Looking for agents input for finders fees

7 Replies

I spoke to an agent today in reference to a house we are interested in, and explained to her what being an investor is about as she asked. She mentioned she has seen a couple of houses that are distressed, and knows that one sold, and one won't budge in lowering the price. Along with her commission fees, what are some thoughts here from other agents where as an added incentive to her, I'd pay her a finders fee upon closing for notifying me about the deal. I've been told a $200 finders fee is average... Where I am also curious hearing from agents here, your thoughts if you are offered that. Is that a fair deal, or is it offensive? Thanks

Hi Courtney,

  I'm an RE agent in the SF Bay Area. Getting paid a commission should be enough for any agent, and any good agent will know which clients will be worth their time and effort. As an agent, offering incentives or finders fees for closed deals can be tricky as it may result in RESPA violations. I'm not sure how it works from a client's side, so you may want to read up on the rules.

I think the regular commission should suffice.

The real question here is if you and the agent are on the same page as to what being an investor means. 

If what your looking to do will in her eyes result in a very low probability of closing a deal you two may not be a good fit.

Offering to let an agent list the property for sale once renovated results in 2 commissions on one property.  That is usually a huge incentive for any agent. 

I always preface the offer to let them list it with "assuming there is enough profit in the deal".  Simply because sometimes there isn't enough profit to pay a full commission on both sides.  In those cases we will either negotiate a slightly reduced commission or co-list the property or...everything is negotiable.  

@Courtney Murray

Great question.  If the numbers work why not take good care of your agent??  That said in CA only a broker can pay an agent so you'd have to pay that through escrow/closing somehow.  As the others have stated having them list it on the back end should take care of any "incentive".  

As @Peter K. mentioned, there isn't always enough room to pay full commissions on the back end or for that matter on the front end, but that should be the exception not the rule - the back end.  If that's the rule with the same rehabber over and over then they need to learn how to crunch #'s a bit more accurately.  

Great info and greatly appreciated. My mind tends to get creative often, and I'm glad BP is here to lean on as well as help others. 

I would recommend just paying a fair commission for the work they do for you - not a finder's fee.  Finding deals in my market (SF bay area) isn't easy at all, but I am an agent and will happily help an investor who understands the business and negotiates fairly. That way, everybody wins.

If this is in Texas the agent should probably refuse or direct the payment to their broker.

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