Profile picture for Vero A

Should I trust on discount brokers? I already chose my house and I need a realtor.

I am right now deciding between 2 homes and I've been told I need a realtor. I've heard of discount brokers that are willing to shere their commision with the buyer (1,5% or 2%). Any references? Any realtor willing to do this?
  • November 20 2011 - US
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Answers (30)

I would rather you protect yourself with a regular broker/agent who is well educated and trained. Pretty important purchase to trust to someone who may not be as competent as others.
  • January 02 2012
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There is nothing wrong with asking for a buyer agent to split some of the commission with you.  Some will say no, but all you need is one competent agent that says yes.

It's becoming a more popular request.  Also, being in this business for over 7 years I've seen many agents that don't know what they are doing and they don't give any discounts, so it's not always a situation of you get what you pay for.

Good Luck
  • December 12 2011
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Honestly, I think you should meet with several agents and see who is the best match for you to work with. Regardless of commissions or fees, you want an agent who is reliable and will be there to answer your questions and take care of any problems that come up during the process. It is always an excellent idea to ask friends and family for referrals of agents they may have worked with when buying a home. I've seen numerous deals fall apart because buyer's agents haven't paid attention to details or been involved in the process. You just want someone who is competent, hard-working and knowledgeable!
  • November 30 2011
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Good Day Vero...

Any Realtor can negotiate a lesser amount if you already have the house you want.... but be careful.... buying real estate can be like viewing an iceberg...or watching ducks on a pond. What you see on top looks easy...but all the work is often done underneath...

Unless you are looking specifically for a buyers agent...normally you are not paying the Realtor directly anyway... so far better to chose one - that knows what they are doing....to make the transaction smooth and simple!  Joey Smith, Realtor, Tropics Real Estate, Naples, FL


  • November 30 2011
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To the best of my knowledge there is no relationship between an agent being part time, discount, full time, etc and competence. It's about the individual agent and their skill set. Many agents choose to work for discount brokerages as a marketing choice (or even because they regularly sell for friends and family and many larger brokerages do not allow their agents to discount or rebate), not for lacking experience or success. I would focus on finding a competent agent who doesn't average approximately one typographical error per line of written communication to help you.
  • November 30 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
"but many are less experienced or less successful agents in my experience"

Please..they are Realtors who belong to the same Association as you, subscribe to the same Code of Ethics that Realtors continuously say, stress makes them Superior Agents. NAR always makes that caim in it's Ads
and yet
Realtors trash talking..INSULTING other Realtors who use a different Business Model or charge a Lessor Commission than them..


Real Classy Real Professional ..yeah belonging to NAR just means so much LOL

  • November 30 2011
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You can use a discount broker but many are less experienced or less successful agents in my experience. I thnik you would be happier to ask a couple of frinds for a referral to some one they trust and have had a positive experince with.
  • November 30 2011
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@Kamaaina
If you read the thread, you'll see the OP is in Houston.
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for RPconnect
WHAT STATE ARE YOU IN?
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
I Flagged Derek because I consider his Entire Post nothing but thinly disguised Self-Promotion (and a poor job it was imo) as an answer to a Question

Add more Positive Points to the Public's Image of Agents....Not
  • November 28 2011
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@Derek

I don't know whether you are brave or good at gambling. I have a hard time referring to anyone I haven't either personally worked with and have been impressed by, or haven't interacted with on some level without cause to believe they are a nitwit. When you refer anyone it is your reputation on the line too. I don't think I would outsource the screening process. (Of course, I have also not referred anyone to date in the real estate world where I have received any form of compensation - so those seeking referrals must earn my trust, not buy my contacts)
  • November 28 2011
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"You get what you pay for!" Unfortunately, many home buyers and sellers want a discount in some form or the other.

[self promotion deleted by Zillow moderator.  Please see our Good Neighbor Policy]
  • November 28 2011
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Profile picture for David Elya
I would interview several brokers. Determine who you feel will be working in your "best" interest. Ask them if they will be your "buyers agent" or working for the seller?
  • November 26 2011
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Redfin and Zip RE are a couple that gives rebates. 
  • November 26 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Discount Brokers are REALTORS who subscribe to the same CODE OF ETHICS  & belong to the same Association (NAR) Full Service Realtors like to claim makes them a Superior Choice over a Non-Realtor Agent

Yet if they offer options, rebates, a lower commission (Some people might call that competition) they get all Huffy and ask why you would want to use one of THOSE People?
So much for the Code & NAR membership having value

Please excuse their foolishness & please check out the Links to the Department of Justice Anti-Trust Site which will actually provide you with some information instead of Sales Pitches

  • November 26 2011
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Profile picture for Newhomeprograms
I am a Broker/Owner in Houston and the question I would ask you is this:
"Would you rather get 1% to 2% of the buyers agents commision from a discount brokerage, or gain up to $30,000 in up front grants offered in the City of Houston?"

Right now the City of Houston has a Bond Program that will give you 5% towards your down payment and closing cost PLUS an intrest rate os 3.5% interest rate FIXED for 30 years!

This Bond Program is worth THOUSANDS in interest savings as well as your house payments could be up to $30 less per month due to the 5% FREE down payment.

Whats more important? 2% kick back or THOUSANDS of dollars in savings?

No discount broker would give you this type of information if you were asking them to give up their commision.
  • November 26 2011
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I've worked with a lot of agents and the best advise I can give you is work with someone who is going to work for you. I'm not sure if it matters that they are a discount broker or what. Work with someone you know, like and trust and you'll probably end up happiest when it is all said and done. Hope things work out well for you.
  • November 21 2011
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You may find a Realtor willing to give you a "kickback" but if you want him to work for less than full commission, expect less than 100% service. A client of mine wanted me to give her a rebate- I told her I wasn't ethically able to do so. She respected my response and decided to forgo the rebate in favor of using my services.

In other words, if you find a Realtor willing to compromise ethics on that, what else is he or she willing to compromise on?

You may be able to find a Realtor, however, who's willing to reduce commission in escrow. This is recorded on the HUD and reduces the amount of money the Realtor gets paid by escrow. It is permissible and I have done it before to help my clients with closing costs.
  • November 21 2011
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In this scenario rather than truly being "your" agent and attempting to negotiate the price or work on your behalf they are giving the listing agent even more money in order to secure a position in the transaction.  It's not really a matter of "your found the home"; all the work begins at that point so you aren't hiring a Realtor to simply "find" a home for you. 
  • November 21 2011
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Buyers Agent's have tomarket the fact that their service includes counteraction of the alleged lying, cheating, stealing, SOB, that represents only the Seller's interest. The more expertise they have at marketing this element, may determine their level of success, which may impact their ability to fully function at their optimal service level.

The Buyers Agents have tosell the concept (that their function is to counteract the alleged lying, cheating, and stealing, that will ensue, if they volunteer to enter contractual negotiations, with a Seller and their hired liar, cheater, stealer), to customers, that they wish to turn into clients. Their adeptness at selling their concept may determine their level of success, which may impact their ability to fully function at their optimal service level.

They also should add to the marketing, and selling, of their services, that not only are they going to counteract, any and all lying, cheating, and stealing, that may, or may, not take place. But, they will also make the very lying, cheating, stealing, SOB(s) that they are tenaciously counteracting, pay them, for counteracting their own nefarious behavior, 99.9% of the time.
  • November 20 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
All info from the Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division

"Texas law requires real estate brokers to accept and present offers and counteroffers and answer their clients' questions in every real estate transaction, even if consumers do not wish to buy these services."
"Allows brokers to offer rebates to consumers"

"Ten states forbid buyers' brokers from rebating a portion of the sales commission to the consumer. Eight states require consumers to buy more services from sellers' brokers than they may want, with no option to waive the extra items. HUD recently clarified its rule that rebates are permissible under RESPA as long as they are reported on the HUD-1 form."
 What are the laws in your state?

"In many parts of the country, the traditional full-service real estate broker now faces competition from a variety of real estate brokerage models, many of which use the Internet to reduce costs"
Competing models of real estate brokerage


Finding an Agent: This is a huge Business Transaction involving YOUR Money/Future..put some effort into the Search, cross the t's and dot the i's, read everything, question everything, monitor everything

You are hiring Services..they work for YOU and if they aren't then kick em to the curb
  • November 20 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
I'm sure this is going to ruffle a lot of agent feathers, but Kat has replied something on a buy-side agent forum that is one item at the heart of the problem why agents have such a bad reputation. 

"By the time they close a sale, marketing bills need to be paid"


If you are working as a buyers representative there are 2 things you are not.  They are
    1.  salesperson
    2.  marketing expert. 

If you are representing a buyer you are a due diligence expert, and much of your due diligence is to overcome the marketing and salemanship of the seller and the sellers "lying, cheating, stealing SOB" representative they have retained, not to be a "lying, cheating, stealing SOB" yourself.  Oh and for the record you have to do more and pay lip service to the idea, just removing it from your presentation and talking about due diligence is not adequate. 

That said, there are I'm very legitimate agents that will rebate buy side commission in states where legal.  Especially for buyers with simple transactions willing to use their agents time efficiently, that's right it is a business.  Another scenario is for those consumers that have made an alternate compensation arrangement that actually aligns the buyers agents financial interest with the buyer instead of allowing the "buyers" agent to be a "lying, cheating, stealing SOB" at large, which is all the current version of buyers agency guarantees the consumer. 

So the question for Vero A is how much of their own effort are they willing to put into using the agents services efficiently and find an agent that will allow the arrangement.
  • November 20 2011
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I'm not sure if she rebates, but Cindy is in Houston (http://www.zillow.com/profile/Houston-Metro-Pro/). She'd probably be a good place to start.
  • November 20 2011
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Profile picture for Vero A
Thanks all for your responses. I am in Houston!!! Any local realtor interested? Or any recommendation?
  • November 20 2011
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@whoevercares

If you are in SC, I know a Broker who discounts, and/or rebates, Buyer Agency commission. I'm sitting on him.
  • November 20 2011
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@Clay:

Some buyers agents do rebate commission to buyers, particularly if they come already knowing which house they want.

@ Vero:
Search in your area for brokers that offer rebates. I think the important thing is first finding an agent you trust - then sort through those to see if any offer rebates. As other agents said, they may have some splitting requirements if they are not the broker that limit what they can rebate or even if they can rebate at all.

  • November 20 2011
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You may be able to find one.  Do an internet search for buyer rebates in your area.  Some states allow them and some do not and you should also be aware of the tax implications. I'm in CT and CT realtors are allowed to give buyer rebates.  If you have already found the house and your buyer's agent doesn't have to spend the time showing your numerous properties, I think you would be wise to seek such an alternative.  As always, be sure to check their credentials. Once you have checked their references, don't be afraid to use discount brokers like myself.  We have to go through the same training and licensing as any other realtor or broker and simply offer an alternative to traditional real estate brokerages.

Best of luck to you.
  • November 20 2011
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First of all, you need to check who is paying the commision, the buyer or the seller. It is typically the seller, in which case you as the buyer do not pay the commision. In any case, you want to use a solid realtor who you are comfortable with. You don't want to be pennywise and pound foolish when it comes to buying a house!
  • November 20 2011
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I am not a RE agent but it sounds like you are mixing the commission agreement for the home seller and listing agent in addition to a buyers agent's commission. I think people are telling you to get a " Buyers Agent" who will earn their commission by splitting the overall commission with the listing agent.
  • November 20 2011
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Profile picture for Kat Nimmons
Get references, testimonials, etc.
Some realtors may have to split their commission with their BIC (broker in charge) by around 50%.   It won't be easy to find an agent that's willing to work hard, for almost NO pay.  Real Estate is a business, livelihood; in other words, agents have overhead to pay, etc.  by the time they close a sale, marketing bills need to be paid, etc. after taxes are paid on their income, they may not make hardly enough to pay their gas bill the next month; also, an agent really works very hard when they know they are fully vested in a return for their hard work.  I would assume the results would be the opposite if they weren't fully vested.  Do your homework...it amazes me how many people think the agent walks away from the closing table with lots of money, by the time that commission is split with a broker, then the tax man gets his 30% realtors really don't get very much of the money you see in the realtor dues section of a HUD statement.

  • November 20 2011
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