Real estate agents work by commission. They’re paid once a home sells. But who pays that commission is probably the biggest source of misconceptions in the home buying process. So, let’s just get it out of the way…
The home seller pays the commission for both the listing and selling (buyer’s) agent. The funds come out of the sale of the house. In Wilmington, the market standard is 6% for a single-family home and that percentage is split between the listing agent and selling (buyer’s) agent. Sometimes that percentage is lower, especially for new construction and land, and other times there may be a bonus or agent incentive included. The amount of commission is always available to the parties involved and it’s against the Realtor’s Code of Ethics to sway a buyer to or from a specific property due to the commission being offered. To do otherwise would result in some very heavy fines and repercussions.
Is there ever a chance that a buyer will have to pay their real estate agent? There’s a very slim chance and it really depends on the buyer’s choices. If they’re dying to purchase a For Sale By Owner and want the added protection of a real estate agent, but the seller is unwilling to cooperate with buyer’s agents, then the buyer will have to pay their agent’s commission.
So, if you’re starting the process of buying a home, don’t hesitate to use a buyer’s agent. It’s in your best interest to have someone experienced helping you make educated decisions throughout the buying process. You may be thinking it’s too early to higher an agent, but consider this:
-They can help you get your finances in order by putting you in contact with lenders that have good reputations and can advise you on the best steps for improving your credit score.
-They can set you up with an accurate home search (not Zillow or Trulia where listings are often excluded and information is incorrect), so you can start narrowing your options and monitoring the market.
-They can even help you with finding a good listing agent if you have another home to sell first.
If you’re more than curious and are ready to move on to your next home, now is the time to get in contact with a buyer’s agent.
If you have questions about buying a home in the Wilmington area or are ready to start interviewing buyer’s agents, we’d love to talk to you. Give us a call at (910) 202-2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.
You may also be interested in Questions to Ask Any Buyer’s Agent.