What every Seller should know about "Fee Co-operation"

Real Estate Agent with The Bean Group

As a home owner you think that once you decide that you want to sell your home, all you have to do is interview a few Realtor's pick one you like then sit back and let the Realtor do the rest, right? If you said yes, then you want to read the rest of this blog.

A point that many home owners overlook is the fee split that will be paid out on their behalf in the MLS by their Realtor. In years past many Sellers could have cared less how much of the fee (if any) was paid out to other Agents since their properties were selling within hours or days of being listed. In today's market this could be a perilous thing to over look, since we are in a Buyers market.

As a Seller you choose the Realtor you wish to use, you negotiate the price, terms and fee you will have in your contract and you think that is the end of your job. MLS rules say that Realtor's have to co-operate with other Realtor's in the showing of properties on the MLS, but they do not have to compensate; therefore,  Listing Agencies can compensate other Agents at any amount. this could negatively affect you, and by viewing the sale from the Buyer's side you will see how.

Buyers have two ways they can work with a Realtor and these are as Buyer Clients or as Customers. As a Client the Buyer has entered into a contract with a Realtor for services. As a Customer the Buyer does not wish to hire a Realtor, therefore their is no contract or fee for services.When a Realtor is contracted to work for a Buyer there is a fee section to the contract, just like a Listing contract. The difference with the Buyers Contract is that there is a section that states that the Realtor will apply whatever amount is being compensated on the MLS to the fee the Buyer owes and any difference in fee (if any) will be owed to the Agency by the Buyer Client. As for the situations where an Agent is working with a Customer, the Agent is only going to get paid the amount that is quoted in the MLS by the Listing Agency.

The fee a Seller decides to pay to their Listing Agency is confidential between those two parties, but once the fee is negotiated the amount being placed out onto the MLS is just as important as the overall fee. The co-operation section of the Listing Contract is just as important as any other section of the contract. How much you decide to co-operate out on the MLS can determine whether a Buyer even sees your home. If the fee is lower than what a Non-Agent (an Agent who has no contract with the Buyer) is willing to work for, they will not show your home. If the fee is lower than what a Buyer Agent has with their Client, the client may decide not to view your home.

Before you sign your Listing Contract, you should review this section with your Agent and make sure you are comfortable with whatever amount is going to be compensated on the MLS.

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