Who is Entitled to a Commission?

Prospective home buyers may not know what “procuring cause” is, but it’s a good bet their Realtor does:  it’s what entitles them to get paid!

So, guess which of the following actions — performed by the Buyer’s agent — are relevant for determining “procuring cause”:

A. Negotiating inspection issues on behalf of the Buyer;
B.  Acting as liaison between the Buyer’s lender and the listing agent (representing the Seller); tasks include getting the lender a copy of the executed Purchase Agreement, making sure the appraisal is ordered and on track, etc.;
C. Doing the walk-thru inspection with the Buyer prior to closing and resolving any issues that arise;
D. Assisting the Buyer at closing, including reviewing the HUD-1 (closing worksheet) with them.

Answer:  none of the above.

WTF Huh?!?

Who is (Most) Responsible for the Sale?

The explanation is that procuring cause only pertains to the agent’s actions prior to the time the Buyer makes a (successful) offer to purchase the home in question.

Which means, the Buyer’s agent could do all the things in A. – D. (and other tasks, too), and still not get paid.


As in zero.


Perverse as that may seem, that can be the outcome when a represented Buyer unwittingly (wittingly?) goes through an open house, and commences the purchase process with another agent before involving their own.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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