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3 hints for negotiating with a buyer’s broker

You’ve decided to sell your home without an agent. You don’t need to restrict your pool of potential buyers by refusing to deal with real estate brokers.

It’s quite possible that the future owners of your home have opted to have a broker represent them. Here’s what you need to know so your negotiations with the broker are a success.

“Be clear about your intentions, ask the write questions and check the contents of the legal documents. This will avoid any unpleasant surprises,” says Martin Desfossés, real estate coach with DuProprio.

1. Stand firm

You’ve decided to sell by yourself and avoid paying the commission. But some brokers may still try to solicit you and convince you to use their services. Don’t hesitate to remind them of your position.

No, you don’t have to sign a contract with brokers to plan a visit with their clients.

2. Ask the right questions

  • Did the client sign a Brokerage Buying Contract with you?

If the potential buyer has chosen to be represented by a broker, the broker’s compensation will be set out in the contract.

  • When would your client like to visit the property?

Be vigilant. If the broker wants to make an appointment without the client, this could be a sneaky way to solicit you.

All other questions to qualify the buyers and check their needs can be asked during this first contact. In fact, the sale will proceed in the same way except that you won’t be dealing directly with the buyer.

3. Review the offer to purchase

In these situations, the broker is the one who fills out and submits the offer to purchase. Since buyers are responsible for a broker’s compensation, they generally have two options:

  1. Pay the broker out of their own pocket
  2. Include that compensation in the purchase price

With this second option, you have to be sure the compensation amount is added to the amount you want to end up with. This payment condition must be made clear during the negotiations.

“In any situation, you don’t have to agree to conditions you’re not comfortable with,” states Elena Maria Semenescu, notary with DuProprio.

Before signing an offer to purchase, our clients can call on our team of notaries. These real estate law professionals can verify the clauses in the document to make sure they comply with the verbal agreement that was reached.

Court decision

The Court of Quebec ruled in favour of a past DuProprio client who refused to pay a commission that had been slipped into the offer to purchase, without her knowledge. She claimed that the fact that the broker didn’t say anything about this compensation was contrary to their agreement.

See this Court of Quebec decision of Sept ember 6, 2018 (in French only) to find out more.