12 min read Jan 19, 2024

How Does Buyer Agent Get Paid For Sale By Owner?

How Does Buyer Agent get Paid For Sale By Owner?

The most valuable asset in your life is your home. Therefore, to sell or buy your most valuable asset For Sale By Owner (FSBO) or hiring a professional is not easy.

You might find your dream home For Sale By Owner. Yes, the seller is selling it without a listing agent. But you’re unsure what to do, are frightened, and don’t want to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission.

If you are buying an FSBO, who pays the buyer’s agent? You are aware that your buyer’s agent still needs to receive their standard commission. 

When selling their house FSBO, the seller must still pay the buyer’s agent commission. In this post, we’ll answer your burning concerns and discuss how does buyer agent get paid for sale by owner.

What Does FSBO Mean?

The term “FSBO” refers to a home For Sale By Owner without the help of a real estate agent, also known as a listing agent. Instead, the seller has decided to sell the property themselves. 

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2021 statistics on home buyers and sellers, 7% of home transactions were FSBOs.

You shouldn’t run just because a house is For Sale By Owner. After all, an FSBO house can offer advantages and disadvantages, but if it fits your home-buying criteria, you should investigate it.

There are several reasons why homeowners opt to sell their houses by owner. The following are some of them:

  • A seller wants to save money on real estate commissions
  • Prior real estate experience is available to the seller
  • Homeowners want to control who gets in and out
  • Testing the market before listing with a listing agent
  • Sellers know potential buyers
  • The seller is unwilling to negotiate the sale price
  • Real estate agents failed to meet their expectations

However, just because the seller isn’t using a realtor doesn’t mean the buyer can’t. Moreover, working with a real estate agent is always recommended throughout any real estate transaction. 

Additionally, your realtor may provide input on house prices, arrange inspections, assist with negotiations, and clarify contracts.

👉 For Sale By Owner Meaning: Learn more about For Sale By Owner!

How Does For Sale By Owner Work for the Buyer?

Even in a weakening market, purchasing your ideal house remains one of the most significant events, obviously after only death and medical insurance.

While 90% of house purchasers work with a real estate agent or buyer agent, there are a few lone FSBO home buyers. Here is a quick overview of how For Sale By Owner works for a buyer.

How to Buy a For Sale By Owner Home?

Buying a For Sale By Owner house may seem intimidating, but the correct For Sale By Owner website may make the process tolerable. 

Before we look at the finest FSBO sites for buyers, take a look at the normal FSBO house purchasing process:

1. Keep Your Finances Ready

You should obtain the necessary approvals for your offers, such as a mortgage approval letter or the sale of an existing property.

2. Shortlist For Sale By Owner Properties

FSBO listings exist on For Sale By Owner websites such as Houzeo, Zillow, FSBO.com, and others. Look through these online FSBO properties and select the ones that fit your needs.

3. Schedule Property Showings

Arrange a visit to the shortlisted For Sale By Owner houses and thoroughly check the property. You will also have the opportunity to meet the seller and learn more about your dream home during this time.

Who Pays Buyer Agent Fees in For Sale By Owner?

According to FSBO listings, the seller pays the buyer’s agent’s commission. Listed properties might include a statement such as ‘buyers agents welcome’ followed by the seller’s commission offer. 

For example, an FSBO seller may be ready to pay the buyer’s agent a commission of 2% to 3% of the transaction price. In this situation, they are still saving money by not paying a listing agent an additional 2% to 3%.

Buyer’s agents may refuse to show sellers’ properties if sellers do not pay a commission or refuse to work with them. 

Moreover, the seller may not be familiar with the real estate closing process, so the buyer’s agent is also a huge help.

Despite not representing the seller’s interests, buyer’s agents can draft the purchase contract, start negotiations, and assist the buyer in purchasing.

During an FSBO, What Happens if a Seller Refuses to pay a Buyer Agent Commission?

If a seller flatly refuses to pay your buyer agent commission, you have a few options. Consider the following options:

1. Take Care of the Buyer Agent Commission yourself

Expect to pay between 2% and 3% of the home selling price. For a $500,000 home, for example, you will pay a fee of $10,000 to $15,000. 

However, this will have a significant impact on your budget and will require additional out-of-pocket expenditures.

2. Divide the Commissions

You can split the cost half and half with the seller if you meet in the middle.

3. Buy a House Without an Agent

If you want, you could purchase the home without an agent, but this rarely works.

4. Look for Another House

Leave the deal and look for another home. It can be an emotional decision, and it may be challenging if you need to move quickly or if inventory in your region is limited.

5. Negotiate a Lower Commission Rate

It may upset some assisting agents, while others may cooperate with you. When you explain the problem and are professional, you can hire a real estate agent without paying a full fee.

6. Consider Hiring a Real Estate Attorney Instead

Make sure you find a local real estate attorney who charges a moderate hourly rate or a small fee to assist you with your closing. 

Real estate companies and mortgage companies can often recommend a good local real estate lawyer. 

Real estate attorneys typically charge between $150 and $350 per hour, with some charging up to $500 per hour. 

Some will charge flat fees for processing real estate transactions or establish prices for particular real estate duties like compiling closing paperwork.

7. Choose a Discount or Flat Fee Broker

A discount real estate broker assists with the transaction but does not participate in the talks. You may not receive all of the services that a real estate agent provides, and you are unlikely to receive individual attention; instead, you may receive assistance from a team. 

These businesses offer services for listing properties, but some will also deal with customers interested in purchasing an FSBO home.

» For Sale By Owner Contract: Check out this blog to know more about the contracts while selling your home FSBO.

What are the Pros and Cons of For Sale By Owner Buyer?

It is worthwhile to use FSBO. Direct dealings with a homeowner may seem intimidating at first, but For Sale By Owner offers you several benefits:


  • Immediate contact with home sellers
  • Unrepresented buyers can save a full 6% commission
  • Meticulous, in-depth property details

FSBO requires time and effort. In addition to its benefits, the process can also have some disadvantages. We have listed a few below:


  • Inflated listing prices of FSBO homes
  •  Unreliable seller disclosures

Is it a Good Idea to Buy an FSBO Home Without a Buyer Agent? 

It is more frequent for FSBO sellers to agree to pay a buyer-agent commission than for them to refuse. 

Despite the seller’s refusal to pay the fee, it is still not advised to purchase the property without an agent.

Buyer agents are vital in real estate transactions for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Negotiations may be challenging, and things might become heated.
  • Purchase contracts may be intricate, differ from state to state, and are regularly updated and amended.
  • Agents assist with the inspection process and can assist with closing coordination.
  • Agents can also recommend additional vendors such as title agencies, insurance companies, mortgage brokers, movers, etc.
  • A reputable realtor can assist you in locating first-time homebuyers and down payment aid programs in your region.

Besides hosting open houses, agents also provide a wealth of information, such as historical details, area information, and expertise. Moreover, they utilize comps (comparison sales) to estimate the price of nearby residences.

Furthermore, if you have already signed with a real estate brokerage, you must understand what will occur if you decide to cancel it and buy a property without them. 

An early termination fee or penalty may apply if you quit the arrangement or buy the property without using their services. 

Before deciding, go over your agreement (and it never hurts to consult an attorney).

Homes For Sale By Owner Near Me

The majority of homebuyers may discover their new home on the internet. Whether you seek local or not, start your search on sites like Houzeo, FSBO.com, and REDX. 

Look at multiple listing service websites since 26 percent of FSBO sellers promote their homes there.

MLS websites may, on occasion, incorporate listings from real estate agents. You can also find FSBO listings on social media, where many sellers promote their properties.

For Sale By Owner Near Me

Are you still having trouble finding your FSBO home? You can find your house on your local MLS with Houzeo.

FSBO AlabamaFSBO AlaskaFSBO Arizona
FSBO ArkansasFSBO CaliforniaFSBO Colorado
FSBO ConnecticutFSBO DelawareFSBO Florida
FSBO GeorgiaFSBO HawaiiFSBO Idaho
FSBO IndianaFSBO IowaFSBO Kansas
FSBO KentuckyFSBO LouisianaFSBO Maine
FSBO MarylandFSBO MassachusettsFSBO Michigan
FSBO MinnesotaFSBO MississippiFSBO Missouri
FSBO MontanaFSBO NebraskaFSBO Nevada
FSBO New HampshireFSBO New JerseyFSBO New Mexico
FSBO New YorkFSBO North CarolinaFSBO North Dakota
FSBO OhioFSBO OklahomaFSBO Oregon
FSBO PennsylvaniaFSBO Rhode IslandFSBO South Carolina
FSBO South DakotaFSBO TennesseeFSBO Texas
FSBO UtahFSBO VermontFSBO Virginia
FSBO WashingtonFSBO Washington D.CFSBO West Virginia
FSBO WisconsinFSBO WyomingFSBO Homes

What are For Sale By Owner Alternatives?

We did not limit ourselves to FSBO websites. Here you can find a list of the FSBO alternatives for you.

1. List with a Full-Service Real Estate Broker

A full-service in-person broker is a real estate agent who handles everything for the buyer and seller for a 3%-6% commission. 

Luxury real estate brokers may charge more than 6% in commission.

👉 Top Real Estate Brokers: Here are the best real estate brokers in the country!

2. Hire a Discount Real Estate Broker

A flat rate or discount real estate broker provides all of the services of a standard broker at a reduced charge. The cost might range from $400 and $8,000.

👉 Discount Real Estate BrokersCheck out our rankings of the best discount real estate brokers in America!

3. Low Commission Real Estate Agents

A low-commission real estate agent may list and sell your home for a lower commission. Typically, there are trade-offs, such as a reduced quality of service or just virtual consultation.

👉 Low Commission Real Estate AgentsCheck out our list of best low-commission agents!

 4. Companies that Buy Houses for Cash

Real estate companies that purchase houses for cash are home buyers that make cash offers on properties. Cash buyers save house owners the trouble of listing on the MLS, staging, marketing, and so on.

👉 Companies That Buy Houses for CashCheck out our rankings of the best cash home buyers in 2022!

Bottom Line

Don’t be afraid to purchase an FSBO home. Almost all sellers want to sell their houses fast, and working with a buyer’s agent is a great way to achieve it. 

A top buyer’s agent will ensure a smooth transaction. Whether the seller refuses to budge, be imaginative and see if buying the home is still viable, and you feel represented in the negotiation. If not, you are free to go.

Eager to Know How Houzeo Works?

We’ve got you covered. Check out the following video to understand how Houzeo works and why it is one of the best For Sale By Owner websites in the U.S.

What is Houzeo?

An overview of what the platform is all about

Start Your MLS Listing NOW!

» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why it is one of the best FSBO sites in America.

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