Monika Kaszycka, real estate agent, RE/MAX 1st Advantage.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Buy Side: Changes to commissions 'would hurt buyer's agents for sure' 

Monika Kaszycka says buyer’s agents already work hard, and they’ll have to prove their value even more if buyers have to pay them upfront.

September 10, 2023
4 minutes

Lawsuits and speculation around the future of compensation have put buyer agency in the spotlight. In this series of stories, we hear directly from buyer's agents about what they do, their paths to success and their thoughts about how their jobs could change.

Monika Kaszycka says it's not always easy helping people find homes. But as an agent who has worked primarily with buyers during her six-year career, she enjoys getting to know her clients and using her expertise to help them save money when they can.

And at the end of the day, she still needs to get paid, and that won't change — even if the industry's current practice of sellers paying buyer's side commission does. While Kaszycka wasn't familiar with the looming buyer-broker class action cases, she thinks it would be tough on buyers and their agents alike if buyers had to pay commission upfront.

We talked to Kaszycka, a member of the Robert Dekanski Team at RE/MAX 1st Advantage in Clark, New Jersey, about the buy side of her business and her strategies in a challenging market. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

What do you like most about the buy side of the business?

I enjoy meeting clients and helping them find the right place. I like working with buyers more because I get to meet them multiple times and I also get to know their friends and family. I do become friends with many of my clients.

And it makes me happy to help my clients find a house they can call home and raise their family in.

What makes a great buyer's agent?

It's important to know about different styles of homes so you can understand what the buyer is looking for and what they need based on their situation. 

Also, you always have to be thinking about multiple clients and understand what they need.

For example, I'll take a client out to look at a house, and they might not like it, but I'll remember another client who would.

What is the market like in your area?

It's definitely on fire, and definitely a sellers market. I'd say 80% are selling within the first three days, some with multiple offers above asking.

How have your goals and strategies changed over time, and how much of that is driven by the state of the housing market?

I've been focused on meeting with more people and trying to make sure I meet them as soon as they start looking for homes.

Once I know what they love, I get them out to see those homes right away. Back in the day, if somebody listed a house on Monday, we could wait until the weekend to go see it — now it needs to be the same day. I ask clients to meet me after work to increase their chances of seeing the property before it's gone. So it's longer hours.

First-time buyers have no idea what the market looks like, so I have to teach them that it's very important to be pre-approved, consider going above asking, limiting inspections, and any other strategies we can use to make their offer stronger. Because if they love the house there's going to be another family or five that love the home as well. And of course, I make sure all the paperwork is perfect when we submit an offer.

How do you think things would change if buyers had to pay for their own agents upfront?

I don't think it's a good idea. Buyers already have their closing costs. The seller's closing cost is pretty much the commission.

It would hurt buyer's agents for sure. A lot of buyers will go directly through the listing agents to avoid paying commission — they might think they are going to get a better deal, but they don't understand that the listing agent works for the seller and they have representation.

About 80% of my clients are buyers, and I don't think that would change, but I would have to educate them. They are going to pay my commission because I'm working for them, and the work that I will do for them could save them a lot of money. They may pay X amount on commission, but in the long run they could save money.

And as buyer's agents we do work hard. Not a lot of people understand this is our job. This is not a hobby, this is what I do for a living.

So I think it would be tough at first. But over time, people would get used to it and understand this is something they have to do. 

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