Profile picture for user40844

We are ready to sell our house in a very hot seller's market. 3% listing fee is hard to justify.

Homes in our market (Bellevue, WA) are hard to find and the market is hot for sellers. Our home should sell in the neighborhood of 1.3M based on another home that sold in 4 days, at full price, few doors down from ours.  The listing agent did not need to spend much time or money marketing the home.  I don't mind giving the selling agent (or the listing agent) a fair commission, but it seems unnecessary in this market.  I am considering FSBO and offering the full 3% to the buyer's agent.

In my mind the perfect solution would be to offer the listing agent 1% and 3% to the buyer's agent.  If the home does not sell in 30 days bump the listing percent if the listing agent is willing to do additional marketing.

Comments appreciated.
  • March 31 - US
  • 2
    2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (11)

Profile picture for user40844
Thank you to all who have provided feedback on my post.  Clearly there are arguments and justifications on services and fees - and I do believe that they do (for the most part), go hand-in-hand.

I did not intend to dismiss the value of the services that listing agents provide. But that said, I believe that market conditions must play a important factor in the work involved with selling a home.

As an outsider looking at the business, it makes sense that a listing agent who works on selling a home for several months should be paid more than when buyers are lined-up and ready to purchase.  Certainly the longer it takes to sell, the more the listing agent is likely to spend on marketing and that should come into consideration in the fee.

For those agents that are representing buyers, I get it.  They spend long hours finding buyers, qualifying, showing and driving their clients to homes that are listed only to have the deal fall through.  No doubt an expensive and time consuming job.  
  • April 01
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Dunes ..
My opinion for what it's worth (and like some Agents ya might figure it's worth 0;)

A whole lot of Agents competing for business and only so many sales...
2%-3% of a million dollars is not chump change....get the property on the MLS & offer a fair % if the buyer has an agent. Anyone suggesting Buyers Agents are not going to be competing like crazy for the opportunity to actually make money from a million dollar sale is just bsing you

It's your business transaction....you know how informed you are about your market, your time, your abilities so be honest with yourself and do what is best for YOU

Whatever road you choose...best of luck with your business transaction

PS...
If you use Flat Fee to be listed on your local MLS OR Full Service Or what some call Discount (Lower listing %) according to the National Association of Realtors you will be "Agent-Assisted" and according to them those who are "Agent-Assisted" have better success selling and sell for more.....

The NAR has no data or statistics to support any claim Full-Service at a higher price gets better results than paying less (Discount) or using Flat Fee......
0...nada...none
If interested you can check out the data/statistics from the National Association of Realtors latest Survey/Report/Study.....2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers
  • April 01
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

user40844: Rather than going the risky "by owner" route or wasting time interviewing many agents at random, just post here that you want to hire a local, full-service professional Realtor in Bellevue, WA for a total 3% commission, with 1% being paid to the listing Realtor and 2% paid to the selling Realtor (the one who brings the buyer). Then interview the Realtors who respond here that they will accept your terms.
 
You should examine how well those Realtors advertise their listings on Zillow before contacting them for an interview. Make sure they are "full service" Realtors and are active in your zip code.
You should specify that you do not want to hear at all from real estate agents trying to muddy the waters (and trying to discourage others from responding favorably) by saying you get what you pay for or would you hire a discounted brain surgeon.
 
You can prepare for listing your house by obtaining a professional appraisal and by hiring a professional photographer. A house inspector can make sure all repairs are taken care of in advance.
  • April 01
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for sunnyview
I think that you should interview listing agents and choose one to hire if your FSBO is not successful, but I would not offer the 1/3 split that you are thinking about. Instead, I would have good photos shot, pay a flat fee agency to put your home on the MLS and offer 3% to buyers agents only.

Strattling is unlikely to get you more buyers and you might be better off just offering the full 4% you are thinking about to the buyer agent if you feel capable of handling the showings and negotiation yourself. if it doesn't work you can always sign with your chosen listing agent.

I would make sure that the house is ready to put on the market, clean as can be and priced right based on recent sales and comps. If you are not sure about pricing, you can ask several listing agents what they would suggest as a price when you are doing your interviewing. 

Just remember often the agent who promises the highest price may attempting to "buy the listing" so you need to really look at the comps and market times they provide in their CMA.

 
  • April 01
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Do you pay your doctor $5 when you go into his office and he only sees you for 5 minutes?

If you don't need a REALTOR don't hire one.  

I am tempted to re-wright the story "A Tale of Two Bobs" who both thought they were out doing me.  

Bob 1 saved $13,000 his way but it cost him another $11,000 ( I sold his neighbors house that same month and the houses were identical so I know the true numbers.  I had known Bob 1 almost 30 years.)
Bob 1 used a discount broker who knew what his service was worth.

Bob 2 did FSBO.  Took him 3 years!   I listed the house next door and sold it in 5 weeks.   Bob 2's  house was newer, had a beautiful large lanai and approx. 500 sq. ft. of additional living space -  but he ended up selling for almost $30,000 less!   He sure showed me!  (I used to live right across the street from both of them for 15 years)

  • April 01
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Every real estate transaction is negotiable. You get what you pay for. 
 
What you missed is what that agent did to get the home 'On' the market, the pre marketing. That home may have been sold by the agent prior to it hitting the market because the agent talked it up....telling agents she had a home coming on the market, (not as a pocket listing- just generally letting people know she had something in that area, etc.)
If the sellers had a larger firm representing them, the agent may have targeted other agents within that firm who had solid buyers.....and perhaps she reached out to agents in other firms that she had a relationship with. 
That agent also spent hours at the home working  working with a stager, the home sellers to get them organized, getting it measured, photographed, floors plans made, brochures printed etc to make sure the sellers received top dollar. You don't know what went on behind the scenes, all you saw was what happened when the curtain went up. Don't discount the magic of what a great agent does to get a home sold.
  • April 01
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

You should pay what you want to pay, just don't expect every agent to agree.

In the slow market, people said, "I'm losing money, I don't want to pay so much for commissions;" in the fast market, people say, "it's so easy to sell, I don't want to pay so much for commissions."

The simple answer: don't. Just don't be surprised when you interview potential listing brokers and they elect not to take you up on your offer.

To my mind, value is more important than price, but I concede that it is easier to determine price than value.

All the best,
  • April 01
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Commissions are negotiable, however, most experienced realtors will not because they know their value. Usually, the ones that will take less are far less experienced and likely not to have the full experience that you will likely want to have.  There is much work done by a listing agent.  Plus you use their services, paid for by fees and dues to get your home listed on the MLS. The MLS used exclusively by agents is the only currentl accurate information about homes for sale.  The listing agents broker then permits the home information to be syndicated to other websites, i.e., Zillow.  Not only does your agent take pictures, recommend preparations to get your house ready, including showing, staging, safety, seller protection, give accurate current market pricing information, but they have expertise and allow your home to be shown safely.  Via the MLS, buyers' licensed agents will be the ones showing the home,  via the lockbox, (also paid for by the agent through dues and fees) which records the entry by whom and what date and time.  Otherwise, somebody knocks on the door, and just comes into your home?  Once buyers make an offer, there is negotiating to be done.  People do get angry when the negotiation doesn't go their way.  Believe me, it is good to have neutral parties doing the talking for you.  Do you want to deal directly with an unhappy buyer that you have just turned down?  What about the forms that address what is to be done and not to be done, and deadlines that are to be coordinated and managed?   Who normally pays for this or that?  What do you do if the buyer fails to live up to the contract? Your agent will be working for you throughout the entire contract through closing, usually a minimum of a month. What if the buyer or seller must lease the property because closing dates didn't line up? There is far more to consider than putting a sign in the yard. I suggest you think about all of the above.
  • March 31
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Dan Tabit's response below speaks volumes. Don't step over dollars for dimes. Think of a time you tried saving money on a purchase and recall how it worked out for you (TV's, appliances, etc.). We've all been there...now consider this could be your largest investment. My broker always says if you needed to hire an attorney for your child, whom you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt was innocent, would you try to go for the least expensive? A good agent who earns their 3% (as the listing agent) will know exactly how to handle the hot market so you can completely maximize what's going on in your area and more than likely net you more than the 1-2% difference by creating pent up demand, handling counter offers, etc. Also, that agent will also advise you and keep you out of hot water after the sale takes place with their knowledge of contracts, disclosures, home warranties, etc. Hope this helps and best of luck!
  • March 31
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
Commissions are negotiable, so start interviewing agents.   I'm not an agent, but suspect that the bulk of the work comes in two components:  preparing for the home to be on the market (advertising, contracts etc) and then after the purchase offer comes in (negotiation and navigating from offer to closing). `  If that is the case,  how much difference do you think there is in effort between a four day list to offer vs a 100 day list to offer?      Perhaps an approach opposite to what you are proposing would be more effective, sweeten the pot for a fast offer/close, so you can save months of expenses.

If you chose to go FSBO, which is perfectly acceptable, line up an attorney for the contractual components and plan on a lot of time related to showing, and opening for inspectors, appraisers etc.


  • March 31
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Dan Tabit

I know it seems easy, but trust me doing the right marketing, sorting through the details of what will hopefully be multiple offers, making certain that the "preapproval letters" really mean something, sorting through the process of inspections, appraisals, escrow and everything is where you don't want to settle for just anyone.  There are many agents and companies that advertise low commission rates, there are many agents who charge higher commission rates and you are right, they may not be worth any of it. 
My consistent advice here and on other sites is to focus on the quality, experience and skill of a great agent/broker.  A great agent is worth more than whatever commission you pay, but a bad one can cost you more than just a commission.  You can shop, just don't assume that because agent B charges less than Agent A that they are necessarily a bargain. 
My father had a sign in his business that came from my Grandfather,  and now my brother and nephew run the store, it says, "The bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."  The key here, is at whatever price you pay, make certain they are true professionals worth their fee.  I'd love to be considered. 

  • March 31
  • 2Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.