Who Pays the Real Estate Agent?

One of life’s lessons is to never make assumptions, yet many of us do so anyway. After all, it’s quite easy – and commonplace – for professionals to assume that everyone knows all the intricacies of their business, and real estate agents are no exception.  How real estate agents get paid and who pays what are probably the two most common questions the public has about the real estate industry, yet many agents never think to explain it to people.

**Note** In recent years there have been an increasing number of payment structures associated with how real estate professionals get paid. This article will only detail the traditional and most common style which you will find in the vast majority of real estate sales.


How are real estate agents paid?

Real estate professionals are almost always paid via commission, based upon a percentage of the final sales price of the home. As with most commission based sales, it is only paid if the home successfully closes and is usually split in half to equally pay the listing office and selling office, who then pay their respective agents.

Who pays the commission?

The commission is paid in full by the seller at a percentage agreed upon by the seller and listing agent prior to signing a listing agreement. A listing agreement is a legal document and once it is signed, any changes to the commission require mutual agreement from the listing agent and the seller.

If a purchase and sale agreement is signed and another agent is representing the buyers, any changes to the commission must also be agreed upon by the buyer’s agent.

Do buyers ever pay a commission?

One of the major benefits of using a real estate agent as a buyer is the fact that buyers don’t pay the commission. Some could argue that the buyer is the one purchasing the house and, therefore, paying for everything, but going through the entire process without an agent is difficult and most likely wouldn’t save the buyer any money when all is said and done.


Both buyers and sellers benefit greatly from working with a real estate professional they know and can trust. If you are looking to buy or sell your home, contact Vanessa today and she will be happy to get you started!

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