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Worried about what a real estate agent costs? You may be waffling on whether or not to use a buyer’s real estate agent to buy a home. You might be surprised to know that the seller pays for both agents, not just their own, so using an agent for your home search won’t cost you a cent.

The real scoop on real estate agents

Real estate transactions have two main parties: The buyer, and the seller. There should also be two agents involved: the buyer’s agent, and the seller’s agent.

Even if you think you don’t need an agent, you do. An agent gives you an edge, and you don’t want the seller to have a benefit you don’t. The seller’s agent is hard at work looking out for their client’s best interest. They want the seller to be able to sell their home quickly, for a great price, and with a minimum of hassle.   

A buyer’s agent will work just as hard for you. They will put your best interests first, helping you find the right home, in the right neighborhood, at the right price. They want you, the buyer, to find the home of your dreams and purchase it with the least amount of stress possible. 

But how much does a buyer’s real estate agent cost? Here’s where the beauty of real estate agent commission structures comes in.

How real estate agent commissions work

There is a single commission for real estate agents, not two separate ones. The commission is typically between 5% and 6%. The good news for buyers is that the commission is paid 100% by the seller, since they are the ones receiving money from the transaction (the sale of their home.)

Usually, the commission is split evenly between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. If the seller’s agent works with a broker, they may share their portion of the commission with the broker.   

Since the seller is paying, why not use a real estate agent? You have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain. Of course, the seller may be taking the estimated cost of paying the commission onto the sale price of the house, but a savvy buyer’s agent may be able to figure that out for you and push for a reduction. 

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