Home Selling in Denver>Question Details

Michael fultz, Both Buyer and Seller in Aurora, CO

average home selling commission rate in Denver

Asked by Michael fultz, Aurora, CO Sat Mar 23, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Of course there is such a thing as average commission. It is an exercise in math. Add up all the commission rates and divide by the number of gross commissions and you get the average. It will be somewhere between 4% and 6%. In other words, commissions can vary…because commission is negotiable. Having said that, all realtors expect to make a living. Personally, I work hard for my clients and expect to get paid properly for my effort.

By the way, discussing commission – including what you want to be paid – is not against the law. Not even in a public forum such as Trulia.com. We have not given up the right of free speech.

What is against anti-trust law is for agents to agree as a group as to what the commission should be. That is price fixing and it is illegal.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that 4-6% split between the buyer's agent and the seller's agent, and isn't that split again between the agents' brokerage firms and the agents? And don't the marketing costs come out of the agents' take? Agents net a lot less than most people think, I believe.
Flag Sat Oct 26, 2013
These are great answers. Yes, it's an anti-trust violation for us to discuss commission. Yes, it's negotiable based on many factors. I have observed the clients who obsess over commission lose out on other important factors in the end. Yes, it's important, but don't let it be your only deciding factor.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
Commission is always negotiable, and the Department of Justice even condones it as good competitive behavior among agents.

So yes, there are average commission rates, close to 6%, but that can really vary depending on the location and price of the home you're wanting to sell. Many 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 negotiating rates.

At UpNest (http://www.upnest.com), we created an 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.

Hope that helps!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 26, 2015
I read a lot of the posts in this listing. What a bunch of self-serving BS from the real estate community. Reminds me of the Denver taxi drivers complaining about Uber.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
As a mortgage broker primarily in the refi market, I look at thousands of Zillow estimates of market value per year, and I look at homes that are listed, who they are listed with, and how long they've been on the market. It seems to me that, in general, homes listed by owner seem to be on the market longer, and more often have a series of price reductions, which are sometimes viewed as signs of desperation.

That said, I also see listings by full commission brokers that are initially well above the market (having sold the seller on unrealistic expectations to get the listing), only to have to drop the price multiple times.

One problem with FSBO's is that the majority of buyers use a buyer's agent who won't show them homes that don't pay a full commission, so the seller doesn't get much traffic.

The notion that sellers pay the commission is a myth. The commission comes out of the price the buyer pays.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 26, 2013
Sinbad, I agree with you! I would look at doing a flat fee rate and offering a much lower commission to the buyers agen (2.3 or 2.5%). Since I am in a sellers market and most people find their re choices on the internet, there isn't any need for signs or brochures either. Just put it on the MLS and wait a few hours for the phone to start ringing.
Flag Tue Apr 12, 2016
I believe it is true that FSBO's stay on the market longer. I think it is due to the fact that the listing isn't in the MLS.

I am looking at listing my home and can have it put in the MLS (which propagates the other sites-- trulia, zillow, realtorcom, yahoo, aol etc) and the flat rate for doing this is anywhere from $199 and up depending on which company you go with.

Flat rate MLS is a great tool to use in an economic situation like our current low supplyt/high demand real estate market especially if you want to do fsbo.

I am looking at a site that charges $249 for 6 months MLS listing (including all others) with 3 price adjustments and 15 photos. They offer negotiation, counter proposals, signs, lock-boxes, fliers and more. I can also offer the buyers agent 2.5% which I believe is more than enough since there is absolutely NO competition in my surrounding area.
Flag Sat Jan 24, 2015
ok, so you are saying the buyer pays more than the offer amount to cover the commission!
Flag Tue Jul 29, 2014

There is no 'average commission' rate in Denver. This is something to discuss individually with each of the agents you choose to interview. What is more important is what each one will do for you for your agreed upon commission. What you don't want is an 'average' agent working with you with what could be one of the biggest transactions you will do in your lifetime. Find an outstanding Realtor to assist you with this important matter. Best of success with your endeavors.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
BS The Average in Colorado is 5.5% THATS WAY TO HIGH
Flag Tue Oct 22, 2013
Hello Michael:
Real Estate Professionals answer to very strict rules and guidelines that do not allow this kind of discussion in a public venue. I have been in the real estate arena for a long time and would be happy to meet for coffee to discuss how to market your home effectively, research a new purchase and answer any other inquires you may have.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Candace Glass
Broker Associate
HomeSmart Realty Group
303-884-5454 Direct
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
If you would like to email me at Jimismyagent@gmail.com I would be happy to discuss with you what I charge and what I provide for that price.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
Commission is a subject to be discussed and negotiated, based on specific situation. In my opinion, you basically get what you pay for. You should discuss this with your agent, specific to your situation and the services you want and expect that agent to provide.
Sorry I can't be more specific, but I believe that the why's are discussed pretty adequately below.
Good luck.
Chuck Strauss
Your Castle Real Estate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
Commission is always negotiable but to answer your question- 6% total.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 27, 2015
The average commission is 3.2% for a listing agent. However, commission is always something to be negotiated!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2015
The average commission for a listing agent is 3.2%. However, all commission rates are negotiable!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2015
I know this is an older questions, but in my experience, I think the days of Realtors getting paid 6% to sell a home may be heading toward extinction.

The the Denver Metro market, many (most) homes sell within a matter or hours or days. Realtor fees are typically split 3.2% to the seller's agent, 2.8% to the buyer's agent. I can tell you with certainty, the buyer's agent DESERVES the 2.8% -- it is so difficult to find a property, especially between $200-$300K in this market that most have multiple offers within hours.

I tried a "Flat Fee" Commission program in Denver in 2014, and my former company, RE/MAX would not allow me to do it, so I left. I've been thinking about re-starting a new campaign with a variable flat fee rate again this year. I think a flat rate is fair ... period.

Julie Montgomery
Cherry Creek Properties, LLC
Web Reference: http://jmontgomery.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 25, 2015
My two cents.
Commission is negotiated between Seller and Agent and while there may be an average, there is no fixed 'standard'. That is what is not allowed under our license. When you negotiate with your listing agent, you will come to an agreement about the percentage of commission to be paid. The listing agent generally shares 2.8% of the sales price with the Buyers' agent, takes the balance and gives whatever split they may have (not all do) with their employing broker, subtracts marketing costs for your property (because we pay for that whether you sell you home or pull it from the market) and keeps the remainder.
It's a great question and you'll get many answers from many agents and as you can see, a few gripes from people who don't value the profession and most likely don't tip their waiters.
Personally, I've never let the commission discussion break a deal. We either find a number we are both comfortable with or we move on. Life's not about the b.s.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2014
I read a lot of the posts in this listing. What a bunch of self-serving BS from the real estate community. Reminds me of the Denver taxi drivers complaining about Uber.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
What do you do for a living? Is your salary set or do you maintain a fluid negotiating process for your compensation? You are on a real estate site with people asking real estate agents direct questions about commission structure. What do you expect? To call it self-serving BS shows me you don't see value in Realtors, which is fine. Just don't use one. I feel the same about chiropractors.
Flag Thu Nov 6, 2014
Thanks Paul! Your Right! Its a great feeling when you can save people thousands of dollars! And its even better when they in turn refer others to you as well! Have a great day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 1, 2013
Bob's model for selling homes is great! I have been doing the same thing for 14 years and sellers love it. Full representation, complete marketing plan and saving money on the sale of your home! Doesn't get any better than that!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 1, 2013
20%, that sounds about right.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 1, 2013
You are correct.. If someone did not do all of that it would not be a benefit to the seller...

However, Robert, That is not the case.. You know as well as I do that the MLS (Metrolist) charges us all a flat rate for as many listings as we have into their system. With IDX designation, all of our listings are automatically uploaded to Realtor.com, Realtor.com, and 100's of other sites as well as your own personal website for the public to view...all for the same flate MLS fee. Signs, lockboxes and brochures, which I do in color and on photo paper for both inside and outside, are all expected and provided to anyone listing their home with me. We all use the same real estate commission approved contracts and most of all use electronic contracts.. too make our jobs even easier.

Not sure I agree with you regarding losing money on $995 as you are not considering that I stated that amount was if someone was also buying a home. You are also not taking into consideration being able to sell my own listing. I do see your thought process as this is the perception most agents give the public becase they don't have all the information

Robert be careful using the term "representing" becasue you know as well as I do, that we are not attorneys. We are too look out for the sellers best interest and follow ethics as Realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 1, 2013

As I stated below in a previous answer below, 'you get what you pay for'. If a 'Realtor' marketed your home correctly with the proper advertising, flyers, Realtor.com, Open Houses, signs in place, lockboxes, etc.; he would lose money at $995.00 and quickly be out of business. The discount brokers will come to your home with a menu of items that add up to the same commissions as a professional broker.

Most discount brokers offer this 'bait and switch' approach because they can't compete with the rest of us who are doing business the right way and have all available resources and marketing materials available and charge enough to 'represent' you fully and look out for your best interests. Look over the discount broker's paperwork if you must and then interview a couple of other reputable local Realtors before making a decision. You also don't want to buy a 'cheap' parachute or have surgery with a doctor who will do the surgery for a 1/4 of the normal rate or less.

Robert McGuire
Your Castle Realestate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 1, 2013
I had a home listed several years ago and listed with several 6% realtors from Remax, Keller Williams and several others. In the end the 1% guy is the realtor who sold it. Price never changed-- house never changed. Service was the same-- put a sign up in the yard, fill the fliers (once) and throw it on the MLS and wait for another agent to show it and a buyer to write a contract.
Flag Sat Jan 24, 2015
In regards to commission percentages, An agent can charge whatever they want to to sell a home. I drive around with a banner on my car that states I sell homes for 1% and only $995 if the seller is buying a home from me. What the public doen't understand is that each agent and company has exactly the same avenues of advertising to use. There is not a 6% MLS or a 3.8% MLS, all the houses get placed in the same system for all agents to show. The difference in what someone charges is how much there employing Broker takes from that agent at closing or how many other assistants also get paid.

Julie states that the 2.8% co-op is not negotiable???? Is that not price fixing??? In this current market with homes basically selling overnight, why are you as a seller not able to negotiate the CO-OP??

Michael if I can assist you in anyway, please let me know. I have been saving my clients thousands for over 20 years!

Bob Calicchia
Broker / Owner
Metro Broker Total Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 1, 2013
Hey Michael -- there's no such things as an "average" commission rate in Denver. It's completely between the listing agent and the seller, but the 2.8% co-op fee you'll pay a buyer's agent is not negotiable.

Here's some good advice: when selecting someone to represent your best interests in what's likely to be the largest investment you'll ever make, don't cut corners. The reality, is real estate is one of the only professions in the world where literally anyone can get a license. No education, experience required. Just take a six-week course that teaches you "how" to pass the real estate exam, and they turn these people loose on the public (who, of course, assumes we're all the same). That's like saying all doctors are the same or all attorneys are the same ... you always get what you pay for in any industry.

Good Realtors with years of experience, knowledge and talent, like any other profession, are worth they're weight in gold (literally). Julie Montgomery, Elite Denver Homes, http://www.jmontgomery.com
Web Reference: http://www.jmontgomery.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 27, 2013
Know the difference between "they're" and "their" is apparently not on the exam. :)
Flag Sat Oct 26, 2013
A big fat 6% is what they usually take, crazy right?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 27, 2013
To break down that generic 'they' you referenced, that typical but not fixed rate is split between the following:
Buyer's Agent, Buyer's Agent Brokerage fees, Buyer's Agent assistant(if applicable), any rebate/bonus offered to the Buyer(if offered), referral fee(if applicable), Buyer's Agent marketing fees, gas, and work time.

That is a pretty long list. Oh, let's not forget to double that potential list to the Selling side too, as that big fat 6% covers both sides of the transaction. Selling a $350k home as the Buyer's agent, it is not uncommon to take home $3802 of a potential $10500 if all those variables applied for a min of 3 mos work. Doesn't seem so big and fat anymore, does it?

Usually the same person making generic comments without facts, doesn't question the salary of a lawyer, dentist, or doctor. If it is so big and fat, why isn't everyone a realtor? Because, though there is potential reward of good money, not great, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Good day.
Flag Tue Jan 6, 2015
Hi Michael,

From my almost 39 years in the real estate business, the most prevalent 'Average' selling
commission rate has been 6%. Of course there are 'discount' brokers who will work for less;
the caveat is "...you get what you pay for..." In any market, you want a broker who is honest,
one who has integrity, a broker with a good reputation who can also provide references. It
will pay dividends for you to shop for the best service and then see if you can negotiate a
fee for their service. On occasion, we have agreed to reduce our fee if we are also helping
a Seller buy a replacement property where we get paid 2 commissions.


Stim Kennedy
Broker, CRS, ABR, NCE, SEC
stimson KENNEDY Realtors
Cell: 303 478.9494
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 24, 2013
Michael, Commission rate is depending upon the agent. As mentioned by other agents answering the question it is an anti-trust violation to discuss publicly. If you would like to discuss privately feel free to reach me! Best of luck in your selling!

Bill Pearson GRI, SRES |"Your Denver Realtor For Life"
ERA Herman Group Real Estate| 201 Columbine Street| Suite 301| Denver CO 80206
720-329-1470 |Bill@DenverRealtorForLife.com
5280 Magazine FIVE STAR Real Estate Professional – 2010, 2011, 2012
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
Always interview a few agents. it helps you understand who will be worth the commission. always ask to see their own performance regarding average days on market and average discount from original list price to net sold price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
Commissions are always negotiable; with that being said it is not illegal for a Realtor® to advertise their business plan / commission schedule. It is illegal to attempt to fix rates / collude with others to attempt to set a “market or average rate”. While you question is valid most realtors® will not and should not quote you over the internet. Michael, you should interview at least 5 Realtors® in your area and at these interviews you can negotiate with them & discuss their marketing plans for your home. Key questions to ask during the interview is how many transactions they performed last year, if it is less than 15 no matter what rate I would not hire them. If they have another job where they cannot ANSWER the phone during business hours 9-5, do not hire them. If they are not local to your area 10-15 miles do not hire them, if they don’t know the names of the schools around your home do not hire them. Do not depend on a REFERRAL this means little or nothing in this industry, you want Realtors® who are full time and well-practiced at their trade, this does not mean they’ve been in the business 10 years this means they performed at least 15 transactions last year. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
Hi Michael, Interesting answers you have received already. Actually, the best way to find out about a Realtor and their commission structure is to interview several that seem to provide adequate information about themselves. Interviewing someone to help you with the sale or purchase of your home is something most folks aren't comfortable with as it requires asking probing questions like: how many transactions have you closed over the last year or even last month, how long have you been in the business, your success rate in negotiating, especially in multiple offer scenarios, etc. Feel free to contact me to ask these questions and more. You'll like the answers. Thanks for taking a moment to review my response. paulsdenverhomes@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
It's a taboo to discuss in any way other than what you or your office charges, because it's against the law. I even had an attorney say, that if one of us is in a room full of real estate agents discussing their commission, we should get up and leave rather than risk breaking anti-trust laws.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013

It varies from agent to agent and company to company. It can also depend on your situation. For example, if you are planning on selling and buying using the same Realtor, you might be able to negotiate a reduced commission. For some reason this topic is always such a taboo to discuss, but I think buyers and sellers in Colorado should be more aware on how we get paid, so I dedicated a blog post to this. http://www.trulia.com/blog/marina_jensen/2012/07/how_realtor…
I hope you find it helpful!

Marina Jensen
Realtor with Cherry Creek Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
We're actually not supposed to discuss commission as an 'average', by law. I guess the powers-that-be don't want the public to get the idea that there is a standard fee, so you won't feel like you're stuck paying that amount, when maybe you could have actually paid less.

You should find agents that work in your area regularly and ask them individually what their fees are, and what service they provide for those fees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 23, 2013
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