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When a FSBO seller asks the buyer’s agent: ‘Will you cut your commission?’

07/06/2017

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You’ve taken your buyers to see a dozen properties to no avail. Then, they come across the perfect home online. While they rejoice, your stomach drops: It’s a for sale by owner (FSBO). But you may be in luck — the sellers said they’d pay the buyer’s agent a 3 percent commission, and you submit an offer on your clients’ behalf. Are you home free? Hardly. FSBOs are layered with an extra challenge because in bypassing the MLS, the seller isn’t bound by licensing agreements or the broker-to-broker compensation rules that underpin the cooperative commission model. Rita Boswell In the case of Ohio-based real estate agent Rita Boswell, when she finally got a call back from FSBO sellers after making an offer on behalf of her buyers, they claimed to have received a better offer and asked if she’d be willing to cut her commission down to 2 percent. Should you take less money for the same — if not more — work to make your buyers happy? Or should you refuse to budge and potenti…

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