I recommend that you consider this question:
What is the best way to sell my home for the highest profit after closing?
If you asked that question, you would receive a lot of answers. Somewhere in the list you will find nuggets of knowledge. However, I doubt you will find advice such as "list with the agent who charges the lowest commission".
Most Realtors have relationships with other peers in other areas. For example, in our company when a referral comes to our office, those eligible for the referral are members of the Agent Leadership Council (ALC)., The ALC is composed of the top 10% of the agents in the office, so when in our case there is a very good possibility that the agent that gets that referral is one of the best agents in that area.
A good Realtor will save you more money than they earn in most cases. These days not everyone can sell a home. Those that enter escrow may not close. It takes skill, drive, and passion to protect your clients' best interests and keep a transaction going.
Paying a referral fee to an agent that is local is customary. If the local agent that accepts the referral is ethical and fair, it should not affect the advertising in any way. Many agents keep a list of reciprocity so they know that a referral, at some point, will come back to them. Of course, any licensed agent can market a home anywhere in the state, but you are smart by getting a local agent that knows the area as far as price, schools, locale and geographics are concerned. When I have a client that is outside my immediate area, I always ask my client for permission to refer the listing out. After all, an agent's true mission is to best service his client and this can only be done if he/she knows the area well. Many agents of franchise companies have relocation departments where this type of referral is widely accepted an understood. Again, an agent's fiduciary relationship to his client should always be intact regardless of the commission. An agent always has the ability up front to either accept or reject the commission that is being offered. I have found that it is more important for a seller's agent to know a specific area than it is for a buyer's agent to know the area.
Good luck in the sale of your home. I have sold previously in the Red Hook area and have gotten to know it quite well. If I can answer any of your other concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.
FHA has a relocation service which is part of worldwide relocation network. We do pay and/or accept referral fees when referring agents in other areas and I would not worry about sub-par service from the agents we referred.
I, as well as our relocation manager follow up and check with the agent we refer our clients and make sure they do a great job for them. We also ask for feedback from our clients and keep track of the agents / brokerage we use to make sure they provide our clients with the best service possible.
Due to the reputation of our brokerage as well as the amount of business we might refer, we are confident the referred-to realtor/brokerage will do their best to make sure they stay on our list for future referrals.
In addition, the agent would want to do their best for you as agents always want to build long term relationship with their clients. Who knows, you might use them to sell your house later, or you might refer others to them.
So, no, I won't worry about the referral fee.
Thank you for thinking responsibly. Proper treatment of referrals in the real estate business is very important. Your first consideration should be for your broker and office policy about referrals. Every effort should be made to maintain a consistant policy.
The normal out of the are referral rate can vary between 20 and 30 percent. Keeping a consistant rate will encourage people to continue to consider reaching out for agent support.