Home Selling in Centerville>Question Details

Stephanie, Both Buyer and Seller in Cape Cod

What is a reasonable commission %age? My realtor is looking for 6%. Isn't this high?

Asked by Stephanie, Cape Cod Wed Aug 22, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello to Centerville,

I visit family there as often as I can, and am about due for another visit. I am not a RE Pro there, so I cannot comment on market specifically.

Commission trends tend to be local. In areas where the average selling prices are quite high, we will see some downward pressure on fees. In areas where home prices are more affordable, and market times are long, we will see higher commissions.

Anti trust laws restrict certain types of discussions about fees, and due to that, some or many Realtors may be cautious to engage in this conversation here. However, you can certainly run a quick data survey by simply calling a number of brokerages in your area and requesting fee information. Soon, you will gather a range and determine the high, low and average for your market place.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Commissions are negotiable - and remember, you get what you pay for. I am a full service Realtor and my commission rate is 6-7%. (And yes, 7% is unheard of in my area, yet 30% of my current listings are at this rate.) Why? Experience and proven results...backed up by many satisfied clients. You can find plenty of Realtors to list your home for less. But.....do you want to LIST your home or do you want to SELL your home? There's a big difference.
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Cindi Hagley,…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
Hi Stephanie: I am a Realtor in Atlanta so I do not know your local market well. I agree with Deborah that the local market typically determines fees. As you investigate this in your market, ask the realtors if they think you are in a Buyer's Market or a Seller's Market. If you are in a Buyer's Market, that means there is more inventory than available buyers and you can expect commissions to possibly be higher...ranging typically from 5% to 7% depending on your market. Here in Atlanta we are in a Buyer's market and as a result of our higher inventories, many Sellers and builders are even offering bonuses and selling incentives to buyers in addition to real estate commissions.

Keep in mind that when you higher a real estate professional, you should be asking some very key questions...how will they be marketing your property, what is their average list to sale price ratio, what is their average days on market, how many homes have they sold in the last 12 months. Also keep in mind that if a Realtor quotes a professional fee of 6% as an example, that fee does not go only to that realtor. It is typically split between the agent listing the house (3%) and the agent bringing a buyer (3%). Each of those agents also shares part of that fee with their broker to help cover national advertising fees, contract support, etc. Part of the fee is also used to cover the agents marketing expenses, contract knowledge, showing time, etc. In the end, the agent selling your home will likely end up with about 1% of that overall commission....and that is only paid if they sell your house. Just like picking a skilled doctor, be sure you pick a skilled Realtor. In the end you will get what you pay for! Good luck,

Brenda Richterkessing
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007

6% is customary in my market. 3% to the buyers agent and 3% to the sellers agent.

There are alternative listing arrangements that you can explore:

Flat fee mls listing where you pay $400-$500.00 typically to get the home on the MLS with photos. 3% would still be advertised for the buyer broker, however you would save the other 3% on the listing side.

Some brokers will discount the listing commission IF you purchase a home using them as the agent. I typically see a 1%-1.5% reduction in this scenario.

Fee for service listing-you pay for the services that you want-upfront. Typically the 3% to the buyer broker is still offered on the MLS.

I hope this helps. Your agent will not get the entire 6% unless they also represent the buyer in the sale of your home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
Commission is negotiable. Each realtor sets his or her own rate based on the service they provide. 6% is reasonable if your realtor will provide you with a top of the line marketing plan.

Good luck with the sale of your home!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
I can only speak about my company. Anti-trust laws by the federal government prohibit me from discussing any other company except for the company with whom I do business. Our commission rate is determined based on the expenses that my brokerage firm incurs in the listing of a property, and we do extensive, quality marketing. It is extremely expensive to market a property these days because more marketing expenses are incurred due to the average length of time it takes to sell a property and because there are more avenues in which to market a property--all which cost ALOT of money. The Buyer does not negotiate the commission. That is an agreement between the Seller and the real estate agent on behalf of my brokerage firm. You mention "your realtor"-- sounds like you have already engaged in a legally binding contract and agreed to a specific compensation. If you have not done so, then you do not yet have a Realtor. I'd be happy to sit down and show you just why and how I and my company are worth every nickle we charge to sell your home. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 28, 2011
Fees for service/Commisions do vary and depend on the service the agent offers. However, Deborah is right, Realtors have to remember ANTI-TRUST LAWS, you can also check with the Broker of the firm, they are the ones who determine fees.
Good Luck with the sale of your home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 24, 2009
Depends on his tract record Stephanie,what all they are going to provide etc..If the nx one says Ill do it for 5 or 4 You gotta think why is this person dicounting?they will uaually cheap out on service as well.You have to decide,Good luck.

Web Reference: http://tjroberts.remax.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 24, 2009

6% is the commonly accepted fee for professional services for a "full service" real estate transaction. You may find fees for less than 6% usually involving non-full service agencies and it's common for motivated sellers to offer more than a 6% fee. We have recently seen these fees as high as 10%.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 24, 2009
I have flexible commission rates starting as low as 1.5%. Call me for details!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
No percentage is too high if the results are good. 6% is never too high. ASk how the "Pie" is divided, and what a Realtor does....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
For the split, I agree with Greg and Jenn. Make sure you're offering full commission to your buyers brokers. Realtors can search the MLS based on commission criteria ... and even though technically they're not supposed to use that criteria to choose homes they show, many will.

In a sellers market, you can get away with a lower commission because houses just fly off the market, most realtors are happy to grab whatever they can. In a buyers market - there's a ton of inventory and probably alot of comparable homes to yours. If they can choose between you and showing 3 other comparable homes that pay a larger commission that you, many will.

Of course, good realtors don't look at the commission and just find the best home for their clients. But you need to play the numbers and get as many people through your house as possible if you want the best price for your home!

Make sure before you sign that your realtor is giving you a detailed marketing plan - if you're paying a full 6%, they should be spending some decent money on marketing your home. I have seen some realtors do a horrible job - essentially just list the home on the MLS and hope it sells. Pin them down, make sure you know exactly what you're buying for that money, and make sure that you're comfortable that they'll follow through and you'll get feedback (it's why a referral is the best way to find a realtor - you can ask if they really do their job...)

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
6% is average. We charge that to some clients and others we charge more/less. Stephanie, most of it will depend on the Marketing strategy that you choose. Remember as the seller you are incontrol of the most important aspect of your homes listing.......PRICE. In today's buyers market, it is extremely important not ot over price your home. Sounds unusual for an agent that makes a living off of commissions to not want to get a higher price. Most times, sellers list their home with the least competent agent with the highest price causing much frustration and delays.
Stephanie, another thing to look at is, if you do chose an agent that charges less then 6%, make sure that they are still offering the buyer broker agent the full 3% split. Lower splits will help sell other homes. May not be fair, but that is the way it often works. Stephanie, Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
Commission is subjective. In this market it is a tool to get a home sold. And in this market, you need all the tools you have at your disposal to make sure you stand out from everyone else.

Offering a higher than normal commission to a selling agent doesn't guarantee the sale of your home but it will definately ensure your home gets placed into the showing mix for agents actually showing homes to buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2007

Good question and you have many good answers here... I live and work in Centerville and would be happy to meet with you and give you another option if you like. The basic and short answer is 6% is a good deal if you are getting real marketing and experience. There are hundreds maybe more agents that will charge you that or more and do nothing more than put a sign in the yard and you home in the MLS... then there are others that will give you a true marketing plan and proven results.

It really is not what you pay as much as what you get for what you pay... getting an "amateur" for a lower commission can cost you dearly.

Hope this helps and let me know if you would like to talk more.


Mark Ryan
Keller Williams Advantage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2007
It's not if your realtor is seasoned,etc...there is alot involved and out of pockets etc.. plus your realtor has to pay the selling broker 3% it can be adjusted also if you want limitied service.I've seen FL realtors @ 10% they say realtors get 16% more $ for unrepresented sellers.fruit for thought.I'd be happy to meet w/you and explain how it all works and what you can expect.


Web Reference: http://visitsignature.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
Like ever thing else in Real Estate, Commissions are negotiable - That is the beauty of the business and you truly pay for what you get for. I work for a Full Service Firm in Charlotte, NC and will not list a house for less then 6% but my clients get a lot for that and do not question my rate:

• Newspaper Advertisements
• Web Presence on over 1000 different websites including my own - http://www.KayteMalik.com
• Email Blasts
• Mailings
• In Home Marketing
• ****Most importantly my Real Estate Expertise.

Just to name a hand full of services I provide for my clients.

You have to remember too, that 6% is split between the Seller and Buyer agent so after everything is said and done your agent is only making 3% on the sale of your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
You were quoted a very reasonable fee! Just make sure you get FULL service for that amount.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer