We are looking to sell our home and buy a new one with the same realtor. Do we get a break on commission and?

Asked by Seth Hunt, 19057 Fri May 16, 2008

what % range should be fair.

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Leonardo Mon…, Agent, Rancho Mirage, CA
Fri May 16, 2008
Hey Seth,

All commissions on Real Estate are negotiable. As a rule of thumb your Realtor should give you a break since he is getting 2 transactions out of the sale of your home. I have done it to my clients by lowering my commission on 1% . Talk to your Realtor and negotiate the reduction in commission. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.leonardoteam.com
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Susan Barras…, , Wilmington, MA
Fri May 16, 2008
The commission amount you pay on your listing is what you negotiate with your agent when you sign your contract. However, you, as buyer, do not usually pay the commission on what you buy. That said, regarding discounts - do you go to work 5 days a week and accept a paycheck for only 4? Why would you ask your agent to do 2 jobs and not get paid what he or she is worth for each job?
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Jeffrey Schn…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri May 16, 2008

In my humble opinion, yes, you should. Your a captive audience for the agent who is going to get both sides of your business. In our market it's not uncommon for brokers to offer "move up" programs where they will discount the listing fee if you agree to use them to buy your new home. Since the broker will typically make a full buyer's agent commission on the buy side, they often discount their portion of the listing fee in this type of a situation. But remember, even if they typically charge say 6% for the listing commission, some portion, typically half, is going to get paid to the agent representing the buyer, so they can't just give up the full 6%.

Presuming the buyer's agent norm in your market is 3% and the typical listing commission is 6%, leaving 3% for the listing agent to earn on the sale of your house, and then another 3% for them to earn when you buy your new home, it's not uncommon to see a discount off the listing agent commission of half, or 1 to 1.5%. This is fair and reasonable for your agent. They will make 4.5% to 5% total.

It's not a bad idea to go hunting around your market by looking at broker websites and seeing if any of them have these "move up" type programs. Call several brokers and ask them what their policy is. After you do your research, present a recommendation to your agent and work out something that is amicable and fair.

Good luck,

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri May 16, 2008
You can certainly ask for a reduced commission. And many Realtors will reduce the second commission. Remember: Everything's negotiable.

Regarding negotiation, there's a saying that "The first person to mention price loses." The same might be said about negotiating commissions. Have in mind what might make sense to you. (Yes, I know that's what your question is asking. Think it through. You'll come up with a reasonable number.) Then pose that question to the Realtors you're interviewing. See what they offer. You might be surprised that they offer a commission reduction equal to or greater than what you were expecting.

Hope that helps.
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