Will Offering an Agent Bonus Make My House Sell Quicker?

Q. Will offering an agent bonus make my house sell quicker?

A. In those markets where the economic recovery has not yet taken effect and where sales are sluggish, many sellers will offer an incentive - a bonus - to agents if their house will sell quickly. Some sellers will agree to pay one or two percent more in commissions, but often with specific time limitations built into this incentive.

For example, you may offer to increase the commission by two percent if the house goes under contract within two months, then drop it to only one percent extra thereafter.

A house that will pay 7 or 8 percent will obviously be more attractive to real estate brokers than a commission of 4, 5 or even 6 percent.

Everything in real estate is - or should be - negotiable. If sellers are prepared to offer a bonus - an incentive - to their agent, that is their absolute right. And if real estate agents want to show those "incentivized" houses to their prospective purchasers, that is also their right within limits.

Remember that, no matter what the amount of the commission, it is of no interest to a buyer. They are concerned with finding the right house for them and they are entitled to be shown all houses on the market that meet their needs - and not just those houses where the agent will get a higher commission.

It is in the agent's best interest to do so because they are bound by a strict code of ethics, which puts their client's interests ahead of their own. But as with anything else there are some bad apples in the barrel who may try and steer a buyer to a home that pays a bonus.

I'd be more than happy to discuss this further with you and answer any questions you may have. Just give me a call.