How do real estate sales work for buyers

Real estate search through brokers

Brokerage commission

When searching for a property through a broker, a commission is charged if it is successful. Depending on the region and property, brokers calculate the brokerage fee in different ways. The following variants are possible:

  • Internal commission: The internal commission is also known as the seller's commission. It describes the commission that the seller of an object pays the broker.
  • External commission: The external commission describes the brokerage fee that the buyer of a property pays to the broker after the contract has been successfully concluded.
  • Mixed commission: In many cases the seller and the buyer share the local commission because the broker demands a brokerage fee from both sides for his work.

Who has to pay the commission after a successful property search through brokers varies greatly from region to region. In the following federal states, buyers and sellers usually share the brokerage fee incurred:

  • Baden-Wuerttemberg
  • Bavaria
  • Berlin
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg
  • Hesse
  • Lower Saxony
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (higher proportion common for buyers)
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Saarland
  • Saxony
  • Saxony-Anhalt
  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Thuringia

In Brandenburg, the buyers usually bear the brokerage fee completely alone.

Depending on the location and property, the commission is between three and seven percent of the agreed purchase price plus VAT.

The broker has provided his contractually agreed service when the sales contract has been signed - and this contract has come about through the broker's efforts. Therefore, the commission is usually paid after the notarial contract is signed.

In a few cases, no commission is due if you organize your property search through brokers. That always applies when the broker

of the offered object.

Avoid double commission payments

In metropolitan areas in particular, it might make sense to use different broker offices in order to see as many properties as possible on the market. However, the search for a property via several brokers has its pitfalls: It is possible that several brokers propose the same property to you. If you have already received the synopsis from another provider or even made use of a viewing, please inform the new broker. If you let him continue to work and buy the property later, it is possible that both agents can demand the agreed commission from you. You can avoid this situation by resolving the commission issue aggressively. For example, an indemnity agreement or an agreement on the distribution of the commission between the providers would be conceivable.

Buying real estate with an agent: negotiate!

The local commission for buying real estate with an agent is not a law. It makes perfect sense to negotiate with the broker about the amount of the brokerage fee to be paid. Especially with objects that are difficult to sell, you have a chance to reduce the payments to the brokerage office. Discounts of a few percentage points may well be possible. Of course, it always depends on the local market situation. Even if the buyer principle does not apply to the purchase of real estate with a broker - this is reserved for the rental of objects - a conversation with the seller can also reduce the burden of the brokerage fee. Here, too, it says: For properties that are not in demand, sellers are quicker to contribute to the commission. In the case of properties that are in high demand, on the other hand, you have less chance of a discount when buying property with an agent. In this case, the seller can lower his brokerage commission because all competitors would like to offer the property.

Keep the commission low

After a property search through a broker, the agreed purchase price is decisive for the calculation of the commission claim. Incidental purchase costs such as the fees for the notary and the land registry as well as the costs of real estate financing are not included. If you would like to take over various furnishings such as a fitted kitchen, the beautiful living room lamp or a subsequently built-in sauna, in some cases it can make sense to conclude a separate sales contract for this. If you buy these things separately, the purchase price for the property goes down and the broker's fees are also lower.

If you are looking for a commission-free property or want to sell a property commission-free, read our information on properties without brokers.