For those that work with realtors...

Just curious about those investors that work with real estate agents…

What do you comp them for their help? A percentage of the sale, flat fee, etc. For example, if you’re a wholesaler that uses an agent regularly, what do you give them in return for each sale you’re able to make? THanks for the info.

Maybe I’m just a little confused on what you’re asking, but…

A RE agent makes money off of the sale of the property via a commission. The commission is negotiated at the time of listing and usually split equally between the listing and the buyer’s agents (who in turn, have to split with their office).

The commission is usually a percentage of the sale, though there are several flat-fee service providers out there as well, now.


Don’t worry. The agent will tell you what he or she wants. If it’s a sweet deal then pay it and thank them sincerely. If the deal is not so good then you’ll ask the realtor to shave it down or your out. I typically pay agents 2.5-3%. Ouch. But if it’s less the’ll never call you when they have something. Agents are pricey but they do find deals at times. Especially agents that work fsbos and cold call.

Remember if it’s a hot property at a wholsale price, the agent will have a list of potential buyers. Once you find a realtor like this hang on to them tightly, call them weekly and take them for coffee or lunch monthly or so.

It’s hard to stay on a good agents short list so pay them well. The are not cheap, especially in tight markets.


I often hear people say they like to use agents for locating properties and maybe comps (sparingly) and that they (the investor) will be the one making the offer. In this particular case, do you as the investor work out the percentage with the realtor for finding you the lead? If this is the extent of the amount of work the realtor will do for you, do you still offer 2-3%? Or would it be more beneficial to have them do more work for the 3% commission? Thanks and hope that made some sense.

Just like Robert Kiyoskai said in Rich Dad Poor Dad, I paraphrase, we pride ourselves on how well we tip our waiter, or porter that do nothing to increase our wealth, yet we belly ache about giving our professional help any money. We need to find good professionals and then pay them well. In my opinion a buyer’s agent is a waist of skin. But if you can find a true listing agent, one that goes out and beats the bushes and finds good deals, not just trolling the MLS, he is worth his weight in gold. Being willing to pay him gets you to be one of the first 3 on his list.

When I have a seller call me from my marketing, if I can’t do a deal with them I refer them to my realtor. In return I get unlimited access to the MLS.

Ahh…great point draegarfrog

I’m in the same position. I have started looking for Real Estate Agents to work basically as my bird dogs to find me properties that I can work with. I have gotten voicemails from 6 of them that told me to call back today. When I talk to them should I flat otu say I am a wholesaler looking to make lots of deals? and what kind of homes should I tell them I am lookin for? Run Down? Boarded up? Abandoned?

LeGrand says to pay them a 500 dollar referral fee each time they recommend you to a home that you get. I find it hard to believe they’ll work for this.

Yes I agree with these posts regarding compensation.

I find agents that are cold calling and listing the lower tier of properties. These agents are in the smaller offices not the expensive offices. They don’t drive the flashy cars or list new construction. Often this gritty trench fighter agent has a small team (2-3 people max) and one of them cold calls every day and works expired’s. You need to find these offices and agents and then go in and meet the agent in person!! Never hustle other agents in the same office, that is as bad as asking your girlfriends friend to lunch. Don’t ever do it. If one agent is not ever getting leads ask them if they think you’d be better with a different agent. You have to be super loyal so make sure you have the right agent BEFORE you commit to the relationship.

They need to know that you have cash so you better just says yes when they ask. When I started I knew that I could get the money if I had a deal, and I did. Buyers are a dime a dozen compared to finding the houses. I have a small team of agents but they are spread out so they never overlap or come in contact with each other. I pay them an extra 1% on top of their normal 2.5. So I’m giving them a $1000 tip on top of their $2500 for a 100K house! A good agent is worth every penny. Often I can sell the property myself, if not the agent that found it, gets the list-back.

the house buyer
bend, or

It sounds like using an agent largely depends on the overall costs of the house you’re trying to wholesale.

With the percentages given on all the posts (around 2-3%) it almost sounds like working for agents isn’t for wholesalers (ones located in expensive areas like California). For example say you find a run down house at $300K (like in California…which I’ve seen). Say you typically wholesale houses for $5K fees. You factor in a wholesaling fee of $5K (after all is said and done). The 2-3% alone given to the agent means you make negative money. Now if this was done in a $100K house in Indianapolis…then you still make a profit. Or am I missing something here?

Actually… Ron Legrand says that you should only have to pay the referral fee once, because that money will go into escrow, and the fee should be no more than $500-$1000. If you have more than one realtor/agency your’e working with, then you’d need multiple $500-$1000 deposits. If they are doing the “birddogging” they’ll also negotiate it with the seller, and they will get the commission, so there’s no need to pay ta realtor a referral fee.

This is a good topic. I have talked with a lot of Investors from the Wholesale side and they claim you can’t use a realtors for deals. Have any of you done deals with agents that were foreclosures

A lot of good advice mixed with misconceptions:

“We need to find good professionals and then pay them well.”

Thank You

In my opinion a buyer’s agent is a waist of skin.


A Buyer’s Agent can be a Listing Agent on the same property in some states. They’re a Buyer’s Agent representing the buyer’s best interest one day & listing someone’s house for them the next.

Buyer’s Agent is not a designation & Agents can be Buyer’s Agents, Seller’s Agents or Dual Agents (if the state permits it).

It’s deal dependent, and whether they’re a “waste of skin” depends on their knowledge, experience & intelligence.

You get what you pay for: I had 5 CA investors walk into a new home project I was working at sometime ago. One of em wanted to buy 20 homes (total value - 7 mil).

I showed him how he could buy 38 less expensive, existing homes instead - with the same profit on each of the 38 that he expected from the 20 (considerably more profit).

Doubt he’d consider me a “waste of skin.”

Thank you for your post. If you’re looking to help out other CA investors I’d be very much interested in the help :wink:

“Thank you for your post. If you’re looking to help out other CA investors I’d be very much interested in the help”

Being a real estate professional…my investment style is slightly different than many who post here regularly.

My brother’s a rehabber…I am not. I’m too busy to fix up a homes & my time’s better spent looking for deals.

I wrote last February (or so) about the 14 cities I felt held the most promise as ‘emerging markets.’ Most of those picks have experienced significant appreciation (especially Seattle & surrounding areas).

I think it’s best to buy in front of wave & ride it in. I study population growth estimates (google the various states Chief Demographers). I look for imbalances in supply & demand, and areas that might experience ‘slosh over’ from other nearby hot markets that have become cost prohibitive.

Santa Barbara benefitted mightly from overheated Orange County a few years back. Snohomish & Pierce Counties (WA) benefitted from strict King County GMA’s building moritoriums. Maricopa County (AZ) & Vegas benefitted from CA ‘slosh over’ while Boise & Northern NV have been visited by frustrated Builders from WA State (cost of land).

I study growth managment acts & sit in on the public meetings. Learn all you can about zoning & the subdivision process (get to know the folks @ the planning department). Learn about development costs & make friends with smaller builders.

Learn all you can about optioning & assigning property. Learn about plottage. Look for properties that are not being utilized @ the Highest & Best Use. Make offers slightly over ‘as is’ value on these kinds of properties, but with plenty of upside for yourself & a builder.

Familiarize yourself with online Assessors Property Profiles. Does your county have GIS Maps w/zoning, parcel #'s, GMA boundaries, parcel lines, and more? If so this is an excellent tool…you can actually see the future of growth (small subdivisions next to larger…similarly zoned properties).

Expand your mind & think outside the box.

Best of luck,