Do You Still Need To Pay Buyer’s Agents’ Commissions?

Discussing the key benefits of offering competitive buyer agent rates.

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. Plus, a new Indiana law going into effect on July 1 will have further implications for home sellers in our state. 

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.

"The new Indiana law makes buyer agency agreements a requirement."

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. The House Enrolled Act. A new Indiana law that will go into effect in July requires buyer agency agreements before people can work with buyer’s agents. This means that before a showing, inspection, or anything else happens, the exclusive agreement needs to be signed. My team has been using these agreements for years, so nothing much will change for us or other experienced real estate agents.

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!


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