Home Selling in Wauwatosa>Question Details

Tom, Home Seller in Wauwatosa, WI

I have a home I'm selling in Wauwatosa Wisconsin for $220,000.00. What is the lowest commission rate leagly?

Asked by Tom, Wauwatosa, WI Thu Apr 23, 2009

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Tom, commission rates are set by the real estate firms who charge them, and there is no legal minimum in the state of Wisconsin. Legally, an agent could represent you for free. However, agents have to recover the costs that they incur to market and sell your home - and these costs happen whether or not your home sells. So the typical real estate firm will charge commission to cover those costs and make a profit over and above their expenses.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
This question posted Apr 2009
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 11, 2014
And to add on top of the previous answers, my team is going to be closing on a home tomorrow where the seller's side used a flat fee agent on top of a real estate attorney. Typically, I believe the former will charge around $300 and the latter will charge around $900.

So throughout the process my buyer's agent ended up having to walk through the seller's through many of the issues/processes. Luckily for the seller's, we had no desire to try to influence them negatively or take advantage. During one point in the negotiations portion, the seller's couldn't get ahold of their attorney for about three days and we had to help them out.

Bottom line, in this business you get what you paid for generally.


Michelle and the Yoo Team Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 11, 2014
There is no such thing as a legal commission rate. All commission are determined on what is agreed upon between you and the agent. However be aware of what you are going to get for the money. Also on the listing contract there is a spot where the listing agent has to tell you what they are going to pay the selling office. A % of the money goes to the listing office and a % goes to the selling office. By being listed in MLS if you are looking to have agents from all offices show and sell your home you they will want to know what % they will be paid to do this. So make sure when you are speaking to agents that they all telling you everything. That way you can compare apples to apples.
Web Reference: http://debbyrealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
Hi Tom! Being a Wauwatosa resident and a very active Realtor in Wauwatosa (ranked 3rd in overall sales for Wauwatosa for 2008 per our Multiple Listing Service) I can tell you that you will see a wide variance in service and in fees. The best thing to do is to interview at least 3 agents. Listen carefully to what they say they are going to do to earn their commission and ask for a written marketing plan. You also want to know what their list to sale price ratio is. This is where a good agent can save you money, even though they may charge a higher commission. Lastly, ask for referrals from past clients who they have helped recently and call them. Good luck on your sale!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
Erica answered your question - all commissions are negotiable and there is no legal minimum.

When considering commission rates, consider who is going to give you more bang for your buck. Hiring a real estate professional is an investment. You can't look at how much you are paying them, you have to look at how much they will get you for your property and what's left in your pocket when all is said and done.

Someone only charging $300 isn't going to have the marketing and negotiating skills/desire to get you $220,000 for your house. They also won't have any interest in getting you the highest possible price - they just want to get you off the books. How motivated do you think they'll be for $300? So their marketing strategy will be "Lower the price." They definitely won't be syndicating ads out online, posting to Craigslist & Backpage, using high-end photography, creating floorplans, virtual tours and video, having knowledge of internet marketing, networking with other agents, etc to sell your house. All things which get sellers a higher price. Most likely, it'll sit on the market and you'll have to reduce the price. Eventually, you only get offers for under $200,000.

So, say a good, motivated agent gets you $215,000 with expert marketing, staging, etc . He charges $12,000. You get $203,000.

Paying more in commission actually net you $3,000 MORE than paying the $300 guy.

The mistake most people make is thinking they'll get $12,000 worth of results paying a $300 agent. That could have been true in some cases in 2004, but it just doesn't happen that way anymore. Agents have to have systems in place and an actual marketing plan to sell houses. And all of that skill costs money to get and maintain. Not all agents are created equal - we don't all do the same thing for the client.

Best of luck with your sale!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
You can find someone to list for what ever you want. There are firms that charge you $300 to put it on the MLS, which you pay up front and then you take on the repsonsiblities after that. It depends on what you are trying to acheive and the amount of risk and work you wish to take on. The question to ask is how sucessful the agent or company is in marketing the properties; i.e.; list to sale ratio, expired ratio and time on the market. In a buyers market it is harder to sell and you need to decide what is the best approach for you to sell your property.

Keith Manson
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Greenfield, Wisconsin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
I agree with Erica. Keep in mind a good agent is worth the money you pay them. Have you had a bad experience in the past? Many agents are leaving the business leaving only the good ones.

Brad Koenig
First Weber
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
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