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Yes, commissions are negotiable. Most Realtors charge 6% (3% to the listing agent, 3% to the buyer broker). Many agents are now charging higher commissions on short sales or properties that may be more of a challenge to sell. With changing markets come change in business practices. During the hey day of the market a lot of agents were cutting their commissions because they were banking on volume. I would be wary of any agents cutting their commissions in this market though. There's always a reason why something is cheap. And more than likely in the case of a discount broker you will get discounted service as well.
Commissions are negotiable.
With 55,000+ properties for sale in the Phoenix MLS, you need an aggressive, go-getter type of agent who knows how to find buyers. If this agent/broker is this type of person, then a 6% commission is a bargain. I've seen a lot of experienced, seasoned, well-qualified listing agents charge 7%-10% commission, because selling a home now requires more time, money & effort than ever before. There are 55,000+ other properties for sale, finding a qualified buyer is more difficult (because loans are tougher to qualify for now) and marketing the home is much more expensive. I think 6% listing fee is a bargain, because At 6% commission, this agent/broker may barely have enough money to pay for all expenses. So, you may want to question this agent/broker as to what services you can expect from him/her.
Plus, with the buyer's market, and agents doing less business this year compared to last, they are more aware of what they are being paid on each transaction.
My advice is if the agent is experienced, very knowledgable about your neighborhood, and is full-time, upstanding professional, then 6% is worth it. You know the old saying, "you get what you pay for", well, this is typically true with selling property in today's market.
Hope this helps.
Randy Courtney, Broker
Courtney Vallywide Properties
As my fellow colleagues have noted 6% is pretty much the standard listing commission with 3% generally going to the buyer's agent. And yes, the commission is negotiable. During the torrid markets of 2004 and 2005 we saw many discount brokerages coming into the market offering 4% listing deals. Many of these companies have either vanished or have lost a tremendous amount of market share due to the limited service they offered their clients. In this market you need a true full time professional (like those who post to Trulia.com) who will market your home properly and effectively
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I'm sure selling long distance is nerve wracking, and you want to be sure you are not being taken advantage of. Of course, agent fees are always negotiable, but generally speaking 6% is pretty standard in the industry. Typically, the buyer's agent/broker will be paid 3% and the seller's agent will be paid 3%. In my personal opinion, you want to be sure that you are offering the buyer's agent at least 3%, so if fees are reduced, it would more than likely be on the seller's side. I would absolutely recommend shopping around, and interviewing at least two other agents and reviewing their individual marketing plans. Check out their websites and ask them for their stats. Find out where each agent recommends you price your home to sell and why. How do they embrace the internet to market your home thoroughly? How often will the commit to do an open house until your property is under contract?
If your broker has informed you that "everything is negotiable", it sounds to me like he/she has opened the door to negotiation. Bear in mind, the more you pay, the more motivated your agent will be to focus the extra time necessary to actively market and sell your home. These days, your agent will need to work harder than ever. It may not be worth saving 1% or so, which is about the best discount you may find.
I would also suggest outlining specifically what the rate will be if the agent finds their own buyer, and is essentially a "dual" agent, and what the rate will be if YOU find the buyer. Trust me, it happens, as no one is more motivated to sell this property than YOU!!
Please visit my website at http://www.buyanewhomeinaz.com for more suggestions regarding a successful sale. Good Luck!
When interviewing a REALTOR to sell your home, ask them what they charge and what they are going to do for it. Most fees are split equally between the listing agent and the buyer's agent. You may ask, what will the listing agent charge you if they procure the buyer themselves, maybe a discount for you.
In this tougher buyer's market, a listing agent may have to work harder and longer to get your home sold.