Blog Stories Who Pays Whom? Find out who pays the real estate agents, after all!

Who Pays Whom? Find out who pays the real estate agents, after all!

By Melissa Dorman, June 9, 2021

It is not uncommon for a buyer or seller to be confused about real estate agent fees, who pays them, and when. Let’s find out:


Who pays the commissions?


For homebuyers, you will luckily not need to pay either agent. The seller pays both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent at the settlement table. It comes out of the seller’s sale proceeds. The seller pays a fee to the listing agent (who represents the seller) and the listing agent, then, shares part of it with the agent who brings the buyer.


How much is it?

The commission paid to the real estate agents is a percentage of the price the home sells for. The amount of the commission, then, is determined by the sale price, but is typically around 6%. For a $500,000 home, for example, the real estate commission would be $30,000 at 6%.


What are closing costs?

Closing costs are the various fees that must be paid at closing, not including real estate agent fees. Included in the closing costs are:

  • Loan processing fees
  • Title company fees
  • Fee to record the real estate deed
  • Insurance
  • Prorated taxes
  • Homeowners association fees



The cost of these fees varies with each home. They can range from 2%-7% of the home’s purchase price. Your lender will provide you an estimate of closing costs with a detailed layout of each item.


When thinking of buying a home, make sure you take into account these additional fees and costs, so that you’re not surprised later on.

Melissa Dorman

Broker | OR & WA


Ten years ago, Melissa was living in a slum in Kolkata, India, helping over 200 women escape sex trafficking by providing alternative work at a social business. It was there she discovered her passion for financial education as a means of empowering people to move out of poverty. After graduating from UCLA with a Masters, Melissa spent 5 years working as a Social Worker; assisting clients facing homelessness, in jail, or at a psychiatric facility. As much as she loved the work, imagining saving for retirement on the meager salary of a social worker was becoming grim. That's when Melissa discovered "passive income." In no time, she fell in LOVE with real estate as a vehicle for wealth. Soon after, Melissa began locating off-market multi-family properties to purchase through creative financing strategies and win-win opportunities. Two years into investing, Melissa quit her day job as a Social Worker to become a full-time broker and investor. Initially, she was drawn to people in difficult circumstances, so she developed extensive experience assisting families facing foreclosure, short sales, and probate. Melissa is well versed in helping her clients overcome complex real estate challenges. Currently, Melissa is teamed up with Super Broker, Yascha Noonberg at Living Room Realty. Together they assist clients to achieve their real estate dreams, including how to strategically buy and sell a personal residence to maximize profits. Far from the slums of Kolkata, her greatest passion now is empowering other working professionals to develop passive forms of income through buying multi-family properties in Portland.
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