Both Ends

 A seller in town asked a couple of interesting questions a month ago and I thought I should tackle them via a post or two. Here’s the first question:

“Our agent represents us as the sellers. The buyers wants him to represent them, the potential buyer. Right now he gets 6% if he sells the house and would split it with the buyers agent if they had one. What is the % of discount should our agent give us? “

Very interesting and good question…and I think there’s several answers that are appropriate for it. First off a question…how good is the offer? If it’s a good one, why argue about the commission? You were going to pay it anyway. Second, if the offer is lower than you were hoping for, how about using the extra commission to bridge the gap…regardless of who gets it. Maybe the buyer needs it for the downpayment…why not let them have it if the purchase price is right for you? Third, I personally hate doing both ends of a transaction. Both sides end up distrusting me. I discovered that I just couldn’t win. I’ve done it and regretted it. I’d much rather give the buyer to an agent in my office to make sure I represent my client alone. Of course, that’s because I’ve been doing this for 24 years and that extra commission isn’t going to be as important as it was all those years ago.

If a home has been on the market for a long time, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to do both ends…maybe you have to! If it’s in a multiple offer environment I think I’d worry about it. It’s almost a guarantee that the playing field won’t be level.