Home Selling in Charleston>Question Details

Ljr, Other/Just Looking in Charleston, SC

What is the current average broker fee in the Charleston, SC area? Thanks in advance!

Asked by Ljr, Charleston, SC Mon Jul 27, 2009

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John, I agree, it is perfectly fine to discuss what YOU charge for a commission when speaking to a seller in a private setting.
Below is an excerpt from an artcle (one of many) dealing with the Sherman anti-trust laws, and how they pertain to Realtors......the point of the article was that in no way should agents carry on group conversations regarding commissions. It's not my opinion - it's the law. Here is the excerpt:
:"Agents and brokers in any setting, business or social, should take great care to never even discuss commission rates in any context. It's much better to be safe than sorry in this case."
"Never use the word "standard" or "prevailing" or "typical" when describing your fees and services"
When in doubt, I choose to air on the side of caution.
It's your prerogative to post whatever you choose. I wasn't trying to lecture..... just to be hepful.

A simple google search on this can be very enlightening.....but a call to your state Real Estate Commission will certainly clairfy it for you if your Broker can't.

I used to think as you do, when I was new to Trulia, that it was perfectly fine to discuss commissions openly here.....but then I read up on it, and other Realtors on Trulia helped educate me.

As I said.....everyone is free to post whatever they choose to...but since this is a public forum, I prefer to use caution. I just wanted to share this information with those who weren't aware of it. What anyone does with that information is certainly up to them

This discussion has taken place on many other threads here on trulia, so it' s not a new topic..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 31, 2009
Our MLS shows 11471 active or active contingent listings. Starting at 1% and going up to 5% are the payout amounts to the buyers agent. Usually these fees are split evenly, so for example the 3% commission means that the seller is paying the listing agent 6% and the LA is offering half of that to another agent to bring a buying. Using that assumption, double these payout amounts to get the broker fee. But, not every agent offers an even split. For example, the 8 guys offering only 1% are probably getting paid more than 2%, but they will also never get a buyers agent to show their listing either. So, the number of listings at each incremental payout amount are as follows:
1%.....8 listings
1.5%.....2 listings
1.75%....1 listing
2%....... 101 listings
2.25%......27 listings
2.5%........2581 listings
2.75%......46 listings
3%.....8168 listings

These numbers may not all add up to the total of listings, but you get the idea. I also do not have an average for you, but you can do that math. I hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Scott, This email is from July 2009, no need to even try and answer a three year old question!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
PLEASE NOTE any agent who has discussed commissions in a public seting such as this has violated FEDERAL Anti-trust laws. No agent may discuss commissions in a public setting or discuss what others charge in even a private setting. If you are a home owner and want to know what commissions agents charge, you can call or email them direct and they can tell you what THEY charge and most important what you get for your money. Any agent who has printed commission info should see their broker immediately for a refresher on anti trust laws.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
Why does Trulia keep recycling the same old question?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
A safe and correct answer is whatever the broker (meaning BIC) and client agree to. Nothing's etched in stone and they are negotiable but may be based on your Brokers Policy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2012
May I ask why this question was reposted from three years ago? It was asked in July 2009 and received several very good answers at that time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
BTW .. Debbie Rose - you are correct and thank you for posting the Anti-Trust information.

Real estate professionals *must* avoid the use of words such as "typical", "average", "usual" and never discuss commissions in all public circumstances, especially in public forums such as this.

Commissions are always negotiable.

Maureen Cody
The Keys to Charleston
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
All fees are negotiable - there is no average.

Best Regards,
Maureen Cody
The Keys To Charleston LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
You're right, discussions between competitive agents/brokers concerning commissions should be avoided, as they could be construed as "price-fixing". However, in a general sense, when questions are asked, even in an open forum, I feel it is perfectly OK to state what you charge. We often openly discuss our company commission policy in sales meetings with 50-60 agents present, since all agents work under one BIC. It's a fine line to walk.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
I agree with the majority of the responses - commissions are negotiable but the average is 6%. Sharon Bruner, Keller Williams Historic Charleston
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 5, 2009
You are right, as I stated, that commissions are always negotiable between a broker and a seller, but I differ with you in your opinion that Foster Smith's response was the only correct one. It is in no way "price fixing" to mention what your commission is and how you justify charging that percentage. Sellers have a right to know & I am not ashamed of what my commission is. Brokers have the right to accept any percentage or fee that they choose to accept. In the end, what an agent does for the commission they charge is what is important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
Honestly, Foster Smith had the only "proper" and correct answer here - "commissions are negotiable".

Agents should refrain from discussing specific commissions as it can be seen as price fixing, and is against the anti-trust laws. For those who question this - check with your Brokers or your board of realtors!
Careful all...this is a very public forum!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
Commissions between Seller and Realtor are always negotiable. It's easy to find realtors who will list at below 6%, and when they do cut their commission, they are limited in what they can do for their seller. Carolina One Real Estate is by far the largest real estate brokerage firm in the Charleston Tri-County area and participates in about 1 in every three transactions in Charleston. The key in getting a property sold is to get it shown and the ability of your agent to network with other agents is very important. I sell more houses over the water fountain that most of the agents in the MLS sell totally. The average Carolina One agent sells about 1.8 times as many homes as the average agent from other companies. How do they do that? Every Carolina One agent is full-time, committed & due to the size of the company have exceptional resources for both training and marketing. In the end, it takes a good agent in this market to get a home sold, one who can price the home properly and help the seller expose the home to take advantage of its best features. Only 4 things sell a home 1. Price, 2. Condition, 3. Marketing, 4. Incentives. When you take away from one area, you have to compensate in another.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
After reading through the previous replies, I would agree with the statistical averages the other agents speak of but I think a deeper look is necessary to get the whole picture. First of all, with the economic squeeze being put on so many home sellers who are "under water" when they compare their homes purchase price to the current market value, a higher percentage of sellers are looking for aggressive listing agents who are willing to negotiate below the normal 2.5 to 3% listing side commission. A year over year comparison on this average commission data undoubtedly shows a decreasing trend in this number. With that being said, I definitely agree with the previous posts that cutting the commission being paid to the buyers agent below 3% is probably not the answer to getting the listing sold faster. For example, we offer at rehava a Full Service Listing for 4.5% but still offer out a FULL 3% of that to the buyers agent to expedite getting our listings sold. Its a tough enough market already that you don't need to stack another perceived negative on top of your listing to slow the successful sale down any further. Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 30, 2009
Here again, I agree with both Imogene and Joe, but also something to consider is that many agents see a commission of less than 3% on the buy side for an average priced home as a "discounted commission". Generally agents try to select 4 or 5 properties that meet the needs of the buyer to show in a day. Most agents will not intentionally avoid a property with a reduced commission, but if they have 5 equal properties to show in a day, and one has a discounted commission, which one do you think will be shown last? I show my buyers properties that meet their needs & offer the best price/value for them. One of the big problems with listing a property for less than 6% is that it limits what an agent can do to expose the property, and how much money he/she can spend on the marketing effort.

It is also my feeling that commissions above 3% do little to incent an agent to show a property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 15, 2009
Fee's are negotiable, but agents typically ask for 6%, 3% of which would go to the buyers agent. Agents are supposed to be looking for the best property for their client, not the best commission for themselves. The argument that "not me, but OTHER agents won't show your property if the commission is lower" is suspect.

What kind of an agent would not show a property that would be a good fit for their client because of % commission? An unscrupulous one. Are Real Estate Agents as a whole, unscrupulous? I don't think they are.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 10, 2009
I believe Imogene is right on the money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 26, 2009
This was a topic at our sales meeting last week is the only reason I have this information. The average commission is just under 3%. This includes commissions paid by builders, usually a little lower than average. Land sales, which is usually a little higher than the average. Finally resales commissions paid. These all average out to just under 3%. Of course, it remains the decision of what the seller and the listing agent decide will work best in order to get the home sold. If it is a unique property or very rural, it might be a good idea to bump the commission higher in order to get buyers and Realtors* to make the journey out to the property. Each real estate company has their own list of what will be charged for different kinds of property. I hope this helps. Imogene Thomas ithomas@carolinaone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Very well said, Stephanie. Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009

As you can see, real estate commissions in South Carolina are negotiable. I believe what Dan was trying to demonstrate is that while you may be able to find an agent who will list your house for less than the popular 6% fee, it's important to consider how your listing might be at a disadvantage if buyer's agents see they'll have to accept lower compensation for selling your house than another house.

In this economy everyone is looking to save money - I completely understand what you're after - however, with home prices continuing to slip, saving money right now means selling as quickly as you can. Saving 1% of the sales price by listing with someone offering to charge you less can very easily end with you losing much more than 1% if the home sits on the market with no offers. Before too long you're making price reductions, and a 1% drop isn't going to make much of a difference to a buyer in most cases.

Good luck!

Stephanie Davis
Carolina One Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
Commissions are negotiable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
If the listing agent sells it to a buyer without another agent, then the listing agent is still paid the contractually agreed upon fee between the seller and the agent. Sometimes the contract can stipulate that if that type of sale occurs, then the fee will go down by 1%, or something like that.

What is it that you would like to list? Call me anytime for advice, answers, or to get your property SOLD.
Dan Mengedoht
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
Thanks Dan. What is there is only a seller's agent and no buyer's agent? Does the feel typically drop to 5% to the individual selling agent? Just curious... Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
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