Have you EVER had to ask your Buyer to pay your commission for a FSBO???

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Greenville Central

I"m pretty angry agents, I have to admit. I have awesome clients who have been nothing but perfect from day 1. Qualified, nothing to sell, ready to move immediately.

So I call a local FSBO who says " We will not come off our price at all". I say ok and tell them about my commission. They say they will discuss it and call me back to let me know if I can show. They did so and said all was a go. Got there with  a one time showing agreement. Only one party present and signed. So buyers looked, fell in love with the house and offer is to be presented.

Other party says they never agreed to my commission and that they will not pay it? I had to go to the Buyer and tell him that since we are under buyers agency and after working with them for over a month, I deserve my share. Buyer is completely in agreeance and not happy with the situation. But when my commission is factored in, they will be overpriced for the neighborhood and have no equity in the home.

Have any of you ever had to ask your Buyer to pay your commission? That is undoubtedly the most uncomfortable conversation I've ever had and I'm so angry with these sellers I"m shaking. Turns out this isnt' the first time this has happened. They are nickel and diming to death, are retired and have money so this whole thing is over my commission instead of moving to be with their grandkids. Good Godly Christian folks HA! I guess being with your kids isn't as important as a few thousand dollars....all this for a 180K home...

What to do?

Comments (16)

Linda Lipscomb
Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN - Lexington, TN
731-695-1118, Lexington TN Homes

People are not who they seem to be most often.

Never had to ask the buyers for commission.  Too sad.

You know what.....do what's right for the buyers.  You will earn your pay 100 times over from the referrals.  As for the sellers, they will probably have some major crisis that causes them to spend this and more. 

Good luck with what you decide.

Oct 23, 2008 10:43 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Never, never, never ask a FSBO to pay a BA commission. 

When we arrive for a tour of the home, have the owner (they're not seller's yet) sign a showing agreement (not a listing agreement) and give them an Agency Notice so they know you are representing the buyer.

Then, if your buyers want the house simply write the contract with a credit to the buyers, from which the buyers pay your fee.

That way, you never have to ask anyone for anything.  If the sellers don't agree, the buyers don't buy the house.


Oct 23, 2008 10:47 AM
Barb Van Stensel
Chicago, IL

I'm with Lenn on this one.    I now have all my buyer's sign an agency agreement with me and that mark what they are willing to put forth for my commission should I find that home and it's a FSBO. 

Your mistake was not having all parties on the selling side sign that little piece of paper. 

It's a hard lesson to learn.

Oct 23, 2008 10:52 AM
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

I have sold a couple of FSBOs and have written my commission into the contract which the sellers had no problem signing. The people you describe sound like ********.  Move on and sell the buyers a different house. JMO.  Life is too short.  Good luck.

Oct 23, 2008 10:54 AM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Holly~ I guess the lesson we all should learn here is without a signed buyer's agreement, you (we) are out of luck! Apparently a signed one-time showing doesn't really mean anything after all!

Oct 23, 2008 10:58 AM
Holly Lynch
Keller Williams Greenville Central - Travelers Rest, SC

buyers agreement no prob...both sellers werent' present when we arrived. my mistake was trusting them in the first place....it sucks

Oct 23, 2008 11:16 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi Holly, The commission should really be a non-issue. Just present the offer. The buyer can pay your commission on their side of the HUD if necessary. If you really want to get technical the buyer ALWAYS pays the commission since they are the only ones bringing the money to closing.

Oct 23, 2008 11:40 AM
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC

Yes I have had a FSBO pay my commission but the whole thing turned out to be a nightmare - just the situation. I think the fact the FSBO reneged sucked. I would definitely not show the property until i got the signed agreement in advance.  Good luck  - you are really stuck in the middle and  I am not sure you will make out here.

Oct 23, 2008 01:21 PM
Ron Tarvin
Residential, Investment properties, rehab projects, property management, luxury homes, new construction! - Katy, TX
Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095

If you go that route, you go early to tour the home and present the agreement to ALL decision makers.

Your agreement with the one seller would probably hold in small claims court, I would ask your team leader about that.  In the end, write the offer with seller contribution that will ultimately end up as commission like Lynn suggested or just make sure you do right by your buyers...I've done a few deals with no pay in it because it was "right". 

Oct 23, 2008 01:32 PM
Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Ormond Beach, FL
New Homes Sales Ormond, New Smyrna, Daytona Be

27 years in this business and I have never sold a FSBO......I never tried and don't plan to - they did not list for a reason.....

Oct 23, 2008 05:30 PM
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

If the sellers want X amount, that is what they want.  Shouldn't matter to us one whit.  (Whether they have lots of money or own their home free & clear isn't any of our business.  After all, would you want someone to tell you that you are being greedy with what you feel is a fair profit from your home sale?)

Write the offer again, asking for a seller credit to buyer at closing.  Then your buyers will bring less $$ to the table, and have the $$ to pay your fee.

Oct 23, 2008 11:02 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Holly, I came back to add that the seller should only care about their NET. They need to understand that this is the only figure that matters. Who pays closing costs and commissions is really just a manipulation of numbers. When presenting offers to a seller always present the net figure. The actual purchase price doesn't matter that much. The "Net sheet" is the REALTORS(R) best negotiating tool when talking with sellers. 

Oct 24, 2008 01:30 AM
John Hersey
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - York, PA
e-PRO Realtor


I think Lenn mentioned this and probably others too.  I simply ask the sellers to pay some toward closing costs.  Commision is part of closing costs!  Good luck!

Oct 24, 2008 02:22 AM
Holly Lynch
Keller Williams Greenville Central - Travelers Rest, SC

just fyi for you guys. Seller unwilling to come off price and will NOT pay any type of closing cost..help you understand unreasonable expectations?

Oct 24, 2008 02:26 AM
John Hersey
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - York, PA
e-PRO Realtor


If buyers want it bad enough I think they will understand that you need to get paid and if they have the cash, they will pay it.  Are you trying to just get 3%?  If they can't do it, hopefully they will agree to keep looking!

Oct 24, 2008 02:28 AM
Jim Lee
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH

Three words are the solution to this issue: "Buyer Agency Agreement"

If you make your fee part of the buyer's offer to a seller it's set in stone and if the seller refuses or counters it's usually pretty easy to get your buyer client on your side.


Nov 03, 2008 12:44 AM

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