How Much is a Traditional Real Estate Referral Fee?

real estate referral fee
Real Estate Referral Fees

Paying Real estate referral fees are commonplace between real estate agents.

How much to pay for a real estate referral fee?

Like anything in real estate, fees are negotiable, but the most common amount to pay for a real estate referral fee is 25%.

There are many reasons that more or less can be paid and we will go into those details in a bit.

One of the reasons real estate agents are willing to pay a referral fee for a client from another real estate agent is that it tends to lead to a closing for the agent that gets the referral.  Since there is a level of trust already between the agent and the client who is being referred, the inbound referral agent usually has a smooth handoff from agent to agent.

Another real to pay referral fees

Another reason that agents are willing to pay referral fees are because of the chance to get more clients from that agent. There are many real estate agents that don’t actually sell real estate but they are licensed and even Realtors.  These agents, usually known as referral agents, generally have a large sphere of influence or some other method to get buyer and sellers to come to them.  

Some of these referral agents have blogs. YouTube channels, or are also loan officers.  Although they are knowledgeable real estate agents, they don’t tend to transact real estate.  One referral that was received through ReferralCloud, for example, was from an agent that was a YouTuber and loan officer.  They had a person that they knew in a different market that had a house to sell.  So instead of trying to find an agent on their own, they used ReferralCloud to place the referral and still received the 25% referral fee.  

How much to ask for a real estate referral fee for a listing?

Listing real estate referral fees should be at least 25% if they are done directly with the agent.

Real estate referral fee for a listing
Real Estate Referral Fee for a Listing

Listings are much less work than real estate buyers.  Normally the amount of time spent on a listing is about a third on an average buyer.  There are of course situations when a buyer has pre-selected a home, either existing or new, and all the buyer’s agent has to do is write up an offer.  In those cases you might want to charge a higher referral fee since the agent won’t have to do much work.  This is also true if the buyer is buying at a new home building and all the agent is doing is signing the buyer in.  The only downside with a new home builder is waiting months to get paid potentially.

How much should I ask for in real estate referral fees for a buyer?

We recommend no more than 25%, but you can also let the agent know you can do it for 20% if its going to be a lot of work.

real estate referral fee for a buyer
Real estate referral fee for a buyer

One of the reasons is because buyers usually require a lot of time to identify the home they want to purchase, and that can take some time.  Many times buyers don’t even know the part of town they want to live in, so the agent is spending a lot of time driving around being a tour guide.  

Another problem with real estate buyers is that in competitive markets it takes writing offers on more than one property at a time.  Because of this the process can take longer and more work is involved to work with a buyer.  

If you are doing the referral through the ReferralCloud platform, there will be a 25% referral fee paid to the agent that gave the referral regardless of whether the client is a listing or buyer.  This means the agent getting the referral will pay 25%.  This is because of the benefit of using ReferralCloud as a referral transaction coordinator.  The main benefit is that both agent are given priority for inbound referrals in their market when they use the platform as a real estate referral assignment method.

How can I charge a different amount for a referral fee, but still use ReferralCloud so I get credit for the referral?

One option that might be allowed is to request a different referral fee from the agent.  To do this, when you enter a referral in the ReferralCloud platform in the notes you can request a different referral fee with the reasoning for why you want to charge that fee.  For example you can say you have a client that is selling 3 houses, and you want a 30% referral fee since its multiple houses with one seller.  In this case the receiving agent would pay 35% (if they agreed) and then ReferralCloud would coordinate all of them and give each agent credit for three separate referrals.

What if I want to offer a real estate referral fee of more than 25% to get more referrals?

Right now the ReferralCloud platform does not allow agents to offer more referral fees to get business.  This is because the agent that placed a referral in the platform is at a higher priority to get the next referral in their market, and not be skipped because some other agent is asking for a referral fee.  You could certainly reach out to the other agent directly, but neither agent would get credit in the platform.

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