Foreclosure in Atlanta>Question Details

A. Creagh, Both Buyer and Seller in Atlanta, GA

Realtor's fees are negotiable; what % are Atlanta sellers really paying their agents? If assist. as buyers?

Asked by A. Creagh, Atlanta, GA Sat Aug 18, 2007

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22
A.C.
To answer your question, Commission percentages can be wide and varied. Whatever YOU and YOUR agent/broker have negotiated is the "going rate". Don't make a mistake by choosing the lowest commission and expect the best service. Most times you do get what you pay for. - Steve
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2007
I would emphasise that the "anti-trust laws" may prohibit us from discussing commissions here. We all represent different companies and should not be entertaining this discussion.

Commissions are negotiable and can be discussed in house with your own brokerage.
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2007
Wow, "Anti-trust" is right. After that response I wouldn't trust you at all.
Flag Thu Mar 7, 2013
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
MVP'08
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My goodness I see that the answers are as varied as their understanding. Realtors are independant contractors and so long as the broker gets their % the realtor can set their commission at whatever they want. i am on track for the best year ever and it has been mad simple by charging 7% nad only reducing to 6% if I am doing immediate business with the client.
As a full time top producer offering the latest marketing tools I have had only one objection in 50 listings YTD. They are at 7% and i will reduce the commission .5% for each referral they send me that closes during the time they are listed. Simple but fair
Web Reference: http://www.teamrenton.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2007
Josh and Jeanette. Off topic, but. . . . Like my dad often told me. "He doesn't want a discounted price, all he wants is a fair price, and for me to be accountable for the results he's hired me to accomplish." I then realized that if my own father would not pay a fair fee for services rendered, how can I ask, yet expect, anyone else to do so. In my humble opinion, all commissions, regardless of the amount, are truly earned when the expected results are delivered. - Steve
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2007
Hi Josh:
Unfortunately, Mom is heaven and they don't charge commission up there.

I do have one question for you, what do your clients think about your commission policy?

Who gets the break; what's the criteria? Are you working at the same level for one as the other?

If so - then why should one pay more than the other? If dear old Ma were still amongst us - she would be highly upset if I charged Uncle Joe more than Aunt Betsy.

Again, AC - if you are a buyer - you shouldn't have to pay a fee; but there are instances where the buyer is required - for instance - some foreclosures or as-is properties, not to mention for sale by owner.

As a seller; well, you see that there are varying degrees to what each individual agent will charge - based on their contract with their broker.

But our hands are tied by Federal Anti Trust Laws - and we are squeamish about stating anything as a "standard". We could be held liable by those very laws - and lose the licenses we worked so hard to obtain and maintain.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2007
Since no one likes my answer, here's a riddle then? What does your broker set your commission at?

Why doesn't anyone answer? It may be true that every Broker has a policy, but you can't have it both ways. You can't dodge the question and then flame someone for putting an answer that you disagree with.

My Broker has this policy on commission: You can set it for whatever you want. Just know that if you are not profitable, we might not be the right Broker for you. The previous Broker was the same way (Chapman Hall), I don't care what you charge as long as you can pay the monthly fees.

Sorry I was so naive to think that a Broker should let an agent run THEIR business. (Sarcasm intended)

To Jeanette: You can charge each client different because each client and situation is unique. Would you charge your Mom for full service? You can serve them equally if you like or reduce your services. I'm not one that believes one size fits all though. That's not to say that you shouldn't have a set of minimum standards. Hopefully, that's what you were referring to.
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
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Joshua wrote:
Whoa, Sidney! Good answer, but the first paragraph is completely false. Comanies and Brokers DO NOT set commission, except in the flat fee or discount broker services. A full service agent can charge anything they want.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then you can charge whatever you want without having it approved by your broker (or, are you the broker?)? We cannot go below a certain number without approval, and then the answer is usually "no".
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2007
Whoa, Sidney! Good answer, but the first paragraph is completely false. Comanies and Brokers DO NOT set commission, except in the flat fee or discount broker services. A full service agent can charge anything they want.

Typically I will offer a discount to a seller who uses me to help them purchase as well as sell their home. Like Sidney, I never charge a buyer a commission. However, seller do pay for my services.
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
Contact
A. C.,
You are not likely receive an answer to this question. REALTORs are restricted by national "anti-monopoly" laws from discussing compensation which could (supposedly) lead to "price fixing." It would probably be wise to re-post your question and ask "Atlanta Area-What is your commission % as a buyers agent? As a listing agent?" Just a thought... Best of luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
My suggestion is this---after listening to what the agent is doing they should be able to justify their fees and commission charges. If what they are doing sounds like something that will work to get your home sold then hire them. Don't get bogged down on what they charge get caught up with what they do. There are plenty of expired seller listing who were worried about getting the lowest commission possible and are now 120 days out from when they started and still have the house. The old adage you get what you pay for in most cases still applies. If the goal is to truly sell your house then work on getting an agent who has a marketing plan, internet presence and experience Also, interview an agent from each of the three tiers, full service menu service and discount brokers. If the house is priced right, in good condition then the right professional is all you are missing from the equation. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 28, 2007
There is no set standard and if any agent has told you otherwise, we would be running into Anti-Trust laws. For the Buyer's Agent Commission - most of the time it is disclosed on the data sheets what your agent will be compensated to acts on your behalf.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2007
Consider paying an upfront free (RETAINER FEE). You may get better service and also save on commissions. Each company/agent can charge what ever they want. It's completely negotiable between seller and agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
In my practice as a realtor, I never charge a buyer a commission. My commission comes from the commission paid by the agent who listed the property to begin with.

Check out The Nelms Team's web site at http://www.TheNelmsTeam.com
Web Reference: http://www.TheNelmsTeam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
I agree with Paul Renton's explanation and would like to add...you get what you pay for. Our team prides itself on being very tech savvy and offering what I like to call "wholesale marketing". Our team is built up of marketers that happen to work in the real estate industry. Our talents consist of graphic designer, web designer, market planning, content writing, etc. When you hire our team you aren't hiring a Realtor, you're hiring a Real Estate Marketing Firm...that's why we're able to get listings under contract within 35 days of their listing agreement...that's why our tagline is, "The Power to Move You!"

To answer the question...our team is usually at 6-7%...
Web Reference: http://www.rkihomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Jeanette - One of the best answers I've seen you write - most likely the best one that I've also answered on.

I'll answer your question AND pose another one to you.

Most of my clients are buyers, so it doesn't come up. Of the sellers I do help, most know what I do and what I present to them. However, most of them do not know what I charge others. Why? Because it's not their business. If I choose to bless a family and lower my fees to help them out of a tight situation, that's my perogative, and frankly, the joys of the job. Some of my most memorable deals are where I made the least amount of money. When people ask me what my commission is (as a seller), I tell them flat out, it varies on what their situation is and what they hope to accomplish. I've had listings as high as 8% (total) and as low as 4% (with 3 going to the buyer's agent).

As for Uncle Joe, he can pay higher, since dear old Ma had me, fed me, raised me and watched over me. Uncle Joe just came over to give me a "knuckle noogie." It's not even a question. I'll work for my Mom for free. Uncle Joe, he gets the family rate.

Now for my question to you, Jeanette.

If acting as a buyer's agent, do you disclose that you are getting more commission from one home over another? Do you clients know that you got more commission on their home over another?

Since buyer agent incentives and commissions vary, it may be even MORE important (keep in mind the seller is paying these all the while) to disclose that to your clients, so that they know that you are unbiased.
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
Contact
I must disagree with Joshua's response - unless he is the broker. The brokerage sets it's percentage - and you must abide by the rules of the house. Fees are negotiable BUT:

Having said this - be prepared to show cause if going to your broker for a reduction in the commission. What is done for one must be done for the multitude of agents within a brokerage and once the dam bursts, well - be ready for the flood.

To be quite honest - if you discount your services for one you should do the same for all. How can you equally serve otherwise?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
I think a better question is "If I am selling my home is the commission structure my only alternative?"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2007
Deborah, I think you may be right - and I'd say that you and Sidney may need to change companies. This is exactly what these lawsuits are about. I've only worked with one brokerage that said, "we're going to charge you a fee based on this percentage." I'm not sure where you guys work, but here that last statement was a big no-no because it forces the agent to set a minimum.

I can charge you $1 to list your home or I can charge you 99% commission. There's no set standard. This has been true at all the brokerages I have worked for.

In any case, it's totally off topic. Sorry about that A. Creagh.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If I am a managing broker, I can deny my agent's request for a commission below a percentage.
I apologize to the OP for getting off topic also, however, there is more to real estate than answering softball questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
Deborah, I think you may be right - and I'd say that you and Sidney may need to change companies. This is exactly what these lawsuits are about. I've only worked with one brokerage that said, "we're going to charge you a fee based on this percentage." I'm not sure where you guys work, but here that last statement was a big no-no because it forces the agent to set a minimum.

I can charge you $1 to list your home or I can charge you 99% commission. There's no set standard. This has been true at all the brokerages I have worked for.

In any case, it's totally off topic. Sorry about that A. Creagh.
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
Contact
Definitively, Brokers and Companies do set policy on commissions. In some companies, the policy may be to leave the both the income (commission charged) and expenses in completely in the hand of the agent. However, if an agent has the ability to set his/her own rate, it is only because the company for which they work has granted that permission.

In the majority of companies, Brokers maintain a specific policy about what fees are charged.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
This is a great question. The % varies depending on what the seller and the Realtor/Broker agree on. It used to be that many of the full service companies would usually charge 6% to 7%. Nowadays with the internet, and the growing number of discount brokers I am seeing that a lot of full service Realtors/Brokers are charging anywhere from 4.5% to 6% depending on how much they feel needs to be spent marketing the listing properly. When an agent works for a buyer, the commission is usually paid by the seller, unless it is a "for sale by owner" which in most cases the agent negotiates a commission with the seller before showing the property to the prospective buyer. I don't see people trying to negotiate commission with me on the buyers side very often. The only time it has come up is when I have had investors buying multiple properties, and there is very little work involved. In those cases there are some legal ways in which the Realtor can agree to take a lesser commission, and have it work out in the buyers favor. I hope my answer is helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Commissions are based on company policy and vary from broker to broker. While the Federal Sherman Anti-Trust Act restricts agents from agreeing to charge a "certain amount", price fixing, it does not restrict agents and brokers alike from advising a client what charges they will incur.

From your question, it appears that you are looking to buy a "home" or other property. I cannot advise you as to the practice of other Real Estate Agents or Brokers, but I can tell you that in my practice, I have never charged a buyer a commission.

Now, my services are not free. Usually the Seller of the property has already agreed to pay a commission based on the selling price of the property. This "Commission" is usually split between the Seller's Real Estate agent and the Buyer's Agent. This is not always the case. For example, if a buyer were to gain the assistance of an Agent and the Buyer chose a "FSBO" (For Sale By Owner) property, it could work out that the Agent's commission is added to the top of what the Buyer and Seller ultimately agree is the "Selling Price" of the property. Usuallly the agent will negotiate this inclusion with the Seller.

I hope this helps your understanding of the process. Please feel free to contact me if you have futher questions or if I may assist in your property search. Again, it is my policy to NOT charge buyers for the representation durion a purchase.

Best regards,
Sidney Walker
Associate Broker, REALTOR
RE/MAX Around Atlanta
(404) 606-6062
Web Reference: http://www.SidneyWalker.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
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