Home Selling in San Jose>Question Details

Home Owner, Home Owner in San Jose, CA

What is the average commission fee for the real estate agent when you sell the home? Both the listing and the buyer's agent?

Asked by Home Owner, San Jose, CA Sat Nov 5, 2011

Could you give me ballpark estimations?
And is the rate different for each agent? Or about the same?

Help the community by answering this question:


Since it is illegal for agents to discuss other people's commissions (esitmates or averages), I will not provide either. What I can tell you is that commisssions are negotiable, between each seller/buyer and their agent. There really are no standard commissions anymore, as agents are willing to do less work for less commission (discount brokers as some would call them). It most cases, you get exactley what you pay for, so I would suggest interviewing 2 or 3 agents that are actively selling real estate in your area. If you get 3 great agents, their commissions are more than likely going to be the same.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 6, 2011
For residential homes, the commission paid to the listing agent is typically about 5-6%. Beyond this general bulge, there is a broader range between 4-7% that covers most types of properties.

A majority of the time, both buyer and seller agent will agree to an even split of the commissions amongst themselves. But, this split can be quite variable, depending on the transaction.

You can and should negotiate with a listing agent on the commission paid to the listing agent. There's no rate set in stone or by law. In fact, there is a law (Sherman Antitrust) in place to prevent any fixing of commissions. Many Realtors mistakenly believe that it's illegal to discuss commission rates. According to my Realtor association's legal counsel, it's just illegal to discuss or collude to a fixed commission, which we all assiduously avoid.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 20, 2011
Well Mark I don't think he's a moron or fraud. California real estate agents have always received 6%, when the market took such a nasty hit a few years ago, it may have forced some to accept less, but California is very expensive and I'm not a sales agent but a homeowner. Look up California real estate law before being rude.
Flag Thu Apr 2, 2015
you are a f-ing moron and fraud. 5-6% is absurd you usurious crook.
Flag Wed Dec 18, 2013
Marc hit the nail on the head! Not really important or legal(negotiable and varies)to discuss in an open forum!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 19, 2011
I't legal, frowned upon but legal to discuss. As described earlier it is also negotiable and not locked in. This is not North Korea, only fixed commission is illegal.
Flag Tue Apr 14, 2015
Well to me the first 6 answers sound about right.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
New recent market data at ListingBidder.com shows that on the open market, where Realtors compete by submitting their marketing proposal and real estate commission fee rate, the total commission ask ranges from 3.0% to 6.0%. These commission rates vary by zip code and almost show a perfect bell curve with the bulk of these proposals falling around 4.75% nationally. Whether you are looking for the average rate in San Jose or the average rate in New Hampshire, we have found the rate varies by zip code because the ask rate tends to drop as the home values increase. We would love to help you find a realtor: https://www.ListingBidder.com

Note: These figures represent the total commission rate which is usually split between the Listing agent and the Buying agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2016
The best way to find out if you are paying too much in real estate commissions is to put the commission fees in the open market and let the Agents bid your commission rate. Commission fees are negotiable and can vary by zip code. We find the best way to compare commission fees is to put them up for a reverse auction. That is why we created ListingBidder.com; Where Sellers can invite agents to submit their marketing plan and commission structure. It is a patent pending process that is saving Sellers thousands. We are seeing rates in the San Jose area of between 3.5% and 5.0% using this process.

It is completely free to the Seller and there is no obligation for the Seller to pick the lowest bid or any bid. The whole time the Seller remains anonymous as we never publish your street address or contact information. Sellers can sit back and review marketing plans, commission bids, ratings and reviews. There is no reason why a Seller shouldn't try this. After all, Agents are not charged to register or bid so they are more than willing to submit a proposal. Give us a try: https://www.ListingBidder.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2016
That depends on the qualifications of the listing agent and is actually the last information that you should discuss with the agent. The most important question is what is the agent's typical sales price compared to neighborhood sales ratio. Not to be confused with the sales price to list price ratio, which is meaningless. I charge 6% and give the buyer's agent 3% of the 6%. Using my market proven formula I typically sell for 10% to 18% higher than the neighborhood average netting my clients after expenses 4% to 12% more than Realtors using traditional methods. You should be concerned with any agent that would suggest anything less, if they can't articulate their value well enough to justify their commission your not saving money, it's costing you tens of thousands of dollars. Call me today at (408)206-4142 and I will be happy to schedule an initial consultation.

Stephen Whitlock
Real Estate Expert
Certified Home Selling Advisor
CA Bre # 01351501
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 10, 2015
Hi Stephen, I am curious about your 'typical sales price compared to neighborhood sales ratio.' What basis do you use for the calculation? Price per square foot? Also, how do you account for the differences in quality, age, location, etc. of the properties?
Flag Thu Jul 30, 2015
What should be services or duties of an agent selling a property
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 10, 2015

I can provide my own if you wish. Please contact me from my profile.

Kind regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 9, 2015
6% is typically known as the national standard. However, commission rates are negotiable and can really vary depending on the home and local market.

In a lot of expensive California markets, agents are willing to be flexible on commission rates, but it's not something they like to advertise. And most clients are not very capable or comfortable with negotiating rates.

If you use UpNest, http://www.upnest.com, we will negotiate commission rates for you with our network of experienced agents. We created our online marketplace where home sellers can confidentially submit their homes, and multiple top local agents will compete to obtain your listing. Some agents lower their commission rates to stand out, and every agent that submits a proposal is an experienced agent, so it's not the same as working with a low grade discount brokerage.

We also wrote more about San Jose commission rates here: http://www.upnest.com/1/post/average-san-jose-real-estate-ag…

Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 9, 2015
Well, we as RE professionals would certainly love to see the traditional 6%. However, in today's economic climate that's been somewhat of a challenge lately. Everything is negotiable. But in good conscience you need to weigh in as to just how much you feel would be right.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 19, 2011
There is no data available to give anyone an accurate determination of what an average Brokerage fee is.

Agents may be able to tell you what the average Brokerage fees of their offices are but they cannot give you an accurate number for Brokerage fees that are charged by other offices.

If that data were available it could be used for the purposes of price fixing. That is one of the reasons that data is not available.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
Simple answer to your question:

On the high side, you may be asked to pay 2.5 or 3% for the listing commission and offer the same amount to the brokerage that represents the buyer, even if your listing brokerage also represents the buyer. The total in this case would be 5 or 6%.

On the low side, depending on the market value of the property, we offer listing commissions as little as 1% and the same amount for representing the buyers if we also represent the buyers. The total in this case would be 2%. (That's full service, by the way.)

Hope that helps. Feel free to contact me if I may be of further assistance.

Dan Berman
Pacific Century Realty
Listing Commissions as Low as 1%
Buyer Rebates to 50%
Multilingual Services
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
You might also want to look at total closing costs. In Santa Clara County, the seller pays for the listing agent commission, the buyer's agent commission, plus the bulk of the closing costs. In San Francisco, the buyer pays some of his or her own closing costs, and in Santa Cruz County, it is 50-50 for closing costs. If you have an agent that you know, they can pull an estimated "net sheet" or closing costs for you from a title company so you can look at the total cost to sell your home. You also may pay for a pest inspection, and possibly the natural hazards report, and if you are in a condo, you may pay for the transfer fees to transfer the HOA.

Here is a sample of ESTIMATED closing costs with 3% per side on a $450,000 sold price, where the loan is $400,000. Note in a true estimated closing costs, you may owe or be refunded property taxes through date of close:

Sales Price $450,000.00
Loan Payoff [1st mortgage]
Current Balance $400,000.00
Interest Adjustment 9/1 to 9/24, 23 day(s) @ $0.00 $0.00
Statement/Demand Fee $0.00
Reconveyance Fee $45.00
Reconveyance Tracking Fee $0.00
Prepayment Penalty $0.00
Loan Payoff [2nd mortgage]
Current Balance $0.00
Interest Adjustment 9/1 to 9/24, 23 day(s) @ $0.00 $0.00
Statement/Demand Fee $0.00
Reconveyance Fee $0.00
Reconveyance Tracking Fee $0.00
Prepayment Penalty $0.00
Sum of other loans $0.00
Broker's Commission Listing Est (negot) $13,500.00
Broker's Commission Buyer Est (negot) $13,500.00
Home Warranty Premium $0.00
Prop. Taxes
Prop. Taxes Next Installment Due
Homeowners Assoc. Dues $0.00
Homeowner's Dues Transfer Fee $0.00
Homeowner's Dues Next Installment $0.00
Homeowner's Policy (Total: $1,463.00 as of 11/30/2009) $1,463.00
Escrow Fees (Total: $900.00 as of 4/18/2011) $900.00
Notary Fee* $125.00
Outside Signing Fee* $0.00
Additional Charges
Courier Fees* $0.00
Overnight Delivery (Payoff Check) $0.00
Drawing Fees* $0.00
Recording Fees* (Est. Total: $100.00) $100.00
Wire Transfer Fee* $0.00
City Transfer Tax (Total: $1,485.00) $742.50
County Transfer Tax (Total: $495.00) $495.00
Credit To Buyer $0.00
Recon Tracking Fee $0.00
Download Fee $0.00
Miscellaneous Fees* $0.00
Miscellaneous Items
Pest Report $150.00
Natural Hazard $60.00

Due to Seller (ESTIMATED) $18,919.50

Hope this helps!!!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
The commission is not set by law and is negotiable between the seller and the listing agent. It is what ever they agree to. Part of the agreed commission will be paid to the selling brokers office as per the listing agreement. This means the seller pays at close of escrow the buyers agent and office. The way the commission is split up again is per the listing agreement that the seller and listing agent agree to. I have seen many, many different ways the commission is divided and their is no set rule to it. You do have the right to negotiate the commission and the level of service you expect from the listing agent. I hope this helps you. Good Luck.


Jim Guido
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
The rate can vary by 100% or more. For instance, one (probably a full-service agent) could charge 7%. Another (probably a discount broker) could charge 3%. It's all negotiable. So, negotiate.

The commission is paid once. It's paid by the seller. If a buyer's agent is involved, the commission usually is split, with the listing agent getting half and the buyer's agent getting half.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
This was answered in a previous question. It is negotiable between the client and Broker. The commission will depend on the type of property and level of service, and experience of agent.

Are you a Seller or a Buyer in this question?
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
On average the total commission is between 5% and 6% split between both agents. This total amount is negotiated with seller and listing agent.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
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