Who pays the real estate agent fees?
The bulk of the fees are the seller's responsibility. When a house is put on the market, the sellers usually sign a contract with a real estate broker -- fees are typically from 3 to 6 percent of the purchase price -- to take care of advertising, showing the property, and negotiating with the buyer. The bright spot: Realtors and real estate agents used to deal only in exclusive listings, but with web-based databases and other multiple listing services, you can sign nonexclusive deals for lower rates.
If you're a potential buyer, most brokers will not charge you fees to show you properties. However, depending on what state you live in, some brokers require a flat administrative fee from you upfront or a "retainer" that gets paid out against their commission --- which is a percentage of the seller's proceeds -- at closing.
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