Spam prevention
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

If the buyer's agent wants more money then ask the buyer!

Feb 13, 2018 11:18 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Help me here for I am old dim and blonde. What the hell does the buyer getting a VA loan have to do with anything? You knew what the commission was when you wrote the offer, why are you trying to stick your hand in the sellers pocket? This should have been a conversation you had with your client. If I was the seller or seller's agent, I would just say no. But to your question, no it's not a COE violation. Just a negotiation point!

Feb 13, 2018 12:38 PM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

What?? So he needs more money because his buyer is getting a VA loan??

I don't think that the Buyer's Agent's commission has anything to do with the type of loan the buyer's getting. 

Now on the other hand, if the Buyer's Agent's commission rates less than the standard for the area it's likely the BA will squawk about it. IMO it isn't a ethics violation to ask for more unless they cross the line & make it a contingency of the sale going through. 

Feb 13, 2018 10:59 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

A buyer can certainly include buyer agent commission in their offer when they make it. Why not? It can be a contingency of the offer, same as anything else: "This offer is contingent on seller paying for pest inspection, seller repair of broken window, seller paying x.x% in buyer agent commission, mortgage, appraisal, inspection and closing date of 03/30/18." That isn't a request of anything for the listing agent. It's also not a request to change the listing agents commission. It's a request to the seller from the buyer that has no impact on the existing commission agreement. Seems fine to me.

And that should have nothing to do with the type of loan that is being used.


Feb 13, 2018 12:12 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate Agent Retired

Buyers reason? Who cares what loan buyer uses? More work? That's ridiculous.

It is not a COE violation but you must do it before showing the property. The LA can always say no which is what I would do. Either show it or don't & do your buyer a diservice. It's on you not the listing agent.

Feb 13, 2018 12:21 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

I will start by saying that the type of loan that the buyer is using has no bearing on the Buyer Broker commission. They should at least use a good excuse.

Now the question becomes, is the BA attempting to include their commision as part of the contract?

If that is the case, I will refer to the Code of Ethics.

Standard of Practice 16-16 of Article 16 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics states:

REALTORS®, acting as subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers, shall not use the terms of an offer to purchase/lease to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation to subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers nor make the submission of an executed offer to purchase/lease contingent on the listing broker’s agreement to modify the offer of compensation. (Amended 1/04)

Therefore, attempts to negotiate the commission in the Contract may also result in a violation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

So IMO the only correct way to do this is to have the LA and Seller agree to modify the Listing Agreement. But even that could create problems because it could signal a breach of the LA fudiciary duty to the seller.

It is a slippery slope when you start playing these games.

Feb 13, 2018 11:52 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

buyer gets paid whatever is offered to the buyer's agent via MLS.... if the listing is NOT in MLS, the buyer agent better have an agreement with the listing agent regarding commission.... the listing agent does NOT need to pay you if it's not in MLS and there's no agreement prior to the showing...

Feb 13, 2018 12:23 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers I spent many years fighting for my commission...even in the courts and I have never don't me started.  Everyone needs to read the INTERPRETATION of the code of ethics which addresses exactly this issue.

A BA can include their entire commission, additional commission or anything  that their buyer is ok with, in the contract.  That is no different than the buyer asking for closing costs or a new roof.  

It is NOT a violation of the code of ethics unless the request for additional commission for the  BA is asking the LA to reduce their commission.

There are 3 contracts to a transaction:  
1.  The listing agreement between the seller and listing BROKER.

2.  The agreement between the buyer and the buyers BROKER.

3.  The contract between the buyer and seller.

No one can interfere in anyone else's cannot tell someone else what they should make, it is called tortious interference in a contract.

AND NO...the mls is just an "offering" (just like the purchase price) it is not the law, and the BA does not have an obligation to accept it.

The BA does not need to explain any "reason".

Anyone who wants proof can send me an e-mail and I will send you the legal on it.


PS: the ONLY thing that the sellers agent can do is present the contract to the seller without being biased. 

PSS: Clearly explained on page 360 of the INTERPRETATION of the code of ethics.  Case 16-17. It is called "Buyer conditions purchase offer on Sellers agreement to pay Buyer Agents fee"    GOOGLE IT!!! 

Feb 13, 2018 11:37 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

The buyer can when he/she/they present the Offer to the Seller.

Please explain what getting a VA loan has to do with BA commission though. I don't see any relevance. The listing brokerage sets the BA commission at the direction of the seller. They type of loan a buyer gets is irrelevant.

Feb 13, 2018 06:36 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

What Candice A. Donofrio said..... Really?

Feb 13, 2018 04:20 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 The type of loan has NOTHING to do with it.

1. a.   The BUYER can ask for anything they want, including commission for the Buyer's agent (we do see "Zeros" in the MLS sometimes).  

1. b.   If the Buyer's BROKER wants more commission, they need to ask the Listing Broker before showing the property.  The MLS co-op / split / offering is a separate agreement between the Brokers; the Buyer and Seller are not a party to that contract.

2.   No, it is not a violation of NAR COE

3.    The Seller's agent (listing Broker) should present the offer.  Ask the Seller if they want to accept it, reject it, or reject it and then counter back.


  Mike & Eve Alexander  did I pass the test, Eve?   

Feb 13, 2018 02:54 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

The Brokerage fee has nothing to do w/ the Buyers side. The listing contract is between the Listing Broker and the Seller and the co-op fee is determined when negotiated at the time the listing contract is signed : between the Listing Broker and Seller : So the question should be directed to the Listing Broker (not agent) and I would find that highly inappropriate for a Buyer's agent to even ask.

Feb 13, 2018 11:37 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

The buyer's agent can ask whatever they'd like... they cannot, however, hold the offer hostage while attempting to negotiate their commision, nor can they attach it as a condition to the offer.  THAT would be a C.O.E. violation.

But I don't understand why they would deserve more commission because it's a VA Loan... that actually puts a little more onus on the seller, it doesn't generate more work for the buyer's agent.

Feb 13, 2018 11:30 AM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I'm not sure I'm understanding this.  So the buyer's agent is asking seller to pay more commission because the buyer is using a VA loan? First of all, what is the commission stated in the mls? What is the commission written in the buyer's rep agreement?  Is buyer's agent contacting your seller directly for the commission or contacting you, the listing agent?  Is the buyer's agent contributing to the now allowable?  Buyer's agent can inform the listing agent they they want more in commission but that doesn't mean your client (seller) has to agree.   

Feb 13, 2018 11:18 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I think I understand why the loan is relevant.

If the BA has a brokerage agreement with Buyer and it is for more compensation than is offered in the listing to the BA, then the VA is likely not going to allow the buyer to pay the shortfall of what was agreed to the BA.  So if the buyer can't pay it on the settlement statement, and the BA didn't take it as a retainer, they have nowhere else to get it except from the seller.  


Feb 13, 2018 06:29 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

The buyer should not ask of anything of the seller directly, but can ask through their agent to the seller's agent. We did have a situation locally where a listing agent was co-oping $500 flat fee on all his listings (which was how he got the listings to begin with). Upon the listing agent's approval, we wrote into the contract that the co-op fee would be 2.5% of the sales price - and almost always the seller agreed to it. But there is also the buyer's contract where the buyer can agree to pay the buyer's agent any fee that can be negotiated.

Feb 13, 2018 04:29 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

It is not, commission is negotiable.

Feb 13, 2018 03:38 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I've seen buyer agents who write it into the offer hoping no one catches it.  The type of loan has no bearing on the commission though.  Best method is to have a buyer/broker agreement in place specifying the additional commission to be paid by the buyer.

Feb 13, 2018 03:09 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Many good responses.

Feb 13, 2018 02:10 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

 My office has inserted that into our buyer broker agreement and as long as the buyer signs off on it it is allowed .

Feb 13, 2018 02:08 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

What does getting a VA loan have to do with it? And what does the buyer have to do with the commission paid to his/her agent? If the seller has an agent, the commission agreement is between the seller and their agent via their listing agreement. You can't be inserting yourself into the situation. I'm sure the compensation for the buyer's agent was spelled out up front in the mls offering. 

Feb 13, 2018 01:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is not an acceptable reason to ask for anything more.

Move on to another property if the commission is unsatisfactory.

Feb 13, 2018 12:38 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Buyer agent has no access to seller except via seller agent. If no agent...go

Feb 13, 2018 11:35 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Anything is negotiable.

Feb 14, 2018 09:55 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

The BBA should cover any additional fee the Buyer's agent wants. The seller is not required to pay anymore that they agreed to in the listing agreement.

Feb 14, 2018 07:40 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

COE violation - SOP 16-16

Interferring with the Employment Contract between Listing Agent & Seller 

Feb 14, 2018 02:59 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Why not?

Feb 13, 2018 10:13 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast


Yes it's a violation.

Just a hunch, was the agent a C21 or Coldwell Banker agent? If so, I know why they asked.

Feb 13, 2018 07:51 PM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Yeah.... doesn't add up

Feb 13, 2018 05:26 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Type of loan has nothing to do with commission.  Eve of Mike & Eve Alexander clarified this in many comments. 

Feb 13, 2018 03:57 PM
Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula
House Match Inc - Poway, CA
Excellent Sales and Property Management

THe amount given to the buyers agent is listed clearly in the MLS.  If the amount is not enough for the buyers agent, they should not have shown that home. 

They can ask for extra commission, but the answer would be most likely no... unless the offer price was raised by that amount.

I had a listing once where the seller didn't want to list on the MLS- It was a fixer, listed at a price any investor would have loved.  I conveinced them to put it on at a supe low commission, to at least allow for anyonw illing to work for htat a chance.   It was a super easy, cash deal, with no contingenices, and we got 6 offers in 2 days.  WEll worth the lower commission to all parties.  Some deals are easier than others and commission up front is negotiable, but no longer after the listing agreement is signed. 

Feb 13, 2018 03:27 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

If you want to tick off the seller go ahead.  Build it into the Buyers agreement!

Feb 13, 2018 03:05 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Buyer agent has no relationship with seller and should not be having conversations with him without listing agent. Commission should be spelled out in MLS on listing; it's between listing agent and seller; listing broker offers co-broke.

Feb 13, 2018 02:56 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Nothing like stirring up a few disagreements and insults. 

Feb 13, 2018 02:55 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Sounds like someone, listing agent’s broker, should pay a courtesy call to the buyer’s agent before things get out of hand

Feb 13, 2018 02:52 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I have to go with Richard Weeks on this one, the way it is phrased.

Feb 13, 2018 10:54 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

"Buyers reason it that buyer's is using a VA loan." Say, What?"

The buyer agent can include whatever their client instructs them to put in the purchase agreement.

The compensation is as published in the MLS and can not go below the published amount. In my region of Florida that amount can be one whole dollar.

Of course all things are negotiable.

Why would not the buyer's agent seek additional compensation from the buyer?  After all, on the MLS the compensation was PUBLISHED. 

Maybe this is one of those agents who really does pay no attention to the compensation line.

Repeating, all things are negotiable.


Feb 13, 2018 10:53 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

If they asked you to ask the seller that would not be a problem to negotiate prior to presenting an offer.  If they went directly to the seller that would be a violation of the COE and probably your state real estate laws. 

Feb 13, 2018 10:47 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Does not sound reasonable, there is a co-op fee listed, and having a VA loan should have nothing to do with it.

Feb 15, 2018 07:52 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

The commission is negotiated between the seller and the listing firm at the time of listing. The listing firm may agree to share the commission with the buying firm and is usually noted in the MLS. It is not an agreement between the buying agent and the seller. If it is too low, call the listing agent and discuss with them or ask the buyer. It is not part of the contract negotiations. In NC Buyer's agents have an agreement with the buyer as to how much they expect in commission. If the selling firm isn't offering that amount, it is up to the buyer to make up the difference. How would a buyer feel if they found out their offer was contingent on the buyer's agents commission? Just my two cents.

Feb 14, 2018 08:33 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Candice has answered

Feb 14, 2018 09:10 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

He can ask, but it has to be before the contract is signed.

Feb 14, 2018 05:39 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 nailed this one!

To clarify Mike & Eve Alexander , Joseph's quote " shall not use the terms of an offer to purchase/lease to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation to subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers" refers to modifying the "offer of compensation" which is very different than modifying the listing agents commission.


Feb 14, 2018 05:16 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

She can ask, but unlikely get it. 

Feb 13, 2018 11:36 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

The buyer can ask, and even put it into the offer.  We have one brokerage in town that refuses to pay the split to kw agents so as long as we have a buyer agency signed the buyer will request that the seller pay the commission so that they will not have to.

Feb 13, 2018 10:56 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

They can ask through the seller's agent before they show the property not after they have shown the property to the buyer.  Of course the answer may be no. It's in the COE.

Feb 13, 2018 09:56 PM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Pitiful reason (maybe a not so pitiful reason after reading Chris Ann Cleland's response), but agent can ask (buyer can ask for payment of agent's increased fee in offer) and seller can decide.

Feb 13, 2018 07:08 PM
Byron K . Jones
Coatesville, PA
List Today - Sold Tomorrow!

Richard Weeks has the answer for you

Feb 13, 2018 10:49 AM