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Who Pays Real Estate Agents When You Buy a House?

January 10, 2024


Min Read
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Here's the skinny.

If you’re wondering who pays a real estate agent when you buy a house, here’s the answer in just nine short words—buyers don’t pay real estate agent fees, sellers do. That’s it, that’s the story. Now, you’re probably also curious about how much they earn and how it all works. We’ve got you.




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“If the seller typically pays my real estate agent fees, are they paying for their agent’s fees, too?” Yep. Typically, the seller pays a commission to the agent listing the property, who then splits it with your agent. This agreement is usually outlined in the listing agreement when the seller hires a listing agent to sell the property. The commission rate is typically between 5-6% of the home’s final sale price, and it’s split evenly between the two agents.

When you work with an agent, they’ll help guide you through everything from identifying potential homes to negotiating offers. Specifically, they’ll help you…

  • Make an informed buying decision with a local market analysis.
  • Help you find a property by conducting a search that fits your needs.
  • Ensure you’re making a good investment with their property and area insights.
  • Get the best deal with the best terms by negotiating with the seller and their agent.
  • Understand the terms of the deal by reviewing and explaining the contract.
  • Keep everything on schedule by coordinating events like inspections and appraisals.
  • Research the property and any issues that could affect the purchase.
  • Organize the closing process by ensuring all paperwork is completed accurately, on time.
  • Find vetted professionals to help you in your homeownership journey, like home inspectors.
  • Get homeownership advice at every step, even after closing.

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That’s a lot of work you get for free, but not all agents are equal. Finding the right expert for your specific location and needs is key. When searching, it’s important to evaluate their certifications, reputation, and experience. The right agent will help you find the home that fits your needs and budget, negotiate a fair offer, and guide you through the closing process. A buyer’s agent has your best interests in mind and can help you avoid costly mistakes. A good agent will help with all of the items listed above, while also keeping you informed throughout the process, from start to finish.

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