Profile picture for Tommy1937

FSBO Listing - What is the minimum buyer's commission I can offer that will attract buyer's agents?

The house will be listed at $380k. I want to make sure I'm not driving away traffic    

Some ideas:
1. Flat-Fee Commission (i.e. $3k, $5k or $8k)
2. % Commission (2.0%, 2.5%, 2.8%)

 Keeping in mind the following:
  - I'm selling a home that is 5 months old
  - The home is a ranch (with very little inventory in the area)
  - I have quality upgrades including hardwood floors & granite

Thanks!
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March 06 - Denver
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Answers (29)

Best Answer
2% of sale price , cobroke to the buyers agent would be about the minimal i typically see to be fair (in some area's this may be more like 3% of sale price). Less than that and the really good agents wont even show it and the really bad agents will take offense to it.  
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March 06
Profile picture for wetdawgs

"I just think there's got to be a better commission structure that trumps the current one." Absolutely agree.  The Feds published something on the subject.

Ahhhhh, my favorite! Comparison of a real estate license to CPAs,  attorneys, doctors,  etc.   An agent can add value in some situations, granted, but I don't think I should pay the same $/h as I do my attorney.  Let's see, my attorney just raised his rates so 3% of 100,000 would give me slightly less than 10 h of his services (and that includes him paying his employees, renting the building, buying the pens etc).   3% of $380k?  I could hire my lawyer for almost work week!     It does not take 40 h for a good real estate attorney to deal with home sales transactions even if he does have to staple his own papers.  
I would be much happier paying per hour and chosing my services.

Self service culture?  I've saved thousands from youtube repair videos (and have not had to take the whatevers to the "oops, I thought I could do it but couldn't" professional)






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March 07
Since the market crash, here in Georgia  3% of the Sales Price is the average. 
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March 07
But, it doesn't, so really, it's a conversation open to all who are interested. Here it is, folks! Enjoy!
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March 07
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Yes there is and yes it would
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March 07
Yes, dunes, that would be a concern if these threads actually drew the attention of any of our clients . . . 
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March 07
Yes, because in humor there is much truth to be found.
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March 07
Profile picture for Dunes ..
I'm thinking what really matters is which posts or posters are making the public/consumers/potential clients laugh on so many levels....
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March 07
Josh your post makes me laugh on so many levels.
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March 07
offer them a dollar, then begin going up 1 dollar every day, sooner or later you will get some action on your home. 
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March 07
Nick:

It all depends on your local market.  If the "usual" for similar homes is 2.5% and you only offer 2.0%, then you WILL drive away traffic.

In my market (Massachusetts -- which is very different than yours), 2.5% is the norm and would be what I recommend.  That said, your market's rules rule!

Good luck. 
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March 07
Fee's usually depend on the market, activity and inventory.  3% is the norm but again, it depends on your specific circumstance.  As Donald Trump once said "everything in real estate in negotiable"
good luck - ALOHA
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March 06
Nick
A few things to consider as you see you home of months. My concern would be that you need an agent to advocate for you with the Appraiser and manage other parts of the transaction to ensure that you get to the "finish line"
When I work with a buyer, I receive a fairly standard professional fee of 2.8%. Less than that , the Buyer pays...
I have worked with 2 FSBO's in the last 6 months and handled both sides of the transaction (double the work) for 4%
I hope that this helps...
Best of luck!
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March 06
I think I'm going to fire my CPA, my attorney, my primary care doctor, and my mechanic, to name just a few of the competent and caring professionals I have leaned on and paid handsomely over the years. I mean really, why use their specialized services, for which they have trained and have many years of practical experience, when I can just go to IRS.gov, LexisNexis.com, WebMD, and AutoRepairHelp.com and find the answers I need to do my own taxes, my own legal work, my own medical diagnoses, and my own car repairs?  Or better yet, I'll just renegotiate all their fees.  I'll offer them a flat fee that is less than half of what they usually charge, and when they balk, I'll just say I don't agree with their fee structure.  As self-employed individuals, they will probably say that they have every right to self-determine their fees, and to take clients willing to pay their fee, but we all know the internet can easily replace them, so I say, enough with paying for professional advice!  Give me a huge discount, or else I'll do it myself and save a ton of money, at least until the IRS comes after me, I lawyer myself right into a losing court case, I misdiagnose a serious illness, or I blow up my car engine by trying to change my own oil.  

Seriously, we have become such a self-service culture.  No offense Nick, but Trulia and Zillow are no replacement for a skilled broker.  I love the internet and all, but when did we get so afraid to depend on, and pay for, each other's services?  I'm not advocating that we be uneducated about what our providers do for us, and selecting the right professionals to help us, but I really don't think we can all be experts at everything, even with our beloved internet at our fingertips.
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March 06
You offer what you feel comfortable with, period.
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March 06
Dear Nick,

Yes, buyers will find your home for sure in today's market, but its getting it to closing that matters to both principals involved, you and the buyers. There are many obstacles to that happening, and much of it has to do with the fact that buying a home is a big investment for people and most don't do it frequently enough to feel well versed in the intricacies of completing the due diligence. If you find a buyer who does, great, but many folks will just not be comfortable without representation, and for sound reasons. 

Buyers often find homes they'd like to see, and I also show them ones they couldn't or wouldn't have found on their own ~ often because I discover them through my professional networks prior to their being added to Zillow or Trulia through the feed they receive from Metrolist. 

Best of luck in your sale.

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March 06
Well, Nick, as a CPA, you realize that the consumer pays for a business or service provider's overhead. And real estate compensation, it being a sales profession and all, is essentially commission based, whether it is in residential, commercial, industrial, or leasing.

It is indeed our lucky day when we sell something in one day, and nobody takes up a collection plate for us when we work "overtime" for a client.

In many areas, buyers and agents are taking to work with commission agreements, meaning that if the seller / listing broker isn't offering enough commission, then the buyer is obligated to "make up the difference." 

In any event, I wish you all the best,
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March 06
Profile picture for Tommy1937
Thank you everyone for your contributions to this post. At the least, it's been amusing and educational. I will say that I feel a traditional buyer/seller using the services of a broker get penalized by the fact that brokers may or may not close a deal. As such, brokers try to justify that some deals they spend very little time on & close the deal while others never come to fruition - then the hours just average out. Well, to the seller who was offered a full price offer on day 1 and then must pay 6%...not a single person can say that the reason is entirely b/c of the amazing brokers on the deal...it's b/c of the market and location of the property. But of course, the brokers involved will then state they had plenty of other deals not go through...thus justifying why they've earned their 3%. Even further, I tend to think the same amount of effort goes into buying/selling a $150,000 vs. a $400,000 home - therefore, why is it that the broker gets paid more? I think there's just as many buyers in both markets...I know it's not b/c of the heavy lifting of a bigger house. Million dollar homes will a smaller market - but not the ones described above.

And the reason I think I can get away with not paying the 3% on the seller side and why I feel I can pay less to the buyer's side...it's b/c my house is in a great location, inventory is very light and it's a seller's market where buyer's are much more informed than they ever have been. As a result, a buyer is going to search Zillow, Trulia, etc. and then tell the broker which homes they want to see. Then the broker will have to take their lumps w/ the idea that that particular seller is offering less than the traditional 2.8%.

There's my peace. Thank you everyone. No offense brokers, you definitely add value - I just think there's got to be a better commission structure that trumps the current one. I do feel that a flat fee isn't the best structure either. But a pre-stated % structure...pass.
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March 06
Profile picture for user6064703
Faun, I'm not sure you're applying the definition of "disdain" correctly.  Just because someone chooses not to utilize your service does not mean they disdain you.  By your reasoning, I disdain my local mechanic because I choose to change my own oil.  That's a bit silly.
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March 06
Hi Sunnyview:

The definition of disdain is: "the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect."

As a professional broker and top producer in the Denver market for the past decade, and as one who has worked with FSBO sellers on behalf of clients, I stand by my previous post.  Many FSBO sellers choose to go that route because they do not respect brokers and/or have had negative experiences with one or more in the past.  They are obviously under the impression that we aren't worth our fee, and/or that we don't add sufficient value to the sales process.  Otherwise, why would someone choose to forego the help of a professional to save 2-3% commission, only to cost themselves as much or more on the sales price?  Fact is, the majority of transactions happen within the brokerage construct and as such, anyone going it alone is by definition excluding themselves from the potential benefits and gain of working within that construct.  The construct is actually quite efficient and helps to ensure that those in demand, are aware of the available supply.  If sellers don't think there are any benefits of working with a broker, then why be concerned with how much to pay a broker who brings a buyer?  This is called having your cake and eating it too, and it turns most brokers off.  I was and am being very honest with user08331960 and anyone else reading this thread, about how brokers (the people responsible for putting the majority of home buyers and sellers together in this country) feel about working with FSBOs. Perhaps it's not politically correct for a broker to tell the truth about sensitive topics like commissions and the risks and challenges brokers face, but that's how I roll!

Let's face it, the barriers to entry for real estate brokers are few, but the present requirements of the job, at least to do it well, are many.  I for one have always advocated raising the bar in my industry, so that fewer consumers would have negative experiences in the first place, and would more readily be able to trust the good brokers, but of course that would reduce competition so most of the regulatory folks seem to advocate letting just about anyone have a real estate license.  The harsh reality is that only about 2% of people who obtain a real estate license are still in the business after the first year. Industry turnover does not contribute to industry competence, which is why so many people have such negative experiences with brokers, many of whom will work for next to nothing just to get the business. I agree wholeheartedly with a previous poster who said "you get what you pay for."

I don't like it that consumers seem to have disdain for brokers, but until the bar goes higher and industry professionalism improves as a whole, consumers are left to sort through many different business models and varying degrees of competence to try to find a good broker or worse just say "forget it, I can do a better job myself," which comes with it's own costs.

Thanks for the chance to clarify my comment.  
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March 06
As a FSBO you do not have to pay a commission at all!  That is why you are a for sale by owner!  Although I will tell you that if you want the best representation and have the best opportunity to expose your home to sell it in the shortest possible time, I would suggest you list your home with an agent.  

The right agent will market and help negotiate the best price for you.  In most cases, a FSBO pays on average 2.5% to an agent that represents a qualified buyer...and approx. 94% of FSBOs will work with a real estate agent at some point,so in all reality you are concerned about 2-3%, correct?  

Your time and marketing dollars begins to add up over a few months... not to mention a Realtor will have the knowledge and expertise to negotiate, complete forms and share your property at real estate forums that will find buyers that will never see a FSBO.

Its simply the smart thing to do...but many people simply have to try.  So with that being said...I wish you the best.
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March 06
Profile picture for wetdawgs
"Let the Realtors know you will meet their commission requests  plus 1%."   Woah!!! That is outrageous.   What's to stop an agent saying "my request is 25%" (no decimal point)?
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March 06
Profile picture for sunnyview
"Going "FSBO" in my humble opinion, expresses inherent disdain for brokers by publicly announcing that you want to avoid us in the first place"

Really? You assume "inherent disdain"? The only thing that going FSBO expresses to me is the owner's desire to save money on a higher percentage commission. Saving money seems a sufficient motivation for some owners to try to sell themselves with no ill will intended toward agents.
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March 06
Profile picture for Dunes ..
My opinion

Agents/Agencies are selling services and are in competition with each other for a limited amount of business/money/clients...lots of Agents/agencies and less sales/business

In the competition for business of course there will be sales yadda such as I'm better cause I charge more or you won't get unless or I wouldn't or or or....imo it's important for you to consider seriously what's being said, by who and for what most likely reason..

I close my blather by saying I think if you decide to offer a fair amount (2.5%?) then despite all the talk you'll have plenty of Agents/Agencies more than willing to go after what's offered in a market of many selling services but only so many actually making money/sales..

As far as commissions perhaps this and the other choice of services/costs info offered by the DOJ Anti-Trust division might interest you...
"Over the past decade the average commission rate has remained relatively steady between 5.0 and 5.5 percent."....Competition and Real Estate

Best of luck whatever decision you make
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March 06
The commission that would attract the most "Realtors with Pre-Approved Buyers" would be  one that meets or exceeds their expectations. Let the Realtors know you will meet their commission requests  plus 1%.
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March 06
Speaking from experience of selling a FSBO property in Denver to a buyer client, not only do you as the seller have a very real commission dilemma, you also have the very real issue that many brokers will be hesitant to show and sell your property knowing that they will not have a professional broker on the other side to handle the seller's side of the transaction.  When representing the buyer, particularly as an exclusive Agent (versus Transaction Broker) it complicates matters ten-fold.  You are asking the broker to deal directly with you, to trust that you will honor your advertised commission absent any written agreement, and to handle your side of the transaction that would normally be handled by another professional broker, for no additional compensation and likely for less than they would earn by showing and selling a property being listed by another broker.  You are also putting the commission of whatever amount front and center into the negotiations, and your are essentially asking the buyer (in some cases, and depending on the agreement between the buyer and their broker) to guarantee payment to their broker if you refuse to pay.  Most brokers these days sign exclusive agreements with their buyers, just like sellers sign listing agreements, so buyers are fully aware that their brokers need to be compensated and will be nervous about dealing with a FSBO.  Going "FSBO" in my humble opinion, expresses inherent disdain for brokers by publicly announcing that you want to avoid us in the first place, then realizing you need us to bring you a buyer, and reluctantly being willing to pay half a listing fee to compensate only one broker, who likely represents the buyer and has their interests at heart, but still benefit from all the services that two brokers would normally bring to the table.  Finally, it always amazes me to think that sellers are looking at the "savings" of going FSBO to avoid paying 2-3% in commission, but they are not fully appreciating the very real loss of keeping the property from full exposure to the market.  In a bad market, having a good listing broker can make the difference between achieving a sale, or not.  In a good market, a great listing broker will easily be able to gain an additional 2-3% on the selling price, therefore paying for themselves, keeping you in legal compliance, and finding the most qualified buyer from a pool of potential buyers for your property.  In this market, brokers are networking with each other like crazy and you will not be able to tap into that.  I hope this has given you food for thought.  Maybe you've had bad experiences with listing brokers in the past, which is causing you to think about going this on your own, but a better plan would be to find a competent and caring listing broker who will impress you.  Best wishes.
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March 06
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Why either or flatfee vs %?   Calculate the numbers, $3,000 is less than 0.8% commission. 

You will need to offer what is customary in your area.
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March 06
Ever hear, "you get what you pay for"?  The only thing that matters is the price of the home.  Yours would fall 3-2.5%.

Why not offer a higher commission if under contract within "x" amount of time?

Good luck.
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March 06
A lot of agents are reluctant to discuss commission in public, Denver, and there aren't many agents who comment on these threads. My advice is to talk to a couple of agents locally and see what the "going rate" is, and match it.

All the best,
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March 06
 
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