How to compensate a real estate agent - looking for ideas

4 Replies

I am a new real estate investor who looks to flip sell vacant land.  The few properties I have bought, I've found using mostly county websites and buy directly from the owner.  In each instance, on the sell side, I’ve had some real estate agent assistance.

I’ve contacted one of several agents I know and explained to them how I acquired the property and that I intend to reach out to adjacent property owners and builders in the area. Then, if that doesn’t generate a buyer, I intend to list the property. They have gladly provided me their perspective of market value and some comps.  In each of the instances so far I have sold to either the neighbor or a builder in the area, and not needed to list.

I have asked the agents if they would accept a small amount of money for their help with a market assessment or comps.  They’ve all said no thank you and that they can’t take any money unless it a commission on property for which they are a buyer or seller agent. I am not sure if that is a standard practice of their broker or a function of the state REC, etc.

I’ve tried to return the favor by giving them name and number to folks I approach to buy a property and while they indicate a willingness to sell – they are looking for full retail and not the “wholesale” type price I offer.  In a couple instances the land owner did decide to list – just with another agent (I saw the properties on the local real estate websites).  I suspect they didn’t use the agents I recommended because they didn’t like my price and may have been afraid a realtor I recommended wouldn’t try to get them full price.

Any thoughts on legal, ethical ways I can compensate one or two realtors who regularly help me but are not getting anything for it?

If they have given you valuable information, then use them as the buying or selling agent when you next buy or sell a property. Its possible they could get it sold for higher, help you buy it for lower, or just make the transaction move more smoothly. They are only currently helping you because they expect business from you in the future.

Realtors at large firms have to split with their company whatever they make.

If you are offering them a flat fee of $500 lets say.  They bring that to their broker and get $250.  Its not worth their time, plus then they need to explain why they have this money in the first place.  Traditional brokers are not creative and they don't understand these things.

Best bet, try and find an independent agent or search for "Flat Fee MLS your area" and get a local guy. They will probably do it for a fee.

Good luck

@Karl James  When it comes to building relationships it sounds like you are doing everything possible to be a guy others would want to work with.

Seems like these agents also feel this way about you. 

I would just keep doing what you are doing. Spread the word with referrals & go to them when it does come time to list.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

How about an amazon.com gift card and a hand written note as well as letting them know that you'll use them for the next deal that you need to get listed.  Sometimes the gesture is what matters.