"Dear Tyler, I need an agent so I can start looking for a house, but I don't know how much it costs. How do real estate agents get paid?"
Let me give you the short answer and the long answer.
The short answer is, 99.9% of the time, Buyers never have to pay their agent any money.
The longer answer is, our fees come out of the sales price once the home closes. It's usually a percentage of the final price, and it's split between the Buyer's Agent and Listing Agent. If the house doesn't close, nobody gets paid.
Here's what that really means:
It costs NOTHING to start working with an agent sooner than later. And I highly recommend that for both, Buyers AND Sellers.
According to a recent Zillow study, Sellers that started working with agents very early in the process were more likely to sell their home with multiple offers and over asking price.
In the same study, Buyers who worked with an agent from the very beginning said they were more confident with the entire process.
Unfortunately, almost HALF of the buyers out there don't bring in an agent until they're about to write an offer.
Which, if you ask me... is WAY too late in the process.
In fact, you might find out we real estate agents know a thing or two about buying houses... could be helpful.