Profile picture for C Marian

Do I have to pay 6% commission to sell my house?

  • June 29 2010 - Houston
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (60)

Profile picture for BlumBlimbidy
I sell all my properties the same way.

Pay 100.00 to place it on the MLS
Fix your Min. Net price 6 K higher than the Minimum Net you set.
Offer a 6K reward to anybody who finds you a buyer, The next door neighbor , A Real estate agent, The trash man. Anybody...
Get a offer and give it to your Escrow company, They do the rest..
Bada Bing
  • March 29
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You can do negotiation with your agent.
Good luck!
  • November 03 2010
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Everything is negotiable, but be careful with agents that are willing to cut their commission to far. You have to ask yourself what they will be doing to market your property and is it worth the savings if it takes you much longer to sell. The reality in today's market is that  it takes money to sell homes.Advertising and marketing is not free and agents take a risk anytime they take a listing, because it costs them money that may NEVER (if your house doesn't sell or the seller decides to change agencies) get recovered. The decision is obviously yours, but if I were you I would definitely ask myself why an agent would take less then the standard, and what services they will be cutting to make up for the loss.
  • October 19 2010
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thats a great commission, are all you doing that great
  • September 25 2010
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No, you absolutley don't have to pay 6% to list your home.  It may be in your best interest to though to keep all parties (Buyers agent and sellers agent Realtors) motivated in getting the HIGHEST PRRICE in the quickest most convenient timeline for you.  All comissions are negotiable but it very important to understand what and who the comissions are going to and for what purpose.
  • August 17 2010
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Profile picture for mkrosse
6% is not pre-ordained, its negotiable with the broker.  in a 2009 sale, i negotiated a max of 5%;  with only 4.5% if my house went to binder within 60 days. the broker so agreed on the additional 0.5% because they would save on marketing costs if the house sold quickly.
  • August 17 2010
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Thanks for the suggestion Rock - I just posted the question!
  • August 02 2010
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Profile picture for rockinblu

Patrick,

Terrific post.

Debbie,

Very good suggestion. Why don't you ask about and suggest that in the "Suggestions" forum in "Other?"

  • August 02 2010
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Patrick - nice post! I agree..

Alan - oh, boy, do I remember that FL agent - just a tad combative, wasn't he? He was right, and all of us were wrong.......

Dunes - I just revisited the thread via the link you provided - that was a doozie - over 700 responses - on and on it went - anti-trust laws, seller incentives - who shows what, for how much, etc....does a higher comission bring in more buyers............on and on..........maybe those are ageless topics...

Quick question regarding zillow - does anyone know why it doesn't at least show where someone is from - either the person asking the question, or those answering it?
If I run the cursor over someone's photo, the abbreviated profile pops up, but still doesn't say where they are from. I think it would be helpful to know that, without having to click yet again to see their full profile........anyone know why zillow doesn't offer this information as easily as the "other" site does?
Thanks..........


  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Reallyfedup
Dunes Alan is right.  Even amoung other brokers in casual conversation we are not allowed to discuss what we charge for commission.  It's for the exact reason Debbie explained.  The numbers that I have seen pop up as the standard or the norm or anything else that would indicate it is what everyone charges are not standard by any means in my area.  Therefore making it a false statement.  The conversation of commission is between the agent and the client.

One side note.  I have seen alot of posts from the public regarding agents lately and how they are greedy, calling us realtards, only concerned about commission etc.  After reading some of these posts I have to tend to agree with them. 

Agents think before you speak (type).  Professional answers that answer the question far more helpful then ones that make us look like we don't care about the buyer/seller.  If you provide them with the answers they are looking for, then maybe they won't see us the way they do. If someone asks a FSBO question, answer it. Don't tell them they will fail. They are most likely going that route anyway. Let them try it and see how it goes.  If you are so sure they are going to fail then maybe they will call you when or if it doesn't work out for them because you were helpful when they asked. Don't bash the discount brokers but maybe point out some differences between full and discount and make them aware of something they may not know.  It's not always about the comission.  It really is about doing what is best for the buyer/seller.  Put their concens first and you will be a better agent by doing so.
  • August 01 2010
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Commissions are always negotiable
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Alan May
Sadly, I'm sure that it was explained to you exactly as you understood it.  Unfortunately, even Realtors and Agents alike, don't understand it clearly.

As you know, we had a Florida Realtor reading us the riot-act, that there wasn't a dagnab thing wrong with talking about it.  But as you found out when researching the DOJ, he was sadly mistaken.

And not through any malintent.  Merely ignorance, or an unwillingness to learn.
  • August 01 2010
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@ all who questioned getting what you pay for..

i am referring to the ability to expose your home to a greater pool of buyers and not relying mostly on MLS..

larger companies pay for key search words on the internet that drive more buyers to host sites... they may also have an extensive international relocation service... capturing even more buyers.
both of these are offered by the company i work for and i know that they are only two reasons to be able to command a higher fee..
offering the larger sell side will also entice more agents to show the property..
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Dunes....
Alan, that's not I understood it when explained to me but I'll go with what you say.. I'm NOT a RE PRO so for me my view, interest is limited while yours needs to be more technical/informed as it's your Profession..your rules to operate by..In other words I's sayin..
I honestly believe you would know better than I because I know you take your Profession seriously and are a Professional Agent......Unlike many others with an RE License

It's definitely IMHO a "Better safe than Sorry" issue....
  • August 01 2010
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Well, if the commission isn't worth driving out to see your home...
  • August 01 2010
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There are no fixed fees when selling your home that is illegal and it is called the sherman anti trust laws.Here are some things to consider when listing your home it cost alot of money to advertise,open house and promote your home if someone is willing to give you the rate of commision that you feel the agent is entitled to make sure they dont cut out cost to promote your home are industry is like any other business and if the bootom line is not there you just cant afford to promote a home the right way because there not enough monies to promote and advertise.
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
I once bought a car at what I thought was a fair price. It was a lemon.

Did I get what I paid for?

How do I know any realtor will not be more of a lemon than my car was? The car only cost around $2,000 to repair. Couldn't a lemony realtor cost me a lot more even if they charge me 7%?
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Alan May
To be clear...There is nothing wrong with saying YOU charge X %
~~~~~~~
Actually, that's not correct... going on a public website, and stating that "I charge X%" is tantamount to having the same discussion with other agents. 

It is inadvisable to have that discussion with other agents, or other agencies, as that might be construed as an attempt to price fix as well... especially on a national website.

I can tell a client, directly, that "I charge x%", or "our office charges x%", or "my regular rate is x%"... but I cannot say "the norm, the usual, the standard"... is x%, as there is no single standard, norm, regular, usual or norm.
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Dunes....
"You get what you pay for" is just a Cliche, NOT a FACT......

"You do not always get what you pay for" is a FACT most are all very well aware of....
  • August 01 2010
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everything in life is negotiable... however, you should be aware that you get what you pay for..
if i may borrow two phrases that are appropriate for your situation..

all the best to you..

Lisa Palermo
Coldwell Banker Residential
lisa.palermo@cbmoves.com
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Dunes....
For Debbie and Alan

Just a Flashback for you...The Highwater mark point of the Commission Wars..it was on this thread I stated I was going to just contact RE Commissions or the DOJ to find out the Truth...The Thread that wouldn't die
http://www.trulia.com/voi ... _1-recent

I am now on that thread the Much Respected..Voices Member..I'm the one argueing it's wrong to not show a home to clients because it offers a less than 6% Commission ..Lots of Anti-Trust info ect..on the thread
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Dunes....
To be clear...There is nothing wrong with saying YOU charge X % ..
but it is not OK to say Agents in Texas Charge X % or the STANDARD % is X for any Area ...You discuss YOUR Commission with Clients or Potential Clients NOT Standard Commissions for your Market ..

Commissions are Negotiable by Law and by LAW there is not a Set or Standard Commission...

If you wish to debate the "Average" Commission they provide that Data on the DOJ site..it has been between 5.2% & 5.5% for the last Decade based on Data provided to the DOJ by NAR
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Dunes....
Debbie

I posted all my communication exchanges, emails, Names..Phone#'s of the Prosecutors at DOJ whom I was talking with ect at Trulia a couple of times..

They completely disagree with what Pasa said...As you remember the Commission wars at Trulia that You, Alan and others fought so hard at suddenly after my contacting DOJ ground to pretty much a halt, all of a Sudden all kinds of Agents were jumping in with you can't say that

WHY?..Because DOJ contacted Nar, monitored the Trulia Forum ect...Suddenly NAR, Brokers and Agents became aware there was a Problem saying what Pasa suggests is alright to say..

Right or Wrong it is the DOJ's opinion that counts..There is now Tons of info about this issue and NAR has tons of literature about this...

Because it works this way according to the DOJ..THE CHAIN

DOJ decides Agent has violated the law they can now go after their Broker for not training the Agent about it, if the Broker pleads ignorance they can go after the Local Board, if the Board claims Ignorance they can go after NAR...Look up the Court orders on the NAR site or DOJ site

NAR is Ultimately Responsible for the Training of it's Members on Anti-Trust issues...NAR just recently 2006 2007 2008 went a few Rounds with the DOJ...They agreed to certain Conditions for that Court case to be put in Limbo..If they so not comply then the Case could go forward..ANTI-TRUST WAS THE MAIN ISSUE and included in the mix of things NAR needs to comply with was Discussion of Commissions..NAR has adopted a Protective stance, DO NOT DISCUSS THEM..PERIOD.

In other words even if the DOJ does not notice or ya get away with it for a while...NAR WILL ACT IF IT IS REPORTED TO THEM..IT'S CALLED SELF-PRESERVATION They do not wish to go another round with the DOJ in this Market/Economy..Think of the Press

Use Common sense, is it worth it?..
Agents or anyone who doubts any of the Above..ask your Broker, Local Board, ask NAR...then we'll talk

The internet and the NAR site is full of What you SHOULD NEVER SAY as an Agent...

  • August 01 2010
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sorry that was such a long response - I am done now  :)
  • August 01 2010
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No one posting on here is going to get prosecuted for anti-trust violations for stating a "standard" or "normal" or "typical" commission is 6%...

I respectfully diasagree, as that possibility does exist -  here is one possible scenario that could happen if these kinds of statements are made on the internet, or on any discussion among agents.

Agent A usually charges 4.5 or 5% for their services - here on Zillow he reads that some other area agents consider "6%" to be the "norm". Agent A thinks to himself, hmmmm (good thing  that he can think isn't it?) maybe I should raise my fee to match what the other guys are charging. If they can get it, then why shouldn't I?
While the intention might  not be an overt attempt, this does speak to price fixing.

Or....Mr & Mrs Seller read the same discussion here - now they have an expectation of what they SHOULD pay. They now expect to pay 6%, and   might not even ask if it is negotiable.

The law states that all commissions are negotiable, and that's all that should be represented , especially in a public forum

Truthfully, I have seen countless agents state what they deem to be "standard".  The commission I personally can charge may be  different from what is often stated (as though it were a fact) here and on other sites,

There is danger for the consumer in those kind of statements.
Price fixing can be a side result of these discussions, and from what I have read and learned - it is best to steer clear of any specific response to the question.

This doesn't mean that companies can't advertise their commission structure - flat fee Brokers can advertise - so called "discount" Brokers can advertise their services - anyone can - you won't usually find bigger companies advertising their commission because of the very fact that it often isn't written in stone, and that's not the basis of their business plan.
 Interestingly enough,  the anti trust laws actually  encourage competition - which advertising can do - that's one of the very points of the law,

Its the discussion among agents, in social or business settings,  that takes this into the questionable territory.
My credo - when in doubt - don't.

This is not  terribly fascinating subject, yet it is one that is often discussed/debated in these type of forums - I actually think Dunes once mentioned he  spoke with someone from the Dept, of Justice - don't remember for sure (so what else is new!).

Anyway - that's my 2 cents on the subject - we have been round and round with this on the "other" site - I am willing to wave the white flag and let each person decide how to deal with this topic for him or herself.

Have a nice Sunday everyone!


  • August 01 2010
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No, the law states that you can pay any amount of commission that you want as long as someone agrees to work for you for that amount.
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for Alan May
No one posting on here is going to get prosecuted for anti-trust violations for stating a "standard" or "normal" or "typical" commission is 6%...
~~~~~~~~
I wouldn't say that... that's exactly what could happen... along with losing your license and the right to conduct business in your chosen profession.

(and I, too, am surprised that our friend, Flip Threebulbis, hasn't pointed out the auction process yet, either... grateful, but surprised)
  • August 01 2010
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
No one posting on here is going to get prosecuted for anti-trust violations for stating a "standard" or "normal" or "typical" commission is 6%...

But stating "you get what you pay for" --- that is "LAWSUIT" material, as well as official complaints with the local board and the state licensing agency.

No one EVER "gets what they pay for" in any industry; they always get more or less...  Ok, sometimes it might be approximately the same value of services rendered, but those that bought in 2004 didn't "get what they paid for, they got "ripped off", and in many cases an upside-down loan and pending foreclosure.

And I"m really surprised that some Auctioneer didn't show up to state you can only get the right price if you auction it...

  • August 01 2010
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To read some of the answers and learn of the stories some us professionals have experienced is almost comical and sad at the same time.  As mentioned, commissions are negotiable...full stop!!!  
  • July 29 2010
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As a Virtual Tour provider I get the opportunity to work with many agents.   Each Realtor, being essentially an individual business gets the opportunity to define their services,  much like I do with my product.  Some Realtors provide extensive services, extensive experience and/or extensive contacts that are worth money.  Each Realtor will ultimately build a product around those services, experience and contacts that they believe will differentiate them from the vast competition.  As a consumer my recommendation is evaluate a group of Realtors that you feel meet your needs on the surface.  Ask those Realtors questions about delivery of service, about the specific experiences they have had that give them "experience" .  This is the key factor for experience.  Every Realtor has experience but the keen home seller that finds out about specific experiences will also uncover the real value of that agents experience.  Finally,  find out what contacts they have that will make the home sales process better.  This could be contractors and handymen, Virtual Tour providers, home inspection specialist, stagers and even access to inbound corporate transfers planning to move into the area.  I know Realtors that get 4% for selling but they deliver services and value that warrant that price.  This covers the sellers end but what about the buyers end?  This is a simple equation. In the Silicon Valley 2.5% will catch a buyers agent interest.  I recently saw a statistic that 90+% of listings offer 2.5%.  If you have a challenging property or a property with a lot of questions you should consider paying 3%.  Under these conditions you NEED them in your  back pocket.  Realtors are like most other sales people in this capacity,  when comparing two otherwise equal properties you want that agent speaking well of your property.

By the way, experience isn't measured in years or houses sold its measured in experiences.  A busy agent who works diligently at their trade will have loads of specific experiences to share with you.  Marketing isn't measured in just tools it is measured in application of those tools. I have found many an agent that use "all the tools" but don't make those tools engaging.  Contacts alone don't add value.  A good agent will be able to tell you why his contacts are valuable. 
  • July 28 2010
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