The school year was just about to begin in the late summer of 2004 when two young teachers were referred to me. They wanted to buy a townhome. Prices were rapidly escalating and they did not want to miss the boat. After several weekends of searching for the right home at the right price, they settled on Germantown Maryland.
There were several town homes for sale in the Germantown area and as fast as we could view them, they went under contract. It was a chilly Saturday afternoon that we looked at a very nice town home that had been on the market for about a minute. They loved the home. It was priced at $259,000. I called the listing agent for the disclosures and was told that they were paying a 3% commission to the buyer’s agent.
I called the clients and asked them to meet me in my office to prepare the offer. While waiting for them, I did a quick review of other homes in the area that had sold, were under contract or were available for sale. I was scrolling through the homes that were still on the market and one caught my eye. It was around the corner from the one the offer was being prepared. It was priced a few thousand dollars lower. I asked my assistant, why she had not included the lower priced home in the group that we were going to show the clients. She said that the commission being paid was only 2.25% and she did not feel that is should have been included. I disagreed.
I called the clients and told them we had one more home to view. It was every bit as nice as the other one. We met that evening, and they agreed that it was a better deal for them. We returned to the office and prepared the offer. They settled on their new home and I began the process of finding a new assistant.
Sometimes, it is worth the effort to take a moment to recheck everything and make sure that your clients are getting the best possible home. I have always focused on what the client says. It is important for buyers to understand, the amount of commission paid to your agent has no impact on the price you pay for a home. The amount of commission offered is determined by the seller, it should never be used as a qualifier for homes made available to you.