Can Low Commission Hurt Your Chances of Selling Your Home?
Steve, a home seller in Williamsburg, VA posted the following question on Trulia, “Can low commission hurt my sale?” It’s obviously a hot topic because there have been 506 responses (and counting) since June 4.
Here’s my answer:
No agent/broker should ever “steer” or “sort” listings by commission amount. That harms the buyer and is therefore unethical without the expressed permission from the buyer client (in writing).
Buyer’s agents who take it upon themselves to shy away from listings that are offering less than what is written into their Buyer’s Agency Agreement with their buyer clients,
1) don’t have a Buyer’s Agency Agreement signed in the first place
2) haven’t spoken in detail with their buyer clients as to what happens when a seller/listing broker is offering less than what is agreed upon in the Buyer’s Agency Agreement.
There are plenty of ways to legally and ethically negotiate a contract to cover the difference in commission between what is being offered by the seller/listing broker and what is in the Buyer’s Agency Agreement prior to contract ratification (with the buyer via seller subsidy). Unfortunately, not many agents know how.
And if you’re wondering why many consumers don’t like Realtors, answers such as, ” Many people look though MLS email updates. Some agents secretly filter their searches so that the automated service won’t send their clients listings unless they are 3% listings. “ is one reason why. Those agents should all have their licenses revoked immediately.
Since I spoke a bit about what a Buyer’s Agent should not do, I’d also like to talk about what a Buyer’s Agent should do…
A Buyer’s Agent should be looking through every property on the market for a property that meets their buyer client’s needs regardless of the commission amount being offered by the seller. This includes properties that are “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO).
I have been asked by my buyer clients many times if they could look at FSBO properties and if I could represent them on the purchase of a FSBO property. The answer is “yes.” There plenty of ways to deal with the issue of commission and they’re all pretty simple, straight-forward and easy if you ask me.
So what’s your response to Steve’s question, “Can low commission hurt my sale?”