The Sitzer/Burnett Lawsuit: A Closer Look at Buyer Agent Commissions

The Sitzer/Burnett Lawsuit: A Closer Look at Buyer Agent Commissions

  • Faber Real Estate Team
  • 11/1/23

The Sitzer/Burnett Lawsuit: A Closer Look at Buyer Agent Commissions

Navigating the Complexity of Real Estate Commissions and What It Means for You

The real estate industry is no stranger to change, and the Sitzer/Burnett buyer agent commission trial lawsuit has recently sparked conversations that could potentially alter the traditional structure of real estate commissions. Sellers and buyers alike are wondering what this means for them. It’s essential to set the record straight and discuss how commissions work, the options available, and what might be best for you.

The Misguided Belief About Seller Obligations

One of the primary issues that have surfaced due to the lawsuit is the misconception that sellers are obligated to pay the buyer's broker compensation and fees. It’s crucial to understand that real estate commissions are entirely negotiable. Whether you’re a seller deciding on a commission rate for a buyer's broker—be it 0%, 2.5%, 3%, or even 10%—or a buyer discussing compensation with your agent, you have options.

The Role of the Listing Broker

For sellers, choosing the right commission structure isn't just a financial decision; it's a strategic one. Consulting with your listing broker can offer valuable insights into what is standard in your market and what will most likely lead to the highest sale price and smoothest closing process. The commission structure can significantly influence the number of showings and offers you receive.

The Buyer’s Perspective

For buyers, the commission structure has different implications. Imagine purchasing a $1 million home and putting down 20%. If you've agreed to a 2.5% commission for your buyer’s agent, that's an additional $25,000. This fee affects your total cash-to-close figure, and if paid outside the purchase price, could also have tax implications. Therefore, it's not just the amount but also the method of payment that buyers should consider.

An Alternative Approach

Another option is to pay the broker out of the sale proceeds. In this scenario, instead of coming out of pocket for the additional $25,000, the purchase price would adjust to include this commission, potentially saving you money in the long run.

The Path Forward

While the current model has its merits, the industry must always strive for improvement, particularly in enhancing consumer experience. The Sitzer/Burnett lawsuit serves as a framework for the industry to reevaluate and possibly reshape practices, always aiming to do right by the consumer.

Interested in delving deeper into the world of real estate commissions? Don't let this vital topic be a gray area for you. Reach out to us for a personalized discussion. After all, clarity and empowerment could be The Key To Your Dreams®️. Contact us now to unlock your potential.

Faber Real Estate Team \ Compass
The Key to Your Dreams ®
Ben Faber DRE #01913767
[email protected]

The Key To Your Dreams ®

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