May 29, 2024
How does a REALTOR® get paid?

Can a Buyer Pay Real Estate Commission?

Understanding Real Estate Commission

Real estate transactions involve various parties, including buyers, sellers, and real estate agents. One common question that arises is whether a buyer can pay the real estate commission. To answer this question, it is important to understand how real estate commission works.

What is Real Estate Commission?

Real estate commission refers to the fee paid to the real estate agent or broker for their services in facilitating the sale or purchase of a property. This commission is usually a percentage of the property’s sale price and is typically paid by the seller.

Traditionally, the Seller Pays

In most real estate transactions, the seller is responsible for paying the real estate commission. This is because the seller is the one who hires the listing agent to market and sell their property. The commission is then split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.

Exceptions to the Rule

While it is the norm for the seller to pay the real estate commission, there can be exceptions to this rule. In certain situations, the buyer may agree to pay all or a portion of the commission. Here are some scenarios where this might occur:

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Properties

In a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction, the seller does not hire a listing agent. Instead, they handle the sale of the property themselves. In these cases, the buyer’s agent may negotiate with the buyer to pay their commission directly.

Buyer Representation Agreement

When a buyer signs a buyer representation agreement with a real estate agent, they agree to compensate the agent for their services. This agreement may include a provision for the buyer to pay the commission if the seller does not offer a cooperative commission.

Benefits of a Buyer Paying Commission

While it may seem unusual for a buyer to pay the real estate commission, there can be benefits to this arrangement:

Increased Negotiating Power

If the buyer is willing to pay the commission, they may have more leverage in negotiating the purchase price. By taking on this responsibility, the buyer can potentially secure a better deal on the property.

Access to More Listings

In some cases, properties that do not offer a cooperative commission may not be accessible to buyers who are not willing to pay the commission. By agreeing to pay the commission, the buyer can have access to a wider range of properties.


While it is generally the seller who pays the real estate commission, there can be situations where the buyer agrees to pay some or all of the commission. This arrangement is not the norm, but it can provide certain benefits to the buyer. Ultimately, the decision on who pays the commission is negotiable and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the transaction.