I am trying to sell my house ($900K range) in Torrance, CA. How much commission rate is acceptable? It seems like the rate ranges between 5% and 6%.

Asked by John Tate, Torrance, CA Fri Jan 28, 2011

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Kim Noonan’s answer
Kim Noonan, Agent, New Lenox, IL
Sat Jan 29, 2011
Seriously now. All you agents that are quoting "normal" "standard" "typical" commission rates, with your names and contact info and photos right out here in the open on the internet....

Heaven forbid you or your company or even your local MLS or Realtor Association ever gets named in an antritrust lawsuit, because you will be hoist by your own words. I am stunned once again to see such disregard or lack of knowledge of the law.

John Tate: I wish you best of luck with your home sale!

Acceptable commission will be what YOU determine is acceptable and what you are willing to pay based upon the services and track record of the agent and agency you choose to represent you.

Do some homework, see what kinds of marketing other sellers you'll be competing against for buyers are getting. If you see things that catch your eye, interview those agents. Find someone who feels like the right fit for you. Commissions are (generally) paid upon closing, so determine who you think will get that job done and what you feel is the amount that this success would be worth to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.kimnoonan.com
3 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011
HI John,
We are not allowed to discuss commission rates. All commissions are negotiable between you and your agent. Just be sure you are happy with the service you are getting in exchange.
2 votes
Shel-lee Dav…, Agent, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011

There are some great insights here. Just to add another perspecitve - commissions are a negotiable item, as are many other factors in the sale of a home. You know, even without thinking, that some of the most important factors in selling your home are:
1. doing so quickly (it is less intrusive on your life),
2. having a strong negotiator on your side (who has your back and gets you the best deal possible),
3. feeling you received fair value for the sale of your property and
4. knowing you can move forward with total peace of mind because you worked with a professional who covered all the bases during the transaction and will continue to do so after the close of the sale.

When you find the agent who you feel cofident will deliver on these items, you will most assuredly be comfortable with their plan and your results. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call me directly. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
1 vote
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Jan 29, 2011
One last thought, whatever commission amount you and your agent decide, make sure the commission you offer to the buyer’s agent will not put you at a disadvantage. Find out what the buyer’s agent commissions are for your competition and be consistent with them.
There is another post here with a long thread on the subject. If you offer less than what your competition is offering, some agents may elect not to show your home. While this is frowned upon and not an advisable practice I'm confident it happens. Why take the risk?
1 vote
Sophie Gonin, , Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Fri Jan 28, 2011
The rate of commission should be part of your marketing strategy. Think about it this way, say two comparable homes are on the market at the same time. One home is offering 2.5% to the buyer's side and the other is offering 3% to the buyer's side - which do you think will get more showings from buyer's agents? Also, some agents vary their commission rate per their marketing plan - they'll charge more commission if you want the full marketing plan and less for a lesser marketing plan. I worked in marketing for large brands such as Toyota and Expedia for over eight years and I can definitely tell you that sometimes "rewards" ("commission" in this case) can make a big difference in the success of marketing campaign. Does that make sense?
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Fri Jan 28, 2011
It's all "acceptable" to the right agent, but to echo Dan, receiving value is more important than the price.
1 vote
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Fri Jan 28, 2011
My strong suggestion is to focus on finding the best agent. Each agent has their own business model and that will include what they expect for commission. You will not need to suggest an amount; most agents will state what they expect for their services and will explain what they offer.
Your agent should have a strong online presence and experience selling homes in your area and in your price range. Strong marketing and negotiating skills are mandatory for you to achieve the best outcome.
1 vote
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Wed Feb 2, 2011
Hello, Mr. Tate as you can see there are many capable Realtors out there. As was said, Commissions are negotiable and should not be discussed as per our licenses in Publeic Forum. Interview as many Agents as you wish and wish you the best!
0 votes
David Pham, Agent, Garden Grove, CA
Wed Feb 2, 2011
Hi John,

It seemed that you already found the answer talking to different offices and from answers from other professionals in this thread. Beside commission, you should also consider:

1. Professionalism
2. Knowledge of local area / market
3. Responsiveness
4. Trust worthy and reliability
5. Dedication

This is a relatively large transaction. So, take your time and select the best team to market your property. Good luck!

David Pham
National Brokers - connecting people to homes
0 votes
Catherine Be…, Agent, Lawndale, CA
Sun Jan 30, 2011

The most important factor when selling your home is Right Marketing, Right Price, Right Timing for a stress free timely transaction that yields the highest net amount possible for you the seller.

You do not want to cut coners when it comes to an important project like selling a home. Hire the best team and will get the best result.

Please call me for a personal consultation.

Best Regards,
Catherine Bedrossian
Home Sales Pro
(310) 383-4212
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011
Commissions are negotiable. Although you may be concerned about how much someone charges, you never pay that until escrow closes. It is best to interview agents and pick one who you believe will get the job done. They will set what fee they charge for their services. A excellent agents will be honest with you on pricing (they won't inflate the listing price to buy your listing), they will discuss how to make your home stand out among the rest of the homes on the market, they will have knowledge about the market, they know the contract and usually will review this with you before an offer comes in, they have excellent resources for inspections, repairs, and other vendors, they network within the industry, they will share their numbers with you, what percentage of listing price to they usually get for their sellers and how does time on market for their listings compare to other homes for the given market.

Excellent agents should be worth what they charge and net you that in time, money, and terms.
Web Reference:  http://terrivellios.com
0 votes
Michael Magaw, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011

Your home and your equity are important. So plan to invest some time in this process. Find three agents (through Trulia, referral, etc.) and plan to interview them. For the interview, you want well qualified, experienced, local agents. Listen to what they will do to sell your home and how much they expect to receive in return.
I would suggest to focus on hiring the best agent, not the cheapest.
Good luck.

Michael Magaw
Web Reference:  http://www.NHLBrokers.com
0 votes
Barry and Se…, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011
Hi John,

We have been working with sellers in Torrance, and throughout the South Bay, for over 20 years. We find the typical commission is 5 or 6 percent, with the listing agent and selling agent splitting the commission with their respective offices. You want to motivate agents to show your home to their buyers so 2.5 or even 3 percent commission to the buyer's agent is fairly common. But, please ask realtors you're interviewing to take you through their specific marketing plan for your home.

Plus, it's not only about commission and marketing, but how skilled is the agent in making sure things go smoothly through the escrow process so you have a successful close? Does the agent have a strong track record in making sure any offers you consider are from truly qualified buyers? Can the agent provide references from other Torrance home sellers they've worked with? Is the agent truly listening to you so it's a win-win situation for everyone? How skilled is the agent in negotiating the terms of the contract? My partner, for example, is the only local real estate agent with an M.A. in Negotiations.

Please email or call us with any other questions.

Barry and Serene Sulpor
Shorewood Realtors
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011

Let me preface my remarks by saying that we are a full service firm who charges less than the normal 5-6%. (and we are out of your area so this is not a pitch for your business). That said, I think anyone who selects an agent/broker/firm solely upon their commission rate is making a huge mistake. In this market, you need the best you can get - sometimes that costs more, and sometimes, like in our case, is costs less.

There are "discount" real estate companies - not sure about your area - in our area that offer lower commissions/huge rebates, etc... but they often offer decidedly less in services. What good is a $10K savings in commissions if you end up selling your property for $50K less?

Sellers need to understand that the way buyers look for property has changed, and sellers need to have an agent/broker who prepares the listing cognizant of that reality. Here are some other things you want to consider when hiring someone:

Marketing Remarks: Do they speak to the kind of buyer who might purchase the house? For example, if it's the kind of property that older people will most likely buy they should be tailored to them.

Photos: We see so many listings with no photos or bad photos. Your agent/broker should either have professionals taking the pictures or have the equipment and skills to portray your property in the best light. Additionally, real estate photos require very wide angle lenses so potential buyers can see the entire room. And you can't replace natural sunlight with software. When we have a listing we frequently go back 2 or three times so we can have sunlight streaming in all rooms possible.

Marketing Campaign: Your agent/broker should have a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes a lot more than listing it on the MLS. It should be listed on all appropriate websites, email flyers going out to all agents/brokers in your area, high-quality fliers, and a website for your property with sign riders so people driving by can look it up, etc....

Open Houses/Showings: Is the agent/broker you hired going to show the property/stand the open houses, or will it be some rookie who is looking for buyer clients and doesn't really care if your house sells. Has your agent/broker developed a key selling points list including local attractions, restaurants, venues, etc... to help sell your property.

Skill/Experience: How many houses has your agent/broker sold lately? What kind of negotiation skills do they have?

These are only a few of the things you should be considering. I would interview several brokers and if you don't find the right one, interview more. Pricing the property is also key - make sure their strategy is sound.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes
., , 92705
Sat Jan 29, 2011
Hi John

The commission % rate (5% -6%) is typically the same for all homes. It's negotiable but you will be hard pressed to find an agent/broker willing to provide full service and work for less. Also, buyer agents will not be motivated to show your home as quickly as a 3% commission home in the same price range. So it may sit longer on the market and may not even sell.

Keep in mind listing agents are at risk of losing money and liability claims. First they incur upfront out-of-pocket marketing costs when they take the listing. They will not be reimbursed by the homeowner or anyone else if the house doesn't sell and it could take months to sell.

Next the agent may need the commission to offset any kind of liability claim if something goes horribly wrong. Unfortunately there are some buyers who may see an opportunity to file a claim and try to get the house for 'free' (I'm exaggerating of course). This is exactly why I am so glad our office offers risk management protection for our clients (buyers or sellers) on each transaction.

Also the commission is really split 4 ways --- selling broker and agent and listing broker and agent.

Bottom line, the higher the price range the greater the costs and liability.

Good luck and let me know when your house is listed on the market. I just may have a buyer for you.

0 votes
Salim Patel, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sat Jan 29, 2011
Hi John:

Good Real Estate agents work very hard to market and obtain the best value for your property, while protecting your best interest. Paying a decent commission pays for itself in getting the highest value for your property and obtaining quality post-sale services.

Therefore, it is best if you negotiate acceptable terms as part of the overall listing agreement, including marketing expenses and property showings.

Salim Patel

Ca DRE License # 01241927
The Real Estate Group
3480 Torrance Blvd., Suite 100
Torrance, Ca 90503
(310) 528-4271 Cell
email: salim@investinsouthbay.com
(310) 881-6927 Fax
0 votes
BG, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Sat Jan 29, 2011
$55K total fee for selling a house is a bit ... steep in my opinion. My agent in AZ works as hard as any other agents in any other part of the country and his fee is $2.5K.

Maybe you may want to try this: $50000 if sold at market comp; $40000 if sold less than market comp; or post it on here and let the agents bid, lowest price + best service offer win :))))))

good luck
0 votes
Daniel Rangel, , Marina del Rey, CA
Fri Jan 28, 2011
5-6percent is common. What is acceptable depends on the service offered. If the agent is good 6percent is nothing if he gets you the best price for your home. A 5 percent can be bad if agent services will not get you the best dollar.. Ill be more than happy to give you a proposal. Best of luck!!
0 votes
Helen Chong, Agent, San Jose, CA
Fri Jan 28, 2011
Dear John: there isn't really an acceptable rate per se, it's negotiable between you and the listing agent. I will be more than happy to discuss further with you about selling your home and what we can do to market your property! Please call or email me at anytime! 310-309-9393 or HelenHChong@gmail.com.
0 votes
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