Buyers Don’t Have to Pay Extra for Good Service

Real Estate Guest Column

By Kay Wilson-Bolton

March 24, 2002



There’s a new trend in Ventura County real estate that troubles many REALTORS® who are members of the Ventura County Association of REALTORS®.

Most buyers know that REALTORS® earn their fee from monies paid by sellers.  There are a few innovative REALTORS® around who work as buyers’ agents and brokers and receive compensation only from the buyer.

However, many of us are seeing offers being written by agents requiring compensation from the buyer at the close of escrow as well as from the seller. It usually ranges from $750 to $3000 depending upon the price of the home

The concern is that the buyers being asked to pay this compensation are not aware that they can refuse to pay this money and are still entitled to the quality service.

Agents who work from the Multiple Listing Service are made aware of the compensation being offered by the seller and should make their buyers aware that their compensation comes from the seller.

Some buyers we have spoken to indicate that their agent said they have to pay this extra amount because of the hard work involved, or that the payment will insure them seeing all available homes in their price range instead of just a few.

With pricing rising at its current pace, the compensation paid to REALTORS® also rises. It seems unfair to many of us, and unnecessary to most of us, that any buyer would have to pay additional costs for quality service.

If you know a buyer who is being asked to pay his or her agent to show them homes, encourage them to question their agent or call the Ventura County Association of REALTORS® at 981.2100 and ask for Randy McCaslin, Executive Director, to determine if their agent is a REALTOR® and one who subscribed to the strict Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.

A licensed agent working outside of the structure of Ventura County Association of REALTORS® is one who cannot be held accountable by our Professional Standards Committee.

Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner and broker of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and CENTURY 21 Ojai Valley. She is a past president of the Ventura County Association of REALTORS®.