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My hubby and I are planning on looking at homes to buy. However, we are not 100% sure that we want to buy –it depends on what we find, we may not find one we like and go with renting. If we look at homes, do we have to pay the real estate agent that shows us the homes?

8 Thoughts on do you pay a real estate agent even if I decide not to buy?
  1. Reply
    November 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Real Estate agents only earn comission on homes they sell.

  2. Reply
    November 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    You don’t pay a buyer’s agent. They get a split of the commision with the seller’s agent, which comes out of the seller’s proceeds. (typically a 3%-3% split).

  3. Reply
    November 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Only if you have committed to a contract and break it.
    If you have paid a deposit and it is enough, it may be divided between the seller and the agent’s commission.

  4. Reply
    Jennifer S
    November 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Only if you signed something saying you would pay them a fee for helping you.

    That’s not a common thing but some realtors do it. Most times they are paid put of the seller’s proceeds.

  5. Reply
    November 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Realtors are paid by the seller, not the buyer. The real estate commission is split between the buyer and seller’s agents. It doesn’t cost anything to use a realtor to represent you in the purchase of a home. Some agents require that you sign a buyer’s representation agreement with them. That way, they represent you if you find a home, whether they show it to you, or not. This is also negotiable. You can sign a buyer’s representation agreement for the properties the agent shows you, the day you go out with him, and limit your agreement to just those properties.

  6. Reply
    Pat B
    November 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I am a real estate professional.
    Whether or not you have to pay a real estate agent depends on the agency. If they are your agent (a Buyer’s Agent), they could ask you to sign a Buyer’s Agency Contract and there could be an up-front fee that you would pay and then it would be refunded to you when a sale closes (from the seller’s offer of cooperating commission). But in most cases, no, you would not have to pay
    However, as a real estate professional, I will say this: if you are so undecided, go to open houses, do research in your market area and get pre-qualified for a mortgage so you know what you can afford. The real estate agent does not get paid unless a sale closes, and his or her time is valuable and her gas costs the same as your gas. When I have a client that is as undecided as you are, I will give them addresses of listings and information about them and let them drive by them, take a look at the neighborhood, the exterior condition of the house, etc. If they see something that is appealing to them, we set up a showing appointment. When you know what you can afford, your real estate agent will give you examples of what is available in your price range – if you are looking for a home with the features of a $ 200,000 home, but you can only afford $ 100,000, why waste everyone’s time? If you are seriously considering buying vs renting, be very upfront with the real estate agent and then he or she will work harder to find you a property that would suit you.

  7. Reply
    November 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Not at all. Agents don’t make a dime unless there’s a completed sale, and if you do but, normally your buyer’s agent’s commission is paid by the seller.

  8. Reply
    Terry S
    November 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Only if you go behind the back of the agent and buy from the seller cutting out the Realtors.

    Yes, it does happen, but not very often.

    Agents only get paid IF THE HOME CLOSES.

    They live in the real world of pay only for performance.

    If the agent cannot find you your dream home, then they don’t get paid.

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