First let's explain how they get paid. Basically, when a homeowner decides to sell their house, they hire a Realtor to do it. When they are deciding on the price of the home, they usually add in 6%. The selling agent and their broker will be paid 3% of that 6% and the buyer's agent and their broker will be paid the other 3%. All of this is negotiable and based on the housing market, there really is no "norm" anymore. So a homebuyer doesn't typically pay their agent, the agent is paid by the Seller. A buyer's agent has an incredible wealth of information that is only available to licensed real estate agents. Being a licensed real estate agent myself, I can tell you that homebuyers truly benefit from an agent's experience and access to information. Ask your friends and neighbors for a referral, that is how most people find good real estate agents.
at 4:08 PM on Jun. 23, 2009