Profile picture for lisa911332

Would an agent take only 2% or was my mom BS'd?

My parents want to sell their house but like everyone else these days, there isn't much equity there. Their neighbor down the road sold their house and told my mom that she only paid 2% commission. As in, her agent took 1% and their buyer's agent took 1%. She swears she didn't pay more than a total of 2% commission.
That doesn't make sense to me because I would think that agents lowering their commission like that would hurt all agents. 
But now my mom is convinced that she's going to ask this agent to take 2% and they'll say yes. They are putting their house on market next month so she's going to talk to the agent then. 
I want to save her the embarrassment of asking a ludicrous question. 
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March 06 2012 - US
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Answers (6)

you get what you pay for. I know that with a 2% commision to be split between a selling and buying agent 1% each.  I dont know any agents who would bother to show a house offering that with all the other homes on the marked.   The more you give the faster you will sell.
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March 07 2012
Profile picture for hpvanc
Don't worry about her embarrassing herself, commissions are supposed to be negotiable, and that is how you negotiate.  Asking for a lowered rate is no where near as embarrassing in my opinion as agents going around saying "you get what you pay for."   Maybe the neighbor found an efficient agent that sold to someone under a dual agency situation, if both parties are agreeable and the agent is meticulously ethical and treats the transaction as a professionally neutral mediation service it could be done very satisfactory manner that is mutually beneficial to the seller, buyer and agent.
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March 06 2012
Profile picture for lisa911332
Thanks for the quick responses. So I guess it is possible.
This house was sold last year and my mom doesn't remember who the agent was. But now she thinks that any agent she asks will take 2%.
I honestly thought her neighbor was bsing because you know how people are. Always want to brag about what a great deal they got. But I guess it's possible. I'll tell my mom to at least start with asking 4%. 
I don't see an agent doing much for work 2%. 
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March 06 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Perhaps your Mom ought to start with the agent that the neighbor down the road used.   2% is not likely, but there is no reason she can't negotiate the commission the agent initially proposes.

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March 06 2012
She can certainly ask them. You never know but I will tell you this, you get what you pay for. If the agents take a lower commissions, the level of service is usually effected. Also, the agents have a certain amount of liability in these transactions. If the commissions paid are very low, it might not be worth the risk to represent a seller. Commissions do effect the sell of a home. My company will not allow me to list a home with a lower commission that 3%. Lower commissions do in fact impact a sellers chance to sell it as with the amount of homes for sale right now, why would Realtors show a home where they are making so very little? If they can sell the home next door and make a 3% commssion, they will. Everyone is struggling in this market today.... Realtors included...just  thought.
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March 06 2012
Profile picture for SoCal Engr
It's not a ludicrous question, but there may be things to be on the lookout for. Depending on your relationship with your parents, you may want to help make sure things go well.

1.  Make sure of the actual splits. 1/1 sounds rather low, but...
2.  Make sure of the services provided. For 1%, I'd be interested in what the listing REA is actually going to do.
3.  If the neighbor is willing, take a look at their transaction. How many days on market? Was it really 1/1?

I have personal experience with REAs lowering their commission mid-sale to salvage a deal. However, I've not experienced a REA going into the listing like that.
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March 06 2012
 
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