I read a post on Active Rain that really surprised me...   

The gist of the post was how real estate agents need to "stand up for their profession" and begin charging our clients an up front retainer fee...

There were tons of comments on the post from other agents, and a large percentage were supportive...

There has been a lot of a buzz on this subject the last couple months...

Look, I understand... 

The real estate market is tough right now.  It is not easy being an agent.

But a retainer fee?  Are you kidding?

Realtors get paid to sell homes.  Not to show homes...


Comment balloon 11 commentsKen Tracy • June 28 2010 03:30PM


Hi Ken, I understand your point of view but it gets very expensive to show and tell and not get paid if the Buyer doesn't purchase (gas money and time). Also, when the Seller is unrealistic about the price and drains you of your marketing dollar as you are telling them the price should be lower....then they re-list it with another agent for the lower price. Sorry to say, but I don't like paying to work either.

Posted by Tiffany Torgan, La Jolla, CA. Real Estate (Harcourts Prestige Properties of La Jolla) over 7 years ago

I wish we got paid by the hour these days.  You know like a lawyer.  When you are on the phone or driving all over the place, etc.  I think there would be more people in the business. 

I also can see Tiffany side but this is the profession we are in.

Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Ken is right! 

If Realtors did a better job learning what their clients are looking for and learning how to service a client's needs better, they would have to show fewer homes.

Blaming clients with comments like "buyers are liars" speaks ONLY to the incompetence of the Realtor.

In the end, we are getting paid well do do a job.  If we don't like that job then we should get out of the business.

Realtors need to stop whining about working hard and get off their butts.


Louis Stone-Collonge -- --


Posted by Louis Stone-Collonge over 7 years ago

Hi Tiffany, John, and Louis.  Thanks for stopping in.

I know it is expensive showing buyers and listing homes that don't sell.

I know things are tough.  Believe me.

But it also is the reason we are so well compensated when we do sell a home...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 7 years ago

I can see both sides. There is more to real estate than showing or selling homes. There is an educational piece that may be appropriate in some cases depending on the client and their needs. I suppose that is what the real estate consultant designation is about.

Posted by John Thomas, EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA (E3 Green HOMES) over 7 years ago


I wonder if this will be a new trend for real estate professionals.  Or maybe it is for the ones that are hungry.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 7 years ago

Hi John and Don.  Thanks for reading...

The ones that are hungry?  They don't want up front checks...

They want generous closing checks...

At least the good ones do...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 7 years ago

Wow, that a new one! I keep thinking about how bad it would be if the bottle broke though.

Posted by Daniel Olsen (Exit Realty Achieve) over 7 years ago

Ken..well,you opened another great subject; until today I always thought that we are in this Profession to earn our commissions by being the best sellers/ agent or Buyers agent possible.  I personally believe that to charge up-front for a job NOT done is incorrect. seeing some of those who feel differently and who present reasons for their stance, makes me stop and review. In the end though since I / we would not pay full price for anything to anyone [on a promise of successful completion of the job], I must come down on the side of list, show, do your homework & etc,  make the sale or be part of same and then reap your commission. 

Barb & Sal

Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan over 7 years ago

I do not see our overall industry model changing any time soon. It is what it is...good and bad part like everything else.. but its nice just thinking about it..."yes Mr Home Seller, I can extensively market your home for $1,000 to start"...:)

Posted by Catherine "Cathy" Chaudemanche- Edison, NJ, Full Time, Informed and Involved- Results Driven (Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ) over 7 years ago

Hi Cathy, B+S, and Daniel.  Thanks for reading.

Realtors take on the risk of no paycheck.  That is why the checks at closing are big...

I like big closing checks!:)

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 7 years ago

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