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By Kandie Frederick

Growing up on the central coast, Kandie is a third generation family in the North County and a second generation family in real estate. Joining Country Real Estate in 2000, and graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, she brings a background of Agricultural Business to combine with her knowledge of the local real estate market. Working with her family and their decades of local real estate development, she is deeply connected to the roots of our community and its growth.
“This area continues to grow as people discover what a great travel destination it is, and what a great wine region it has become. Eventually, they realize what a great place it is to live and work as well. Adapting to the needs of our clients in a changing environment is always a priority. We remain the longest standing brokerage in a community we are deeply invested in. Our longevity is attributed to our innate ability to understand the North County: its people, its properties, and its culture.” -Kandie

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In case you don’t know, the real estate world was flipped on its head recently. A lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors is challenging how buyer agents get paid, and it’s left a lot of people confused. Here’s the short version: A court recently ruled that the current structure of buyer’s agents’ commissions was illegal and needed to change. In the past, the seller would pay full commission to their agent, and the seller’s agent would then split that commission with the buyer’s agent. In this way, the buyer wouldn’t actually need to put any money down for their representation. Now, the buyer commissions are negotiated separately from the seller side.

So, do you still need to pay the buyer’s agent’s commissions when selling your home? If you want the best representation possible, yes, and there are a few key reasons why:

1. Setting a rate upfront avoids negotiations. Since buyer commissions are now negotiable, it’s better to get ahead of things and agree to a rate before negotiating. If you wait until closing to negotiate your buyer commission rate, it could become a sticking point that slows down your sale or jeopardizes the translation altogether. You may even have to end up paying extra just to make your buyer happy. Instead, I recommend communicating upfront about what you’re willing to pay to avoid confusion and unnecessary negotiations.

“Set your rate based on comparative home sales in your area.”

2. Offering a competitive rate will help your home sell. Just like you look at similar homes in your area to determine your listing price, you should also look at similar buyer’s agent rates in your area to determine how much commission you offer. A higher rate is a sign to buyers that you’re serious about getting your home sold and will probably reduce your time on the market. However, you don’t want to make your rate too high and end up paying unnecessary fees. Work with your agent and look at similar homes in your market to find a Goldilocks rate that isn’t too high or too low.

3. Offering no commission to buyers comes with risks. You may think it makes the most sense to offer zero commission upfront and simply negotiate a low rate at closing; however, this isn’t how things will work in practice. Just because you list your home and offer a 0% rate upfront does not mean you won’t pay any buyer commissions—most buyers will simply ignore your home if they think their representation won’t be compensated. Instead, it means you’ll have to negotiate the rate at closing, which can lead to a drawn-out sale and potentially paying more than you would have otherwise.

I know this topic can be a little confusing, so don’t hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions. Plus, I offer a flexible commission menu so that you can pay for representation no matter what your budget is. I look forward to hearing from you!