This is a question that I get asked often enough to answer and explain here on the blog. The majority of my business is acting as a Buyer's Agent. As a Buyer's Agent I represent the buyers. My only focus and job is to find you exactly what you are looking for at the best price. Many past clients have asked me how they pay me. "Do we pay you now or after we find a property?". Well, neither. You don't have to pay me a dime.
When Does My Realtor Get Paid?
When someone decides to sell their home, commercial property, land, etc., they will list that property with a licensed Realtor in their area (see my Top 5 Tips for Choosing A Realtor). Part of the process of listing real estate is determining what the commission will be. That commission will be used to pay both the Seller's Agent and the Buyer's Agent (sometimes this can be the same person, AKA facilitator). The commission % can vary greatly from one listing to the next and are not always 50/50. All Realtors are paid by the sellers and it happens at the closing.
The job of the Buyer's Agent is not finished until the closing happens, and some would argue not even then. A good agent will continue to act as a resource for his/her clients for as long as they need. The incentive here for the agent is two fold. 1) I take great pleasure in finding the perfect home for a family. I love seeing their joy and emotion as we find and close "The One". 2) That is when I get paid. It is in my best interest to work as hard as I can. Looking for the home that meets all your needs and wants because unless we find something that you really like, I do not get paid. Every Realtor has to accept that this is part of the job and focusing more on providing the best service to your clients will always work out better than focusing on getting paid as quickly as possible.