Here’s where it gets interesting. Sometimes, an aggressive buyer’s agent may submit an offer and include a buyer agent commission amount in the offer which is higher than the percentage commission listed in the RLS or OneKey MLS for a listing. For example, let’s say you’re offering a 2.5% commission to buyer’s agents. The buyer’s broker may include a commission of 3% in their offer terms.
Now this is a tricky situation, because you already decided what % commission to pay to a buyer’s agent. Presumably, the buyer’s agent has already looked up your listing in the database, so they’re most likely aware that you’re offering less than 3%, which is probably why they included language in the offer asking for a 3% commission.
So in essence, what’s happening is that a buyer’s agent has rejected your offer of commission and demanded something higher as part of the offer. Now this is somewhat murky and ethically questionable, because it’s unclear whether or not the buyer is aware that her or his agent is asking for more commission. If the buyer is not aware, it’s highly unethical since this additional demand could materially affect the final outcome of the negotiation process and possibly harm the buyer.
But at the same time, the buyer’s agent has influence over this buyer, and you most likely still want to try negotiating and see if the deal works out. So what do you do?
The first thing you should do as the seller is respond to the offer in writing and remind the buyer’s agent what % commission you are paying, and the fact that the commission is listed as such in the RLS Broker Database or the OneKey RLS. To be extra thorough, you could even attach a screenshot of the commission amount listed in the database.