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Is ‘pay what you want’ crazy enough to work in real estate?

04/19/2017

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Brian Holt Realtor Brian Holt recently signed a listing agreement, standard but for one minor detail: the absent commission rate. Rather than stipulate a fee, the contract stated that his client, Damian Romano, would pay Holt whatever he wanted. Holt stood to earn little, or even nothing, if he let down Romano. Instead, he’s been promised a 3 percent commission, half a percentage point higher than what Romano thought he would pay Holt for doing a good job. The home is under contract and scheduled to close later this month. “It gave us a little bit of flexibility, but also allowed us to see how he was doing and pay according to that,” Romano said about his deal with Holt. Holt, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been offering pay-what-you-want pricing to select clients. He and other agents at Bamboo Realty, a brokerage with offices in Houston, Dallas and Denver in addition to Raleigh, have used the technique to build goodwill with clients and win business from g…

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