Maybe this will help you.
When an agent and an owner negotiate to sell a property, the listing agreement in California has different options. Section 4 of the Residential Listing Agreement:
Part A. Commission percentage AND /OR a dollar amount
Normally the compensation is split equally between the listing and selling offices/agents, however it may vary.
The fact is that when you sell you want to sell for highest price, right? 90% of the time the buyer that purchases your home will be represented by another Realtor, not the listing agent, so you need to have a commission percentage that will attract other Realtors.
Just the same, there are "discount brokers" that may say "I'll do it for less". Sometimes that can cause a potential conflict because if your listing agent stands to make more money representing a buyer to purchase a home that is listed at a "normal" commission, might they not be as motivated to get your home sold?
Sometimes agents will suggest a percentage PLUS a bonus to get the home sold within a certain timeframe or under certain conditions, OR simply a flat fee.
How motivated to sell your home will an agent be if they have a flat fee? On a percentage basis if they can get more money for the sale, then they make more money. Isn't that motivation?
I would recommend interviewing three Realtors. If you'd like me to refer to Top Realtor to you contact me through my profile. Compare their proposals. Make clear your objectives.
Please remember that the 6 percent commission, for example, pays both for your listing agent as well as the agent bringing in the buyer or the "selling agent." Often the fee is 3 percent for the selling agent, so the listing agent under a 6 percent commission would make 3 percent too.
There are discount agent who offer help if you wish to sell the home yourself or would like to add your own time to save money. I do that for clients up here in Northern California, but check out http://www.fsbo.com for a help selling your home on your own, and http://www.redfin.com for a 1 percent sales agent in your area.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
As already mentioned, the commission is negotiable with 6% being the norm.
Marketing a home well can be expensive and we typically take all of our listings at 6%, with the exception of sellers that are listing more than one property with us, or who are also using us to represent them in a purchase.
Commissions are negotiable and the negotiated commission is split between the listing agent, selling agent and their respective brokerage offices. The commission you pay covers the cost of your realtor's time used to educate you on the market, market and advertise your property, negotiate the sale, manage the transaction and help with any after close issues that may arise.
Even though our current real estate market is presenting some unique challenges, there are still buyers looking for homes, and there are things that you can do to make sure yours stands out from the rest. Marketing is the first and most important step to attracting buyers.
When negotiating your commission rate, be sure you understand exactly what you will be getting at the agreed upon rate. Set expectations early and no one will be disappointed. A realtor will simply not have the same dollars to spend on marketing and readying your home for sale at a commission rate of 4% versus 6%, which may work for your situation.