My wife and I have been working with a buyer's agent for the last 2.5 months. In that time, he has shown us 10 homes and prepared 2 offers for us. We have seen many more houses in that time, but they were all open houses that we went to without him.
Now, we are making an offer on a FSBO (no exclusive buyer's agreement with our agent, so no legal obligation to pay him commission), and in our competitive market we would prefer to make an offer that didn't include a commission to our agent. At the same time, I don't want to privately pay him the ~6k he would clear on the sale. He didn't do that much work and, quite frankly, I need that money.
What is the etiquette in this situation? My mother-in-law is a real estate agent in Ontario and told us that this type of thing is fairly common and we shouldn't feel too bad about it. We were thinking of sending him a $1000 check on the side as a thank you and a way to make the ~20 hours he spent on us over two months worth his while.
We are in Western New York, if geography matters.
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