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Stu, Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

Buying agent commission

Asked by Stu, Seattle, WA Wed Jun 23, 2010

Normally, the buying agent/broker gets 3%. However, I know that number is determined seller.

Question to all you agents...
Would you not show a house if the commission is to low?

Also, what would you consider to be too low? 1%?, 0.5%?

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Answers

196
Wow, I can not believe what I am reading here. I have sold Million dollar homes and I have sold 50,000 condos, I consider myself an experienced full time agent and I am licensed in two states. If I judged the showing of a home to a buyer by the amount of commission I will or will not make, shame on me.
@ Patrick, How in the heck can you assume that because the seller has a low commission on the house that he will be difficult to deal with. What if I list a house with my sweet great aunt Millie and I decide she needs a break and will lower the commission. You could be losing out on the best kept house on the block but you won't show it to a buyer because of your greed. All I can say is that is a bad attitude. That one house with a small commission can turn into some large sales.
I have to leave now and show a homes to a buyer.

Good luck
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
- Agents who tell clients that it is are unethical and liars. That is a fact.

Are it, now?

- On a real estate forum agents should be held- to a higher standard regarding how they deal with the general public.

By whom, Joan, by whom? Should the State Licensing Department have a Real Estate Blog watchdog?

Everybody doesn't like real estate agents, which is fine; everybody doesn't like architects or contractors or developers, the last two subject to more general castigation than real estate agents. So for someone to write, "As a developer, I think real estate agents should be happy with whatever co-brokerage is offered," carries about as much weight in our lives as a fan behind the plate has on an umpire's decision.

The important thing for sellers to determine is this: are they getting value for their money. If they are, good; if not, they shouldn't spend it.

Percentage-based commissions are not limited to the real estate business, BTW. Auction houses charge a piece of the action; last I looked, I think Christie's took 25% from the seller on a piece under $50K, and 15% over that - and then nabbed the buyer for an additional 10 or 15%.

Many contractors mark up materials, too, on a - surprise - percentage basis.

C'est la vie.

Anyway, Stu didn't ask what a perfect world looked like, he asked if we would not show a house if the commission is too low.

I, for one, wouldn't call up one of my uncommitted "C" buyers if the commission was too low.

What do you think of that?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
This is just an endless conversation! I think what we're talking about here is a seller who wants to be FSBO but maybe realizes that won't work so well and now is trying to figure out a way to sell and not pay a full commission. Maybe there's a reason for that--Maybe he paid too much or took out too many equity loans, who knows--None of my beeswax. The point is that his question has been answered ad naseum.

If you can't afford to hire an agent and your house isn't selling because you owe too much on it, maybe you should think about a short sale. If that's not the case and you don't think an agent is worth what they cost, then I suggest you sell it your self. I'm not a public utility and as such am not obligated to provide my services for free.

To answer your question--If you want to find out if that's too low--Try it and see :)

There--DONE.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 26, 2010
Ardell, if nothing else, you are certainly verbose.

I, however, will be succinct - the anti trust laws apply to all of us - whether we are in little Livingston, NJ, or big, cutting edge Seattle, WA
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
Dunes,
In Washington State, where this question originated not all agents are Realtors. Here you can work for an office which elects not to be a member of the NAR and we are required only to join our Multiple Listing Service.
A code is like a law, it may or may not be enforced across the board evenly and if the violation is done without being apparent, who would know to report it? The fact that listing A with a 1% selling office commission isn't getting shown as often as the neighbors listing with a 3% commission could be because of the paint color, marketing material or any other number of credible reasons beside the commission difference, but you can never know for sure.
A few years back I took over an expired listing that had been offering 2.5% selling office commission in an area where most of the competing properties were at 3%. I did a better job of staging and marketing the home but we also addressed the commission issue too. I had multiple offers within a few days and it sold for 103% of list price. Was it the staging, the clean up, better marketing and photos or the commission that got it sold? No one knows, but the results were all that mattered to my seller.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Craig,
Thanks for the comment. I want to be honest in my information here. Many agents will say in this public forum that they wouldn't consider not showing it, that's great. I've shown and sold many homes without paying attention to what the SOC offered is as well. Unfortunately we live in a less than perfect world where the most qualified and interested buyer may not be working with an agent who adheres to or may not be bound to the Realtor's Code of Ethics.
My advice for Stu is to make every aspect of the property as appealing as possible to buyers and agents who may or may not send it to their clients for consideration and may not have a buyer’s agency agreement protecting their commissions.
Home selling is competitive and buyers and agents have choices where they look. My simple advice is be competitive to win.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
I guess I just always figured and put into practice with my own listings, if and when I ever took the listing at a discount that the discount came off of my commission. Why should I ask another agent who brought the buyer to take a discount? It's not their fault that I agreed to take less money. In my opinion, anything less than 2% is too low. I'm not saying that I wouldn't show a property with a less than desirable commission schedule, but in that situation, I couldn't get excited about taking my clients to see it.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
In theory, a buyers agent should show any home that meets their clients needs so the commission shouldn't be a factor in what in agent shows. In practice, the average agent does roughly 4-5 transactions per year and they obviously will look at the commission because 1/5 of their income is dependent on this client! Typically agents wills show listings that have the higher commission first and then show listings with the lower commissions.

As per too low...lets be realistic here, when industry norm is 6%, each agent getting 3% it is really an insult to have a seller offer less than 1.5% to a buyers agent. At that level it almost isn't worth entering in the transaction as an agent as your $'s per hour can drop below the average wage of a Mcdonalds worker depending on the difficulty of the transaction. In my experience sellers offering that low of a commission are just looking to save money and usually do the same with their lawyer etc... which makes the transaction even more complicated which takes more time for the agent who is earning that low commission...nothing but trouble!


From a sellers perspective, i know you want to save money but keep this all in mind when negotiating on that commission...and one more piece of info for thought...a really good agent will spend 1% of his 3% commission on marketing for you property, the other 2% remaining gets split between him and the office. So if you demand to list you house at 4% vs 6%, where do you think the cut backs will be made? IN THE MARKETING! Your shooting yourself in the foot!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
All agents learn pretty quick which companies and which agents treat other agents with fairness and respect and which companies and agents do not.

It is not that far out of someones mind when they are scanning through listings and see that name whether they are skipping over it, or checking the button to include it in their search.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
No matter how you slice it, if you take a listing and you offer a buyer agent a fee in the MLS that is less than what is "average" in your particular area, you are hurting your seller, you are limiting the amount of potential buyers that will see that house and therefore limiting the ability to sell that house. These facts directly lead to a longer seller time and possibly not as great of a sales price if you had more buyers interested. So whether you took the listing at a low percentage and have to split at a low percentage or are being greedy and keeping 60-70 or 80% of thecommission yourself, you have not provided the service you should have to that seller.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 4, 2010
@ Pamela: If you decide to give your "sweet aunt Millie" a "break" and lower the commission--Why don't you instead do her a favor and lower YOUR side of the commission. She can still pay the buyer's agent and you can feel good knowing you worked at a discount. For instance: I just sold my uncle's house--And yes, we paid 3% to the buyer's agent.

I just love the listing agents who discount their commission in order to "buy" a listing, but then expect the future buyer's agent to share in that discount. YOU took the listing for 4% because you didn't think they'd hire you if you asked for more...And now you want to do a 2/2 split. You're greedy, but you're also doing your client a disservice AND you're selfishly trying to take money out of the buyer's agent. Real Nice. If I take a listing at 4%, I STILL pay out 3%.

Yes, I understand that EACH TRANSACTION is DIFFERENT. Before some of you start acting shocked and attacking me, you should know that once in a while I actually work for nothing or close to it--Sometimes a particular transaction warrants this. But if you want to attract Buyers--You make your property attractive to buyers--And their agents.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 4, 2010
I’ve been in Sales of various types for nearly 30 years in different industries and in Real Estate for the past 10. The one constant across the decades the different products and services is what it takes to satisfy a client. Those who see value in what I have to offer are the happiest. The focus must be on what is in it for the client. When the focus is on my pay check or anyone else’s, clients will always feel they were taken advantage of.
No matter the commission or the price someone will always do it for less. Will they do a better job, provide a better level of service, be there when things get rough and troubleshoot the difficulties which invariably occur whenever human beings are involved and if necessary make things right? Maybe, or maybe not.
I’m grateful to be in a competitive field where I can bring my knowledge and experience to the table, to anticipate and react to different circumstances and bring value to a transaction.
The reason the commission question is ever asked is because some agents have not “earned” what they were paid and the client was left dissatisfied. If you expect a bad meal from a restaurant, you don’t want to compound the matter by paying full price. But when you have a great experience, your goals were met and or exceeded and any surprises that developed along the way were handled with professionalism and integrity, you forget about the bill and remember the experience.
We are all entitled to run our own business in the way that is consistent with our values. If you are a full service, full commission agent your clients better be treated well or you’ll never see them again. If you are a rebate or discount broker, you better properly prepare your client for what they are getting for their money or they too will be dissatisfied and never provide a referral.
There are some very good agents in this forum, but there are also some who may not be. Trulia’s standards to post as an agent are not strict and they do not warrant our work product. For the clients reading these posts, remember full price agents do not always mean full service or experience. Discount and rebate companies are not all good or bad either. Interview us as if you were going to trust us with $500,000 or more of your hard earned money, because you are. Get past the hype, slogans and self promotion and figure out who you are willing to trust with this awesome responsibility, because when it’s all done, you will be living with the result.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
Steven wrote: "I have seen far more SOCs at 2% than at 3%. Yet all you agents are on this site telling potential clients that 3% is the standard amount. "

You really lose credibility making claims like that. I've not seen a 2% commission in a long time, but 3% is clearly more common than 2.5% in most areas. I just did a search of $1,000,000+ homes selling in the Queen Anne area since the first of the year. The lowest SOC was 2.5%. 11 of 21 were 2.5%, and again that is for over 1M. Under 1M the percentages of 2.5 are probably much lower (but the number of listings much higher, so I haven't counted them).

On the active side, the low was again 2.5%, but roughly 37 out of 55 were 2.5%. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that they aren't selling because of the 2.5%. Other factors could be at work, like a seller concerned about a half percent commission over-pricing their house by 5%.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
Perhaps I am wrong to continue this conversation at this time, but its hard to read Steven's comments and not react.
As Alan stated there is no "overwhelming outcry in this forum is that any seller would be stupid to offer less than 3% to the buyer's agent" although that number may have been mentioned because most agents know discussion of specific commission amounts in a public forum is a big no-no.
I am going to repeat what I stated in a prior post:

Stu, summing up all the answers: should agents show or not show a house based on commission? Absolutely not. Do they? Obviously some do.
But even more pertinent (I think) is what is fair compensation to a buyer's agent? .5% split in half (at least in my case) with a broker comes to .25% gross(before taxes, expenses, blah, blah, blah). A few hundred dollars for what may be months (or more) of work frankly sucks. So, if you are a seller, do what is right for you by realizing that realistically speaking, you need to pay a competitive commission but also do what is right for the agent who needs to be fairly compensated.

Now, as you stated, a lot depends on the price of the home. I am in absolute agreement that 1% on a $720,000 property is substantial enough compensation. Stu hasn't made clear the price of his home. Maybe knowing that would change up the answers some.

However you made some generalizations that in all honesty weren't fair. Make sure you read ALL answers before making your reply. It may be time-consuming and tedious but then you can give a reply that is based on more accurate information about what you read.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
If you as an agent are representing a buyer, commission should not be the reason you don't show a home. Your obligation is to the buyer not yourself.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
If we all collude to charge 50% more...someone will nail us. But if we all collude to charge 50% less, someone will thank us.
~~~~~
Don't forget to make that statement, when the DOJ knocks on your door. I'm sure they'll find that argument persuasive.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Stu:

There is no norm for Realtor commissions. It is against the law. That said, I would not list a home where the owner is not willing to pay a reasonable commission, because of the cost involved in marketing a home.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
So, Joan, that works fine for agents that are actively working with buyers in a full-service model.

What I'd like for the General Public to understand, it this is only a subset of the entire marketplace.

Seller's can't rely on the Joan Braunschweiger's of the market to bring buyers to their properties, they have to also appeal to the agents who are not providing full - or any - service to their clients, except on a transactional basis. The agents who see a nicely priced property come up and start dialing their Roladex, trying to make something happen. Agents working with relocation buyers, where they only have one weekend to show houses and figure, why show this low-paying pooch?

I want people to understand that real estate services are not a public utility, and that buyers and sellers do need to choose carefully, and understand what their agents will and will not do for them.

Not every buyer signs up for full service, and not every seller is serious about co-brokerage. The lower the co-brokerage, the less likely the property is to be co-brokered.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
I 100% agree with Dan below! Well said!!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Stu -- I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that the vast majority of answers will indicate that an agent would show the house, assuming it fit the client's criteria, regardless of a significantly lower buyer's agent commission. To answer otherwise really undercuts the entire "buyer's agent" model on which the modern brokerage system is based. Agents sell themselves as representatives of the buyer who are looking out for the buyer's best interests. That is hardly consistent with limiting the choices available to the buyer (by not showing low SOC homes) based entirely on the agent's own self-interest.

That said, hats off to Dan for pulling the curtain back a bit to show -- at least implicitly -- what happens in reality: Buyer agents will not show your house -- at least not without a specific request from the client -- if you offer a less-than-typical commission. As Dan astutely notes, why would an agent encourage a client to buy a house if that transaction nets the agent about 1/6th the fee (.5% vs. 3%)? Agents would not, and typically do not, show the home with that sort of commission.

On the other hand, about 3/4 of buyers find their own home using the internet. For those buyers, I would hope that, when requested to show the particular property, the agent would do so -- although I am sure some agents would try and get out of doing even that (hey, who wants an 83% pay cut?).

The bottom line is that, under the current system, the old adage "In for a dime, in for a dollar" adage holds true. To have the best chance at selling the house, you need to offer at least 2.5% At least until the system evolves such that buyer's pay buyer's agent fees.
Web Reference: http://walawrealty.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
I may just be speaking for myself, but I pay no attention at all to the cooperative commission offered in the MLS. I do a search for properties that meet my clients criteria (number of bedrooms, baths, style, location, schools, etc..) and if your home fits the clients needs, I send it to them.

If they want to see it, I show it to them.

I don't look at the co-op commission, until after we've written the offer. It is against the code of ethics that Realtors must agree to, to put the Realtor's needs ahead of those of the client. And showing (or not showing) homes based on the co-op commission is a direct violation.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Everyone automatically assumes that a Buyers Agent gets 3%, but in today's market this is often not the case. Most Short Sales offer reduced commissions (2.5%, 2.0%) and many Bank Owned are now also reducing commissions as well. In addition many agents are on a split with their Broker so they receive even less.

I think most agents want to get the Buyer into a good home and worry first about completing the sale. I lose enough sleep worrying about all the things that can screw up a transaction without worrying about a commission reduction.

As the song says; "You never count your money while sitting at the table. There will be time enough for counting when the dealing is done."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Stu,
Each agent has to answer for themselves, but let's turn it around and ask you. If you were working hard to make a living as an agent and 10 homes appeared to meet your buyer’s criteria, 9 of which offered 3% selling office commission and one offered 1/3, 2/3rds or even less commission, which would you pick to show your clients?
You are competing with other properties, most of which will offer a 3% commission. Further, with some limited service and rebate companies, you are removing the incentive the buyers are seeking in using them. If there isn't an adequate commission to rebate, they either don't show the homes or don't have any commission to rebate if they do.
I strongly advise my sellers to do everything to motivate buyers and buyer’s agent to show and sell their homes. Cleaning, decluttering, staging, making showings easy and selling profitable only makes sense.
There are homes with reduced selling office commissions which sell, however unless the selling price is radically below market or the home is exceptional most of these languish for extended periods of time. This nearly always results in a lower net to your pocket.
Your best bet in my opinion is to take the focus off the commission and hire the most qualified representation you can to maximize the value of your home. Knowing how to prepare, market, negotiate and anticipate are key skills you need in an agent to achieve what I suspect you are looking for, the best bottom line on your sale.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
When you are HIRED as a Buyer Representative, your job is to assist the buyer in home selection. If the commission is not what you and your buyer client have agreed upon, you present the homeowner with your additional fee similar to a sellers concession. Your job is to get the home for the buyer, NOT only show them the juicy commission listings.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 5, 2010
It is better to be employed than not. The arrangement with the buyer to find a home in his price range and buying it for a price intended is the bottom line. Performing within this agreement for a fee is bilateral.
No surprises just deliver and get paid.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 4, 2010
I agree with you Carl, except that the percentage of commission offered on a particular property should NOT be the criteria.
Its always a good thing to sit down with buyers and have a face to face meeting before going out anywhere to try to answer some of the questions you brought up.
Doing a great job for buyers, regardless of the initial payoff, would hopefully lead to more business in the future through referrals. If buyers know that you are looking out for THEIR best interests, not just what is in it for us, that makes a good impression, correct? Conversely, if buyers see that you are avoiding certain properties and they ask why and you tell them those aren't worth my time, what kind of impression are you making?
So, the way I see it, putting the buyers' needs before our own, if it really comes down to that, comes back to us in a positive way. Maybe its just good karma.

Scott, I liked your answer but presently we don't use buyer broker contracts so I'm afraid we are still at the whims of whatever happens. To be fair, I've never seen anything less than 2% but I haven't been in the business that long.

Betsy, no agent I know works for free. My issue that I have repeatedly brought up (ad nauseum at this point, sorry) is that the above question regarding how low is too low would be dependent on how much the house is listed for.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
@Carl, that is when becoming a "Question Master" is the best thing. If you don't ask those important questions you are wasting time and time is valuable especially when it comes to making money in this profession. If a buyer wants me to show them a house the first thing I ask is have they spoken to a mortgage person. If not I get them on the phone with the person I work with. Also, have they signed any agreement with another agent. I don't want to waste their time either. So in reference to the question above, one would have to assume you have already qualified them and found out their criteria for a home. Then yes, I would show then any house that fits their needs. My license doesn't say chauffeur on it. :)

Have a great 4th everyone! */%#!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
The toughest thing in being a RE agent is dealing with the dilemma of time. Show everything, do everything or decide not to waste time on some things because the odds are against it being productive. Everyday many times a day, an agent has to decide whether to jump in a car and show a house on the hope that it will be productive use of time. Efforts to determine enough info to make the best decision is always the challenge. We don;t know the client, their motivation, their ability to perform, whether they are serious, curious, killing time before another event. Anyone who operates on the basis of being a door opener and chauffer only, is not being wise. "I show everything to anyone who wants to see it," is too common and too sad.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
From what I can discern from some answers, some agents are willing to give away their time and services and I commend them for their generosity. Most agents I know are professional and sell properties to earn a living. Bottom line is, any listing agent who doesn't split the commission at a minimum equally with the buyers' agent is working for his/her self more so than for the seller client. If asked if you could earn twice as much working at desk A versus working at desk B even though the job description was identical, most job applicants would choose desk A unless they were independantly wealthy and were working merely to pass the time. Sellers would be wise to make certain that the buyers' agents would be rewarded for selling their
property,specially in a competitive market.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
If you take 2 houses, exactly the same style, size, condition, bedrooms, same neighborhood, similar price and one is offering 1.5 and the other 3. a buyer broker that knows he has a buyer looking in that area, that price range, which listing are they going to send to the buyer first?

Fortanately most buyer brokers have a contract with the buyer, in that contract the buyer agrees to pay the buyer broker say 2.5 for their services. The agent goes over the contraact with teh buyer, expains it to the buyer and lets them know how commissions are split as part of going over agency disclosure, that buyer can say they still want to see fsbos per say that are offering 0 for buyer brokers and the buyer will pay the 2.5 as contracted. If on any house the listing broker is only offering say 1.5 under that contract the buyer would pay the 1 to the buyer agent to fullfill their contract, The buyer can also say they are not comfortable or have no ability to pay anything extra to the buyer agent, only show me homes that the listing agent covers your fee.

So most buyer agent contracts cover this problem eliminating the need for that agent to stay away from homes offering a low cobroke or can create a situation where the buyer agent doesnt give the info to the buyer because the buyer can not or will not pay the extra buyer broker fee.

The bottomline is that offering the low amount can hurt you by keeping buyers away whether deliberatley or undeliberately. Whether or right, wrong, moral or immoral it happens in this workld and hurts the seller in the end.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
In a perfect world, the answer is that an agent should show ANY HOME no matter what the commission offered.

In the real world, agents do discriminate based on commission offered. I am in a small rural area, and I listed a $15,000 home (yes it is move in ready). Another agent called to show it and outright asked, "What is the commission offered to me and it had better not be 3%."

That kind of agent is NOT one I would ever want working for me. So it happens. But it is not supposed to.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Hi.
once securing an exclusive representaion contract with the buyer, I would show all properties that fit into the buyers need, regardless of %. In California % commission is always negotiable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
It would be unethical to not show a house based upon paying commision. It's important to point out that agents are operating a business under a business. Contrary to some agents opinions I track my hours spent with a client to ensure I am maximizing both the clients time and mine. At the time a client and I mutually agree to work together I will have an employment agreement drafted outlining any costs a buyer may be required to pay me in the event of default, or shortfall of commission. This is upfront, honest and necessary in an environment where REO and shorts sales are prevelant. The agreement eliminates the uncomfortable situation of commision reduction issues related to leveraged properties. It also eliminates any concern of not showing a property. Realtors are practioners of real estate. Dr's and Attorneys are the only other professions that follow a code of ethics like Realtors. So I ask you would you go to a hospital and ask your surgeon for a 10% discount on a heart transplant? Or an Attorney to give you a discount on a litigation case. Commision rates are negotiable and I do charge an hourly rate depending on the clients needs. A Realtor does not just sell homes and build relationships they are also business owners and employers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
In this economy the hardest job is not finding a buyer, it is keeping that sale together so it closes. The buyer and teh seller do not see the work that is put in behind the scenes. if i have done my job a great manner, they will never see it becuase i have taken care of everything.

Dan selling a home is mor ethan just 3 hours in a car looking at properties and finding one a buyer likes. once they find that house that is the easiest part. Assisting them with their preapproval, Writing the offer, negotiating the offer, getting documents to the mortgage company, attending the home inspection, negotiating the results of the home inspection, getting mor einformation to teh bank, attending the appraisal, getting comps for the appraiser, getting more paperwork to the mortgage company.

Now that is with things going well, putting out the fires in between adds tiem and stress. this is not a physical job but a mental job, it can be very stressful but very rewarding.

I am lucky that the majority of my business is listing homes, i work with sellers more than i do buyers. So when i do work with a buyer as their agent i can see the other side as i know the listing part of it very well and can guage the amount of work a listing agent puts in and the amount of work a buyer agents needs to put in to get a deal, keep the deal together and close the deal.

You can not get involved with any deal, no matter if 50k or 1 million and say that will only take 3 hours, 4 days or 2 months and this is what i will charge. You never know how long it will take until the time as wizzed by you and teh deal is done and you are looking back thinking where did time go or i cant believe this took 3 moinths.

You get what is offered, a good buyer agent asks the listing agent BEFORE even showing the property if they split 50/50. If they say no, it is negotiated before showing, not after and certainly not after writing an offer. With the good comes the bad, as with high comes low and hot comes cold, in the end they all balance each other out.

If you have been a Realtor for a long time and you love your job, like i do... you are not worried about pinching commission but making the buyers and sellers happy enough they will refer you to their friends, family and coworkers. Taking a little less here pays off over there by the new customers you have earned for life.

if you need to figure out how much you earned hourly on a deal becuase you had to cut your commission, you are probabily in the worng business.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Real estate services are a professional service, not a public utility. Brokers get to choose the financial terms under which they're willing to provide services.

I would not take a listing where I didn't feel adequately compensated, and where I couldn't offer a co-brokerage that would make the listing competitive.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 30, 2010
I would show my buyer all of the homes that meet their criteria.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 29, 2010
Wow, I feel like I have to jump in on this one and answer the question. I would show what ever my client wants to see.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
A real estate professional and one that has become a Realtor should hold themselves to a higher standard when posting, answering or blogging in any online forum. It is easy to want to say what you feel and reply in teh same manner when be attcked, but by refraining from doing so, shows the public you are above that, that you have a higher standard and that you are a true professional.

Now everynow and then the need arises to respond to something in a manner a little elevated, when you just feel teh need to correct ssomthing or respond to something absurd. however in one of my last recertification class when the topic of social media came up, the response was if you would say it there face, hit the enter button, if you would not say standing next to them, then hit the delete button.

Where is that darn thumbs down button, boy i wish it was back when you needed it.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
- I have heard stories of closings that have come to blows and police have had to be called.
This is a profession where a cool head is utterly essential.

Only partially, Joan. This is a profession where the ability to mediate is also essential, as it the ability to inject balance into a potential confrontation. Simply "being calm" doesn't always solve problems (although, it certainly beats exacerbating them!)

Joan, I don't have the ability to get you to understand, but in my experience, people who are "always" nice or arrogant or gentle or tough don't accomplish very much. What is important, in my experience, is to have strength when it's needed, gentleness when it is needed, and the intelligence to use your skills judiciously.

For a young agent, it's more important to just get involved in negotiations, and do the best you can and learn from them. But with experience, at least I have learned that every individual in a transaction has an individual need, and that treating them with a "one-size fits all" act of "professionalism" simply doesn't work.

- Obviously people listen much better when a point is well made and well reasoned.

If only!

- is that it is NOT unreasonable for the commission percentage to go down as the price point of the property goes up.

It is not "unreasonable," the fact is, commissions are negotiable. Christie's has a variable commission, too - 25% under, I'm not sure what, and 15% over. Plus the buyer's premium. And, I'm sure they "negotiate."

But there's a big difference between whether you or I provide enough value to warrant a $50,000 commission on a piece of luxury real estate, and whether another agent does. And they're going to have to defend themselves on this one!

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Oh, Joan, I'm sorry - oftimes I am a good editor!

Joan, I've been in this business for twenty-two years, and what I've learned is that everybody has to figure out for themselves who they are and how they are going to best serve their clients and the public.

However, we "professionals" have become a bunch of absolute wimps when it comes to dealing with bloggers who denigrate us and our profession.

The fact of the matter is that at least 15% of the residential public is going to buy and sell without us, and an uncertain portion is going to badger us into lowering our fees. And we are not going to turn that around by being smiling gladhanders. In the field, we're going to turn that around by demonstrating value TO THAT PARTICULAR CLIENT; in public, we can turn that around by being willing to stand up for ourselves and for each other.

So. We need to realize that some people don't really want or need our services; many do but know they can get us to work at a discount; the rest realize that we bring real value to THEIR transaction. And to them, that's all that really counts.

And, we get to choose which segment of the marketplace we want to serve.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Sheesh Mack, when you cut and paste my quote it would have been nice to take out the unintended dash(-).

Obviously everybody should treat each other with respect, kumbaya and all that good stuff.

My point was (is) that we are on a real estate website and as representatives of our somewhat bashed profession we should do our best to act in a professional, reasoned manner even if we disagree.
That wasn't always happening on this thread and all I could think was this is just making us ALL look bad and allowing our architect/contractor/developer friend to justify some of his jabs at this profession.

The fact of the matter is a lot of what he said makes sense, regardless of how it was sometimes stated.
Doesn't matter what part of the country you are from, a 1% commission on a 1M+ house is just fine and dandy compensation. On a 200k house, not so much.

And by the way, apparently my name is also Steven. Sometimes Stu. I guess it depends on my mood.
I also don't know I have a profile here.
I'm just so confused.....
I just don't know who I am anymore.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Ardell and Debbie, probably the most value that I get from Trulia is seeing the customs and practices in other markets (who knew there were people in the business of measuring homes?).

With that in mind, I, for one, am even more interested in how agents in New Jersey answer this question than my local colleagues.

With warmest regards,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
My answer disappeared.
Spooky.......

I am still wiping my tears from laughing so hard.

So... Steven, Stu, my apparent alter egos.....do we live in a nice house? How many children do we have? I would like to know details about my life. I seem to have forgotten everything.
I've always wanted to live back on the left coast.

LOL!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Joan...... uhmm I mean Steve...or is it Stu? ..... Nice to see you showed up - whoever you are ! ha
This is amusing, isn't it!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Well reasoned, logical, calm.

Sounds good to me Steven.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Let's be clear. I am here to offer Stu some perspective from someone who is not a real estate agent looking to protect their precious 3%. Rather as someone on the other side, as Stu is, looking to protect our hard earned money. This is not to say that the commissions earned by real estate agents are not hard earned as well. I am just saying that there is a price point where (in my view) the 6% split becomes overcompensation for the level of service. It seems that (correct me if I'm wrong) Joan B. agrees with me.

If you review the extent of my participation in this thread, you will note that I have made sound logic statements (while aggressive at times), I was met by Mr. Patrick Beringer with unprofessional ad hominem attacks, and childish taunts. i.e.

"Ohhhh burn!!! You got me good!!!"
" I don't care what dbags like you think..."
"Duh"
"unless you know wtf you are talking about..."

this is not how a professional represents himself or his clients. I offer sound advice on how to save tens of thousands of dollars to people like Stu. Of course that advice will be met with hostility from people like Patrick Beringer who are threatened by my approach to this business. However, I can honestly say that I have never offered SOC below 1% or below $5k on any transaction I have been a part of. A far cry from asking anyone to "provide my services for free."

Kary, Whether you believe what I have to say is unimportant, I know it to be the truth.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
On a real estate forum agents should be held- to a higher standard regarding how they deal with the general public. If you want to argue the validity of Steven's specifics, fine.
Its just that the way Patrick did it was not professional and doesn't reflect well on his ability to deal with stressful, emotional situations and it also doesn't reflect well on this profession in general.
Why would you focus on Steven and his claims and yet not call out Patrick for his less than professional demeanor?
As a fellow agent, are you actually okay with what you've seen here???
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Playground is closing boys - Patrick and Steve - take your pails and shovels, get out of the sandbox and go home.

(truthfully, Patrick. imo, as the "professional" you should try to take the high road)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 26, 2010
Any salient points the two of you may have get lost when you post in the manner you have.

Try again.....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 26, 2010
I try to avoid those with less than 2% to buyer's broker, 50% of that to me. If my customer has a claim on my commission such as a referral (35% of my share), even that may be too low. If the buyer has some special need with few choices, I'm no fool, I will show 2% listings. There is nothing lower as Foxtons went of business because it does not work. If you wonder if it makes a difference, absolutely. The agents who brag about being driven by everything other than money, I ask you; what do you think? Finally, it does not come up very often at all that a listing co-brokes less than 2.5%. It becomes an academic question and one to stir controversy. And why do you ask pray tell?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
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