You’re selling your Wilmington area home. It’s been on the market for a few months, but you aren’t getting the amount of showings that you want. You’ve heard about buyer’s agent bonuses, where you offer some kind of gift (a specific dollar amount, an extra percentage of commission, a gift card, etc.) to an agent that brings you a buyer, and you’re wondering if that’s something you should try.
It’s important for sellers to know that it is against the Realtor® Code of Ethics and Fair Housing laws to steer a buyer to or away from a specific listing. Realtors® are here to provide facts and experience so that their clients can make the best decisions for them. However, this hasn’t made the buyer’s agent bonus illegal, because choosing to show a property that fits a client’s search criteria doesn’t necessarily constitute steering, even if it has a bonus. The agent just can’t make any extra effort to convince the client to choose that property over others. If there is a buyer’s agent bonus, according to the Code of Ethics, the agent must reveal it to their client.
As a Realtor®, it is the buyer’s agent’s responsibility to find a home that best suits the needs of their clients. With that said, a buyer’s agent will show a listing if there is a bonus or not, as long as it suits the needed criteria, because they’re in the market to sell a home. Attaching an agent bonus to the listing won’t necessarily provide any additional showings.
Instead of offering an incentive to the buyer’s agent, it would probably better suit you to use that money to make needed repairs on the listing or provide an incentive for the buyers, like paid closing costs, a carpet allowance, painting allowance, home warranty, etc. After all, those sort of perks can be advertised online and in the MLS, and the buyers are the ones who have the final say on which properties they see.
If your Wilmington area home is not yet listed and you’re interested in putting it on the market, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to share our marketing plan and provide you insight into the fair market value of your home.