required to make up the shortfall.

Buyer Pays the Commission Directly

According to the majority of listing agreements, the seller is not required to reimburse the listing broker for any amount in excess of the listing side’s half of the commission. Sales prices are frequently adjusted in order to reflect the amount the customer is paying. It is considered impolite to contact a real estate agent to list your house and then immediately inquire as to if the agency would reduce their commission.

The Bottom Line

Agents cannot be evaluated exclusively on the basis of their commissions. Top agents, for example, sometimes demand more fees than novice agents. If you are a buyer, you are not directly responsible for the commission; therefore, a reduction would have no effect on you. There are a few agencies that offer to compensate customers in order to win their business, but this is uncommon. In certain circumstances, the amount of commission paid to buyer’s agents is being reduced, which is good news for agents.

If you’re buying or selling a house, be sure you understand the commission structure and how it works before signing anything.

If you’re unsure, it’s preferable to ask for clarification.

How Do Realtors Get Paid?

Andrew Fortune has written a post. Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. 94,147 people have looked at this page. Real estate agents are compensated at the closing table based on a sales commission that is calculated depending on the sales price of the house. When a seller and seller’s agent negotiate agent fees before listing a house for sale, the terms of that arrangement are memorialized in the listing agreement contract. The seller’s agent provides a percentage of the commission to the buyer’s agent in exchange for bringing the buyer to the seller’s office.

At the closing table, the commission is split between the two agents that worked on the deal.

Real estate commissions are a tricky subject that we’ll go over in greater depth later on in this article.

Topics Covered in This Article

For every real estate transaction, there are normally two agents involved:

  • The listing agent is the person who represents the seller. The Buyer’s Agent – This individual represents the buyer.

In the majority of deals, the seller is responsible for paying the real estate commissions on both sides of the transaction. In their listing agreement, the seller will specify how much they are willing to pay each agent on their team. It’s typical for this amount to be expressed as a percentage of the sales price in this context. Commissions based on a fixed rate or a flat charge are also common these days. The commission paid to the buyer’s agent will be advertised in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by the listing agent.

A cooperative is the term used to describe this type of connection.

Neither agent receives compensation until the house transaction is completed.

An easy-to-understand graphic depiction of how money moves through a real estate transaction and to the many agents involved. The sales price of $500,000 and the commission ratio of 6 percent are merely provided as illustrative examples of what is possible.


The commissions paid to real estate agents differ from city to city. In Colorado Springs, the typical real estate agent fee is 6 percent of the buying price of the home. In Denver, they account for an average of 5.8 percent of the asking price of the home. The average real estate commission in the United States, according to a recent research, is around 5.7 percent for both parties combined. Remember that there is no standard commission split for Realtors, which is vital to understand. Some listing agreements will involve commissions that are fixed-rate or flat-fee in nature.

Some properties require little or no effort to sell, while others may require months of preparation and leg work to get ready to sell.

It is up to the seller and the listing agent to come to an agreement on the fees for both parties.


Traditional practice dictates that a seller will cover all of the real estate commissions on both sides of the transaction. Several decades have passed since the establishment of this system. It’s now being challenged in Federal court in the United States. A breakdown of costs for both the buyer and the seller will be disclosed at the closing table. A Settlement Statement is what this is formally referred to as. This statement will include the agreed-upon real estate commission, as well as any closing charges that may have been included.

  1. The commission is paid to the agent’s brokerage, which then distributes it to the agent when the transaction is completed.
  2. Occasionally, a “Disbursement Authorization” document is given, which allows the closer to pay the agent directly at the time of closing.
  3. The agent will then request that their brokerage pay them later when the monies have been disbursed.
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Every real estate agent’s business model is unique to each firm, and each one is organized differently. Some agents charge a fixed fee every closing, but others may offer their brokerage more than half of their gross commissions each month. Many real estate brokerages provide “caps,” which allow agents to keep 100 percent of their commission after paying a specific amount into the company’s account. It is estimated that the 70/30 split between the agent and the real estate brokerage in the model above is an accurate representation of reality.

  • The vast majority of independent real estate brokers keep all of their commission money.
  • It has been proven that the more money they receive, the more driven they are to assist you.
  • Teams that generate leads for their agents demand the highest fees.
  • Real estate brokers that spend a significant amount of time developing material online in order to attract local clients might be among the most successful in their field.

They may be more eager than usual to earn you positive internet evaluations in order to keep their business afloat. Make sure your real estate agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors as well, since this will ensure that your transaction goes well.


In the United States, the typical real estate agent earns around $66,000 per year, compared to the national average of $53,490 for all jobs. Take note that this is the average of all agents combined, not the lowest. Currently, there are around 1,000 transactions every month in Colorado Springs, despite the fact that there are over 5,000 agents working here. The best producers get wages that are considerably in excess of six figures. Realtors are self-employed independent contractors who work for themselves.

  • At first look, it may appear like real estate agents make a lot of money.
  • At the moment, the number of active real estate licenses is at an all-time high.
  • When you take realtor expenditures from their commissions, there isn’t much money left over to spend on other things.
  • The expenditures associated with becoming a realtor might make it incredibly tough to make ends meet.
  • On some transactions, a Realtor’s hourly charge might be less than the federal minimum wage.
  • Approximately 80% of real estate agents leave their positions during the first year of their employment.
  • Being an agent is more demanding and time-consuming than the majority of people believe.
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When seen on the surface, a 5 percent to 6 percent commission on the sales price appears to be a substantial sum of money. Following the extensive work and money involved in selling a house, that commission is rapidly depleted. An agent will work with consumers on a weekly basis for many months before they receive any compensation. People who are unfamiliar with the responsibilities of a listing agent sometimes believe that they charge an excessive amount to sell a house. The majority of the labor performed by a Realtor will take place behind the scenes.

  • Here’s an article that goes over all of the responsibilities that a Realtor has to maintain in their day-to-day work environment: What exactly does a Realtor do in order to earn a commission?
  • The majority of their days and nights are taken up with phone calls, showing schedules, contracts, and other obligations.
  • A real estate agent will absorb the turmoil of the transaction and make it as seamless as possible for their client.
  • Their personal family, on the other hand, is well aware of how hard an agent works.

The most successful listing agents frequently earn their commissions by getting the highest possible price for their clients’ properties. This is accomplished through a mix of effective marketing methods and effective negotiating tactics and strategies.


Most states allow a listing agent to act as both a buyer’s representative and a seller’s representative. Dual Agency is the term used to describe this activity. Despite the fact that an agent can legally represent both parties of a house transaction, it is a risky business to undertake. Some states, such as Alaska, Kansas, and Oklahoma have made dual agency unconstitutional due to the numerous issues it poses. Here’s an article that discusses the complications that might occur when going into a real estate transaction with a dual agency relationship: There are five risks associated with working with the listing agent in a dual agency transaction.


This article discusses the most typical instances in which real estate agents get compensated. A number of additional specialist concerns, such as flat-fee, part-time, and commercial real estate agents, remain unaddressed in this article. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any particular inquiries concerning unique real estate circumstances. For more than 10 years, I have worked as a professional real estate agent. I own and operate my own real estate agency in Colorado Springs, and I take pleasure in sharing my expertise with anybody who might find it useful.

Buyer or Seller: Who Pays Real Estate Commissions?

What factors go into determining real estate commissions, and who is responsible for paying them? We’ve discovered that these are often asked questions by both buyers and sellers.

Who Pays Real Estate Agent Fees?

The quick answer is as follows: In California and Texas, like in the majority of states throughout the country, the seller is normally liable for both the commissions paid to the selling agent and the commissions paid to the listing agency. This is negotiable, but these commissions are typically paid out of the profits of the transaction, which means they are paid at closing. In most cases, real estate agents are compensated on the basis of a commission system. This implies that the commissions paid to purchasing and selling agents are calculated as a percentage of the sales price of each transaction in which they are engaged.

These services include: The commission rates charged by real estate agents are not regulated by the government.

Standard commission rates for a typical transaction are 6 percent, which is shared between the purchasing and selling agents in a 2:1 ratio.

Despite the fact that there are changes in this structure, it will ultimately be determined by the conditions of your agreement.

It’s Written Into the Paperwork

As previously stated in the preceding section, these terms are negotiable. When sellers sign their listing agreement, they are often agreeing to the commission rate that their agent will charge. Likewise, purchasers will often sign a similar agreement with their agent, which will outline the conditions on which they will work with their agency. The contract conditions, in addition to negotiating the commission rates themselves, can also be used to discuss who is accountable for paying the commissions.

This is negotiated in the purchase agreement (also known as your contract), which is signed by both the buyer and the seller, and is documented in the contract.

What Do Buyer and Seller Agents Do for Their Clients?

We’ll take a look at some of the most typical services supplied by real estate experts in California in this section. Of course, exact services vary significantly from transaction to transaction and are dependent on the specific agents and clients involved in each transaction.

The Listing Agent

The terms “listing agent” and “seller’s agent” are frequently used interchangeably. A seller’s agent is the individual who is in charge of putting the house up for sale and marketing it to potential buyers. The following are examples of common services:

  • Determining a list price and providing advise based on current market circumstances
  • And Putting the home on public websites and the Multiple Listing Service
  • Reviewing and accepting bids from buyers, as well as assisting sellers in the evaluation of offers
  • And Contractual negotiations with buyers on terms of bids
  • As a representative of the seller, you will be present for the house inspection and/or appraisal. Make sure all documentation is completed in preparation for the closing procedure.

The Buyer’s Agent

An agent for buyers is involved in much more than just finding a house to buy. The buyer’s agent is typically thought of as the person that delivers purchasers possible houses and spends time visiting properties with them. However, it is not all they do. The following are some of the most typical responsibilities of a buyers agent:

  • Clients are given advice on current market circumstances. assisting the buyer in narrowing down the types of homes, price ranges, neighborhoods, and other criteria
  • Delivering listings that satisfy the requirements of prospective purchasers for them to evaluate
  • Assisting in the coordination of tours of listings and educating their buyers about the house and its surrounding neighborhood Understanding the current market circumstances and similar local sales, as well as advising their buyer on the parameters of the offer Putting up and delivering a formal offer to the listing agent and the vendor
  • Negotiating with the seller and/or listing agent in order to arrive at a price that is acceptable to all parties
  • As a buyer’s representative, you’ll be there for the house inspection and (in certain cases) the appraisal. Maintaining all deadlines and ensuring that the loan is on pace for completion

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How Much Is Real Estate Agent Commission – Redfin

Home Sale Price 5% Real Estate Commission
$150,000 $7,500
$200,000 $10,000
$250,000 $12,500
$350,000 $17,500
$500,000 $25,000

Can you negotiate Realtor© commission fees?

Because there are no rules or regulations prescribing commission rates in the United States, agents may be ready to negotiate reduced commission rates based on the type of transaction, the services that are required, and the nature of the connection. A few of real estate brokers will also reduce their commission rates if they are representing both the buyer and the seller in a house purchase or sale (also known as dual agency; see below). Keep in mind that a reduced commission may not always represent the most advantageous alternative.

Your agent may be unable to appropriately promote your house if you have a limited budget.

Redfin provides no-hassle pricing for its services.

Get in touch with a Redfin Agent to find out how much money you may save.

What does the commission cover?

With no rules or regulations governing commission rates in the United States, agents may be ready to negotiate reduced commission rates based on the type of transaction, the services that will be provided, and their connection with their clients. Some real estate agents will also cut their commission costs if they are representing both the buyer and the seller in a property purchase or sales transaction (also known as dual agency; see below). Keep in mind that a smaller commission may not always represent the most advantageous alternative in every situation.

Your agent may be unable to appropriately promote your house if you have a limited financial budget.

Price quotes from Redfin are free of hassles. Each and every property sale includes a breakdown of how much you’ll pay and how much you’ll save. Get in touch with a Redfin Agent to find out how much money you may save.

How is the commission divided between agents?

For the reasons stated above, the commission is normally distributed in an equal proportion between the buyer’s agency and the selling agent. The seller’s and buyer’s agents will share the total payment of $15,000, with each earning $7,500, if a house sells for $250,000 and a 6 percent fee is paid to both agents on the transaction. It’s also crucial to know that, following the initial split, the commission may be shared between the broker and the agent again. On average, the actual agent may only receive 1.5 percent of a fee of 6 percent from the sale.

How does commission work for buyers?

The house seller is often responsible for paying the Realtor’s commission for both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent, however this is not mandatory. That does not rule out the possibility of a cost to the customer. Sellers may account for the charge they will be paying and pass expenses along to buyers by increasing the price of their home on the market. Redfin Agents can help you save thousands of dollars in closing costs by granting you a share of the commission the seller pays us when you purchase a home via us.

Is commission included in closing costs?

Technically, the commission paid to an agent is not included in the total amount of money paid to close on a house. Closing costs are a collection of payments that must be paid at the time of closing that are independent from agent commissions. Typical closing costs include items like taxes, title insurance, appraisal fees, lender fees, and other services that are performed throughout the closing process. Closing costs vary based on the financing scheme used by the buyer, but they often amount to 2 percent to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price.

Do you have to pay commission if your home doesn’t sell?

The short answer is: most likely not. Real estate brokers are compensated when you sell your property; thus, if your home does not sell, you should not be obligated to pay them a commission on your loss. The long and the short of it is: Pay attention to the tiny print. In most cases, your agreement with your agent is only valid for a specific amount of time. Unless your contract specifies otherwise, you are generally not compelled to compensate your selling agent if the contract expires and your house does not sell within a specified period of time.

  • Your agency was successful in locating the buyer: According to some contracts, if your buyer was a prospect during the length of the agent’s contract, you will still be obligated to pay a commission to the agency after the contract period has expired. You decide to pull out of the transaction: Following the acceptance of an offer, you are responsible for immediately paying the commissions to both real estate agents involved. If you decide to back out of the transaction at the last minute, you will still be responsible for the commissions owed to both real estate agents. It is possible that you will still be accountable for the commission, but you may also be able to sue the buyer for breach of contract
  • If the buyer backs out, you may still be responsible for the commission.

What is dual agency?

When a real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller, this is referred to as dual agency. Dual agency is only allowed if both parties are provided full knowledge of the relationship. It is, however, absolutely banned in a number of jurisdictions.

Bottom line

All contracts should be carefully read. Find a Redfin Agent in your region if you want to save money on commissions when you sell, or if you want to earn money back when you purchase.

We have a presence in over 80 areas, including Denver, Austin, Raleigh, and Fort Lauderdale. The Redfin Refund service is not accessible in all places or in jurisdictions where it is forbidden by law. Subject to lender approval and a minimum number of commissions charged. Read on to find out more

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