Q: It dawned on me today that licensed brokers, when purchasing properties for themselves, could act as both buyer and broker, and thus receive the commission as extra cash back at closing.

Is this common practice for brokers? It seems like a good idea to me, but I’m totally new to this stuff…

A: Real estate agents are often active real estate investors because they’re in a position to see a great piece of property almost before anyone else. And then, yes, they will get their share of the commission back at the closing.

This is akin to buying great property at a slight discount, typically 1 to 3 percent (which is the agent’s share of the commission, depending on the split between buyer broker and seller broker, and then between the brokerage companies and the individual agents.)