Are agent’s services on the buy side actually free?

When it comes to buying a home, real estate agents will be quick to tell you that they are paid their fee by the Seller and, thus, their services to a Buyer are free. This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the real estate industry.  While technically true, a Seller does pay both list and buy side commissions, that cost is ‘baked in’ to the cost of the home. There is a significant cost if you hire an agent when you buy.


Consider this: if commissions were paid separate from the sale price, those sale prices would drop anywhere between three to six percent. While sellers pay the commissions, those fees are baked into the cost of the home. Looking at it from that perspective, you could say the buyer is actually paying the entire fee.


It is commonplace for sellers to interview several realtors before choosing one to list with. It’s less common to interview agents when choosing whom to work with when buying.


In today’s world, buyers are completing more of the leg work in the buying process than ever before. They spend countless hours browsing the MLS, driving neighborhoods, and comparing their purchase options.


Over the years I’ve heard from clients that felt bad asking to see a home. That they felt they were inconveniencing them. Often buyers and their agents have a friendship. A buyer should never feel bad asking to view homes or help process market data. That agent is working for you and is compensated well for that work.


If you do decide to engage representation as a Buyer, expect to sign a buyer’s brokerage agreement. This explains the duties you agent owes you and vice versa. Of further importance, it will outline how the agent will be compensated. Pay particular attention to this part.


If you decide to use the comprehensive buyer functionality on Bōde to ask questions, schedule viewings and make offers on properties – a Seller’s representative is both motivated commercially and legally obligated to present these opportunities to their seller clients. 


As described above, as a buyer on Bōde, you instantly reduce the price of the transaction for both parties by the amount you pay your buyer agent- which is typically 50% of the total cost.

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