All you agents care about is the commission!

Real Estate Agent with Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon

All you agents care about is the commission!

All you agents care about is the commission!

I've heard this a few times recently, once in negotiations and another at a recent gathering with friends. I gotta tell you that this is one thing that really doesn't sit well with me when I hear it, yet this is a common thing that many people think.

While in negotiations..the remark went something like " Oh, you just care about getting the house sold..and a few thousand more is better for you anyway, right? " This was said jokingly...but's what many people think. My response was "Yes, I do want your home to sell, which is why you hired me..but it's your home not mine, so if you don't want to go lower, than I will support it and we will go from there.

I also enlightened this seller as well as my friend on the realities of what a commission would actually be for a few thousand dollars. At the gathering, the discussion we were having was about a difference of $5,000 dollars in a sale price. What's the reality of how much we actually would get for that extra $5,000?  Let's do the math shall we?

Say the home was listed at $200K and the co-op split was 2.5% (random percentage used here as example) ...which comes to $5,000. What would be the difference in the commission if the house was $195K? ..using my calculator here. ..ok, it would be $4,875.  WOW...that's a WHOLE WHOPPING $125 which I have to split and pay taxes on.

I just read a lovely (bit of sarcasm here) article titled "Why You Can't Trust Real Estate Agents When Buying A House" by Mike Holman which spurred this post. Yeah, I should have just ignored this, but it is something that is out there..and something that is really isn't true in most cases...and it really isn't giving a buyer or seller great advice in my humble opinion. In it Mike goes on to say:

"Thinking about putting in an offer – Trust no one!"  ..and then further down in the article "Negotiation – don’t listen to a word your agent has to say" 

"The point when the buyer submits a offer on a house is a time when a lot of house buyers – particularly first timers feel out of their element and defer to their agent for advice. This is the worst thing you can do. Your agent gets paid when the deal gets done and only when it gets done."

Hmmm..not taking your agents advice is the worst thing you can do??? Really?? Since our business relies heavily on referrals or word of mouth..and unhappy client is not something we like. If you can't or don't trust your agent, then you really shouldn't be working with them.  A good agent will do a market analysis before writing up an offer and go over all the comparables with you help you make a sound offer. If the home is $200K and the comparables are all coming in much lower, than a good agent will recommend where your offer should fall in after going over them with you.

Whether you're buying or selling a home, working with a good agent means they have your back and are NOT thinking about getting you to pay more than you should so they can pocket that extra $125...or whatever it is. I'm not naive enough to think that there aren't some bad agents out there...cuz there are. Whether buying or selling, working with an agent you trust is very important. They will help you make an informed decision on what is probably the largest asset you have. The bottom line is though...that it's always YOUR decision. I've never heard of an agent that hog tied and forced a client into signing papers.

Want to work with a good agent? Give me a call.

PS: Although this post has the word "commission" in the title the numbers used were just random numbers to make a point. Please if making a comment refrain from using any commission percentage specifics as in "We always get $$$ %"   Thanks :)

Posted by


Knowledgeable, Approachable, Service Oriented

Cindy Westfall ABR,GRI

Premiere Property Group,LLC

5000 Meadows Rd., Ste. 150, Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Cell: 503-819-5241      




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Disclaimer: All views on my blog are my own and may not reflect that of Premiere Property Group. All pictures and content are my own unless otherwise noted. Please No Copying without my permission.

 Cynthia Westfall is licensed in Oregon State


Laura Levenson
APEX Properties - McHenry, IL

Love it!  Hmmm...let's see...just got a commission check that I worked over 6 months for! (Short sale..that should say it all!).  If it weren't for me, the deal wouldn't have closed at I seemed to do the job of the cooperating agent, their attorney, their lender.....YOU GET THE POINT!  However, I did not bank THEIR money, they did!  Did I earn MY money...HELL YEAH!

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Holman! :)

Aug 17, 2011 01:52 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I think we could just as easily re-phrase this to all of you buyers and sellers only care about your bottom dollar and not about the agents making a living wage.

Aug 17, 2011 01:58 AM
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

Just go ahead and throw the cuffs on us now since we're all lying, theiving crooks right? Funny how those same people are the first to ask what my opinion is of the housing market....

Aug 17, 2011 02:13 AM
Timothy Mattingly
Louisville Homes Team Louisville KY - Louisville, KY
Louisville Homes for Sale

Great post and comments.  This is always a bit of a touchy subject for sellers mainly- but it is up to us to help them understand the value. 

Aug 17, 2011 02:37 AM
Sherri Berry
Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN
Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate

Great post Cindy!  There are so many hardworking and caring agents in our industry that get penalized because of the ones that ARE greed driven and well...just plain stink as being agents!  It has been my experience that so many people really don't understand how our commission is paid and split and the expenses we incur  We have to educate them better.

Aug 17, 2011 02:43 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Andrew..that just sounds incredibly insane! What is she thinking??

Hi Rosalie, I hear ya!

Hi Bryan, it's all perception. I know when the seller looks at the fee at closing..even after they've seen this number when they signed the listing and you've explained where it, broker etc., it's still hard for them to look at it an not think that you don't get it all. I've been fortunate and most of my clients are very appreciative of what I brought to the table and in some instances have remarked that I should get more. There are always a few though...

Hi Sandy,'s not uncommon to ask you to pay for let's say a water heater, repairs or a home warranty out of your commission.

Juan, that's a very good insight. In most cases it's fear. It was fear in this case as well and I was able to talk the client through it.

Hi Wayne, I thought the article was rediculous..use your agent but for god sake don't trust or listen to them as they're only out for their best interest. Grrr. I really hope this Holman guy never has to sell his home.

Aug 17, 2011 04:38 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Chuck, I am the same way. I always tell them that they are in the drivers seat as to all the decisions. It is after all their home, their life. We are hired to guide them through the process, have their back, and do what we are hired to them buy..or sell a home. I've actually told sellers they shouldn't sell right now...or mentioned to buyers that even though they are approved for a certain amount, they don't need to go to that if they want to keep their payments lower. Happy clients in the end is the goal. Getting paid for a job well done is part of it should be.

Well said Andrew...well said!

Hi Michael, as long as their shelling it out...they will always look at it. It's human nature to want to get the most for less..often overlooking that less sometimes costs you more in the long run.

Thanks K.C.!

Hi Mike, and I'm sure this guy that wrote that article is donating all the proceeds from the sale of his books to others..since it's not about the money.

Aug 17, 2011 04:49 AM
Justin Dibbs
Fairway Independent Mortgage - Ashburn, VA
Mortgage Advisor

Couldn't agree more Cindy.  I started to read his post but then just closed the window.  As #38 said, some people just say the stupidest things and I'm not going to waste my time reading them.

Aug 17, 2011 04:51 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Oh are very wise not to read the article as it will make you angry. I wish I had just passed it over, but the title drew me in. Sad that someone can spout that stuff and people will read and do because of it.

Hi Laura, <Big Grin> You go girl!

Hi Gabe, It's the ones that nickle and dime you and don't really care about what you bring to the table that will probably insist on overpricing their home and not doing any repairs or take any advice to make it show better.

Hi Margie, Yep, I gotta wonder if Mike Holmes ever asked about the market to an agent..Oh wait, that's right, he uses them for the info.

Hi Timothy, for sure..and it IS a hunk of change to understood. Even worse when the commission cuts into the equity that's already been spent. Educating them on what you bring to the table to get their home sold, and the co-op split is essential. There are so many choices for sellers today at all different price ranges. It all depends on what they want.

Hi Sherri, I couldn't have said it better!

Aug 17, 2011 05:07 AM
Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
eXp Realty, Victoria BC - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

Hi Cindy,

Well done, you are expressing so well what most of us get truly frustrated with.

this pfanntastic article will become a classic for the generations..... and some of the comments show how deep this entire issue of earning a fair compensation cuts.

Aug 17, 2011 06:34 AM
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

I don't put much credence into what people like that say about agents. He is obviously wrong and he is obviously biased so I wouldn't bother with him. In my local market there are sometimes 15-30 offers on every foreclosure (which we have a lot of) and if I told the buyers "let's negotiate and lowball to see how they respond" I would be doing them a disservice and they would never buy a house. Investors rule in my neck of the woods and if you can't offer with the big boys then you won't end up buying. The more I read the comments the more I realized they just a bunch of idiots. Wow. I wonder if they would work for no compensation. As if I'm supposed to be ashamed that I expect to be paid for the hard work I do.

Stepping down off the soap box now....

Aug 17, 2011 09:26 AM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Cindy ~ It's all about working hard and waiting a long time for a paycheck ~ What commission??

Aug 17, 2011 11:10 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Justin, Smart...I unfortunately opened it..and was hoping by the title that it was going to be one of those opposite kind of posts..

Hi Brian, It's an education process daily. It does still amaze me though with everything easily accessable online, that buyers and sellers still don't know how the process really works for their benefit. That's ok, I'll gladly educate as I go. I can still remember that light bulb moment when my hubby and I were in an open house..way before I was an agent and she told us we were doing it all wrong and explained why. Know one had done that before.

Hi Peter and Linda, It is just one of those things that seems to get lost in translation..why and how we get paid and really what we do for it. Most good agents try to keep the stress level off of their client, so often will not talk to them about all the behind the scenes negotiations, dealing with contractors and such..but just get it done.

Hi Nathan..hear my applause?? I guess for me reading the article and the comments in the article was to see how the commenters responded. Yeah..I know lot's of people tend to respond snarky on these types of public posts..but it still is a general idea of what we need to deal with daily.

Aug 17, 2011 11:23 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Frank and Karen...good thing I just swallowed my coffee..or it would be all over my computer. Thank you :)

Aug 17, 2011 11:24 AM
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

CINDY ~ I thought this was a wonderful post and a great topic.  Why hire me if you're not going to take my advice???

Aug 17, 2011 04:18 PM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Dawn, that is it right there...if you don't trust your agent, then you have the wrong one.

Aug 18, 2011 06:28 AM
Anu Dutta
Citi Living Solutions - Forest Hills, NY

It is unfortunate that the sellers always think (unless if they know how this works) we take 100% home, they have no clue about our hard work, time, split with selling agent, broker, marketing cost, gas/toll , plus who know how many other headaches.

Aug 22, 2011 06:50 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Anu, Very true...and it's up to us to educate them. I've been doing more and more of giving a more detailed Seller report each week. I used to just have the general how many showings, new homes on the market, and general marketing. Now I add in more of the things I've done behind the scenes to market and negotiate for them, meeting contractors so they don't have to leave work..things like that.

Aug 23, 2011 09:44 AM
Mike Baltierra
Rise Realty - Eastvale, CA
Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA

It's true we care about the commission just like people who go to work and care about their pay check so that they can provide for themselves and their family. But where we differ is that we care about our clients because right off the bat we work for their interest not ours. Once they get what they want we get paid for a job well done.

May 17, 2014 12:06 PM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Mike, Well said! We should not be ashamed to want to get paid for doing a good job. I don't know many who are willing to work for free when they have a mortgage/rent to pay, bills, etc. Yes, we chose to work a job that has us doing all the work up front without any guarantee of getting paid, but it's our job...and not a volunteering position.

May 17, 2014 01:21 PM