I am planning on selling my home and having my partner buy one at the same time. I want to deal with the same

Asked by Kenn, Atlanta, GA Wed Feb 4, 2009

agent and expect a reduction in his fees. What is an acceptable reduction without insulting the agent with my opinion

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Scott, Both Buyer And Seller, Atlanta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
If you do consider Duffy make sure you ask them what percentage of their listings actually sell. In other words ask them how many of their listings expire without selling or are withdrawn by the Seller for one reason or another.I think you will be suprised by the answer. How motivated are they to sell your home if they already have a fee upfront from you regardless of the home selling?

When interviewing any agent/broker for a listing make sure you ask them for their particular stats. What percentage of their listing have they sold. How many have they sold in your area. What is their list price to sales price ratio. What is their average days on the market. How many of their listings expired without selling and why.

Lisa is right too. The best agent to sell your home may not be the best agent to help your partner buy one...especially if they are in different areas and price ranges.

Good Luck!
2 votes
Caroline Gam…, Agent, ALpharetta, GA
Thu Feb 5, 2009
The questions to ask any listing agent are: how many homes have they sold in the past year ? what are the average days on market of their properties? what is the % of sales price to list price that they got ? which websites will you be listed on and what kind of enhanced exposure on those sites? if a buyer comes without an agent, what will the total commission be? Over 97% of the Buyers are searching the internet to find homes now, print advertising and home magazines look fancy but are not as effective , open houses and agent caravans also seem to be less productive than in the past. Your listing really needs the best possible internet exposure .Then of course, it is great to have a skilled contract negotiator on your side such as one who negotiates several hundred contracts per year. Paying an up front fee does not mean dimished service , it is just one of the many great options out there for Sellers now. As a Buyer, it is in your best interest to find an experienced contract negotiator who closes a minimum of 15 buyer deals per year. A buyer rebate program is just icing on the cake ! You have to find what feels right for you, there are many good choices .
0 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Thu Feb 5, 2009
Kenn -

I know I'm coming in late, but here's my take -

We usually reduce our listing fee for clients when we represent them on both sides. We don't however work for free nor do we spend a lot of time chasing clients by simply cutting our fees. This is how we feed our families, we do this full time and I'm a broker and certified appraiser. I will confidently (not arrogantly) say that we have a much better grasp on how to interpret, apply and forecast data and trends after appraising and selling for twenty years.

You know in this market that working with less than experienced and veteran agents will be at best a waste of time, at worst cost you financially. If you use any firm that collects listing fees up front you are not wise. I would suggest first shopping by experience, and then evaluate costs. You’re only paying for the listing side and the price difference between agents will be minimal. At the end of the day, this isn’t a lot and the level of experience for your selected agent on BOTH sides should be carefully evaluated. You will have issues come up that you don’t anticipate and you’ll then find out how qualified your agent is. You will also need a skilled negotiator on the buy side and an agent capable of cogently explaining the data to you so that you understand things and buy with confidence. Toss in management of the transaction, guidance with mortgages, appraisal and inspection issues and whatever else comes up…..

Always start with experience and then move to your actual expenses….penny wise and pound foolish applies here. We’d love a chance to compete for your business.

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
Prudential GA Realty
0 votes
Dave Caplin, Agent, Duluth, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009

The answer is simple, it could be about 1/3 discount, or 1% each side as a max. We do 1% on the side with the highest outcome. But in this market, we would do 1/3, 1% on each side. That would not insult anyone, just like a low offer on your sale should not insult you! In this market, everyone asks for the "deal", it is up to the seller and buyer to make it happen!!!
Web Reference:  http://www.mygeorgiahome.net
0 votes
Joshua Jarvis, Agent, Duluth, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009

When agents compete... You don't always win. Most agents will negotiate their commission but you have to weary of the "FLUFF." Here's some good questions:

If you are working with a team, does the team member ACTUALLY have buyers to help.
On the buying side, does the agent know enough about the area to be useful, if not THEY SHOULD REDUCE their fees!
On the Selling side, do they have a clear plan on how to market your home, or do they list 80+ items that happen automatically as a result of being put on the MLS. Sorry, Kenn, but you won't see "SIGN PLACED IN YARD" as part of my marketing plan - it's already assumed.

Other questions that I would ask you is...
Are you moving UP or down?
Where are you moving to?
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed Feb 4, 2009
Edith Karoline...
Edith Karoline...
Real Estate Pro
Glenview, IL

Hi Kenn,
You do not and should NOT insult this agent you obviously trust....
And I am assuming the agent is very happy to work with you on both deals....

Just say what you feel and ask what the Agent in agreement with his / her brokerage can do based on
this fact and see what is offered. If you are happy with that, perfect if not, ask if they could do better.
I want you to understand though that the listing agent has expenses as far as marketing your home, holding open houses, advertising, time etc. etc. - and when buying a property the commission the buying agent receives is set by the listing agreement that seller has with his brokerage company....

The way I usually do it I give the Seller a small break on my side of the commission (which is only part of the total commission since the other part goes to the agent and brokerage who brings the buyer)....
But if your state allows dual agency, i.e. your listing agent for the sale of YOUR home also brings the buyer to your home and now gets the total commission (if both sides buyer and you the seller agree to the dual agency situation) in that case your listing agent could give you a larger break on the total commission....
if you also provide the purchase of the next property.

BUT as the other agents said THIS IS NEGOTIABLE, although most brokerage companies have some guidelines that the agents in their offices are required to follow, with few exceptions. And often the price points of the properties may make a difference....

So just be open and tell your agent that you would like to discuss the commission.... I am sure your agent will understand. Good Luck!
Edith edithsellshomes@gmail.com
0 votes
Bill Piper, , Atlanta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
I like Lee's solution, but I'd give you 49.01% of the commission from the purchase.

Got'cha, Lee
0 votes
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009

I just answered your other question related to this and I hope that you'll read my answer - the link is in the web reference.

At The Rootdown Group, we traditionally negotiate our fees in this purchase and sale situation.

This purchase and sale sounds quite immediate, so the listing agency commission upon the sale of your home is where I would demand a commission of 3% or more, then I would offer a rebate to you upon purchase of a fair amount of the selling commission - maybe 49% of the total fee paid to my brokerage by the seller of the property that you are purchasing.

There are many, many ways to negotiate a win/win, as long as all parties are reasonable, focused and cool.
0 votes
Tony Teixeira, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009

I would offer a reduction on my commission for both sides of the deal.
And, if there's no other agent involved in the selling side of the deal, that would be a further reduction.
Reducing rates is not an insult, just a reality.

Don't pick the first agent that offers you the best reduction, shop around.
I would interview 3 or 4 agents if you have the time and find out what they will do to get your house sold.
I think it's also a good idea for your agent to be familiar with your neighborhood and Atlanta as a whole.
If your home is in a new community, that agent should know all there is to know about it.
It's also a good idea for your agent to be familiar with your type of home. An agent selling townhomes should be familiar with townhomes and a realtor selling a luxury home should know how to sell that too.

Putting a sign in the yard and listing it in FMLS is just not enought nowadays.
Any realtor who wants to list your home should be able to stand apart from the masses, and there will be a number of realtors that do.

Beyond that, you've got to be able to work with your realtor, make sure you're seeing eye to eye on the price and any future reductions and I would say you should like your realtor. This is someone who will have your best interest in mind and will be trying to save you money on both sides of the deal.

I would love to sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss this in more detail.

Good Luck, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Tony Teixeira

#1 Keller Williams team in Atlanta
#2 in the Southeast
Web Reference:  http://www.muffleyhomes.com
0 votes
Caroline Gam…, Agent, ALpharetta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
Fees are very negotiable especially in this market so it is good to shop around. It is important to interview the agent and find out exactly how many properties they have sold over the past year and how many buyers they are currently working with. Experience counts a great deal. I encourage you to visit our website http://www.duffyrealtyofatlanta.com to learn about the best option out there right now for sellers and buyers. We offer a flat fee listing program AND a rebate for buyers . With these programs you are actually getting more than you pay for and the best possible exposure and representation. Feel free to call me if you want more details.
Caroline Gamma- Duffy Realty Buyer Consultant 404-668-9167
0 votes
Lisa Crowder, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
No one can answer what another agent would consider an acceptable reduction. It's also possible that having the same agent for both transactions may not be in your best interest. The best agent to sell your home may not be the best agent to help your partner buy a home -- especially if they are not located in the same general vicinity.

Also, you haven't said what you consider a reasonable commission in the first place, so who's to say what an acceptable reduction from that amount would be. My best advice would be for you to find the very best agent you can to sell your home (this is the big challenge in this market -- it's not at all unusual for homes to take 12-18 months or even more to sell). Focus on the agent's marketing plan as well as getting advice about what you need to do to position your house as the one in your neighborhood that's most likely to sell next (the quicker you sell, the higher the price you're likely to get). When you've found the agent who is the best for selling your house, see if you believe that agent is also the right choice to find your partner a new house. If it's a good fit, then find out what that agent is willing to do in terms of commission.

Don't expect a deal on the first commission (the one to sell your house), since there's obviously no guarantee that your home will sell -- about 75% of Atlanta listings failed last year -- so any commission discount is more likely to come on the 2nd half of the transaction.

If you happen to be in the Emory/Decatur area, I'd be happy to discuss how I could market your home. If not, best of luck on your transactions!
0 votes
Becky Morris, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
Some agents will agree to accept less commision on the listing side if they are representing you on with your purchase. It would not be insulting to ask for 5% on the list side, with 3% going to seller broker and 2% going to listing broker. Real estate is like anything else though, so be careful. You get what you pay for! Make sure your agent is experienced and having success in today's market.
0 votes
Strom Thurman, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
Every agent is different. What I do is list the property for my normal rate and then negotiate my rate for representing my buyers based on the amount of work that goes into the transaction. The reason for handling it that way is many sellers will say they will use your services on the buying side but once they actually do purchase, they use someone else or have stopped by a new developement and get hooked by the onsite agent.
0 votes
Julie Britta…, Agent, Dunwoody, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
Hey Kenn. I prefer to not divulge my commission plans for all other agents to see. Please email me so I can provide you with them - jbrittain@kw.com. Thanks.

Julie Brittain
Web Reference:  http://www.TeamBrittain.com
0 votes
Deryk Harper, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
HI Kenn,
Fees are always negotiable. If we are working with two transactions and same clients we offer 1% reduction...1/3 of our fee on average... on the higher priced of the two transactions. Some agents offer less...some more.
Web Reference:  http://www.keyhomefinder.com
0 votes
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