Do Buyers Pay Real Estate Fees or Commissions In Alberta? This is a question many investors and hopeful buyers coming from out of province tend to ask me. In fact – lots of local Alberta buyers aren’t even sure about the answer to this question themselves.
Real estate commissions and fees are often an inevitable fact of a transaction, as consumers looking to trade in real property seek the marketing systems, skills and negotiation tactics that professional real estate agents offer. The benefits of working with an agent are massive and often well worth the cost.
Sometimes, I speak to consumers who are more than happy to work on their own when it comes to selling their house. Why not? They can put up a sign, pay for advertising and photography, and work with their lawyer should any offers come in. I totally support this and think its a great idea if you feel confident in doing it yourself. The biggest downside of this is footing the bill for everything on your own – up front. More on this below.
One thing many Sellers don’t consider is the opposite side: Buyers will likely want their own representation, especially as prices climb. This only makes sense – a home or investment property may be one of the biggest purchases of your life.
In this article, lets look at:
I’ll elaborate on this more in the section below, but the number one reason is that in most cases, it is completely at no cost to you as a Buyer. That’s right. Having your own agent means you have a licensed professional in your corner, with a fiduciary duty to act only in your best interests.
In any transaction between two parties, this is so important. Why? Because the goals of Buyers and Sellers will always be diametrically opposed to each other.
Real estate is such an opaque industry. And this is the way a lot of players like it!
Being a bit of an outsider from the start, I have always strived to shake things up and provide quality information to my clients and consumers. The truth is, there is no standard commission for real estate or mortgage brokerage services in Alberta. Commissions to licensees are negotiable.
Typically, a real estate fee in Alberta will be divided between the brokerage representing the Seller, and the brokerage representing the Buyer. The fee is negotiated between the Seller and their brokerage prior to signing a listing agreement. This agreement outlines who gets paid what, and why. Typically this comes out of the purchase price paid to the Seller, and the Seller receives the net of what remains.
In Alberta, many fees are actually lower than other jurisdictions (such as Ontario or the US). Generally the fee offered to the Buyer side of the transaction is the same across an entire area (say, Calgary). This makes all Sellers’ listings equally desirable to agents representing discerning Buyers. The fee paid to the Seller’s side might vary significantly though. It could be based on specific services offered by that Seller, or based on their track record of sales in the area. They could also be a discount brokerage racing to the bottom to gain market share.
If you’re curious about what Realtor Fees might look like in Canmore, Cochrane or Calgary – give me a shout! I’m always happy to give Seller clients an idea of what I charge, and pull back the curtain on what typical market rates are like. You might be surprised!
Do Buyers Pay Real Estate Fees or Commissions in Alberta? The answer is: Almost never. When it comes to most residential real estate transactions involving agency, commissions and fees are paid by the Seller from the price paid by the Buyer.
Buyers should pay nothing out of pocket, and whether they choose to have their own agent or not is irrelevant. The Seller has agreed to pay cooperating commissions to Buyer’s agents before listing their property, and unrepresented Buyers mean either Sellers (or their Agents) keep this side of the fee in most cases. I have never charged a residential/investment Buyer for my services when representing them.
In the most rational sense, yes they do. One way many Sellers choose to look at it is that the commissions and fees are part of their closing costs. These costs can include lawyers, movers, etc. With this in mind, when they think about the price they hope to achieve, they consider what the net sale price to them may be, after costs.
Ultimately though, possibly the best part of using a REALTOR as a Seller is that you shouldn’t have to pay anything up front. This is all dependant on your agreement, of course. But for my clients – they never pay for photography, video, marketing or anything at all unless the property sells. And they will only ever have to accept and offer that they are satisfied with – period. I will never force clients to stay or push them to accept an offer that isn’t absolutely what they are happy with.
If you’re curious about Selling your home, and wondering what type of commissions and fees you might be in for, feel free to connect with me. It’s not only about what you pay – its about what you get. The best agents will maximize your property’s value and make the process easy. Yes please!
Savvy real estate Buyers know that having boots on the ground and someone dedicated to your best interests will always lead to the best results possible. Agents at Open Houses, Representatives for Developers at Show Homes – these are all agents obliged only to act in the best interests of their clients – the Sellers. So it only makes sense to have a fighter in your own corner.
And it should never cost you anything!
As always, if you have any questions about real estate, specific listings, or even just moving to or within Alberta – let’s get in touch. No question is too small and I’m always available.