I was speaking with a mortgage person yesterday. He was recounting a conversation that he had with a young person who is interested in purchasing his first home. In response to the question, “are you working with an agent?” this young man indicated that he wasn’t because he couldn’t afford to pay a commission. My mortgage broker friend responded by telling his new client that “the seller always pays the commission and it costs you nothing to use the services of an agent, so you should use one.”
I’ll agree with my friend on his latter point. It probably comes as no surprise that this agent believes that almost anyone can benefit by using the services of an agent in the purchase of real estate. First time buyers are particularly prone to making costly mistakes which can take years to pay for. I will however take issue with his first point. Even though a buyer will not likely see “real estate fees” show up on an invoice; I firmly believe that it is in fact the buyer who pays the commission in a real estate trade. After all, the buyer brings the money to the transaction. Real estate services may or may not be included in the property’s price but chances are, you are paying for those services. Understanding this simple truth may be helpful to you in getting maximum value for your money.
It’s important to understand that a commission is earned in every real estate transaction. If the property is listed through a real estate brokerage, the agent earns the commission for affecting a sale on the property. If a property is marketed privately, the seller is attempting to earn the commission. In rare instances, a buyer who buys “unrepresented” may in fact earn some portion of the commission. You should at least understand that it’s your money that is being earned.
The myth that buyers don’t pay real estate fees has been an excuse for poor service that has gone on long enough. Let’s face it, if you are led to believe that you’re not paying for the service, you’re probably not going to have very high expectations of your agent. After all, we all know that you don’t get much for free, or to put it another way, “you get what you pay for.” Are you getting what you’re paying for?
Prudent buyers should interview prospective agents to find out exactly what services the agent is prepared to provide. Once you’ve selected an agent, hold that person accountable to deliver what’s been promised. Moreover, let the agent know that you actually believe that you’re paying the real estate fees and that you expectations for service are fairly high because of it.
I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.
All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.
Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra