[photopress:sc.jpg,thumb,alignright]At first glance it might appear that Greg Swan and I are like-minded when it comes to commission issues. but not so. Greg and I do agree that the buyer should not be led around thinking they are getting a free ride compliments of the seller, and we are both part of a growing minority in that regard. We do in many ways lead the cause of buyers controlling their side of the fence, though sometimes Greg goes a little over the net on that one.
But Merv has got it DOWN!!! Agents like Merv and I are running the test cases that will prove to be the real answer to all of this. No One Size Fits All commissions. A range of prices for various scenarios. A range of prices based on a collaborative effort of determining the client’s needs…a collaboration between the agent and the consumer.
Merv, I am totally with you on this one, and I too have case studies, though by and large, and specifically as to commission negotiations, I was not planning to unveil mine until Jaunary 2007. You GO BOY! Woohoo! The agent and the client TOGETHER determine the services and advices that the client both wants and needs. The agent cannot participate in the consumer cutting themselves short of what they need, to be successful in the client’s goals. Nor should the agent build everything around a total package of high fee services, that always leads to a win for the agent, by including more than the client needs.
For instance, just closed one where the buyer represented himself, after first trying a “full service”/full fee agent. The seller and I gave the buyer the FULL 3% buyer agent fee. Buyer just moved into his new home and is thrilled! Seller is happy and has moved on, after unsuccessfully trying a full stripped down mls only version, before hiring me. Total fees paid in that transaction – 2%. In another instance, on a different property, a buyer called and said she was going to represent herself. I asked her a few questions and she knew absolutely nothing about what I was talking about and was missing several key details needed to represent herself. Seller and I said NO, you can’t represent yourself, you just don’t have the background of knowledge needed, in this particular case, on this particular property. Total fees paid in that transaction (different fully represented first time buyer) – 6% split 3% to me and 3% to buyer’s agent. Portion of my fee used to make repairs to property. I made more on the one where the seller paid 2%, than I did on the one where the seller paid 6%. So much for percentages…they are truly irrelevant.
The agent needs to be involved in determining whether or not the buyer or seller’s wants and choices, fits the consumer’s objectives AND abilities. The consumer in turn has to be realistic about what they can do themselves, and what they can’t do themselves. It’s a collaboration with neither party “dictating” to the other.
THIS is the model of the future. Just as you can hire an attorney to fully represent you, or to partially represent you to save some money, you should also be able to hire a real estate agent to fully represent you or to partially represent you. But no attorney is going to get into the middle of partial representation unless he makes the judgment call that the client is fully capable of handling a portion of the duties. No agent should hand over responsibility to someone without making the judgment call that they know what they are doing, with regard to the services selected and not selected.
A buyer who assumes responsibility for selection of property, via the internet or other means, should not pay the same fee as one who needs agent advices. A buyer who just can’t assume full responsibility for all lender issues, should not pay the same fee as one who needs no assistance with the lending issues whatsoever. A seller who has everything ready when you walk in the door, should not pay the same as someone who needs the agent to help with getting the property ready for market. A seller who can’t read the contract, should not be able to purchase a service that says “all offers to be submitted to the seller direct”, nor should an attorney/owner pay a real estate agent to explain a contract.
No one size fits all commission! No trading in one “one size fits all” for another “one size fits all”! That’s where Greg and I part ways. I love that Merv…and Pam. Get Merv’s blog on your MUST READ list today!