After a presentation with first time home buyer, and reviewing all costs, the question we usually start with is… well what how much do YOU charge?….. Well, I have a great answer for you!
In Southern California, the buyer doesn’t pay any commission! Commission comes completely from the seller.
For instance if you decided you didn’t want a real estate broker to represent you, you would not necessarily save any money, in fact you may be overpaying! 99% of the time, the seller pays ALL commission costs, there are always outliers but generally this is the customary practice in our San Diego County and Orange County areas.
The listing is taken for a commission by the listing agent, the listing agent and seller then choose what they want to offer to the buyer’s broker. If you are not a licensed agent/broker in California you cannot be paid a commission, so you are not losing anything to have an agent, if anything you are winning! If you are not licensed, you most likely want the support of the real estate broker who can guide you through the process. You will have an agent who works directly with you is solely your advocate, and not the sellers, this agency is a a fiduciary responsibility. This means the agent has the same responsibility to you as they would a new born baby!
Realtors are buffers to keep you and the seller at somewhat of a distance so negotiations can be made with less emotion. We are also a go to for questions, issues and concerns throughout the entire process and even after the close of escrow. We are trained to help minimize legal exposure for the buyer and to help navigate the process so the buyer doesn’t leave anything on the table. A Realtor’s reputation can many times also help your negotiating power, if the team you work with is reputable throughout the community. These are just some of the reasons a Realtor can be very beneficial.
The moral is here, since you are making the biggest purchase of your life, it may be best to consult a professional because it won’t cost you anything. Using a Realtor will most likely save you thousands on something that could easily be overlooked to the untrained eye.
Kaitlin Pierce, Broker Associate, CALBRE#01925030