Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets, & Host of Postcards From Success Podcast (Big Block Realty 858.232.8722)

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Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

Sellers care about what they net from the sale...

I only care about what I net on a referral...regardless of what the fee is. 


I make less on a $300k buyer with referral fee of 25% than a $800k buyer with a 50% referral.  Do the math.  


I now have a buyer client that we will be paying more than a 50% referral fee on and I will still be making a lot more than you think...


Most agents have no problem rebating commission to both buyers and sellers (I never do), or listing property for a deep discount, or selling property paying "peanuts" and yet they worry about paying too much for a referral fee??


Where is the common sense?





Jan 05, 2022 01:37 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Only the person offering the referral fees understands their motivation. 
I have not paid a referral fee that high.  I look at what will be involved in the transaction. As we all know, it is negotiable. 

Jan 05, 2022 03:09 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Trading on volume.

Maybe.   I pay/ask referral amounts on a case-by-case basis.

Jan 05, 2022 02:49 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

There is no one size fits all in my repertoire and essentially many variables will dictate their value to me. At some point I believe the limits were stretched far beyond these extremes. 

Jan 05, 2022 12:34 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Something smells fishy there and sounds very desperate to me. We only do a 25% referral fee, no I wouldn't offer 50% referral fee.

Jan 05, 2022 11:00 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We would not, and we would promptly delete this person out of our lives.  I believe we had a similar contact, and I did just that.  A

Jan 05, 2022 01:32 PM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

Paying a 50% referral fee is not something that is in my business model.  But I can see how it would be a business model that would work for some people.

If someone's business model is different from mine, I do not assume they are crazy or desperate.  I just assume that they have figured out a different way to make the real estate business work for them.

Jan 05, 2022 10:38 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Over-paying doesn't sit right. However, this reminds me of sitting an open house. The traffic offers lead-food even if there is no buying activity that day. Perspective is often over-looked. Perhaps getting any activity can lead to more activity? The potential is there. Paying generously to find out? Hmm

Jan 05, 2022 10:37 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I have only asked for a 50% referral fee once in my career and it was because I did not want to act as a dual agent and the buyer had been a client of mine for several months and wanted to buy my listing.  

I think the mass emailing of that offer indicates someone who realizes that 50% of something is better than nothing and needs to get their butt in gear.  Desperation, but motivated to get it done.

Jan 05, 2022 02:40 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

No, I don't. Typically, I'm asked for 25% and I'm fine with that.

Jan 05, 2022 01:55 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is not something I would do. I do not worry about what others are offering.

Jan 05, 2022 12:43 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

I could see someone paying 50% for a listing.  A sign up can be very valuable and bring you future business.  I wouldn't pay it but it does make sense to me.

Jan 05, 2022 10:25 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I look at this differently. I have Monthly Goals of creating a Minimum of $10,000 of Commission per Month . I don’t care how many deals it takes , just so I reach my monthly goal ! Therefore Referral Fees don’t bother me , as they are usually Manna falling from the sky .

Jan 06, 2022 06:03 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Some people think they have a better mouse trap. And if it works for them, they should have at it! No way this guy gives up half the commission.

Jan 06, 2022 04:27 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

He emails you too, huh?  I used to get ones from his buddy in Arizona too.  There are always self-centered agents who focus on their pocketbook more than their clients who will be chomping at the bit to send him referrals.

My guess is, like you said, he's trading on volume.

Jan 05, 2022 04:53 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have no interest in discussing what I am willing to pay or be paid for a referral fee in a public forum such as this.

I would never make a statement to a group about what the "industry standard" is in regard to any kind of payment, fee, or commission.

Referral fees, like commissions, are negotiable.

Jan 05, 2022 03:28 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Everyone has their business model, I suppose.

As a general rule, I give 25 and take 25. Sometimes I take 20.

I have given 35 in the past for a national client who is still my client 10 years later . . .

It just depends. On a number of things. 

Jan 06, 2022 06:35 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

No never have needed to do that in over 3o years.  Reminds me of other things....too late to get into tonight.

Jan 05, 2022 08:36 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

I couldn't even begin to share the reasons why people do and don't do things as I have expressed many times before in this section as well in the real world.  Individual situations and circumstances may have an influence as well as motives that may be best described as willy-nilly.  

Jan 05, 2022 05:55 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

Great answers here, thanks for your feedback and opinions.

Jan 05, 2022 05:34 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I offered 50% when I was sharing a transaction with another agent. 


I do think the email offers are simply his business model. I have received those emails as well but, refer to fellow CRS, AR or RE/MAX agents.

Jan 06, 2022 06:29 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

There is no "industry standard"  I have and likely will again in the future negotiate referral fees.  But sometimes half a loaf is better than no loaf at all.

Jan 06, 2022 12:09 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

I could care less about %, I care about $.  I've never been able to convince my bill payers to accept a % of anything, they all want $, so I worry about the $ I have coming in.  People get distracted  by whether some subjective % is 'fair', when in reality,  it's $ coming in, and that $ is worth the time spent to get it (ROI) that should be the focus.

Jan 06, 2022 11:47 AM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

All that glitters is not gold.  

Jan 06, 2022 09:51 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

As an outsider and marketer looking in, 2 big things come to mind (and know your market is critical.  1) what is average home value (seems lower in Las Vegas, but I may be wrong) and 2) what is LTV of customer? Maybe it's a transitory market meaning that people move and trade up a lot.  maybe.

Maybe also, if the person is listing agent, maybe they bump up the commission points? Not sure.

And, of course, it could be desperation. Something of something is better than nothing.

Jan 06, 2022 10:42 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

I would wonder why he has to offer 50% to get a referral. I send referrals to agents who do a great job. I pay 25% and expect 25%. When I get/give a referral I expect to develop a referral partnership with the other agent.

Jan 06, 2022 10:28 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

It might make sense in certain situations, for both sides, although 50% is a bit high. 

Jan 06, 2022 09:07 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

No big deal.
Over the years a LOT of CB agents have contacted me with the exact same deal. However, NONE of them removed my ability to say NO.
And when I responded with 30%, the outcome changed.
IF someone is willing to pay me 50% and I do nothing, I don't see the problem. Of course, some due diligence is needed to insure they do not wreck the relationship I've spend nearly a thousand dollars to cultivate.
What that means is the solicitor, in reality, a 'limited service' agent masquerading as full service. A lot of that goes on.
I don't see desperation but someone applying good business principles and delivering 'self-selection' techniques to identify the type of agile agent they want to work with.
In the example stated. a solicitation for LISTING, the fivefold business that a listing generates actually makes doing it for FREE a valid business option.

Jan 06, 2022 05:47 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Reach out and ask him. Maybe he is off his meds. Or could be the bait to get you to call... text or email. Then the fine print gets recited and presto chango happens on what the exchange fee is. Referral fees. It's always case by case sizing it up, not carved in stone.

Jan 06, 2022 04:29 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I pay reasonable referral fees, and pay reasonable referral fees.

Never pays to get greedy and ask for too much because they you will get desperate agents that are likely to not get the job done.

And when others ask for an unreasonable fee I just counter with a reasonable fee and so far they have all chose to take a reasonable fee rather than farm it out to a less reliable agent.

Jan 05, 2022 08:17 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

not just no, but hell no would I pay 50%

Jan 05, 2022 06:29 PM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

I do not offer that. As to WHY someone else does what they do is not something I give a second thought to.  I have a hard enough time trying to figure out why I do some of the things I do csometimes, much less what other people do.

Jan 07, 2022 12:48 PM