As A Buyer What Are My Out Of Pocket Expenses To My Realtor ®

Dated: 08/20/2015

Views: 672

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Diving into purchasing a new home is scary and at times very stressful.  There are a lot of questions you have and don’t know who to turn to for answers.  Will I look stupid and be taken advantage of?  If I don’t know the answer to this question, will the Realtor use it against me?

I remember looking for my first home in Washington, DC I found my Realtor by driving up to Real Estate company. I stopped into the office and said, ” I want to buy a house.” I trusted that someone who worked there could help me.  I was very young and knew very little about purchasing a home.

My first question, was how much does the Realtor want from me?  She is doing a lot for me, I must have to pay her something for all of this.  The answer to that question is, as a buyer you do not have to pay your Realtor’s commission.  It comes from the sale of the property and is the expense of the seller.  Now, some Realtors do require a retainer fee which is usually between $100-$500.  This retainer fee covers the Realtor’s expenses and is most of the time refunded to you at Close of Escrow.  The retainer fee is to help weed out the not so serious buyers from the serious buyers.

I was charged a $200 retainer fee, which I was happy to pay, because I knew that my Realtor was working hard for me and if I purchased a house it would be refunded to me anyway.  Even if I didn’t purchase a house it was partially refundable.  The $200 covered her gas, printing materials time and much more that I wasn’t aware of until I got into the industry.

You will see more and more retainer fees being charged by Realtors and their brokerages.  Don’t be afraid of the fee and automatically assume you are being taken advantage of. Most of the time the money is paid to the brokerage, not directly to the Realtor.

If you speak to a Lawyer their time and efforts are not free, so why would you expect anything different from a licensed Realtor?

If you are in the market and want more information on this topic. 


Contact me Rachel Anderson 480-589-7928. 

 Or please feel free to leave your comments about Retainer fees.

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