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What is a buyer’s agent worth?

10/25/2017

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When Sally showed the home, wrote the offer and submitted it, she hadn’t noticed the listing agent was only offering 2 percent commission. She discovered the compensation when the buyers were ready to make an offer. She was expecting more and also owed a 40 percent referral. Sally reached out for advice. She wanted more and to negotiate with the seller’s agent. Sally isn’t a new agent, she simply hadn’t checked the offered compensation. I know all the ways to make this work: ask sellers to pay the buyer’s agent commission, ask the buyers to pay, negotiate with listing agent (a violation of MLS rules), and probably some others, but this caused me to wonder: Why does the listing agent set the buyer’s agent compensation? How we got here Today’s MLS evolved from a time when only the listing agent collected a commission. Listing agents wanted to present their listings to other agents who might have buyers, but no listings. A group was formed where multiple brokerages co…

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