In a recent post, I brought up the issue of who should pay the buyer's agent. Most of the comments I received focused on two concepts:
1. Many of you commented that buyers, if faced with the possibility of having to use part of their funds to pay their own agent, would simply move onto another house.
2. Sellers should offer a HIGHER commission to buyer's agents to attract more buyers.
Can anyone prove either one of these through their own experience?
Recently, and for the first time in my own experience, I saw a commission on the buyer's side of the HUD-1. In this case, the buyer wanted the house and didn't mind to pay their own agent. They didn't just move on to the next house.
As for offering higher commmissions and bonuses, I have tried these strategies on my listings. While I get a lot of interest from agents hoping to bring a buyer, never has this strategy actually resulted in a sale.
And, in case you were thinking that no agent would show your listing if you didn't offer a commission to the buyer's agent, try to remember the last time a buyer asked you which houses they should see? In my case, that would have been several years ago.
Buyers come into office looking for a walking lockbox key and an unlimited taxi service. That is, if they come into the office at all. Often, they just want to meet at the property. On their lunch break. I like to think buyers are also looking for a skilled contract writer and negotiator, but I'm not at all sure they've thought of that.
If anyone has read the results of the survey by the California Association of Realtors that came out last summer focusing on Internet buyers, you might draw the conclusion that the role of the buyer agent is diminishing. Yes, it's good news that today's buyer is better educated, but that also means they're not looking for that education from us. Yes, it's good news that they spend less time in our cars touring homes, but that also means they got into the car already knowing what houses they wanted to see. They didn't ask us.