Profile picture for audlucy

What is a fair percentage to offer a real estate agent for selling your home?

  • May 19 2010 - Kirkland
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Answers (16)

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Just further confirmation that 6% is standard here in our area (Kirkland)...3% to the listing office & 3% to the buyer's agent's office. I previewed several homes today, and one of them offered 2.5% to a buyer's agent (said they needed to do that to break even on the sale) and another home that was offering 4% to a buyer's agent (in hopes of a quick sale, I assume)...so it just depends on a number of factors.

That being said, it's always good to clarify with your agent what you're getting up front. I can use myself as an example...at 3%, I typically pay for professional photographs, signage, keybox, email/direct mail marketing, listing on websites, etc...
  • May 19 2010
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Profile picture for KarishmaKiri
There are various business models that exist and ultimately, it comes down to whether you believe your agent is a partner that is jointly focused on the bottom line for you, or do you feel they are a "line item." A true real estate partner will be there with you in the thick-and-thin and is driven to maximize value for you. I know that my viewpoint is that my professional real estate services should pay for themselves and then some. If i haven't added that incremental value, then I haven't done my job. And like you said as well, you do get what you paid for. 

Selling / buying a home is such an important decision so working with an agent that values your bottom line, who isn't afraid of protecting their own value, will also be the partner you need to protect your value. An agent that easily discounts could potentially ask you to discount your value to potential buyers. 
  • June 03
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The problem I have with the answers is the idea that you get what you pay for.  To some extent that is true, because a company that charges $500 to list isn't likely to give the same type of service as one that charges closer to six percent.  But just like any other profession, product or industry, paying more doesn't give any assurance at all of quality.
  • June 01
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All agents aren't Realtors®, as you know, Sunnyview, and I'd be a lot more worried about the FTC if so many other percentage-based professions didn't have a "typical" commission. I just came across this little factoid about Bank of America, http://nypost.com/2014/05/30/bank-of-america-scores-win-with-2b-clippers-sale/ "typically," "the sell-side investment bank gets 2 percent of the deal price, or $40 million in the case of the Clippers. Not bad for less than a week's work."
  • May 31
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"...most will say the standard is 3%"

Then perhaps those agents need a refresher course on the NAR recommendations about not violating anti trust laws. 

Specifically, "Be Careful In Your Statements To The Public - Do not make any statements to clients or the general public which imply that competing REALTORS®¨ have agreed upon commissions or other particular business practices. For example, do not attempt to justify a commission by stating that "this is what we all charge." Not only is such a statement clearly untrue, but it also incorrectly and unfairly implies to the public that REALTORS®¨ are violating the antitrust laws."

Sellers should seek value when they hire an agent. Poor service is never worth the cost no matter what the agreed commission.
  • May 31
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Profile picture for Brian Hopper
most will say the standard is 3%....and this is accurate, however, make sure your getting YOUR moneys worth!  Your 3% should get you:  professional photos, a true VIDEO of your home (not moving pictures but actual HD video by a videographer)  Staging, 4 page color flyers, and much more.

Dont settle for less.
  • May 31
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Profile picture for Jerlaff1
My office charges 6% to list a property.  Half of the 6% (i.e. 3%) is given to the buyer's agent.  But it is all negotiable.

Make sure you are working with a good realtor.  They should promise to update you multiple times per week, even if they have bad or no news to report.

Also ensure they are there for you at all times - when you call, text or email, they should respond ASAP.
  • May 20
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Profile picture for Brian Hopper
I agree with most of the agents.

Truth is you DO really get what you pay for.

Find out EVERYTHING your broker does before hiring them. 

Hire a broker who will b available for you, to ensure you get the most for your $$.
  • May 20
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Profile picture for Randy Mabry
Commission is negotioible.  I too think you will get what you pay for.  Talk to your agent and make sure he/she is going to be working this sale and if it soulds good, you will know.  If the agent cannot sell themselves, then they will have trouble selling your home.
  • May 24 2010
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Profile picture for al123456
Depends on the property, and the agent.

Some agents will take listings at a high price with a low commission rate, because frankly they do not care if the listing sells or not. They are looking at the business that will be driven just by having the listing.

I for one think 4-5% is "fair," while 6% is "nice." If you decide on 5%, I would argue with the listing agent to give 3% to the buyers agent, and keep 2% for himself.
  • May 20 2010
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Comission percentages are subject to negotiation without question. Of course you'll get what you pay for by way of exposure. Less comission may mean less marketing dollars hence, less exposure, less people viewing, fewer offers and after some time on the market, lower offers.

In New York (and elsewhere I'm would conjecture) there is no set limit of compemstion. In other words, there is no City or State law that sets compensation so 6%, 7%, 8% or more is not outside of the realm of possible compensation.  

Lastly, the concept of "a fair percentage..." is relative at best but mostly it's ambiguous.

  • May 19 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The going rate for a full service agent is about 6% (you may be able to negotiate 5%).   Is that fair?  I personally think it is highway robbery, but unless I'm willing to pay the market rate I would go FSBO.

  • May 19 2010
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Generally, 3% plus tax would be fair. There could be more to the question depending on a several issues. How much would you like to spend?
  • May 19 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
I'll suggest that it depends on the kind of service that you receive.  A listing agent should be able to outline those services for you.  When you put the outlines side by side, you should be able to make a comparison that presents a range for you to work with.
A commission that includes 3% for the listing company and 3% for the selling company is common, but negotiable.
If I can help you with a service plan, please let me know.
  • May 19 2010
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6% if you hire the Agent to list, market and sell your home, he/she will pay 3% to the Selling Office and keep 3%. If you're a FSBO and you're taking care of the marketing and your own representation and an Agent brings you a Buyer pay him/her 3%
  • May 19 2010
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Fair depends on what the realtors are charging that you are interviewing. Commissions are negotiable. Although generally speaking you get what you pay for. I'd be happy to speak with you anytime.
  • May 19 2010
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