Offering a bonus to buyers agents is a waste of time and energy. A bonus will not determine whether the house meets a buyer's needs, it won't change the condition of the house, it won't change the location of the house and an agent bonus has nothing to do with whether a buyer chooses to offer on a given property.
When working as a buyer's agent, my duty, loyalty and fiduciary responsibility are to the BUYER, not myself. This means that I'm looking out for my buyer's needs/wants/best interests, NOT whether a seller is offering to pay a bonus.
I realize this may be a difficult concept, but I take my duties seriously. It's not ever about my needs, it's about the CLIENT, the one who's hired me to professionally represent them!!!
When I see buyer agent bonus offers, I find it interesting because to me it shows:
1. Sellers are motivated, they must want to sell pretty badly
2. That list price is apparently not very firm if they're willing to offer a bonus on top of the offered commission split
What do I do when showing a house with an agent bonus offered? I tell my buyer clients and explain those key points about the apparent motivation and that the list price may not be very firm.
If a house that my buyers are interested in happens to have a bonus offer, I'll tell the list agent I'm not interested in the bonus and my buyers can deduct any bonus amount from the list price when they consider placing an offer. After all, if a buyers agent bonus has been offered, that's lowered the net to the sellers so why not just have the buyers take it off the list price when putting together an offer?
My bottom line is about finding a house that my buyers want to call home, no agent incentive will ever change or affect my client's needs and which house will be a good fit for them. I don't "sell" buyers on a particular house, I work with them to find them the most ideal house possible for the best possible price.
It's about evaluating properties, price, condition, features and how those match buyer needs and desires, not about giving buyer's a sales pitch. Listening to their needs and concerns while helping them evaluate properties, not trying to convince them they should fall in love with a particular house.
Marketing a listing should be about getting a qualified, motivated buyer in the door and offering on a house that meets what they're looking for in a home. Agent bonuses won't ever change buyer needs, price range, or motivation and at the end of the day, it's about finding the right BUYER for the house.
I assure you, if your listing seems to be a good match for my buyer clients, I'll show them the house. You really don't need to offer a bonus for me to help my clients find their next home, and if the sellers are motivated and willing to reduce their net, have them offer it to the buyers (closing cost credit, home warranty, list price reduction).
Maybe it's just my opinion but I think agent bonuses are among the least effective tools out there for sellers and list agents.
Copyright©2008 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, "Buyer Agent Bonuses Are A Waste Of Time!"