What? I'm to Pay You My Commission?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

Many, many years ago, I represented a buyer on a new construction home. This is my 3rd post in the March to a Solution Challenge. These posts for this challenge have been very interesting for us all.

In this particular situation, I was first contacted by Mrs. Buyer. She and I were in constant communication, she was the only person to actually look at the homes, and, she handled all of the negotiations. I knew that she was married, but until the day of the final walk-through, I had never met Mr. Buyer.

Closing day had arrived and I finally met Mr. Buyer at the walk-through prior to heading to the title company. What was interesting is that the only words spoken to me by Mr. Buyer were regarding my commission. He asked me, "When will you be writing us a check for your 3%?

I calmly replied, "Sir, I am not sure why you are asking me this question?" He said, "You told my wife you would be paying us your commission." Now, I am getting a little heated as the wife simply stood there without saying a word. 

Thankfully, remaining calm was in order as I explained that in Texas, the Seller has already negotiated the buyer agent commission which was reflected in the MLS. Additionally, Mrs. Buyer signed a Buyer Representative Agreement stating that she understood as her agent, I would be receiving a commission. And finally, the actual contract they both signed clearly shows the amount of the commission being distributed to the buyer agent.

At that, I walked them out of the home and said I would see them at closing. I had my assistant send all paperwork via email to both of them as I drove to the closing just to make sure they had every document I had mentioned. They showed up, we closed and it would seem that all was well. Not so fast!

Six months AFTER the closing, I received a call from Mrs. Buyer. I could hear Mr. Buyer in the background. She said, "We are still awaiting that commission from the purchase of our home." Shocked as I was, I again explained I work for a living just as I am sure they did too. I reminded them of the paperwork they signed that clearly spelled out how the commission was being disbursed.

Unbelievable! I still do not understand exactly what transpired other than either not fully understanding how agents get paid or why they felt they had "earned" the commission. I never had a conversation with Mrs. Buyer stating I would be giving them my paycheck. So strange.

It has now been years and I have not heard from them again. The whole thing was very interesting. Thankfully, all paperwork and documentation were very clearly laid out and provided. The moral of the story - is always to make sure your paperwork is in order.


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Comments (16)

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Paula, that’s just terrible. It sounded kinda sneaky for Mr. Buyer to show up conveniently near the end and only asked one question about your commission. I can’t imagine what you went through! 

Thank you for fully completing the March 2023 Challenge!

Mar 27, 2023 07:02 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Paula, I do believe Mr. Buyer was the driving factor to the 3% reimbursement, but why would they think you work for FREE?   It is so strange.

Mar 27, 2023 07:04 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Paula,  good post to again show just how strange things can be in our world.  I am constantly reminding everyone in the office to back any conversations up with an email clarifying all stated.  It is then on record along with all proper documents.  Communication, such an important factor that is too often ignored.  mdm

Mar 27, 2023 07:43 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Paula - how often have we heard in real estate (and elsewhere) "that it's not over until it's over".  The example you share in this post proves that sometimes even a closing does not mean it's the end.  



Mar 27, 2023 07:49 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

We cannot overstate the importance of having all the paperwork in order Dr. Paula McDonald 

Why would anyone expect to be paid their agent's commission?  That may remain a mystery forever.

We do know some agents will offer a percentage kickback (crazy) but it does happen, but why would anyone give their entire commission?  Seems like you may have been played to see what you would do - if you would bend and compromise and give them anything. 

Thank you for your full participation in the March to a Solution Challenge. 

Mar 27, 2023 07:55 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

In other words they were as dumb as a tree stump if they really believed you’d work for Free or Chiselers who were trying to intimidate you . 

Mar 27, 2023 08:42 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Paula, some people do think that we owe them our commission because we make the big bucks.  I always ask them if they work free at their job!


Mar 27, 2023 08:59 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon,

You are so right..dotting all the I's and crossing all the T's areso important in our business. It always amazes me the consumer is so ready to take part or in your case all of your commission. I blame the agents who are always cutting their commissin who give the consumer the ide area our commmmisons are up for grabs!

Mar 27, 2023 10:32 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Well that's a thumb sucker! Who on earthy would think you should not be paid and work for free AFTER you explained it to them and they signed the documents - and closed on it. Ridiculous just ridiculous. Naturally you handled it well Paula!

Mar 27, 2023 12:42 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Paula- some people hear what they want to hear and nothing will change that. I am amazed at the number of people who think that commission means something other than money 

Mar 27, 2023 12:46 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I have had clients ask for some of my commission in the past. In Maryland rebating is against the law for any agent to compensate someone with out a real estate license. So I always politely tell anyone who asks I would never jeopardize my license by doing something against the law! 

Mar 27, 2023 06:28 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

That really was a strange situation and it makes me wonder what was going on behind the scenes with the husband and wife.  I am not sure what I would do in the same situation.  I hope I would handle it as well as you did. 

Mar 27, 2023 08:31 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Congratulations!  You have been featured on Bananatudes!

Bananatude Picture

Mar 27, 2023 08:32 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Paula... those signed representation agreements really "save" us in the end. I've never had this happen to me, but I've heard from other agents how their buyers looked for a "kick-back" on a commission.

Mar 28, 2023 04:27 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That is an astonishing story, Paula.  I once had a VA buyer, who thought I should kick in my commission to help them buy a home.  

Mar 29, 2023 02:11 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Paula, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Mar 29, 2023 02:11 AM