real estate

Real Estate

Historically, buyer-agents haven’t really had to demonstrate their true value – most Boston condo buyers just grab somebody they like.  But now the buyer-agent compensation is going to be revealed in the state of Washington, starting tomorrow – and it is inevitable that it will happen everywhere.  Buyers making smarter decisions about who represents them is a great idea .

From the Seattle Times

The new rules, the organization said, should help homebuyers better understand how their agent is compensated for helping to show them houses and close a deal. A recent Redfin survey found that roughly half of people buying homes don’t understand how their agents are paid — perhaps in part because buyer’s agents often describe their services as “free.”

Actually, the person going house to house with a would-be homebuyer gets their pay from splitting a commission with the agent representing the seller, who’s usually paid around 5%-6% of the total home price. But generally, a buyer doesn’t learn how much the seller is offering the buyer’s agent who helps bring home the deal — that figure is hammered out between the seller and the seller’s agent, and then published in the Multiple Listing Service’s database, which is only accessible by real-estate agents.

Starting immediately, the new rules will make it easier for homebuyers to figure out if their agent is only showing them houses offering a high buyer’s commission, said Greg Gans, a broker at Hardy Realty in Seattle who describes himself as “almost exclusively” a buyer’s agent.

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