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Are Buyers Sometimes Deceptive?

AZ real estate brokers and agents make a living by charging for their services, usually as a percentage of the sales price of a home. This is the way it is done in probably 95% of cases.

This is an attempt to give an example of a situation that happens in many cases as reported by the more than 1,700 Arizona real estate agents that work at my firm, West USA Realty. An agent takes a listing on a home or property, and in the negotiation of how much the agent charges for the services, it may sometimes go down like this:

I take the listing and then must pay the “going rate” of whatever or about 3% to anyone from another real estate firm that brings in a buyer, and that is known as a co-broke. The most effective way to market a property is to offer it on the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) and ask for help from other firms.

Now if I charge 6% to do this job, then both brokers from the respective firms will receive 3% of the sales price for selling the property. But wait, the seller is a tough cookie and gets me to accept only 4% total if I produce the buyer. OK, I can do that and work both “sides” of this transaction, which is a little more work, but I can do it for 4%. So the papers are signed and the listing goes into the ARMLS.

Now then, I get a call from a prospect who has found it on the internet or driven past and called me from the number on the sign. So, I ask the question, “Do you have an agent”? The reply is “No.” So I show the property and answer many questions about everything imaginable, including financing and even have a lender talk to the prospect, who gets a green light from the lender. In all, I have shown the home 4 times in 2 days to the whole darn family.

They make a decision to buy! The sellers are ecstatic of course, and probably more so because I will be writing the contract, therefore saving them 2% in commission—in this case, it amounts to a $20,000 lower fee.

So I get the paperwork out to write it up and they say, “Let’s do this tomorrow when we have more time”. OK, then I will see at whatever time we designate. By noontime the next day, I receive an offer from these same people, but written by a different agent; you know, the one they don’t have!

Now, can you fill in the blanks of what will probably happen? Perhaps the sellers will be much tougher to deal with and may even turn the deal down as a matter of POTT (Principle Of The Thing).

And I have seen sellers accept, but only if the commission is 4%. How does that work? It usually doesn’t! So why can’t buyers be “up front” and tell the truth? If they have an agent, then that agent must show the property and convince the buyers to buy to earn the commission they want to be paid.

The foregoing is a recurring drama played out daily and causing some real problems. Would a buyer-broker agreement be a good decision before even starting this series of events? Hmmm!! Something to think about.

As an Arizona real estate agent, being prepared for situations like this is paramount. You can learn more about the services, training, technology and broker support that West USA offers its agents by going to or by calling 602-942-4200 and ask to speak to one of our corporate recruiters.