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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Your premise is bass-ackwards. 

1) the seller pays the commission.  Doesn't matter where the money originated, when the commission is paid, the money belongs to the seller, therefore the seller pays.

2) IF your premise were correct (which it's not, just in case you didn't read #1) there is no way for the listing agent to negotiate with the buyer, since at the time of listing we don't know, yet, who the buyer is.

Jul 07, 2019 05:46 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I think where the disconnect happens is in making the distinction between cooperation, compensation and representation.


I can represent you without being paid.
I can pay someone who doesn't represent me.
I can accept payment from someone I do not represent


represent my client to the fullest.
Also, I remember that conversation, and maybe 1-2 folks agreed that buyer is the one paying. Many did NOT. MOST did not.

I gotta good memory - I can even tell you who did agree. I think 2 peeps.

Also and this is the key - seller pays THEIR BROKER.


They choose to. They want to. It's good for them, good for their client.

If you're dealing with sellers who simply want to short you, you can choose not to work with them. You can choose to pay a dollar. You can choose to make your deal in any one of a gazongagillion ways.

It's real estate - no need to overthink it. Just make happy deals!

Works for me!

Jul 07, 2019 07:56 AM
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I do not understand the question. Seller pays the commission as part of their listing agreement with their agent toi get the home sold. Listing agent offers a portion of that commission to the selling agent (i.e., buyer's agent) to bring a bona fide buyer to the table.

Buyer agents also typically negotiate a commission with their client in the event that they are not paid by the listing agent's brokerage.

Jul 07, 2019 05:10 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Because the Seller is paying the commission fees

Jul 07, 2019 04:56 AM
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Commission comes from the seller, not the buyer.

Jul 07, 2019 05:28 AM
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

The buyer pays the seller for the house. Since the commission typically comes from the sale price, the money the buyer pays for the house covers both agents commissions. So really, both the buyer and seller are "paying" for the commission. One pays through a 30 year mortgage and one pays from their sale proceeds. The one that feels it more is the seller since they actually see the money leaving them. Therefore, they get to choose how much they want to disappear and where it goes.


Jul 07, 2019 04:48 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

the buyer pays a  price with or without a commission....the only thing that buyer is negotiating is a price not the commission.... the buyer's fee is stated in MLS....period.

the seller pays the listing office.... the listing office pays their agent and cuts a check for the buyer agent's office as provided in MLS.... 

the buyer agents can negotiate a fee with their buyer....not the homeowner....

the listing agent has been given the authority by his/her broker/owner to be a representative of that listing office and negotiate a fee with the homeowner.... 


Jul 07, 2019 06:20 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

The seller pays the commission, the buyer is only interested in buying a property.

Jul 07, 2019 12:52 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I do not agree that it is the buyer who pays the commission. The buyer is buying a house.

When you buy a new car, do you fuss about the commission paid to the salesman?

When you buy groceries, do you complain about mark-up added by the grocery store?

Yes, commission is a large part of the normal real estate transaction. The system is efficiant and works well. Attempts to change have not been successful.

We shall see what the future brings.

Jul 07, 2019 07:19 AM
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

Whoops , some one has it backwards.

Jul 07, 2019 05:13 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Typically a buyer only pays his agents commission.  Also the sellers agent would not be in contact with another agents client.

Jul 07, 2019 04:29 AM
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Facts vs Fiction

Fact: When the commission is paid it comes from the seller. 

Fiction: Some people/buyers believe they pay the commission because they also believe the commission is included in the price of the home. 

Is it?  I do not see any offsets by appraisers for commissions. 




Jul 07, 2019 08:16 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Commissions are typically paid out of the seller's proceeds, unless the buyer has a buyer's service agreement in which the buyer directly pays the buyer's agent commission.  The listing agent negotiates the commission with the seller and the co-op commission to the buyer's agent is noted in each MLS listing. In our purchase agreements, the commission paid is not noted at all.

Jul 07, 2019 07:23 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

The SELLER signs the listing agreement, agreeing to pay the COMMISSION to the listing BROKER. 

THE LISTING BROKER then either agrees to share the commission they are paid...or NOT.

If the listing broker DOESN'T share, then the buyer pays the buyers broker. 

You can look at it that ultimately, the buyer pays all fees - they are the ones writing the check in the end, agreeing to all terms the sellers and their broker set forth regarding commissions.

Jul 07, 2019 01:37 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Good question.

I just went through Agency course for my license renewal and they talk in details about it. Even commissions are coming from a buyer payment, it is technically the seller's proceeds that he/she agrees to pay for the work to be done. 

Jul 07, 2019 01:27 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Commissions are non-negotiable between buyer & seller. They are negotiable between client and broker.

Jul 07, 2019 12:04 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

So you are still stuck on that one huh?

Who has the contract to pay anybody?

If the buyer can pay his agent, the sellers agent just takes their fee. In the listing agreement in our area, it is stated pretty clearly how much & to whom.

If the buyer doesn't have any money, who is going to pay your commission?

Does the buyer pay your commission out of his mortgage proceeds?

Jul 07, 2019 10:41 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Because the seller pays it to the listing agent with the money brought in by the buyer.  The listing agent splits it with the buyer's agent.  It's really not that complicated.

Jul 07, 2019 08:53 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

I think you got things a bit confused.

Jul 07, 2019 08:09 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Nina Hollander has your answer.

Jul 07, 2019 06:40 AM
Ken Jones
Ken Jones Real Estate Advisor - Toms River, NJ
Real Estate Training & Coaching

HOMEiZ Real estate technology What I see as the most equitable method of charging a commission is the same method used at auction sales; the sale price goes to the seller and the buyer pays a predetermined "buyer's premium" which is paid to the broker. If there's a coop broker, that split is also predetermined and stated in advance.

This way, everybody knows exactly who is paying for what and how much.

If the buyer is unwilling to pay the amount of the "buyer's premium," they simply don't have to buy that property.

I have no idea why this isn't done, since it provides full disclosure of the fee and whom is responsible to pay to all parties up front with no surprises.

Jul 07, 2019 06:11 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The seller has the gold and they rule. You can slice it anyway you want

Jul 07, 2019 05:54 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Technically the buyer pays the sales price and the seller pays the commission to the listing agent from that total sales price received. The listing agent then pays the buyer agent the fee advertised in MLS. The buyer agent can state up front they refuse any agency fee from the listing agent and can negotiate their own fee from their buyer. They can also ask the seller to ay their buyer agent fee. 

Jul 07, 2019 05:13 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Traditional industry practices.

Jul 07, 2019 12:34 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Seller agrees to pay the commission when signing documents and listing property for sale. FSBO who cooperates with a buyer agent also pays. Buyer is responsible to pay agent if they find something on their own (FSBO, for example while under contract.

Jul 07, 2019 12:32 PM
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

I think it needs to be rephrased. What it means is the buyer is paying the commission as part of the purchase price. We all know that prices are inclusive of the commission fees, pretty much across the board. FSBO's sell cheaper because of it.

Jul 07, 2019 11:41 AM
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

The answer is simple the current system works fine took decades to develop and has arrived where it is at. It may change at some point but right now with how the marriage between the lending industry and the real estate industry work together - the types of changes you are eluding to would be destructive to the real estate industry and prevent 100's of thousands of buyers from getting into homes. That is my opinion and I will fight to protect our industry and home ownership for as many as possible from those that wish to destroy it.

Jul 07, 2019 10:30 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Nina Hollander has you covered. A

Jul 07, 2019 07:18 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

The seller offers a commission as part of the purchase price to get their net proceeds. The buyer pays a price to make that happen. If a buyer had to pay the commission out of pocket, many transactions would never take place.

Jul 07, 2019 05:43 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Because that's the way it is HOMEiZ.COM Real Estate Technology 

Jul 07, 2019 07:20 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

And next month we can discuss the pronunciation of tomato. 

Jul 07, 2019 02:53 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

HOMEiZ Real estate technology  many good quality responses already.

Jul 07, 2019 09:50 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

It is a very distorted concept indeed. It is often believed that in the end the buyer pays since the seller grosses up to adjust for it, making it seem as though the seller pays. I think the seller should only pay his side and the buyers should pay their agent for finding them a place, kind of the way renters do in some cities.

Jul 07, 2019 07:48 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Both Agents must have an Employment Contract with a Consumer. The Listing Agent is asking for a fee amount that would allow them to compensate a Buyer Agent if necessary .

Jul 07, 2019 07:24 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

 A few niche CA market the listing agent is the king. Want a certain type of business everyone goes through him. Realtors do not get compensated for referraling and must seek through buyers. Same with auctions sites where buyers must pay 5% hammer fee to get a distressed properties.

Most countries the buyer pays a smaller commission to the buyer agent and sellers only pay to the listing agent. There is no coop fee other than listing agent agrees to work with buyer side.

This also serves as a wake up call that buyer agent days are numbered. Technology allows anyone who has a device, computer to find his or her properties since all information except door Supra key are available to  home seekers. 


Jul 07, 2019 06:55 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

Here we go again! The system is driven backwards by arcane lending regulations where a buyer can borrow closing costs if they put money in the lenders pocket (points) but not if the closing costs are for a buyer agent commission.

Apparently, nar doesn't know how to lobby for us.


Jul 07, 2019 05:16 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

What do you think happens when a seller instructs their agent to place their house for sale in the MLS with a published buyer agent compensation of $1. (one whole dollar)

The reality is compensation on both sides (is/can be) currently negotiated.

NAR, local associations and brokers have made real estate a sport for the non-thinking. Maybe change is overdue.

And I agree, your question needs better editing.


Jul 07, 2019 11:22 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty


Listing agent may not do it. 

Nobody can change the commissions posted on MLS. 

Jul 07, 2019 10:09 PM
HOMEiZ.COM Real Estate Technology
HOMEiZ.COM - Agoura Hills, CA
The Real estate social network

I want to thank all of you who participated in my question. Wishing you all a beautiful day. 

Thank you! 

Jul 08, 2019 11:09 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Seller pays the commission in most cases.


Jul 10, 2019 11:44 AM