Guess I gave it all away at the beginning with this cute picture, huh?
Seriously, in most cases you are able to use a real estate professional to help you purchase a home at no cost to you. It is traditional in Central Ohio for the seller to pay the fee for both their agent helping sell their home as well as the agent that is helping the buyer. There are a few times that this rule doesn't apply and your real estate agent should discuss it with you if this arises.
Instance 1 is when working with a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Because the inventory has been so low lately, we are finding buyers are seeking out these properties and the sellers are not willing to pay the commission fees. You will find in another of my blogs why you should use a real estate professional. But most of all, it is to make sure that everything is completely legal for you. If this happens, the agent should discuss with you the possibility of your paying the negotiated fee.
Instance 2 is when working with investment properties. There are times when the purchase price is very low and the commission rate offered is very low as well. Again, the agent should discuss with you before starting this process. What generally happens is that there could be a flat rate set that would be paid to the real estate person by the buyer to compensate for their time and effort.
Don't feel that you cannot ask your professional right up front if you can expect to pay for their services. It's all part of the job.