Home Selling in 33308>Question Details

Karen, Home Seller in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Many sellers like myself are selling with zero profit, are realtors responding to the down market and

Asked by Karen, Fort Lauderdale, FL Thu Feb 14, 2008

accepting lower commission rates or are maximum sales commissions driving which homes get sold? I have had my prime location and completely remodeled condo in Fort Lauderdale on the market for 5 months. I am a licensed agent but not active and since I was not working at the time and wanted to remain flexible on the pricing as it sunk, I am offering 3% to buyer's agents and working for the other 3% I would have given up to a listing agent. This seemed like a reasonable approach considering that I will walk away from my home making no money. Now I am ready to leave and will have to hand over the entire commission chancing not a break even but a loss of my investment. How are realtors reacting or does money continue to be a primary driver for selling?

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Based on my experience, I believe it has been proven that discount commission brokers can only survive during a sellers market. See how many of those have disappeared lately. Full commission brokers prevail because they provide great service for their fee. Discount brokers by definition are number crushers, not service oriented.
The fact you are offering 3% to a buyer agent proves you are aware of the above facts. However, in this overcrowded market, there are so many choices that offering a slightly higher buyer agent commision will be the flag to get your property shown first. Or you can advertise an insentive to the buyer, like shared closing cost or 3 months free rent; things to make your place more desirable. The fact that prices have dropped does not mean the process of buying and selling works any different, if anything this is when we need to make our properties shine in the eyes of the buyers and the buyer's agents.
Just my point of view, hope it helps.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
Amazing how some of these questions get "born again", sometimes over and over! I wonder what ever happened with Karen back at the lowest point in the market?? Perhaps she realized how rediculous she sounded asking others to take the hit instead of her? Who knows, but we need to let this question die a natural death...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
The fact that you aren't making any money is irrelevant and if you were an active agent for any length of time you should know this. You lived in the house for a period of time and without knowing the numbers my guess is your cost to live there even if you do pay the entire commission and lose some money would still be less than if you'd rented the same property over the time you lived there.

Why would you as a Realtor expect someone else to work for either nothing or very little. they out there working to support themselves and their family.

Given that you are or were a Realtor your question honestly blows my mind. In essence you're simply saying, "I'm more important then you, please help me by absorbing some of my loss and work at a discount."

I'm sure you can find yourself many agents willing to do this as their not good agents, their desperate for any income and you'll get exactly what you paid for.

I see nothing wrong with you representing yourself on the seller side and only paying the buyer agent and there are many discount firms out there who will put you into MLS for a flat fee of $300 - $500 dollars.

I do feel for you, just as I feel for any of my clients who may lose money selling, however I myself have speculated many times on real estate, have made money and have lost money and when I lose my loss is mine alone, I've never asked anyone to share it with me and you shouldn't either.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Hi Karen, I think this is a tough position to be in, it is sometimes hard to see sellers bring money to closing instead of walking away with a profit. Each agent determines the commission to be chaged based on their expertise and servicesprovided to getting the home sold. As an active full time agent I will tell you, there is a lot more work involved in the sale of the home than putting it in the MLS.
After all there were some companies that would charge a flat fee to list your home in the MLS ONLY.

You will get what you pay for. if you find an agent that you like and you would like to get a lower commission, talk to the agent and see if it is possible. The market is challanging so sometimes we as agents have to make some conssessions to make a transaction possible.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Dear Karen,

Realtor commissions have to do with their attention to the listing they represent. The commission is used to market the property, not just list the property, getting as many buyers to the property as possible.

Many sellers who are upside down are hopefully short selling their property instead of waiting for a foreclosure to occur. With a short sale, the turn around time to purchase is 2 years. They are not paying the realtor because the lender will pay the realtor. They are the one's losing their investment.

You are in a situation that is also difficult situation as you are not selling your property and 5 months of time has already transpired. Maybe you should be short selling your property instead of not hiring the correct realtor to get it sold. There may be more factors than the commission that you are speaking of as to the reason your property has not sold.

Susan Penn, PA, SFR, CDPE http://about.me/HomesForSale_SusanJPennPA
EWM Realtors® | A HomeServices of America Company | An Affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway
2000 Main Street, Suite 103 | Weston, FL 33326
T: 954.306.7337 | C: 954.557.5993 | F: 954.515.0200 | penn.s@ewm.com | http://www.ewm.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2012

I think Keith Sorem, Agent from Glendale, CA give you great answer and I'm fully agree with him.

Good luck.

Maria Strickland
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
times are tough.
Realtors (who are active and full time) take a business-like approach to listing and sales.

For example, if you are offering 3% to the selling agent (representing the buyers - please see link below). and planning on "selling my home myself because i am an agent'---is that correct?

Here are my answers:
1. If you expect me to handle 'both sides" of the transaction, and risk my errors and omissions insurance, for 3%, you are high. Why, in a buyer's market like yours, would I just one ONE side for the same money.
2. "Real estate agents", active or not, are the WORST clients. I would charge your extra and tell you to stay out of the transaction.
3. Any "real estate agent" who has had their own property "on the market ' (does that mean with a sign in front, in the MLS, listed with a full time serous broker.....?) with a listing for five months needs to ask themselves one simple question....if homes are selling, why not mine...and the answer is...it's price too high.

No offense, I would probably turn down your listing and work with a first time buyer with good credit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 17, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA

This question from February of 2008 was just re-awaken by an new agent answering questions. So KAREN, if you still get this alert.....tell us what happened and what you end up doing?

Tony Vega
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Hi Karen,

There are buyers and people are selling, the only thing you have to do is price it rite and advertise a lot.

What makes your property better then the one next door, that is what you need to establish and if you can show them way, people will buy your property.

The standard commission structure is 6%, 3% to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer’s agent and you know that already, any realtor that asks for less he is not a good realtor and he will not sell you property.

The top Realtors ask for more because we do more and we will sell your property.

If you have any questions fill free to contact me.

Good Luck,

Shai Mashiach
Prudential Florida Realty
(954) 816-7070
1306 S.E. 17th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
I don't look at the commission offered. In fact, if I miss a house in a customer's price range, they find it online. So even if I didn't suggest homes with low commissions, I'd end up showing them. As for lower MY commission rate...Karen, you say you have a license...if you have to work twice as hard and twice as long to sell a house as you did last year, would YOU expect to be paid less money?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
I also have to agree with the REALTOR out there. In Charlotte County we currently have a 2 year inventory of homes to sell and what is selling is the best (lowest) price. I have a home that has been previewed 12 times and one offer that was 100k under listing (rejected). I have advised my seller (because I believe this) is the price is low enough for people to look at it but not low enough to sell. I have used a marketing approach to this home with flyers, internet exposure on Truilla, REALTOR.com, Zillow plus 13 other sites, direct mail (postcards) go out every two weeks, a Talking House transmitter, REALTOR Caravans, Homes and Lands booklets, Open Houses, Newspaper advertising and still offer the 3% to both sides. If it would help sell the home, I would chance the commissioning but that is not what sells the home. Good luck it is a tough market right now and takes alot of work to sell your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
I have read all the previous responses and agree with them all. Price and Exposure lead to sales. How much bang for the buck can a buyer get comparing your condo to others in your building. Then look in the surrounding areas for what you can get. Price your place as close to the bottom as you can to get offers. With offers you have options.

You must look better than the competition with great photos and many of them. Use a wide angle lens on the camera to get more of the room in the picture. A small closet looks big. Try shooting open room shots from your knees and standing in a chair. Make sure the rooms are well lit. Change your first photo seen on the websites sometimes. Every free website you can find put your listing on. Shoot a video in your condo post it on u-tube or myspace. Your car is a moving billboard, your email signature, return address on a letter....just add for sale under it.

I just started showing homes to a couple from Germany. They pulled all their listings off the internet before they left. The chose homes with "pretty pictures".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
I think you lack of sale has more to do with the law of supply and demand, which affects price, than it does with greedy realtors. If I have a buyer that is looking for a particular type of property, I try to help them find what THEY want, not what will pay the most money to me. What goes around comes around, and if clients are treated well and in their best interests, business will come back twofold!! I know everyone doesn't feel that way, but good deeds are always rewarded with good deeds.
Web Reference: http://www.MykeTriebold.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
Traditionally, commission rates go up in a down market -- Real Trends, which tracks this sort of thing, noted the average commission dropped nationally from 2001 to 2005 and then rose again.

The reason is that brokers have to spend more money advertising properties in a bad market, so discount deals make less sense.

However, if you're in Florida, the difference between 5% and 6% is not your problem -- the difference between what you hope to clear and what your property is worth is your problem.

You have to price your property off recent sold comps, not what you have in it or what starry-eyed sellers down the street have on the market.

The other thing you have to do (and you may be doing it already, I don't mean to sound stern) is spend some advertising money to get your property sold. Here in New York City the best investment is a professional real estate photographer who will take fantastic pictures -- don't know what is working down there, you might have to investigate.

Good luck!
Alison Rogers
author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
Insider Real Estate Tips with a Twist of Humor: http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
Web Reference: http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008

I am not in your market area (I'm in the Tallahassee real estate market), but your question is a good one and I believe the answer is the same everywhere.

In every profession, there are good performers, and they are the majority. There are a minority that are poor performers, and another minority that are great performers. In most professions that I have dealt with, the firms and individuals who fall in the "great performers" group are able to charge more for their services because they bring results.

In this current market, where less than 1/3rd of the homes on the market will sell this year, I believe somebody in your position should hire the best person available. You should expect to pay more than the "standard" fee, because that only buys you "standard" service.

Plenty of homes will sell in Fort Lauderdale this year. Yours can sell too. Pay the extra money and get the service that you need. Interview wisely and select the company that can bring you the results.

Good Luck!
Joe Manausa
Century 21 First Realty
Tallahassee, Florida
(850) 386-2001
Web Reference: http://www.manausa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
I don't even look at the commission amount offered - yes, I am sure there are some that do look at the commission but the biggest problem right now is your competition. My advice would be to drop your price and make sure your property is properly staged and in great repair - if you are the best priced condo and you show well, you will be most likely to sell.
Web Reference: http://www.toonpawley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
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