Therese Fergo, Realtor (R) in DC,MD,VA.Licensed Property Manager (Keller Williams Capital Properties)

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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

The Seller has a right to make the offer, the Buyer has the right to offer what they want, and the Agent must do what they know is right and ethical.

Dec 09, 2019 02:39 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

The seller can offer to pay the BA whatever the seller wishes to offer as compensation. The buyer can also offer the seller whatever purchase price the buyer wishes to offer.

We are facilitators and I do not see an ethical issue with what the seller is offering.

Dec 09, 2019 08:55 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

I agree with Bob Crane 

Dec 09, 2019 04:20 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Our MLS rules state: The amount of compensation offered through the MLS may not contain any provision that varies the amount of compensation offered based on conditions precedent or subsequent or on any performance, activity or event.

In other words, the commission to be paid is the commission offered in the mls based up close of a sale and not on a "full price" offer or any other modifier.

Your mls rules may be different.

At the same time, the listing agent is not precluded from offering a bonus for a "full price" offer or for meeting some other condition.

Yes, an unscrupulous buyer's agent may also try to persuade the buyer to pay too much under other circumstances just to earn a commission not just in this instance where the possibility of a higher commission is being dangled.

Follow your own ethical inclinations.

Dec 09, 2019 03:22 PM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL 305-931-6931

Why not?! 

4 or 5%? 

Seller wants to sell. Agree with Valeria. 

It is not contingent, buyers agents will get 4% full price or not.

Dec 09, 2019 08:09 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Seller can offer a higher commission and buyer agent can create a current comparable market analysis, then expertly advise potential home buyer.

Dec 09, 2019 06:19 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Bob Crane has you covered. 

Dec 09, 2019 03:04 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I've actually seen that offer before here in Minot ND Therese Fergo . I don't know how it ended as I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Dec 09, 2019 06:49 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I don't know of any ethics rules offering it would violate.  Could be some legal ones violated if the buyer's agent steers the client to offer on the property and to push for a full priced offer.

Dec 09, 2019 04:13 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

The seller can make any offer they wish to make. Commissions are negotiable. Lots of sellers offer bonuses to a sale by a certain date or price... nothing unethical about that. I wouldn't, by the way, ask questions about commissions in a public forum. And your responsibility as a buyer's agent is NOT to get the lowest price possible, but the BEST deal possible commensurate with market conditions and other contingencies important to buyer and seller.

Dec 10, 2019 04:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Bob Crane said it well. But it still has to appraise!

Dec 09, 2019 08:56 PM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

I agree with John Juarez 

Commissions and bonus are not contingent. 

Make an offer, print MLS and seller has to pay you 4%

Dec 09, 2019 07:07 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Let the Buyer Choose ... 

I agree with Bob Crane 

Dec 09, 2019 05:02 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

The seller is offering what he is to generate interest.  If the seller is willing to do this, there is nothing unethical about receiving this commission when the property closes.

Dec 09, 2019 02:44 PM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Somebody is going to sell it & get 4%. Unethical would be to use the increased pay as grounds to steer a client into purchasing it. 

Dec 09, 2019 02:42 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I am with Bob Crane on this. Follow the MLS rules. So many agents in my area seem to think the rules are not there for them. 

Dec 10, 2019 07:59 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

The buyer is certainly allowed to "offer" whatever they'd like. There's nothing unethical about it.

I can't speak to it's efficacy.  It's not 'we agents' who decide which properties to write offers for, nor how much we're willing to write...  I can't image any buyers' agent who would advise their buyer to write only a full-price offer, in order to gain the higher commission.

Dec 09, 2019 03:39 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

That's in an MLS listing? Ack.

I wonder if 'full price' = overpriced.
Slippery slope if buyer overpaid so agent could get a higher fee . . . those things tend to show up later, too . . .

Dec 09, 2019 06:34 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Follow the rules of your local MLS.

Dec 09, 2019 05:11 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


The buyerr rules.  A

Dec 09, 2019 03:18 PM
Michelle Enciso
Pikes Peak Dream Homes Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
Exceptional Service for Exceptional People

I think it comes down to full disclosure and proof of acting in your clients best interest on any advice in regards to offer price. I'm leary to say it's unethical but it can certainly be questionable. Great discussion question! 

Dec 09, 2019 08:39 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Jeez, it's a bonus for bringing a buyer not robbing a bank. They are enticing you the agent to bring a buyer by. Either do it or don't. If the house fits your buyer, get over there.

Your goal as a BA is to get your buyer into the house of their dreams. Price is only one part & maybe it won't be the lowest price THE BUYER or YOU wants. Then what?

Dec 10, 2019 06:36 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I have seen $30K bonus on top of 2.5 % commission if closed in 30 days.

Dec 10, 2019 06:13 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

It is ethical for the seller to offer it. As far as the buyer agent, if they are not looking out for their buyer it is an ethical problem on their side. 

Dec 10, 2019 05:36 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

unethical in my book..... the goal of the buyer agent is to represent that client properly and not allow commission to interfere.... 

Dec 10, 2019 05:35 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

As long as it isn't against any local MLS rule, a seller can offer buyer agents whatever they want in terms of commission. A buyer broker needs to do what's right for/with their clients. If the full price is a great market price, then the right thing might be to pay full price (and get the 4%). If the full price is over market value, then paying that might not be the best choice. 

Dec 10, 2019 05:29 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

If you are a realtor then your code of ethics does not allow the compensation stated in mls to have contingecies. In this case the buyer agent will get 4% regardless of contract price. It might have to come out of listing agents side to cover difference.This does not mean a bonus can not be added to the commission for a full price contract. It just means the commission can not be contingent.

Dec 10, 2019 04:29 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

If I sell one of my personal properties, I always pay more commission than the going rate...or I pay a bonus.  I never make it contingent on a full price offer.

It works.  

I sell quickly for top dollar.  Ethical and legal.


Dec 10, 2019 09:39 AM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I see this quite often. Mostly when the sellers are transferring out of the area and need to sell fast.

Dec 10, 2019 09:19 AM
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

While we don’t see such offers every day, they aren’t uncommon.

As the buyers broker I can’t control or change what the seller is wanting or offering.

So, I show it to my buyer and explain the ramifications. If they love the house it may be worth making a full price offer and then I may give a rebate to the buyer. Each situation is a little different. Transparency and a full and truthful explanation is the key.

Dec 10, 2019 07:37 AM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Commission is offered by the seller. They are offering a higher fee based upon a price they stipulate. If the buyers are agreeable to the offered price, then that is their prerogative. 

Dec 10, 2019 07:35 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Lots of great answers here. This forum is working well!

Dec 10, 2019 06:56 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Be aware it is the BANK that is buying the real estate.

If the appraisal doesn't work the 'we got ethics' concern is misplaced.

If the appraisal DOES work, it means the price beat down of  the 'we got ethics folks been exposed.

Anytime something not ordinary occurs, most look for foul play instead of what best for a buyer and seller who agree on the value.

Is not this a version of what REBATE brokerages do? Alter the compensation the SELLER agreed to pay.

Dec 10, 2019 05:23 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Interesting situation,  ethical, why not?

Dec 10, 2019 03:09 AM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I've seen that in my market.  The bottom line is, how much is buyer wanting to pay for the property?  However, having said that, I'm sure there are some agents who will try to convince their client for their own sake.  

I've seen an agent double dipping by not putting a house in the mls but selling the home to her buyer.  Her buyer has to sell their home in order to purchase a new one.  In my market, buyers who have this type of contingency have a hard time getting a home because it's the seller's market with multiple offers.  Even if their offer is accepted, they usually have to offer above list price and give the seller favorable terms in order to compete with other offers.  This is just one example of an agent that's potentially doing an unscrupulous business.  Another example is an open house before the home hits the market and the same agent is getting the buyer side.  That just doesn't sound right to me.  

Dec 10, 2019 11:25 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

It has come up with buyer agents that ask for more money that if a clean offer (?) is made, the commission can be revisited. If not, this is where we stand. Rel Estate can be complex or E-Z depending on the parties & priority

Dec 10, 2019 07:18 AM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

Regardless of how you price a property, how you pay an agent, or how you pay the cooperating agent, if someone wants to put their client first, they will.  If someone else wants to put themselves ahead of the client, they will.  This has to do with character, not pay structure.

As it stands, buyer's agents who are supposed to get the best deal for their clients, get paid more when the clients get a worse deal.  The system is flawed, but it works because most people are fair.

Yes, there are people who are only in it for themselves.  Those people win in the short term, but lose in the long-term.  (True outside of real estate as well).

Generally speaking, the pay structure or amount will not change the character of the agent.  If the agent is corrupt, a different commission structure is not going to suddenly make them an honorable person.

Dec 10, 2019 01:00 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Sellers option to offer it

Dec 10, 2019 10:43 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

I see things like this all the time. We don't have an MLS- and while we aren't typically members of NAR, we have our own trade association that provides guidance on issues like this. The guidance is pretty simple- the seller's agent commission must be equal or less than what is being offered to the buyer's agent. So if the seller's agent commission is 3% but they agree to pay a buyer's agent 4% - it's permitted, but not the other way around. As to advising my clients on price, If it's a condo- I just do a price analysis and guide the client based off that. I will also let them know of the broker incentive at full ask for purposes of full disclosure- but it's rarely going to impact anything I do (unless it could impact the clients opportunity to actually get to an accepted offer).  For Co-op's- it's not just about price but also all aspects of the offer- down payment %, financing contigent or non-contigent, DTI, Post Closing Liquidity, and even whether the client has an attorney identified yet that they want to use for the deal.

Jun 21, 2021 11:45 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

The seller can offer whatever they want.

Dec 16, 2019 02:38 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Our MLS rules state that compensation offered is mls is not negotiable.

Dec 15, 2019 04:13 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Pending what the comps say, it's a good strategy, because the buyers' agent could credit the bonus to the buyer if the house is worth the asking price. 

It's not always an unethical proposition.

Dec 11, 2019 08:15 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Interesting, I know some agents offer higher in our state.


Dec 11, 2019 05:21 PM
Bob Betel
Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc. - Sweetwater, TN
President, Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc

Anything is ethical if done in the right way. You come to an agreement with the seller and that becomes the guidelines you work with

Dec 11, 2019 06:16 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Not ethical to me 

Dec 10, 2019 06:30 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

If it's disclosed.  Sounds like to me the perfect opportunity to rebate to a client (legal in my state) and get him a better deal.

Dec 10, 2019 03:10 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Therese Fergo It might be okay subject to appraisal, and disclosed to the buyer!

Dec 10, 2019 01:23 PM