Vancouver Buyers Agents Disclose Real Estate Commissions in Writing! The Disclosure of Remuneration Document

Disclosure of Remuneration: What is that?

How a Realtor gets paid and by whom is always source of interest in Vancouver.

Want to know EXACTLY How Much? Check out this great Realtor Commission Calculator for Sellers!

In British Columbia, Buyers Agents (ie Real Estate Agents who are representing a Buyer) must disclose in writing to the Buyer they are working with,  how much they are being paid and by whom when they are preparing an offer or Contract of Purchase and Sale for a Buyer.

Buyers Agents are required to have a Buyer read over and initial a Real Estate Council of British Columbia provided Disclosure of Remuneration form. This is part of the duty of Full Disclosure that all Real Estate Agents in British Columbia have with their clients as part of the Agency Relationship. I have embedded two versions of the documents below for reference.

Who Pays the Buyers Agent?

9 times out 10, a BUYER DOES NOT PAY THEIR BUYERS AGENT! The Sellers Agent (or Listing Agent) will split the commission offered by the Seller with the Buyers Agent. The commission offered by the Seller is nearly always split 50/50 between the Buyers Agent and the Sellers Agent with a few percentage more going to the Sellers Agent to cover their costs of listing and marketing the property.

Interested in finding out how much Mike Stewart Vancouver Realtor charges Sellers? Check out this video on Mike’s Vancouver Real Estate Commissions for Sellers!

When does the Buyers Agent Get Paid?

The Buyers Agent gets paid on the Completion Date, which is when the title to the property the buyer wrote an offer or Contract of Purchase and Sale on transfers ownership at the Land Titles Office. This is after the Buyers offer or Contract of Purchase and Sale has been accepted by the Seller, the buyer is 100% satisfied with the property and has removed all subject conditions and the buyers and sellers lawyers have had sufficient time to prepare the transfer documentation.

How Much does the Buyers Agent get Paid?

This amount varies because in Canada there is no set amount for Real Estate commissions according to the Federal Governments Competition Act. The Buyer always has a right to know how much their Real Estate Agent is getting paid (So ask if you want to know!) because they will initial the Remuneration Disclosure document.

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Vancouver Real Estate Remuneration Disclosure by Mike Stewart Vancouver Realtor

Disclosure of Remuneration for British Columbia Realtors by Mike Stewart Vancouver Real Estate Agent

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  Comments: 43


  1. I heard that realtors commisions were going to be lowered. Is that true and is
    it in effect yet?


  2. Hi Marj,

    Good to hear from you and thank you very much for taking the time to comment!

    Are you referring to the Federal Competition Bureau’s Dispute with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)?

    In terms of how much commission, based on the Competition Act, we Realtors cannot say there is a set commission rate (Its been like this for years). The Competition Act requires us to do this because they want ensure that commission is negotiable (Its also been like this for years) and the ensure the perception there is no set commission rate.

    Commission is agreed between a Realtor and their clients. There is no set rate that can be reduced.

    As I understand it, the Competition Board ruling will change the rules of access to the MLS and a Realtor will not be required for the whole process of the sale.

    This may have an impact on commission by giving sellers more choice, but there has always been a lot of options sellers looking for discount Realtors.

    I don’t see these changes having that big of an impact at all.

    What are your thoughts?


  3. This is a lot clearer to me now. Thanks Mike


  4. Good to hear Marj!

    Let me know if you need anything!

    Thanks,

    Mike


  5. Wait a second Mike.

    Two things.

    First:

    Commission isn’t paid to the Seller’s Agent, it’s paid to the Brokerage. Disclosure of Remuneration is what the Listing Brokerage pays to the Selling Brokerage. The Brokerage takes their pre-arranged fees and charges and, in turn passes on the remainder to the Agent.

    Second:

    As you pointed out, commissions are not ‘set’ they are negotiated. The Buyer’s Agent may very well be responsible for their side of the commission.
    It is not at all set i stone that the Buyer’s Agent (or Brokerage) is paid by the Seller’s Agent (or Brokerage).

    Buyer’s should be aware that some properties listed through Real Estate Agents do not have a ‘cooperating commission’ negotiated into the price.


  6. Hi Corton,

    Good to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to comment!

    Thanks for clarifying those points.

    You’re absolutely right.

    Realtors can NEVER take a commission from a client under ANY circumstances. If you’re working with a Realtor in BC, their Brokerages have to pay out or receive any and all commissions.

    Again, you’re right. There are lots of different commission structures and Sellers Brokerage, doesn’t always pay the Buyers Agents commission.

    That said, in the course of doing business, I realized very quickly that most people have no idea how Realtors are paid. Furthermore, barely any clients knew their Buyers Real Estate Agent had a duty to disclose their commissions to the Buyers they are working with.

    This post was written to explain how commission is paid 99% of the time in the Vancouver real estate market where I work.

    When I was planning the post I did think of the what you mentioned, but felt it was beyond the scope of the post.

    That said, please do check back because you’ve given me food for thought on future posts on different commission structures and fee agreements. Thanks again!


  7. Damn, your nice.


  8. I try! 😉


  9. Dear Mike,

    You say:

    “9 times out 10, a BUYER DOES NOT PAY THEIR BUYERS AGENT!”

    I’m now facing a buyer’s agent who insists that I pay him a fee for the service, while he’ll forward on to me his share of commission if any.

    Does that sound reasonable? Should one accept that? I’ll appreciate a quick response.

    (I live in another province, not in BC.)

    Thanks a lot,
    Kisik


  10. Hi Kisik,

    Good to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Here in the Vancouver market, what I mentioned is still the situation.

    “9 times out 10, a BUYER DOES NOT PAY THEIR BUYERS AGENT!”

    I have never heard of the arrangement you mentioned.

    If I understand correctly, the person you want to hire is asking for an upfront payment from you in exchange for a share of the commission he may (or may not!) earn if he helps you purchase a property?

    Is this correct?

    If so, it doesn’t sound like a good deal for you.

    What happens if the Realtor doesn’t do a good job or doesn’t do anything at all?

    What Province are you in? Is this common in that Province?

    I suggest you get a second opinion from another Realtor in your area (Get a local expert) and if you like I can find someone in your area to answer your questions.

    Looking forward to hearing more on this.


  11. Hi Mike,

    Thank you very much for your quick and helpful response.

    Yes, that’s exactly the case, though I think the fee will not be payable upfront, but after the sales deal. He said though that even if we don’t end up buying anything, he’ll still be claiming the fee for the service.

    He says he is not interested in any commission money coming from the seller, because he wants to represent the buyer and the buyer alone (in case he’ll get commission money he promises to forward it on to us; and I suppose he’ll be obligated to disclose to us in advance what this commission money will be for any given house we’ll be interested in).

    It does strike me as an unusual arrangement. I’m in Nova Scotia. I would very much appreciate a reference to a local expert, if you know one here. You can send it directly to my email.

    Thank you in advance. All the best!
    Kisik


  12. Hi Kisik,

    Good to hear from you and thank you for sharing your experience with me!

    I am not familiar with the rules regarding this sort of thing in Nova Scotia, but it doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

    I’ll email you to discuss further.

    Enjoy your day!


  13. Thank you, appreciate your help!

    Kisik


  14. If I haggle my agent down to a lower commision than average will buyers agents try to avoid my property because they would make less money off it?


  15. Hi Mike,

    Good to hear from you and thank you for commenting!

    This is a difficult and dangerous question for a Realtor to answer given the recent situation with the Federal Competition authorities.

    I can speak from my own experience and these are my thoughts.

    OK, so you’re able to significantly haggle down the commissions charged by the Realtor you’re hiring to help you market and most importantly give you advice on negotiating an offer on your home.

    Would you want to have this person, who is unable to negotiate their own full paycheque, representing and advising you in the negotiation on the sale of your home?

    Buyers Agent commission rates are part of the marketing program for your property.

    In Vancouver, Realtors are required to show all properties irrespective of commission and I abide by this rule.

    I cannot speak for my colleagues, but my question is why there are rules that require Realtors to show properties with a lower commission?

    I feel for my listings offering a good Buyers Agent commission is the best way to get my listings sold.

    What are your thoughts?


  16. Hi Mike – I appreciate the opportunity to ask a question without reference to a specific property. If an agent is respresenting a buyer for my property and wants to represent me as the seller, is it reasonable to ask for a discount on his commission from me as a seller as no advertising, open house, etc. expenses on his part would be involved. My property would sell in the $3-4m range. Thanks.


  17. Hi Ross,

    Good to hear from you and thank you very much for asking and for commenting!
    One thing to note is that commission is always negotiable no matter how much service is offered.
    If the Realtor (Buyers Agent) you mentioned has a buyer interested in your house and you don’t have your property listed on MLS, it’s the Buyers Agents job to negotiate a commission from either the buyer or you the seller.
    The Buyers Agent has to either get you to agree to pay a commission at an amount that works for you or if you refuse to pay a commission, the Buyers Agent will have to get their buyer to pay the Buyers Agent a commission.
    A good Realtor, as a professional negotiator, should be able to negotiate a decent commission on a deal like this. You as the Seller will need to work to pay a commission that works for your needs and gets the deal done, if that is a goal.
    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with this.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!


  18. You are such a good realtor. I just bought a house in vancouver,

    ”The Buyer always has a right to know how much their Real Estate Agent is getting paid (So ask if you want to know!) because they will initial the Remuneration Disclosure document.”
    you are so right
    I never see this paper T.T after the closing day.


  19. Hi Cyberkitty!

    Good to hear from you and thank you very much for taking the time to comment!

    I’m sorry to hear about your frustrating experience with the Remuneration Disclosure document.

    Within the Agency Relationship, Full Disclosure is critical!!

    Congratulations on your purchase by the way!

    How did the rest of the purchase go?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


  20. I am interested in buying an apartment I found without the aide of a realtor. The seller is listing with a realtor, but I have never engaged one. Is is reasonable to ask the seller to lower his price for an amount resembling the commission that the buyer’s agent would have earned if there were one? Could the seller’s agent reduce the commission to the amount that he would have earned had there been another agent to share it with? In other words, can the unit be sold for half the commission and the savings be passed on to the buyer (me)? Or is it too late for the seller to negotiate such a commission with the seller’s agent since they have already signed a contract to sell?


    • Hi Meg,

      Good to hear from you and thank you for commenting.

      Everything in real estate is negotiable.

      This also includes commission the Seller pays the Sellers Agent.

      If the Seller and the Sellers Agent are open to negotiating commission, then you may be able to do this.

      Its up to them.

      Buying a property without your own Realtor is a high risk way to proceed.

      Among other things, you the Buyer have no independent advice on the market value of the property.

      I say this because on a consistent basis, people who have bought properties on their own (ie without a Buyers Agent) hire me to me to sell these properties.

      The vast majority these buyers over paid for the properties.

      This is because they had no advice on the market value of these properties from a qualified and competent Buyers Agent when they bought.

      The Sellers Agent is working only for the Seller to get the property sold at the highest possible price.

      The Sellers Agent is not allowed to give advice to you the Buyer on the property’s market value in a Limited Dual Agency or No Agency situation.

      If you do decide to buy a property on your own, it would be advisable to have a lawyer review the contract of purchase and sale.

      What are your thoughts?


      • Hello Mike,

        First of all, thanks for sharing your knowledge, and appreciate the opportunity to learn from your reply to the comments.

        As a potential buyer, I can do some leg work in researching the properties that would fit my requirements through the apps like realtor.ca. I am aware that there is a limited information I can get from such apps such as historical transactions, the number of past listings, the recent transactions in the hood, etc.. that would allow me to understand the market value of the property and perhaps come up with a reasonable offer. And I believe the buyer agent adds value by sharing those limited information that I wouldn’t have accessed through realtor.ca app.

        My question to you is- if the buyer agent commission is paid by the brokerage when the deal is done, would there be an ‘agency problem’ – meaning the buyer agent will have incentive to close the deal no matter what, rather than to represent the buyer’s interest not to over pay for the property?


  21. Hi Mike,

    I have a real estate question for you. Is there an email address that I can address it to as I do not want to post it in the public feed.

    Your timely response is appreciated.

    Thanks so much!


  22. Hi TM,

    Good to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.

    You can send me a confidential email by filling out this form:

    https://www.mikestewart.ca/contact-us

    It will not show up in the public feed and is confidential.

    Speak soon,

    Mike Stewart


  23. Great. I sent you an email via that link earlier. Hope to hear back from you soon.

    Thanks!


  24. nHi Mike,

    This is wonderful information and I think not many people know about the Disclosure of Remuneration.
    Regarding commissions in Vancouver there’s a lot of people giving so-called kickbacks or rebates if the buyer is doing all the leg work of finding the property. Do these arrangements between the buyer and the buyer agent usually get written down on the contract of purchase somewhere?


    • Hi Peter,

      Good to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Glad to hear the remuneration of disclosure post is of assistance.

      I am not sure how that process works as I don’t do it.

      What I would suggest is that if there is an agreement with a Realtor on commission, I suggest getting it in writing ESPECIALLY with a Realtor who would engage in such practices.

      I would avoid putting such an agreement in writing in the Contract of Purchase and Sale as it might affect the financing and other things.

      Also, I would strongly suggest consulting with a lawyer when entering an agreement like this with a Realtor.

      What are your thoughts?


  25. What a great post and service you have provided, Mike! Thanks for this.

    A quick Q – if the buyer Realtor has agreed to give some cash back form the commissions he receives from the purchase of this property, how can the buyer really ensure it will be done? Also, is this commission paid to the buyer’s realtor by the seller’s realtor necessarily? Or could it be someone else paying him? The seller himself directly for instance?

    Thank you again!

    Bill.


    • Hi Bill,

      Good to hear from you and thank you for you question!

      Its always best to put any agreement in writing.

      Realtors are held to a higher standard of behavior than the general public.

      If you have an agreement with a Realtor in writing about some arrangement on commission you should be expect the Realtor to honour it.

      There are many ways commission can be paid and to whom, but it needs to be in paid in a manner that is in compliance with the rules and regulations governing the Realtor in their jurisdiction and the required disclosures must be made.

      What are your thoughts?


  26. My real estate agent offered a cash back for buying the house. Now if he refuse to give the money what is my option


  27. Hello

    Recently bought a presale where if i was not being represented by a realtor I would have got a discount on, however, I chose to use my realtor since they had helped me see some other units in the past. There was no Disclosure of Remuneration until 2 weeks after the initial purchase agreement was made.

    After seeing this, My realtor is getting paid a lot more that what I was lead to believe at the time of signing as well as the work she did for me. Is it okay to ask for the discount from her commission (as a kick back)?

    If i don’t sign the Disclosure of Remuneration what happens? I am currently pissed off that none of this was disclosed to me and thinking about it puts a little fire in my belly.

    Thanks


    • Hi Jason,

      Good to hear from you.

      That’s unfortunate the person you were working with did not have you signed the required remuneration disclosure.

      I would suggest speaking to your Realtor or if you are unsatisfied with the response, speak to their managing broker.

      What are your thoughts?

      Thanks!


  28. Hi Mike,

    Great website – loads of useful tips and information. I’m soon looking to be a first-time home buyer.

    Based on the discussion thread above, I’ve also begun thinking that the commission rate of the real estate agents and how it can affect the competitiveness of your offer – which can be pretty important in this market! If a seller is reviewing an offer and there are two offers for relatively the same price, but one has a lower fee for the real estate agent, wouldn’t that make that offer more attractive to the seller as that’s additional money in their pocket?

    I understand charging a reasonable rate for a real estate agent based on experience, negotiation skills and knowledge of the market but I’m finding it hard to negotiate / define what determines a “fair” commission rate – any suggestions?

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