Sunday, February 26, 2006

Agent bonus - Conflict of interest?

I've been thinking about agent bonuses and commissions for quite a while. As our market has slowed, we are seeing sellers offering higher commissions and bonuses, supposedly to get agents to push their properties. I received a postcard this week from a developer offering not only 3% commission but also a $1000 bonus to any agent bringing a performing buyer. This is troubling to me. It suggests to me that the seller offering the bonus thinks that I would steer my buyer to their property because I would make more money. Folks, if your agents are selecting properties to show you based on the amount of money that they will make, they need their butts kicked. This whole idea of paying a bonus to the selling agent seems to me to be a serious conflict of interest and an incentive to engage in unethical behavior. Without asking, a buyer may never know which properties are more lucrative for their agent, or, if they are even being shown all properties. As it stands, bonuses are legal and commonly offered. I'll go on record as saying the practice has a foul odor to me.

Activity has picked up somewhat with 28 total closed sales of MLS listings in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral from Feb. 1 through Feb. 26. At that rate it's going to take quite a while to burn through the 1096 total listings showing on the MLS. Actual total is probably under 1000 because of dupes but in round numbers we are looking at a 3 year supply.

Portside Villas has begun closing the 3rd and 4th buildings and sellers are getting serious with prices hoping to finally cash in on the deposits they put down two years ago. Expect some great deals to be had in the next few months there. Call me at 321.917.5786 or email if you'd like to take a stab at a brand new condo, walking distance to the beach and Port for under $200,000.