Austin McKenzie, Who you work with matters.

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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root


#1) settle for the 2%

#2) you've already discussed with your buyer and he/she/they have already concurred they will pay the additional .5%

#3) discuss with your buyer about the possibility of adding into the offer (if that's allowed in your state/area).

Jan 03, 2022 06:14 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Nothing clever involved.  You either have a buyers agency agreement with your buyers that sets your minimum acceptable commission and they make up the difference between the offered co-op and your minimum, or you negotiate with the listing agent BEFORE showing for a higher co-op (and in this market, good luck with that, expect to hear some very loud snickering).

Jan 03, 2022 05:45 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

1. Your buyer/broker agreement (which you should have signed with every buyer) sets a minimum, putting the difference on your buyer, which you simply warn them up front "this house will cost you an additional .5%."

2. Ask in the buyer's  offer for 2.5% - negotiate for it.

3. Accept 2% if you you didn't do #1 and couldn't accomplish #2.

Closing escrows with advocates that will refer you has much more value than .5%.

Jan 04, 2022 06:26 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

Contrary to popular belief....(Please go read the interpretation of the code of ethics)


The Buyer Broker commission (or a portion) can be added to the offer by the buyer. A buyer can ask a seller for a new roof, credit towards closing costs, or additional commission for the agent....anything.  That is then paid by the seller and does not interfere with the listing agent commission.


What is a violation of the code of ethics... is if the buyers agent suggests that the listing agent receive less commission.  No one can alter any agreement between a listing agent and the seller.

Likewise, if you have a buyer agreement to receive a minimum commission of X , that CAN BE INCLUDED in the offer, and the listing agent cannot interfere. 


There was a time when all exclusive buyer brokers put their commission in the offer so that they would be paid at all...yes, it has been challanged in the courts, so before anyone gets their feathers ruffled, read all of the interpretation of the code of ethics.  Or send me your e-mail and I will send you documents.


HOWEVER....I would not suggest that you do that in todays climate of a crazy selllers market because you will never get your offer accepted.  It is better to accept the co-op and move on to higher priced sales.


Jan 04, 2022 04:12 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Austin.

    Write it into the Offer, "Seller pays 0.5% to Buyer's Broker (your name)".  


  I suggest that you talk with your Board Attorney, or a real estate attorney who knows your local contract forms.  Ask him/her "What wording should I use?"  And of course, run it past your Broker, if applicable.

   Here is one of the forms that I use:


Jan 04, 2022 07:01 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

1. Make sure you have a buyers agency signed that specifies what you want to be paid.

2. Then either your buyer pays anything that the seller is unwilling to pay.

or, the buyer writes into the offer that the seller will pay your full fee.


Jan 03, 2022 08:52 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Sure. Sign an exclusive with your buyer that in event of less than x, they will make it up. 


Jan 03, 2022 06:31 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

You have some outstanding comments here. I have read them all and have nothing new to add other than, my market is like the wild wild west. 

Depending on the offer, the last one we received on one of my listings was $400,000 above asking. Would the well have agreed to pay more than what was offered?  That depends on what the next highest offer was.  It's all about the net to the seller/

Jan 04, 2022 07:57 AM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"

Why bother! I use the discounted commission as a leverage for future business e.g, listing, referral etc. 


When I have a BRA it states that I am paid a certain commission rate and the buyers agree. But this does happen. So I inform the buyers that they owe the difference, but I am willing to accept a few referrals and/or their agreement when their ready to sell, that they will hire me!


Great way to build future business...  

Jan 04, 2022 06:34 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Accept the 2%, or have your buyer kick in a half percent. Nothing clever, just the facts.

Jan 04, 2022 04:15 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

As everyone else has mentioned already, get a buyer-broker agreement signed.  I think it is very sad that so many agents give discounts to sellers these days but it is what it is.

Jan 04, 2022 03:56 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

You can ask BUT maybe the total commission is 4% & is being split 50/50

Jan 04, 2022 09:01 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Ask for it.

Jan 04, 2022 05:15 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

In some states, prior to an offer, you can submit a form to the listing office to try and change the commission.  They would have to agree, of course.


I have seen agents try and sneak it into the offer.  That's a bad move out here, as that invalidates the entire offer.

Jan 03, 2022 09:14 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Kat is spot on. You have options. This is a discussion I have with clients up front so they know that is a possibility.

Jan 04, 2022 08:45 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

In a multiple offer situation if you add commission into the deal, unless the terms are much better than the other offers, you may not get the offer accepted.

Jan 04, 2022 06:36 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

As a listing agent, if someone brought me a "clean" deal (?) & wanted 1/2 percent for doing so....YES to this. 

Jan 04, 2022 06:16 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

1. what is plan B and C regarding the buyers choice if this deal fall apart? OH, in this market it seems you have to buy the one you see otherwise it could be a long search.
2. How does buyer feel about stepping up to the plate regarding minimal compensation. 
3. Advise buyer that the REBATE disappears when the compensation is not 3%. It may be necessary to include such situations in the agreement.
4. Write the offer stating required adjustment to buyer broker compensation. Seller can reject or accept.
5. Understand there are 3 spots ahead where further negotiation will occur. Use your superior skills to reward your buyer for stepping up to the plate.

Jan 04, 2022 07:01 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Lots of great answers here. Obviously a heated subject.

Jan 04, 2022 06:00 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This should be covered in your agreement with your buyer client.

Jan 04, 2022 04:15 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

You could sign a buyer's broker agreement with your client that states your minimum commission and let's them know that they must make up any shortage.  Personally I don't and wouldn't.  I let all of my clients know that I serve their best interest and not my pocketbook.  I once showed and sold a 1.2 million dollar home with a fixed commission of $7,000.  Sucks but it all goes into the pot and at the end of the day we get paid well.

Jan 03, 2022 07:58 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Best answer is from Liz and Bill Spear with the exception that they did not mention option #3 which is take the commission that is offered and move forward.

Jan 04, 2022 08:11 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

First of all, I'm not discussing commission in detail but, I will let you know how I handled a transaction in which I represent the buyer and the seller's brokerage did not offer the amount that my buyer had agreed to pay me on our buyers agency agreement.


I'm in the middle of something very similar to you. My buyers asked the seller to provide the difference in what the listing brokerage was offering and what they were offering me. They adjusted the price and agreed to pay the difference in any appraisal deficit. 

The sellers agreed, the house appraised and we are good to go!

When you sign the BAA, always be SURE to explain how you are paid and what you are expecting to be paid. Buyers take this very seriously. Sometimes, they don't even want to tour homes that the sellers' brokerage is not offering the same amount of commission that they promised their BA.


Good luck!

Jan 04, 2022 08:01 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I take my advice on the subject from GAR's legal counsel.  

Jan 04, 2022 07:04 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

It begins with the asking and the more clever you try to make it the less likely a warm reception will be received.

Jan 04, 2022 12:34 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Ask the buyer to cover the .5%.  If you include it in the offer, they'll likely decline thanks to it being a seller's market.  

After the offer is accepted, I'd be sure to provide a discounted level of communication and help along the way to the listing agent, though.  And if they had a problem with it, I'd make it clear to them that you're providing services in line with the pay.

Jan 04, 2022 10:20 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

I have enjoyed reading all the answers to this question.  Interesting.  We all have options.  

Jan 04, 2022 09:04 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Have your buyer pay the extra .5% or whatever it is they signed they agreed to pay in your Buyer Brokerage Agreement.

Jan 05, 2022 02:47 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I'd ask myself if the extra 1/2% is worth the trouble. The buyer can pay it depending on what's in your Buyer Broker Agreement. Personally, I'd be happy with the 2% if that's what is posted in the mls. If you already showed the property, then you already accepted the 2%.

Jan 06, 2022 06:48 AM