Agent

Should real estate agents discount their commission if a seller finds the buyer?

Tactics for dealing with a common request from sellers
  • Agents who decline to discount their commission if a seller client finds an unrepresented buyer tell clients such transactions create extra work.
  • Others will agree to discount, but sometimes only if strict conditions are met.

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Aaron Wittenstein sometimes cuts his commission by a quarter or more if a seller client brings an unrepresented buyer to the closing table. “The way that I look at it is they should be compensated as the buyer’s agent because they did their job,” said the White Plains, New York-based Realtor. Aaron Wittenstein Wittenstein doesn’t have to split his commission with a buyer’s agent in such deals. So even after discounting, he can walk away with 50 percent more than if the buyer had worked with a separate real estate agent. But some agents disapprove of this approach. They say a transaction involving an unrepresented buyer comes with extra work, meriting twice the pay of a normal deal (which they receive if they keep their rate intact). Other agents will agree to a discount, but only under certain conditions. When a seller procures an unrepresented buyer, the scenario usually plays out in one of two ways: In states where the arrangement is legal, the l...