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Home arrow News arrow Follow the Money and Know Who Really Pays for Real Estate Fees
Follow the Money and Know Who Really Pays for Real Estate Fees Print E-mail
Friday, 21 July 2006
Looking at the real estate in conventional wisdom is that the seller pays the sales commission to both the listing agent and the buyer's agent. Would you like to know the way things work? Follow the money.

Imagine a closing conference. Normally, we don't have these in Arizona. Buyers sign their documents at one time, sellers at another. But for the sake of discussion, picture a settlement conference. Let's invite everyone who has a seat at the table, so to speak, so we can see who pays whom.

At the head of the table is the escrow officer, who will be getting paid escrow fees and title insurance premiums. Next comes the county recorder, who will receive a recordation fee. At the next seat is the county assessor, who will receive property tax payments.

Then comes the insurance underwriter, who will get the hazard insurance premium. The seller will get a big pile of money, some of which will be passed along to the seller's mortgage lender. The two real-estate agents will get paid, of course.

The buyer's lender arrives at the table with a big satchel of cash, but the lender will be taking some of it back in the form of loan origination fees and pre-paid interest. The money the lender brought is really the buyer's money.

It was lent on the surety of the home and the buyer's income and credit. Everyone seated at that closing table is going to be pocketing money, with one exception. The buyer. The buyer pays for everything, including the real-estate agent commissions, either out of pocket or on credit.

By Mabelle Sese

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