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How do you get an agent to take a discount on the commission?

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July 30 2009 - Akron
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Commissions do have a degree of negotiation room.   You can propose a tiered structure such as:

6% if sold at or above full price with offer signed within 30 days.
5% if sold lower than asking price within 30 days.
5% if at full price more than 30 days.

Make an agent work for their commission.  Review their marketing plan, hold their feet to the fire. Interview them rigorously because this is a very highly paid employee.
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July 30 2009
Simple you ask them, commission is negotiable and it will vary from agent to agent. There are different factors why some of them charge differently but you can just ask.
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October 05 2010
Do you want an agent who takes a few pics of your house and throws it up on the MLS or do you want an agent who takes the time to market your home consistently while the home is on the market.  That may be the difference with the discounted rate.
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September 28 2010
If your Realtor is willing to negotiate on their commission ie success fee do you really want them representing you on your success fee???  Realtors really do work incredibly hard to earn a success fee and a good negotiator without extenuating circumstances probably will not reduce their fee nor will they be desperate enough for business to  feel the need to do so.

I would think you would want the strongest Realtor for the job of selling you home, a Realtor who reduces commission not only might not be careful with your money, they also probably do not have the money to spend on all of the greatest marketing tools.

Good luck with the sale of your home and I hope you find a GREAT Realtor who will do a full price job at full price!



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September 27 2010
Profile picture for the_country_hick
 Kimberly, " If the agent can't hold on to their own commission, do you want that agent representing you to get the highest price for your home on the most favorable terms?"

Actually, I do. That shows they understand that at times you have to give a little something up to make a deal happen. 

Would you refuse to give a little when that would make a deal fall apart that otherwise would have worked out?
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September 27 2010
Profile picture for Dunes....
I guess the Agents who won't discount their Commission don't sell Fannie Mae Homes..Don't they offer 5.5% to listing Agents?..Their site says that's what they offer..2.5% to Listing Agent 3% to Buyers Agent

How about REOs in General?
Do the Banks List them with Agents at 6%..
If they don't I guess we can assume you don't list them and never would (Gotta be consistent)

Does "You get what you Pay for" apply to all those in Foreclosure or attempting Loan Mods or just Real Estate Agents?

You should shop for an Agent by excluding all who charge less than you because they absolutely won't do as good a job as you.......

You are not Doctors or Lawyers, Period

Real Estate Agents Sell Services and Compete with each other for Business/Clients...Business is Slow, Agents aplenty

Justifying a Higher Commission with "You get what you Pay for" is just Lame IMO because it's a cliche not a Fact or an actual reason to Pay more...

As many have learned in a Devastating Financial way the last Few Years.."You do NOT always get what you paid for"




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September 27 2010
It's been said before - you get what you pay for.  If the agent can't hold on to their own commission, do you want that agent representing you to get the highest price for your home on the most favorable terms?

When hiring an agent, remember that when you ask them to cut their commission by 1%, that amounts to a 15-18% discount out of their pocket.  Is that how you select your doctor, dentist, or lawyer?

Look at your potential agent's track record - what is their average days on market compared to the MLS average.  How about their ratio of Sold Price to List Price - also compared to the MLS average.

Best of luck! Kim
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September 27 2010
Profile picture for hpvanc
At the risk of looking illogical by replying to a 15 month old thread.

I would suggest trying a little logic in a couple areas, I'm sure there are more areas to choose from as well.

1.     List the items involved in the sale, and which of those you are able and have time to do yourself, and ask that the commission be discounted on that basis.

2.    Agree to pay some or all of the marketing expenses in advance, and mitigate the risk to the agent.  The risk of not selling is priced into their commission rate, there is no reason that if you do your homework and price correctly for the market that you should have to share in paying for all of the risk of not selling associated with the people who do not price correctly for the market.  You will have to do some extra due diligence, and probably should pay for a real pre-sale appraisal and inspection, not just get a CMA.

3.    Find a logical agent.  Good luck on this one, but they are out there, in my opinion, you may have to find a part time agent whose primary job in not in the sales field.
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September 26 2010

In case any of you are interested in:
more of the same

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September 25 2010
If your agent takes the discount, they are probably not a good agent.  I don't take discounts because I work very hard for my sellers.  If there is a special circumstance I can see taking the discount to make a deal go through on a short sale or something.  Sometimes we don't have a choice when lenders and creditors are involved.  However to just take money out of your pocket so that someone can have more money in theirs after you have fulfilled your duties is not a smart business decision.  What if your boss said he was going to short your paycheck next week so that he could go see a concert with the money he saves?
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September 25 2010
some may argue drinks, with the drink. the best news is what I know,don't get into when you ask people to do something, what do you expect. a lot topics to debate. 
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September 25 2010
I'm not sure if you're trying to get an agent to lower their rate at listing or after a buyer has made an offer and you're in the negotiating process.  A lot of expenses go into the setting of commissions.  It's not only your personal listing agent that gets paid from the commission.  Half of it goes to the Buyer's Agent's firm and they pay the Buyer's Agent.  The other half goes to your listing agent's firm and their agency pays them.  So don't operate under the misconception that your agent or their agency get the entire commission - it's typically split in several directions.  So any time a commission is changed after an offer, both agencies and both agents have to agree, which could be construed as a "bait and switch" situation, which you don't want to get into.  At the listing appointment is the appropriate time to negotiate the commission.  Make sure your agent provides all the services needed for aggressively marketing your property.  If you're asking your agent to lower their commission once an offer has been made, I really don't understand why you would ask the person who has done what you asked (brought you a ready, willing and able buyer for your property) to then take less for it.  To give you a point of reference, let's switch the situation.  How would you like it if your agent said "well, now that I've found you a buyer, I'm going to 'up' my commission?"   You have an agreement.  Stand by it. 
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September 25 2010
Andmur,

Good Evening.

Most of the information given to you is solid. Commissions on the whole are not set in stone, in some cases they are set and that number is probably not going to be adjusted, however, when interviewing agents,
ask them what they are going to do for you and what you expect from
them. I have adjusted commissions for repeat clients, multi-buys and
explained hardship cases, but overall, my staff and I have a job to do,
give our clients a "quote" up front and expect to be "paid" when we
complete the transaction.

I hope that helps.

-Shawn
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September 19 2010
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
Negotiating a listing agreement is the same as any business transaction. If you want to pay a lower commission, make a compelling argument for the "why".

What services do you not need? If you believe the services are overpriced, support that belief with facts.

Also, be prepared to answer the "stock responses".
  - Higher Sales Price? Great! Establish a sliding scale, based on sale price. (Note: Adjust for higher prices that incorporate seller concessions).
  - Faster Sale? Great! Establish a sliding scale for time-on-market.
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September 19 2010
There are several legitimate ways but the first question may be why would you want an agent to take a discount? Often the answer is simply that you as a seller do want to pay that much. It is usually not that you really want to underpay someone.

A first thing you could consider is to use an agent who is NOT a full service agent. Most of them advertise and are easy to find. A good question then is what services are less than full service agents removing from their list of services? Then - would you want to try the selling process without the services that are not being offered?

Speaking for me only - will sometimes give a discount and full service if I list the property and also sell the property - getting both sides of the transaction.

Another situation is when I have a cascading list of sales from one party. For instance I may sell their old home; sell them a new house; and also sell 4 rental properties for the same family. 
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September 19 2010
I would NEVER lower my commission. You get what you pay for and we work 7 days a week to get deals put together and to stay together.
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September 18 2010
With this horrible market it hardly makes sense to try and get a commission reduction and here is the logic behind the statement. Using 7% as a hypothetical commission, half goes to the listing agent and half goes to the buyer agent. The listing agent puts out all the money up front and ongoing to market your home with no guarantee of a return (if the house does not sell and the listing expires, goodbye money). They do that because the risk/reward ratio is in favor of the agent. In other words, if the agent spends $1000 per home yet makes $ 7000 commission selling one home, if they sell 1 out of 7 (15%) they break even. Many agents will move 60-75% of the homes they list. A buyer agent, when looking through properties available to show will see their half listed in the Multiple Listing Service printouts. Question: YOU are the buyer agent and there are three very similar homes to show your buyer with co-brokes of 3.5%, 2.5% or 2%.......QUICK, which one do you HOPE your buyer likes best? The no brainer answer is 3.5%! SEE.....now you know the buyer is looking to you for your thoughts. in the case of a lakefront property you could comment "you can see the sunlight glimmering on the water and I bet the fishing is just great" (3.5%) OR " I wonder how many mosquitoes are breeding in there, where there is water there is snakes, 2 kinds of lakes in Florida: those with alligators and those that will have them" (2.5%). A buyer agent is SUPPOSED to be looking out for the best interests of the buyer, but often their own pockets dictate which homes get shown and which way the comments go.
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September 18 2010
A good listing agent understands that the seller wants to "trim the fat" from the listing fee. I have sometimes asked the seller which of my services he would like me to delete from my full list of marketing services to keep my success fee in line with his request.  Remember, a listing agent gets nothing if the property does not sell.  Buyers are not stupid and will not be interested in an inflated asking price.  Be smart and list the property at the correct price so it will sell quickly - and that saves additional mortgage payments for the months standing on the market at the wrong price!
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September 13 2010
This is a touchy subject for some agents, my personal experience with commissions is that a Discount in the commission will usually result in a Discount in service. If you find the right Realtor who has the experience, sales record and qualifications you are looking for it is best to pay the full 6%. From my experience by doing so will get the agent to market your property more aggresively and will get you top dollar for your property. Hope this helps, and of course there are always expections to this. Every case is unique.
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September 11 2010

Good agents are worth every penny of the commissions they earn.

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September 09 2010
It really depends on what the agent is offering you.

How will they be marketing your property?

Some companies charge small fees while others charge a little more. 

I know how I market my homes and I would expect to be paid what im asking.  Al ot of planning and money goes into marketing your home.  As agents we have up front costs to market your home whether it sells or not.  We lose this money if we do not get your home sold. 

Say your house sits on the market 120 days and your home sells for $100,000, average commission to your Realtor would be about $1800 after everyone else gets their cut of the commission.  So your Realtor worked their tail off for 120 days to make $1800.  Really not a lot of money if you think about it that way.  They put in hard work and many hours marketing your home. 

I know home owners dont like the commission rates but it is very expensive to market a home and get it sold as quickly as possible. About half the money you pay for commission will go strictly to marketing.  The commission pays for paper, ink, printing, signs, post cards, internet advertising, newspaper advertising, pictures, stamps, the many hours your Realtor will spend with you and your home, fliers, open houses, showings, Sunday showcase of home.etc.

If your agent is not willing to fight for their commission what would make them fight for the highest and best price for the sale of your home?
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September 08 2010
Profile picture for NiceRealtor
You did get what you pay for . This is especially important on the buyers side commission.

If you were an agent showing two similar homes and once paid you 3% and one paid you 2% which one would you show first?

I tend to offer more not less and I make more.
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September 05 2010
You get what you pay for.
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September 02 2010
Profile picture for Dunes....
So just to be Clear...RE Agents are saying Commissions are negotiable

BUT any one who takes a lesser Commission is Weak, obviously won't be good at negotiating in your best interest, Agents won't bring buyers to your property, it's a sign they are an inexperienced and desperate and several "You get what you pay for"..

So are we suggesting every Agent who charges more is a GOOD Agent and every Agent who charges less is a BAD Agent?
I'm a Good Agent because I charge more? lol

Absolutely Ridiculous and that Some Agents would think the public is so ignorant that they would buy into this type of logic may partially explain the image problem agents have with the Public..

"You get what you pay for"...A Stupid Cliche that's not always true as anyone with an ounce of sense knows...

"You do not always get what you pay for" is a Fact that many if not all are very much aware of
To suggest that All Agents who charge more are the cream of the crop or that that do not are lesser Agents offering lesser Services..
Pure BS.

 It is not the Public that needs to be Competitive to get an Agent it is the Agents who need to be competitive to get clients..Agents are selling Services and in competition with each other to get clients..

Pricing is a form of Competition and is EXACTLY why Commissions are Negotiable. Dept of Justice--Competition and Real Estate





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September 02 2010
Ask the agent and they'll probably ask you what part of their marketing plan you don't want him to do. Most client know it takes money to make money and a professional Realtor will spend money marketing your product. If your looking for a discount maybe the agent won't advertise your home and just put a sign out front. Or, maybe you should pay for all the advertising.....
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September 02 2010
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
"When I put one of my personal properties on the market to sell, I pay a higher commission than the going rate and I sell quicker for a higher price."

Show us.
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September 02 2010
Hire a weak agent.
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September 02 2010
OUCH! do you really want them to?...if the agent is quick to discount, how good are they going to be in negotiating for you best interest? 

And if your agreed upon commission means that the selling agent gets a smaller split, how much exposure will your property get?  Not as much as it could if you did not look for a discount.

Everyone knows what they are worth...and you get what you pay for.

When I put one of my personal properties on the market to sell, I pay a higher commission than the going rate and I sell quicker for a higher price.


Eve in Orlando
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September 02 2010
Everyone here has great input, I especially agree with Dave Griswold; however, one point of clarification should be made when discussing commissions, from both an agent's standpoint and a seller (principal).

From a seller's standpoint, resign yourself to pay a competitive commission (between 5-6%, though they are negotiable by law, as specifically stated in the C.A.R. LR)and simply wait to see what the agent you are comfortable with offers you in their presentation. Customarily don't even mention $$ until you've selected a qualified individual. Don't make make someone you want to represent your best interests negotiate against themselves, it could possibly come back and bite you later.

From an agent's standpoint, make sure you negotiate your commission upfront and never lead with a scenario like "Well, lets see what happens when an offer comes in." Additionally, I would never recommend lowering a commission to 'compel' the sale. Commissions are negotiated between the listing office and the seller. There is a reason why they're not outlined in purchase agreements but are referenced in outside addendums...

Just my thoughts...

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September 02 2010
The idea of lowering a commission isn't the best of ideas.  Usually the listing agent will just lower the amount that the buyers agent is receiving.  This tends to not service the seller well.  If two houses are listed with drastically different commissions, which one do you think they will show.  A good agent works hard at marketing your house.  Why would you want to pay them less for doing a good job?  If you don't want someone working hard, there are always flat fee companies out there.
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September 02 2010
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