Do I have to pay my real estate agent?

If you are buying a home you might be wondering how much is it going to cost me to use a real estate agent. We are talking about a buyers agent here, someone who helps set up appointments, helps with determining value, writes the offer is for you, coordinates with the lender, explains what the closing costs are, everything that you would expect an agent to do.

Well the good news is you don’t have to write a check at the end of it for their services. The way it works in California is that traditionally the listing agent and buyers agent get paid out of the seller’s pocket. So if I want to sell my home I called up my real estate agent and say OK put it on the multiple listing service well that agent is going to do that and then usually will split the total commission with an agent that brings a qualified buyer. So if the total commission is say 6% then the listing agent would get half and the buyers agent will get half.

So while you as the buyer aren’t paying the buyers agent directly, their payment is essentially baked into the price of the home. Which might be a little easier to swallow for you since home prices are not easy to stomach these days by themselves without all the extra costs.