Do Buyer’s Agent Commissions Matter?

Do buyer's agent commissions matter?

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It’s unfortunate but true; too often, home sellers are not aware of exactly how much commission they pay out when they sell their home through a traditional real estate agent.

Here is how real estate agents’ commissions typically break down, by province.





Real estate agent commission percentages by province

• British Columbia = 7/3% (7% on the first $100,000, 3% on the remaining amount)
• Alberta = 7/3%
• Saskatchewan = 5%
• Manitoba = 5%
• Ontario = 5%
• Quebec = 5%
• New Brunswick = 5%
• Nova Scotia = 5%
• Prince Edward Island = 5%
• Newfoundland = 5%

This commission is usually split between the home seller’s real estate agent and the home buyer’s real estate agent, but the entire amount comes out of the pocket of the home seller.

How much commission does a buyer’s agent make?

So if you have a $400,000 home, you are essentially paying your real estate agent $8,000 and the buyer’s agent $8,000, for a total of $16,000 if you live in British Columbia or Alberta. That works out to $10,000 each, for a total of $20,000, if you live in the rest of the Canadian provinces.

For most home sellers, this is a lot of money that they would prefer not to give up, especially considering that this could be a part of a sizable down payment on a new home. Or a five-star trip to Turks and Caicos.

The big dilemma comes when home sellers who opt to forgo paying a commission to a seller’s agent are then faced with a buyer’s agent who wants their commission. Obviously, it is in a home seller’s best interest to offer some kind of commission, whether it be a dollar amount or a percentage of the selling price.

How much would you offer in buyer’s agent commissions?

Indeed, some home sellers wonder if they will be able to sell their homes quickly if they do not offer a high buyer’s agent commission. The truth is, real estate agents must work with their client’s best interest in mind; not the commissions they stand to make. That said, they must show buyers the homes for sale that fit their criteria. Otherwise, they stand to lose potential clients via dissatisfied clients and bad word of mouth in the future.

Honest and ethical real estate agents are driven by their need to find their clients the right home; they are well aware that a happy client makes the best referral.

Homebuyers are shopping alongside buyer’s agents

Besides, nowadays, homebuyers, more often than not, are shopping for the homes they want anyway and they tell their buyer’s agent which homes they want to see. They know what they want in a home and their decision has nothing to do with how much commission you are offering to a buyer’s agent.

A buyer’s agent commission is not the key to selling your home. In fact, the right price, great staging and the ability to promote the location you’re in will usually lead to a successful sale in a short amount of time.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, visit today.


  1. Dave says:

    Realtors are parasites. Housing prices have doubled, so their commissions have doubled too. But their workload hasn’t doubled. If anything they do way less now because the market is hot. Some of them won’t even allow buyers to go directly to the selling real to (known as double ending) because they buyer always wants to negotiate down the commission. So they’re now insisting that the buyer have “representation”, and palm them off to the realtor at the desk right beside them who obviously works for the same realty company. How is that representation? It’s nothing but the most outrageous scam going. It’s unbelievable that it’s allowed. It’s insane that people aren’t allowed to represent themselves when buying.

  2. Hi James,

    Thanks for inquiring! Unfortunately, we don’t offer our services in Nova Scotia at this time.

    Wishing you all the best in your sale!

  3. James says:

    Do you offer the seller’s agent service in Sydney,Nova Scotia?

  4. Admin says:

    If I may give my opinion, the way the transaction will happen in future is the comfree way. I am not saying comfree is the best and right option in the market.

    The rip off of 5% is ridiculous fee considering the kind the service you receive from the so called professionals and also looking at the risk each stake holder has in a deal. Its the seller and buyer who is actually taking all the risk financially and emotionally.

    I find most realtors in that profession only because they are not qualified to become anything else with the knowledge and skill level they hold. If you look good reasonable after some make over and can speak the language, one has prequalified to enter the market as a traditional real estate professional. I can very well understand why traditional real estate agents are motivated to boycott facilities like comfree. Who wants their own existence to be jeopardized. I doubt how many actually works in the best interest of their client especially once there is a buyers agreement in place.

    The way prices have soared based on the immigration policy and not the actual fundamental factors leading to organic growth, 1% to both buyer and seller agency will be norm in days to come. Everyone has to make money for living and it has to look reasonable and at par with other professionals in similar sales job.

    I would rather wait some time after listing on comfree than pay $20,000 out of pocket which i wont be saving, lets say even after a years toil. And its a hefty amount towards your next buy as well.

    Its just my opinion and everyone has own way of getting things done.

    Happy shopping. ..

  5. Little KY says:

    If a seller does not want to work with a buying agent (which 98% of qualified buyers have, with buying agreements in place, and I’m talking people who can actuall pull the trigger, not looky loo’s), then it is thier own fault. Most buyers want the expertise offered by an experienced realtor, plain and simple. This isn’t like buying a car – we are talking about a $400,000+ piece of property that was probably built 25+ years ago. If this is the case, I implore sellers to state this in thier description…. yes, it will shoo realtors away, but it also stops you from wasting time of people who have buying agreements in place.

    However, the buyers % is totally negotiable and what should happen is this…

    A Comfree seller is approached by a buyers agent, and the seller is acting as the selling agent, the two work out a suitable agreement together (which is exactly what happens in a regular agent to agent deal). From there, the seller can sign an agreement stating this commission deal for this specific named buyer only… and proceed with the offer.

    This provides your buyer with peace of mind of working with an experienced realtor, and also increases your chances of selling if you are willing to negotiate…. really, whats wrong with tossing a bone of a few thousand dollars to an agent? Worst thing they can say is no.

    Also, if you pay to list on MLS and plan on not offering a buyers agent commission and not being flexible, get ready for a let down as you’ll only have 2% of qualified buyers without representation.

  6. Jane Kennedy says:

    Hello John,

    We are sorry to hear that your friend is disappointed. If you are looking for more information about our services, you are welcome to visit You are also welcome to contact us as any time with your questions. Our contact info can be found here: Our representatives will be happy to help you.

    In Ontario and Alberta, ComFree Commonsense Network is a brokerage operation, which means we are a licensed brokerage and have expert licensed REALTORS® on staff to assist our clients with their sale. Our clients have generally found that the key to a successful sale is pricing the house correctly, which is why we offer pricing assistance and a Comparative Market Analysis with one of our packages.

    Let us know which province you are from, and someone from our staff can contact you directly.

  7. John Corner says:

    Just had a friend in my store who listed with Comfree. He did not Sell his property…But he is out about $2500 and still has to go find a Realtor now and pay again. He said the service is a scam to be on the MLS REALTORS NETWORK with COMFREE, it offers false hope. He bought your package with MLS and its not working at all. He offered 2.5%, to the buyers agent, he priced what his neighbour sold for on the MLS with a Realtor, and still NO AGENTS – not one he said….COMFREE IS MISLEADING the FSBO market he said. Telling him that Realtors will come and sell his home and he will save. Save what, he show it, he is tired, but is out $2500 and its prices as the MLS sold for. Why is this so… I asked him, because buyers need knowledge of paid prices, some agent to sell their home, how long can this go round and round he said. If everyone is FSBO what will happen. Just like Europe he said, no one will sell there property and COMFREE is a joke he said, Realtors are boycutting COMFREE listings or any interfering in their MLS business, around his area in Newmarket Ontario. He said most likely buyers will have a property to sell first and Realtors will not list or show without a buyers agreement in place, and a buyer is not trying to sell by himself and then use a realtor just to search that makes no sence at all, he said. If so would you carry abuyer around for free…why would a Realtor? COMFREE jibbd him he said. Plain and simple a buyer has to sign buyers agency agreements before any showings. Are these all lies I ask you COMFEE? Before I decide to use a FSBO service like COMFREE. Please post your comments, I’m thinking of selling but need some insight to your service and how this will bennift me. Await your response..Thanks John

  8. Jane Kennedy says:

    Hi Will,

    We’re really sorry to hear that you’re experiencing this problem. The fact is that what those agents have told you about dissuading clients from buying your home is against their code of conduct in most provinces. You should hear from customer service shortly.

  9. Will Paterson says:

    That is bullshit. I have been trying to sell with Comfree and realtors have boycotted me because I dont want to pay 2.5%.
    They have even told me face to face, “If I don’t make 2.5%, I will tell my clients whatever necessary in order for them not to buy your house.”
    I have been fed nothing but bullshit from at least 80% of realtors. I think that Comfree is doing a similar injustice by leading people to believe that they can sell their house just as easy and with less fees involved.
    I do believe that it can be done but the conditions have to be almost perfect, or you have to be willing to let it sit on the market for a year.

  10. Frank says:

    There are no set fees for commission in Real Estate. In fact it is against the law (price fixing) to declare specific commission rates as all rates are negotiated. It is not even correct to say “typical” as that too is not actually correct. Each transaction is negotiated separately.
    Remember that when an agent says, “I charge 7 & 3%”

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