Understanding the True Cost: Real Estate Agent Fees Demystified

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Buying a home shouldn’t make you feel like you’re taking a crash course in Real Estate 101, but it sometimes does. Between unfamiliar processes and obscure line items, the learning curve can be intimidating. That’s why it’s critical that buyers work with brokers (like Realty Collective) who prioritize transparency in all aspects of the process — including how they get paid for their services.


No, agents aren’t working for free, but many buyers have often heard that a broker’s commission never comes out of the buyer’s pocket. The reality is a bit more complex. It’s our job to ensure it’s never confusing or misleading, so let’s take a closer look at broker fees and what they mean for you.


Do Buyers Pay Real Estate Agent Fees? 

Real estate agents are independent contractors and are paid through commissions — a percentage of the final sale price of the property.  So no money changes hands until you find your dream place and the deal is complete. But if you’re not handing over the commission, who is? In New York City and beyond, sellers have long recognized the importance of paying the commission fee for the buyer’s broker, a trend that’s likely to persist. However, it’s important that you know as a buyer that broker fees are always negotiable.


If a commission for a buyer’s broker fee hasn’t been pre-negotiated for a property it will most likely be negotiated at the time of the offer; your agent will inform you and ensure you receive the necessary professional support during this significant financial transaction, while also making sure the costs are consistent with market conditions.  As a homebuyer, we want working with Realty Collective to feel like a collaborative partnership — one where you can trust your agent to prioritize your interests and where you feel empowered with all the information you need to make the best financial decisions for yourself. Buying a home will never be easy, but our job as agents is to make it as painless as possible. So if you’re on the fence about starting your search and have hesitated for fear of getting locked in, we want you to stop worrying. Your buyer’s agent will work hard on your behalf (especially if you go with Realty Collective!)


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