When I first sold real estate in 1984, buyer’s brokerage was rarely practiced and even more rarely compensated. The theory was at that time that if the buyer wanted an agent to represent them, then the buyer should be the one that pays for it.
The actual implementation of the concept usually only occurred in commercial real estate transactions. For whatever reason, business buyers seemed to grasp the notion that the entity deriving the benefit from the service should be the one that pays for it.
After some significant litigation in the early 1990’s in which residential buyers claimed they had been duped by brokers that represented the seller as a sub-agent, buyers DEMANDED representation.
However and quite inexplicably it was still assumed that the seller would pay the commission. It is very unusual to say the least for one person to pay for services that will help the other party prevail against their own interests.
Which leads us to where we are today:
Many consumers do not want to be represented. They prefer to shop their own deals and fend for themselves.
This is perfectly fine, except that this process usually will involve some time and effort from one or more traditional buyer’s agents that will show houses, offer services, and never be paid.
IDX and the proliferation of information on the Internet have triggered a cataclysm that will eventually lead to the demise of brokerage. The old models are no longer in demand and will eventually succumb to market forces.
It’s just a matter of time.