Profile picture for SoCal Engr

Why do Realtors® insist on providing "average" or "normal" commission information?

It seems that the topic of "normal", "average", or "customary" commissions and the Sherman Act would be part of RE101. However, REAs insist on providing this type of information - even when there are posts from other REAs that directly reference the Sherman Act.

In my casual reading about this, a REA is allowed to say "this is what I charge", but is not allowed to say "this is what is normal", "this is what is customary", etc. (i.e., nothing to imply that there is a "standard"/"normal" commission structure across the RE domain.

As a consumer, it really makes me wonder about the intelligence of those who persist in playing with this topic, especially when it is actually possible to respond in a way that provides information but doesn't play semantic-games with the Sherman Act.

And, fair or not, questions about the intelligence of individual REAs will extend to the REA community as a whole.
  • November 16 2012 - US
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for Connie Klemme
Nazar...i would completely disagree with you on that.  As professionals we should be insulted when any colleague demostrate ignorance of the law and mispresent us in general when they do things like suggest there is a norm for some areas and a different norm for some other.  This is information that they should have learned prior to getting a license and really shouldn't need reminding of ever, so when they do it despite having a gentle reminder right in front of them, it's more than embarrassing to the profession.   No such norm exists anywhere, and if it does and it's not by happenstance it is against the law.  It's a good idea to read the law.  It's not vague about what to say and not what to say and what to do and not to do etc.
  • November 16 2012
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Saying something is the "Norm"  isn't the best idea, but I wouldn't insult an agent's intelligence for using such verbiage.   I do agree that it shouldn't be used.  However, 6% is the norm for some area and 4% is the norm in others etc...  On the very listing agreement that a home seller signs, it clearly  states that commission is completely negotiable. 
  • November 16 2012
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I hear that.  When clients ask me what other Realtors charge, I tell them that they are free to negotiate if they feel my commission is too high, or that they can interview other agents to find out what they are charging for their services

To date, I have only lost 1 listing with this approach.  Most don't mind paying what I charge for the services that I provide.

I have to agree though that most Realtors have traditionally not been your "best and brightest" lol.  If they were to require a 4 year degree from an accredited institution to apply for a license, imagine how quickly the industry would change...

Best wishes from So-Cal and good luck
  • November 16 2012
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It is a part of RE 101.

So I can't explain why some agents answer the question the way they do. Your explanation is the only reasonable one. And yes, sadly, anything ONE says or does is a bad reflection on ALL. 

Simply put, commission is negotiable. 
  • November 16 2012
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