Home Selling in 30045>Question Details

Texasbound, Home Seller in 30045

What is the standard commission fee for a sellers agent?

Asked by Texasbound, 30045 Wed May 20, 2009

In these buyers' market times will realtors negotiate the rate if I want be more agressive myself in the sale of my house? I am considering FSBO because I can market my house effectively and that I am more of a stakeholder in the efficient and swift marketing and sale of my house.
Also, I have read about brokers that provide a la carte services for sellers, such as MLS, virtual tours, escrow services, etc. Is this a service offerred by realtors in general?
Thanks for your responses

Help the community by answering this question:


That is an easy question to answer, Tex. There is no standard fee for a listing agent, although some managing brokers will not allow their agents to take and market a property for less than a certain percentage. What you are likely referring to as a la carte services may be provided by specific brokers who market those services for a set fee, but not in general. A FSBO is an option if you want to do the work yourself and have the time to devote to selling your home prior to your relocation. Regardless of what you choose, Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
As everyone has said, fees are usually negotiable. If the objective is to sell your home as opposed to list it then you should get the best qualified agent and let them run.

As far as by owner homes, good luck. At the risk of sounding obnoxious, you do not have the resources an experienced agent has nor the connections. You also don't have the experience in negotiation and problem resolution. By owner homes sell infrequently and typically for less than agent brokered homes - and that's based on data, not opinion.

I'm happy to offer ideas to you but keep the three most important things in mind - for a home to sell in this market is has to be PRICED RIGHT / EXPOSED / BE APPEALING. You are unlikely to be truley objective with your home and discount brokers are most interested in generating buyer leads from your home -

You get what you pay for and often you don't have to pay retail - good luck

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
Prudential GA Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 22, 2009
I like reading about homeowners who want to sell their home without professional representation.

First, if you can do it, great. About 10% of homes are sold by owners directly to buyers. That is the good news. If you can do it on your own, go ahead. According to an NAR survey of home sellers, 5% of the time they sell to someone they know, 5% to someone they don't know, and 86% of the time they list their home with a Realtor.

Second, most home sellers think if they sell they'll save on the cost of commission. Some things to think about:
1. Would you hire me to sell your home if I had YOUR record in home sales?
2. That same NAR survey showed that homes sold by Realtors averaged 16% more in price.
3. If the goal is to sell and make the most profit, know that approximately 90% of homes are purchased by buyers represented by Realtors (same NAR survey). Why? Because the buyer's agent works for "free" because the sales commission is paid by the seller. So buyers get a neighborhood expert, great negotiator, an advocate.

Some sellers think that if they sell on their own, they will pay the buyer's agent to handle both sides of the transaction. Two questions here:
If you were a Realtor, would you do twice the work for half the money?
If you were a Realtor, and there are lots of listings for sale in the MLS, why would you even look at a home where you know you will make less money and do more work? The only answer that I have found is the price of the home is such as a good deal.

Most Realtors are prohibited from helping sellers unless there is an agency relationship. This means that the Realtor is protected by the errors and omissions insurance. That also means that our brokers, who are legally liable for our actions, do not let us put ourselves in the position of liability exposure.

The biggest concern I have is the number of posts we read from sellers who have serious questions about their transaction and they post them on Trulia. They are asking people who they do not know, who know nothing about their personal situation, their paperwork, etc. So what happens if they are not asking really important questions?

The definition of a professional is some who knows that they know and knows what they don't know and understands the difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
I don't know where you live, but check out our Virtual tours that we do for our owners. We have been doing the narrated video tours or property internet ads for 5 years now. I am amazed at the realtors still using that Fisheye lense, YIKES! Just copy and paste into your browser.
If you are looking to go FSBO, If you have an agent that you have talked to in the past and trust them, when you find that RIGHT Buyer, that realtor can be a transaction agent for you for a FLAT FEE. Discuss this with the realtor up front and negotiate what that fee will be and discuss what you feel and they feel are their responsibilities. We have done private transactions from $500 Flat Fee, to 4.2% it just depends on the property. Your realtor can coordinate and do all the paperwork involved in the transaction and the buyer may assist you in those costs as well and should, since you and they are both saving money.
Have a Great Day.
Web Reference: http://www.hansbarger.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
Although the other answers are generally correct, I suspect they may not have addressed your specific questions.

Standard commission? As the others state, there is no "standard." It's negotiable. Having said that, you may notice that full-service agents will propose commissions generally within a percentage point or so of one another. I won't say what those numbers might be. However, if you ask a few agents in your area, you're very likely to get a clear idea of what the "going rate" generally is. But, then feel free to negotiate.

FSBO? Some sellers are successful at that. Certainly give it a shot. However, it's very unlikely you can market your home more effectively than a good agent. Yes, you are more of a stakeholder in the efficient and swift marketing and sale of your home. But that's both good and bad. You may have more motivation, but you're also closer and more emotionally involved in the outcome. And that's not so good. Still, seriously, give it a try.

A la carte services? Most Realtors don't offer a la carte services--let's say a fee for listing it on the MLS, a fee for posting signs, a fee for mailings, a fee for website creation and promotion, a fee for contract preparation, and so on. But there are some companies that do specialize in those. Again, if that's the route you decide to go, that may work for you. That way, rather than handling everything yourself (as a FSBO), you can just buy those services you feel you need, and continue doing those things you feel comfortable and qualified to do.

Do some research first to determine which route you want to go. And if, for instance, you find that selling as a FSO isn't working for you, you can then always "upgrade" to a full service Realtor.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Hi Texasbound,
To answer your question, there is no standard commision fee. An old adage of mine is " You get what you pay for". A full service Realtor will market your home extensively to get the highest exposure for you. Internet and MLS presence is going to give you the best exposure. Keep in mind each Realtor listing your home must also split that commision with the agent that ultimately brings the buyer. The good news is that unlike a fee paid service where you pay for ala carte services up front with noguarntess; your full service listing agent only gets paid when they sell your home at an agreeable price to you. Yes, you can take the For Sale By owner route and save 1/2 the commision, but keep in mind you lose the exposure of the MLS systems, the expertise of the market, and you will have to handle all aspects of marketing, showing, and negotiating on your own. In todays buyers market where pricing and marketing are so critical I highly reccomend the services of a full time Realtor who is well educated in the market. This would include knowledge of area statistics, a highly visible technology based marketing program, excellant negotiating skills, and great core ethics and work values. Interview several to get a feel for which route is best for you. See which Realtor offers what you are most looking for. Then let them do the marketing and exposure work for you while you prepare for your move. I live and work extensively in the 30044-30045 area, and welcome the opportuntiy to speak with you about my services. I wish you the best on getting your home marketed and sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
Texasbound, I think reading these two excellent blogs may provide you with some information...



Also Prospecting for clients among those thinking or doing a FSBO is common so take the advice/info
with that in mind.. http://www.realtor.org/toolkits/fsbo00
http://www.realtor.org/pac.nsf/pages/FSBOBanners ...

Good luck, Dunes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
There is no standard commission for realtors because it would be illegal to have one set fee. If all Real Estate companines collaborated to set one standard fee then it would be illegal, so each company has their own separate policies regarding commission. You definitely will get what you pay for - that part is standard...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
You have touched on several different items here.

1. If you try to sell your property strictly By Owner, you are limiting your property's exposure to agents tremendously. They won't have access to your property through their local MLS and will only show your property if it is in their target market or they have a buyer looking in your specific neighborhood. An agent will contact you prior to showing your home to their buyer to negotiate the commission rate you are willing to pay them if they sell your property. Bottom line, you will have a very limited number of agents viewing your home, much less bringing you offers, if you don't have it listed in their local MLS.

2. There are Brokers providing ala carte services with a flat fee business model where you pay up front for the services provided. There are great differences in the prices and services provided among companies and is recommended you do some homework to make sure the selected Broker has experience with this business model and provides the services required to sell your property in today's market, i.e. MLS, virtual tours, website presence, contract forms, lockbox (easy agent access), etc. It will be up to you as the Seller to make yourself available via phone and email so buyers and agents alike can communicate with you.

Secondly, you should be willing to pay the selling agent a standard commission, if not higher. In today's market, with so much inventory, commission advertised can definitely make a difference in your home being shown. You will shortcut the number of showings by agents (who have the serious buyers) if you are not willing to pay them.

3. I will be happy to explain the flat fee business model with you in more detail and the advantages of using a nationally known branded company.
Web Reference: http://www.c21clickit.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
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