Show my the money.
Show me the money.

FAQ: How does a Buyer’s Agent get paid for a typical San Francisco home purchase?

Great question!

99.9% of the time a Real Estate Agent or Realtor representing a home buyer is paid through the seller’s proceeds at the close of escrow. Yes, that means as a home buyer, you get our expertise, sound counsel, and most importantly, fiduciary duty to put your needs first for FREE.


There are rare exceptions. For example, a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listing where the seller refuses to pay a commission to the Buyer’s Agent. FSBOs are quite uncommon in our complex San Francisco real estate market, and the sellers who do try to sell themselves often understand the need to pay a standard commission to a Buyer’s Agent.

In our SF market, most home buyers choose to have their own Agent to represent them. Ergo, sellers realize the importance of compensating that agent.

Our commitment is to help you purchase the right home for you, and we work hard to make that happen. When it does happen and you are happily closing escrow on your new dream home, whether a Bernal Heights house or a Mission Dolores condo, I am paid a commission through the seller’s proceeds.

Of course, if you are happy with our help, we ask you to tell your friends and neighbors about us! 🙂

Here at SFHotlist, we take our duty to represent our clients very seriously. We focus our time, energy, and brain power on our active home buyer clients. To us, the definition of “client” is a home buyer who is serious about buying a home and chooses to work with us.

We use a standard CA Buyer Representation Agreement to outline our Fiduciary Duty to our clients and describe our working relationship. This form lets us know you are serious about buying a home and serious about working with us.

BUT, it’s not meant to tie you down. If it’s not working out or you decide that now is actually not the right time for you to buy a home, you can cancel the agreement at any time.

Our goal is to be your real estate consultant for life so it is much more important to us that you buy a home at the right time for you than it is for us to make a quick sale. In my experience, if it’s not working out for you, it’s likely not working out for us either! Seriously. I love what I do and a big part of this is enjoying the friendships that develop with my clients.

Hope this helps to clear up the confusion around how Realtors get paid.

Additional resources:

Who pays Buyer’s Agents?

How Agent’s Get Paid?

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