Where 2 find a reasonable buyer's agent after I've found my home?

10 Replies

We found our home.  We've negotiated a price.  However, we don't have a buyer's agent, so the seller's agent thinks he's getting 6%, and he won't be reasonable.

So, I figure two can be unreasonable.  I'll sign a contract with a broker "who gets it" for the purchase of this home and this home only.  I'm offering somebody 0.5% (just over $5,000) to smile and look pretty.  Once I have an agent, he or she will demand that the commission on the home be dropped to 3.5%--3% to the seller's agent, and 0.5% for the buyer's.  I anticipate this whole endeavor won't take more than a single afternoon.  Two or three phone calls.  Not a bad hourly wage.  I'll even let him keep half of anything he negotiates down in the price.  You know the agent with mad negotiating skills who's not gonna let me overpay?  Sweet.  For every $10K he gets the seller's to knock of the price (that I've negotiated), that guy just put $5K in his pocket. I'll be happy--thrilled--to find a buyer's agent is a better negotiator than I am!!

I don't expect this thread to be a popular one; and don't care how many agents respond to tell me that I am asking to work for free.  No, I'm not.  I did all my due diligence.  I checked out the houses.  I waited through April, May, and June for the seller to accept my price.  And now somebody's gonna swoop in, clear five grand, and clear another sale.  No down side.

I don't know, but I expect you can direct message me through biggerpockets.com to tell me if you know any "part-timers" or "hobbyists" who might be willing to help me.  If biggerpockets doesn't have a direct message service, I'll delete this ad. I don't want anybody who is willing to help me be the subject of the guild's scorn.


Procuring cause. There is a possibility that whatever agent you hire will not be paid from the seller. 

What state are in? What town?

Is 'we' you and your spouse?  A partner? Non-married will matter when it comes to getting a loan.

Are you pre-qualified for the loan? Pre-approved? 

I'm not an agent, but those would be some things I'd want to know.  I offer solo and just pay 3% less.  The seller and LA can work out the details of agent compensation.

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :

What state are in? What town?

Is 'we' you and your spouse?  A partner? Non-married will matter when it comes to getting a loan.

Are you pre-qualified for the loan? Pre-approved? 

I'm not an agent, but those would be some things I'd want to know.  I offer solo and just pay 3% less.  The seller and LA can work out the details of agent compensation.

One thing to note on this strategy is this is called a variable rate commission. As far as I am aware it is legal in all states with one caveat....NAR Code of Ethics states that this must be disclosed in the MLS. (National MLS guidance rules also require it to be disclosed) In many states, but not all the Code of Ethics is law. So you can engage in it if it is disclosed. Engaging in it if it has kot been disclosed in the MLS can lead to fines from the MLS, local board or real estate commission. In Maryland it is one of the things they target in audits of our records and it results in a $10,000 fine if you did one without it veing disclosed (and agreed to in our listing agreements)

Interestingly enough, most agents, including many big time veterans, have no clue what a variable rate commission is until they get fined for doing it and not disclosing it.

Neither you, nor a buyer's agent, gets to dictate the commission paid by the seller to the listing agent, this is set by their listing agreement.  Also, nothing in your purchase contract regagrding commission is enforcable.

The listing agent seems to already be the prouring party.

Since you've "already agreed on a price" any commission reduction wpuld simply stay in the seller's pocket anyway.

When you start trying to dictate to a seller what and how a commission will be paid, you may just demand your way out of a deal.

Help me understand the dilemma with "procuring cause."

Listen, I get it.  The listing agent has now set his heart on clearing all 6% himself, and if he gets a penny less he's going to feel cheated.  If he were reasonable--and, again, he is not--he would have agreed to submit my offer of a total commission of 4% (asking Greedy there to serve as facilitator), which he could keep all to his selfish little self.  But he dug in, saying that his contract with the seller dictates 6%, so he can't do anything about that.

The truth is, I know what the homeowner needs out of the sale.  But I distrust the listing agent so forcefully that I am not going to engage exclusively with him.  I'm going to find my own agent for this transaction and only this transaction.  He (or she) won't have to show me another home.  Asking $30,000 for that little bit of help is outrageous.  $5,000 is generous.

So, without me having my own agent, there is no sale.  Get it?  Nobody will have procured nuthin.  

Those of you who "don't get it" are fine not to get it.  I am not trying to start an argument about the value of a Realtor or accuse those of you who have taken years to cultivate relationships with your clients of being overpaid.  I'm not.

I've already heard from several agents who do get it.  I'm sure there are some in Orange County, as well.


P.S.  I am shocked, absolutely shocked, that some of you think one Realtor would stiff another one out of 0.5%.  

Originally posted by @Alan Poon :

Help me understand the dilemma with "procuring cause."

Listing agent will be able to file a procuring cause grievance against any buyers agent that represents you. Suddenly your buyers agent receives zero commission on the deal paid out of the sellers proceeds. That is the dilemma.  


I'm not sure I understand exactly the threat of a procuring grievance.

Let's say my enthusiasm for this house lapses. As does my enthusiasm for hustling the mean streets by myself. I sign on with a buyer's agent "who knows the neighborhoods, has access to MLS, and whose only concern is to get me into the home of my dreams." A few months pass with the buyer's agent, through no fault of his own, being unable to find me the home of my dreams. Now the older home drops its price, and suddenly my enthusiasm is rekindled.

In such a situation, are you telling me the buyer's agent who shuttled me all over Orange County, whose discerning eye talked me out of offering on money pits, will get nothing if he brokers a deal for me to buy a house that I had originally seen without him.  Is that possible?

Now that I've seen every home that interests me in the nicer OC neighborhoods, are you suggesting that no buyer's agent could hope to clear a single cent in commissions (except, perhaps, on brand new listings)?  That every cent belongs, legally, to the listing agent, who in most cases did nothing for me besides host an open house??

If there's even a scintilla of truth to that, why I think we can begin to see why most people don't trust Realtors.  That doesn't seem the slightest bit fair.  


I thank you for being concerned that I may have bargained my way out of a deal.  If your professional opinion is that I've screwed up with this house, I'm happy to know there are others houses.

If my choice is to overpay (by at least $30,000, but likely $60,000), or have the deal scuttled...well, I guess I'll be content to wait for a better deal.  (Not to put too fine a point on it, but the seller's agent is clearly asking too much for the house, since it didn't sell in March, April, May, June...and now into July.)