Thursday, November 09, 2006

When is the Commission not enough?

There’s an expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. This is a tough time in the real estate market for both buyers and sellers of real estate, but mostly for sellers. So, what do the sellers do when the going gets tough? They get creative and start offering all kinds of incentives and inducements to help peddle their houses. What kinds of incentives? To the buyers, they offer trips to exotic places, or a Range Rover in the garage, appliance upgrades, landscaping, cash contributions toward closing costs, etc.

But did you know, they’re also offering incentives and inducements to real estate agents --- cash incentives. Is this right or is this wrong? The debate gets heated and there’s really no clear cut answer. I know for a fact that some disclosed dual agents and facilitators believe it’s none of the buyer’s business if the agent is offered a cash incentive to sell a property.

For me, as an exclusive buyer agent, the answer is clear and simple, just the way my business model is. I may not conduct side negotiations or make private deals with the seller. Any moneys beyond the co-fee offered by the seller’s agent must be disclosed to my buyer client and it is my policy to pass those moneys along to my buyer client. I’ve had numerous discussions with seller agents telling them how in my opinion this sort of tactic is foolish. They would be better served pricing the property correctly rather than attempting to manipulate the real estate agents. But, “When the going gets tough, the tough get greedy”.

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial begs the question:
(Click here to read >) "Do real-estate agents have a secret agenda?"


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