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Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

The uncertainty of the copycat lawsuits, along with the subsequent settlements by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and a host of big-box brokerages, have left many real estate agents anxious, unsettled and wondering what the new normal is going to look like.

At the same time, however, these same agents are being asked even more questions by their buyers and sellers, who’ve heard about all the kerfuffle and want to know how it will impact them.


So that we can all be better prepared, we asked you to share with us what commission questions your clients are asking.

Are they trying to figure out how commissions work now? Are they asking you to cut your commission or questioning your value proposition? Are sellers trying to forego buyer commissions altogether? Are buyers asking for more seller concessions?

Here’s what you said:

  • Sellers are asking, “Do I still have to offer to pay the buyer’s broker compensation?” In Washington state, what is commonly referred to as commission is called compensation.
  • Sellers question the reason they need to provide a concession for a buyer agent fee (since they don’t provide any value).
  • Seller: Am I obligated to pay a commission co-op to a buyer’s broker/agent now? Because they think that was the entire purpose of the lawsuit.
  • Why are you staying with a brokerage company? Run your business as a true consultant.
  • Buyers ask, “Can I finance the commissions owed?” Sellers ask, “Can I still offer buyer broker commissions, and how will they know I am offering?”
  • I haven’t had anyone ask about it. I have brought it up with every buyer and seller, and there does not seem to be any concern on the sellers’ side, as they understand why they benefit from paying for the buyer’s broker.
  • Seller: “Why would it be possible to pay a buyer’s agent commission if I don’t have to?”
  • Mostly, they want to understand how the commissions work, and they ask why the lawsuit got to where it did. So far, all have agreed to pay my fee, which I explain includes offering a co-op commission to cast a wider net to buyers.
  • Why should I (a seller) pay for the buyer’s representation? Let him pay for that himself — I’ll make more money.
  • Are commissions changing?
  • My sellers are asking no questions AT ALL. Buyers are panicking to purchase fast or settling on renting after July.
  • None, so far
  • What if I don’t have enough money to pay you and my other closing costs?
  • None

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state.

What did we miss? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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