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How Do Home Buyer Agents Get Paid?

Real estate agent commissions are typically included in home prices, meaning buyers cover them when closing a property. But consumers may be able to avoid buyer agents altogether by shopping around for brokers offering rebates. Find out the best info about nft lending and borrowing.

Typical real estate sale commissions in New York fall between 4-6%. But what exactly does this mean for those on the buyer’s team?


Real estate agents typically receive payment through commission on home sales. The commission usually ranges between 4-6% of the home’s sale price, traditionally split evenly among buyer and seller agents.

Home buyers can sometimes negotiate lower commission fees with their home buying agent; specific agents may even offer rebates; this option only exists where state law permits.

As with most real estate transactions, the type of home you’re searching for will impact your ability to negotiate commission rates with an agent. For instance, many agents tend to lower commission rates when dealing with high-value homes as they typically yield greater earnings for agents than lower-value properties. Furthermore, remember that market conditions can significantly impact how much money an agent will make off each transaction – in a buyer’s market, you might see higher commission rates. In contrast, in seller’s markets, they could be lower.


Though the fee may seem expensive, it represents only a portion of the total purchase costs. Other significant prices include loan applications, title insurance policies, inspections, and repairs. And don’t forget the closing paperwork!

Buyers may be able to negotiate lower commissions from agents, particularly low-volume agents who want more experience selling high-value properties in the future.

Buyers typically cannot pay their agents directly;  their commission payments go through their broker instead and are then distributed according to the agreement between both parties.

There are exceptions, however. If a seller and buyer have the same agent acting as a dual agency, that agent will receive all of the sale commission since they represent both parties in a transaction. They must disclose this situation and explain its effects to each buyer involved to comply with applicable laws.


Home buyers can save thousands at closing by asking their agents or brokers to rebate part of their commission. While this could help attract more buyer clients, it reduces overall earnings per transaction, and many agents are unwilling to offer buyer rebates.

Some brokerages specializing in selling high-value homes are more willing to provide rebates; these companies recognize that higher sale prices can offset lower commission rates.

Buyers should not assume that all brokerages or agents offering buyer rebates will honor them; it’s wise to read through any fine print as some offers contain tradeoffs or restrictions limiting how much can be redeemed at once. Furthermore, rebates may require lender approval and can even be voided by the seller’s broker, making it harder for buyers to reap any refund rewards.


As a buyer, it’s expected of you to sign a contract with your real estate agent outlining their responsibilities and the ways they’ll work with you – for instance, finding homes, writing offers, adding appendices, etc.). This usually outlines precisely how they’ll assist with you as a process as well as their responsibilities in regards to working together on offers, finding homes for you, etc.

Termination rights should also be included, which outlines how you and your agent can end the agreement if things don’t go according to plan. Terminations are sometimes an awkward part of real estate transactions; having all terms set beforehand helps everyone remain on the same page.

Some home shoppers assume they can bypass buyer’s agents by working directly with the listing agent on a property. However, this practice is a dual agency and illegal in most states. Furthermore, you will be at the mercy of one agent with differing goals from yours – so having your buyer’s agent is essential!

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