A recent article in the Washington Post revealed that agents throughout the country are choosing to put their own interests ahead of their clients...and its the consumers who are being hit the hardest. A practice often referred to as "sell to the commission" occurs when a real estate agent representing potential buyers doesn't like the commission-split offered on a particular listing, so they refuse to show the property to clients.
For example, Listing A might offer the buyer's agent a 3% commission while Listing B might offer a 2% commission, leading some agents to only show Listing A. However, buyers and sellers are often unaware that this is happening, leading many sellers to wonder why their home isn't selling. The National Association of Realtor's code of ethics clearly states that when representing a buyer or seller, agents must "protect and promote the interests of their clients." If an agent is cherry-picking homes to show you, then how could they be upholding Realtors' high ethical standards?
Key Takeaway: Be aware of the commission-split issue and discuss compensation in advance with a formal agreement.