Withholding offers?

Hmmm … a hypothetical story just came across my desk from another agent who said that, on a listing of his, two separate buyer’s agents are withholding two separate offers because the seller is offering 2.5%, rather than 3%.

In one case, an agent said his/her broker would not allow him to accept less than 3%; the other case, she demanded the seller increase the offering to the buyer-broker.

And you wonder why the Realtors’ profession gets a bad reputation? Agents and Brokers like this.

Buyers need to pay their Buyers’ Agents themselves. What the Seller is offering should be irrelevant.

As a buyer, when considering whom you are going to hire as your Buyer Broker – if the Realtor is hesitant to negotiate their fees with you up front, what type of negotiator will they be for you? Depending on what the Seller is offering through the MLS is a sign of a Realtor who is 1) stuck in the past and 2) not confident in their own abilities. From the Virginia Association of Realtors’ (VAR) Buyer-Broker:

Broker shall promote the interests of Buyer by (a) seeking property at a price and on terms acceptable to Buyer, (b) presenting in a timely manner all written offers or counteroffers to and from Buyer, (c) disclosing to Buyer all material facts related to the property or concerning the transaction of which Broker has actual knowledge, (d) accounting in a timely manner for all money and property received in which Buyer has or may have an interest. Unless otherwise provided by law or Buyer consents in writing to the release of the information, Broker shall maintain the confidentiality of personal information, financial information and other matters identified as confidential by Buyer if that information is received from Buyer in the course of the brokerage relationship.

I am troubled by this. Hypothetically, I would have recommended this agent file complaints locally and with the State real estate board.

Sample Buyer Broker Agreement

Related reading:

What is the future of the MLS?
The solution to many of real estate’s problems.
The Divorced Commission and the MLS

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  1. Athol Kay January 15, 2007 at 23:42

    I think buyers paying the buyer commission will destroy the ablitity of many lower income buyers getting into their first home. It’s hard enough for them to come up with the deposits and down payments, let alone adding on a realtor commission.

    The solution from the buyer agent point of view, is to include the language in their buyer rep aggrements to show their minimum co-broke. If their minimum is 3%, then they submit offers to 2.5% co-broke listings with the buyer understanding that the other 0.5% is coming from the buyers own pocket.

    Certainly though, failing to bring an offer to the table is unforgivable.

  2. Jim Duncan January 16, 2007 at 08:27

    Athol –

    I disagree. I am not saying that buyers should pay out of pocket; they should be able to (and think that they are now) finance the buyer-broker fee into the loan. They are the ones who are bringing the money to the table at Closing, so why shouldn’t they be able to dictate what they pay their representation?

    Regarding your solution – absolutely. This negates the need for a conversation of what the seller is “offering” (to allow the buyer to finance into the mortgage).

    And … this is another reason to work with a Buyer-Broker agreement.

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