Sellers, don't waste money on a commission bonus. Do this instead!

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

Should I or should I not offer a commission bonus to the buyer's agent when selling my Silver Spring, MD home? That is a question & discussion that pops up regularly. My answer is:

Sellers, don't waste your money on a commission bonus. Do this [pick one] instead!

  • Hire a professional organizer before you list to help you purge and organize your belongings as well as your home. Not only will it make your move easier, it will also show your home better.

  • Hire a professional stager. Staging turns a house into a home and helps buyers envision how to use a space and get the warm and fuzzies. This is curb appeal

  • Replace that old and worn-out carpet.

  • Replace your (outdated) appliances.

  • Spruce up your bathrooms, new paint & fixtures alone can make a big difference.

  • Improve your curb appeal, you simply can't have too much of it.

  • Create an outdoor living area in your back-yard.

  • Catch up on regular maintenance items.

  • Have a pre-listing home inspection.

  • Hire the best REALTOR®. Hiring the agent who is quick to offer you a discount may seem like a financial savvy decision. At first. But consider that seasoned agents with a track record know their worth. The combination of experience, knowledge, being market savvy, negotiation skills, professional network, marketing tools, listening skills, education above & beyond the minimum requirement .. may just yield you a [much] bigger net in the end, and a less stressful experience. 

Quite honestly, a commission bonus is well.. a nice bonus and you'll make the buyer agent's day. But, the buyer's agent is NOT the one buying the house. The buyer's agent is NOT the one making the decision on which house to buy. The buyer's agent is NOT going to steer the buyer to your  house because of a commission bonus. 

Why not? Because this is a relationship business that is build on trust. We work for Thank Yous and referrals. Listening to what our buyer clients want, need and can comfortably afford are the top priorities. Whether or not a bonus is offered to us, doesn't even make the list. We want to see our buyers glow and hear all about how happy they still are in their home a year or five later. And we would love for them to return to us when they are ready to sell and buy again. 

It is all about the buyer. So do what is best for them. And do what is best for you. Show your home in its best possible light. Create a space that the buyer will love. Hire the best and price it right. But don't waste your money on a commission bonus. 

Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860

Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 03/17/2017 05:33 AM
  2. Susan Haughton 03/17/2017 05:49 AM
  3. Ginger Harper 03/17/2017 08:14 AM
Home Selling
Maryland Montgomery County Silver Spring
Best Business Practices
Advice for Sellers
is staging worth it
what not to do when selling your silver spring md home
should i offer a commission bonus
will a commission bonus help sell my house
how to prepare my silver spring md home for sale

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Well done, a bonus is nice, but a job well done and referrals are all the bonus that should be needed.  In most of the markets out there today, if a home is priced right and put in it's best light, it'll sell without a bonus.

Mar 17, 2017 11:01 AM #32
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Andrea,  Glad to see this featured.  Indeed, put the money into the home where the buyer can benefit. Truly everyone wins with that scenario. 

Mar 17, 2017 11:27 AM #33
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Offering a bonus is a waste, for sure. Put the money in the property as you say!

Mar 17, 2017 11:41 AM #34
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Well done Andrea, well done. Love how it is written

Mar 17, 2017 11:44 AM #35
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

The "bonus" is typically offered by the listing agent/sellers' agent.  It comes off their commission, and goes to the buyer's agent broker.  The seller will "pay" the same commission.  The listing agent can offer a bonus, but that's from their end, no?!?  I think the two concepts, i.e., listing agent offering a bonus vs. seller doing some simple updates, etc. aren't mutually inclusive.  I do like the idea of seller doing what they can to get the house ready.

Mar 17, 2017 01:32 PM #36
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Excellent article. While I alway love a bonus, it is not how the house gets sold!

Mar 17, 2017 02:14 PM #37
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

In 26 years I have never been in favor of bonuses. Lower the price instead to benefit a buyer not an agent.

Mar 18, 2017 06:32 AM #38
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

I still think that a bonus is a viable attractor. I'll be honest & say of 3 same homes in a subdivision, I will show the one with a bonus first. 

It's always better that the seller do pre-selling activities anytime. I think if their house isn't selling it could be because of condition & your list addresses that.

Mar 18, 2017 06:47 AM #39
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Andrea Bedard - I just love this post! I also think it's a dumb idea to offer the buyer's agent a bonus for bringing in the buyer. Your idea makes so much more sense! I'm happy to see you were featured too!!!

Mar 18, 2017 06:54 AM #40
Christina Steinhaus
Coldwell Banker Residential Property - West Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate Agent serving the Palm Beaches

Good post, Andrea!  This is a question I hear frequently, and you've provided some good alternatives for the Seller.  The Curb Appeal aspect works well for a Seller I'm working with now.  Thanks for the suggestions!

Mar 18, 2017 08:03 AM #41
Rosalind Nicholas
RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON

Good list of ideas to suggest to a Seller, rather than a bonus to the Buyer agent. Thanks for sharing.

Mar 18, 2017 08:29 AM #42
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Except, of course, if the home you're selling is a fixer. I was trying to convey the bad condition of a home to a seller in Sacramento who lives in Illinois. I sent him photos of dry-rot damage, wiring hanging from the ceilings, filthy walls and detiorating floors (it should be gutted) and the seller asked me if he should mow the lawn to add a little curb appeal.

Mar 18, 2017 09:22 AM #43
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

it's a beauty pageant and a price war.  the seller needs to win them both.

Mar 18, 2017 05:54 PM #44
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Your post is right on point . . . . and your insight will help to get the home sold.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 18, 2017 08:41 PM #45
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Congratulations on a well dissevered feature.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 18, 2017 08:43 PM #46
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Well said.  I have always advocated putting bonus money into the house for a competative advantage.  That is, if the sellers have the money.  Sometimes they offer the bonus because it comes out of the sales proceeds and not out of their pockets up front.

Mar 19, 2017 06:42 AM #47
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I have often also said to sellers when their home doesn't need the stuff you mentioned, that an offer for paying buyers closing costs is better than an offer of a bonus commission as well.  You should do things that attract buyers not agents.

Mar 19, 2017 11:03 AM #48
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Bonuses tell me that the seller is very interested in selling and maybe even a little desperate. I do not choose what I will show based on percentage of commission or selling bonuses but know many agents do.

Mar 19, 2017 04:22 PM #49
Gareth Bean

Well done Andrea!
Great post.
Very useful information!

Gareth B.

Mar 20, 2017 07:38 AM #50
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

Great advice! Hiring an Organizer and after that is done, a Stager, should do it. It does not matter about the price point or location, a home displayed the right way will outsell others quickly.

Mar 23, 2017 06:32 AM #51
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
Ready to buy or sell?
Spam prevention

Additional Information