To clear things up I never said that a single agent sees the entire 6%, my point was that the home seller sees the full 6% from their bottom line nearly every time.
Also I never said that real estate agents generate unlimited wealth. My beef is with the structure of the commission system. The sale of a $300,000 house should not force a seller to dish out 30 times as much money as he would pay if his house was to sell for $10,000. Real estate professionals should determine the cost of selling a house and charge a flat fee regardless of the sale price, and that is exactly what discount brokers have started to do.
Also, someone mentioned the blackballing of discount brokers, doesn't that violate the Realtor code as well as one or two laws?
P.S. I take back my previous comments. Implicating discount brokers in the foreclosure crisis was out of line. However, it is disturbing that in Missouri we have a list of services that all brokers are required to perform and I've found that a lot of discount brokers just collect a fee, put the house in the MLS, and then they are done (leaving the sellers to fend for themselves).
Our house went under contract 16 days after being listed, our agent helped us with the entire negotiation/inspection process, and we closed on the home within 7 weeks of listing. Not only was our selling price higher than than either of the two full commission agents were going to list the property for but we saved several thousand dollars in commissions.
We were very pleased with the service our agent provided from start to finish and would recommend her to anyone.
I still maintain that discount agents are the wave of the future. Take Redfin for example, their website is here: http://www.redfin.com/home. They are an extremely successful example of a streamlined low cost agency that benefits the real estate market. While many people wouldn't pay a dentist 5 dollars for a procedure, they consistently pay brokerages such as Scottrade, ETrade, etc, 5-7 dollars to sell investments with value that far exceeds any equity they may have in their homes. 10 years ago nobody would dare make a stock sale outside of their full service and expensive brokerage, but the discount brokerage model slowly crept onto the scene and the market as a whole is much better and more efficient for it.
Cartel-like laws artificially keep commissions high but the change to low cost real estate brokerages is imminent and should be embraced by Realtors since it will unequivocally be embraced by sellers and buyers once laws are reformed.
Maybe the best way to combat this problem is through testimonials. If you can produce quotes from clients that focus on the irreplaceable service you provided as the seller of their home, it might help to prove what you have to offer. Also, bringing up a few horror stories may actually help. It's probably useful to demonstrate that there are oftentimes unexpected problems that come up and that sellers NEED experienced professionals to navigate the process.
I don't know how much the use of discount brokers has effected the market overall. BUT, I know as a lender that when I'm working with one on the other side of the deal from my buyer, things move very slowly and sometimes not at all.
simple fact is, you gotta list a hellava lot of properties to make money just on the listing side...
Many discount agents are also blackballed by other agents. so sellers should pay careful attention to who they hire to sell their home.
After all, if you ask an agent for references, s/he's only going to give you the names of people who are going to tell you that they "walk on water". They're not going to give you the names of people who were anything less than super-satisfied with their performance.
Sorry you had a bad experience...but like in any industry there are good in bad. Best Tip: get references and don't go for the lowest commission.
Are you a real estate pro?