I will be selling my 1 bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village sometime this year. I'd like to know about

Asked by Donna, New York, NY Fri Jan 25, 2008

selecting an agent to sell the property. Do commissions vary among agents? Can you negotiate the commission %? Thank you!

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Aileen-Manha…, , New York, NY
Sat Jan 26, 2008
Commissons do vary and are negotiable, but it's common for the seller to pay 5%, 6% or even 7%. Theoretically, the more the seller offers to the buyer's broker, the greater incentive to ALL the remaining agents, Realtors and brokers. The commission split for a 6% commission is 3% to the seller's broker and 3% to the buyer's broker. It would also be an even split when paying a total of 5%. However, I've seen sellers offer 4% to the buyer's broker in circumstances when they're very motivated to sell right away. Again, all of the above is negotiable between you and whomever you hire to represent you.

You didn't ask which brokerage to hire, but since you've already received this unsolicited information. I'll add that only Coldwell Banker has a global network. We have offices all over the world. No other broker in Manhattan can state that.

Coldwell Banker also requires it's agents to be Realtors - providing sellers with experienced and ethical professionals. Sellers who hire Coldwell Banker get their listing featured on Realtor.com (the highest ranking real estate web site) as well as providing the seller the best national and international exposure possible. Why is this important? Buyers look for their home online. If you want professsional, ethical, experienced and guaranteed marketing, then Coldwell Banker is your best choice.

Please feel free to contact me, if you have anymore questions.
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Joseph Ferra…, , New York County, NY
Sat Jan 26, 2008
Yes, you can negotiate the commission and commissions do vary.
1 vote
Patricia, , 10301
Sat Feb 28, 2009
I'm also interested in seeing your apartment; email me at jamesam@si.rr.com. Thanks.

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Donna, Both Buyer And Seller, New York, NY
Sun Feb 15, 2009
I want to thank everyone who responded so far. This information has been very helpful. We've decided to hold on to the apt. for awhile, but will use the advice given here when the time comes.
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Barbie Lieber, Other Pro, NY,
Tue Jan 27, 2009
Dear Donna, I am a real estate attorney and partner of Lieber & Lieber, LLP, a law firm located in midtown. I've been practicing in Manhattan for almost 22 years. I am also a licensed real estate broker. I think the realtors that have answered your question have provided you with excellent answers. I do agree with the brokers who cautioned not to lower the 6% commission because it might will be difficult to attact other co-brokers. You might structure an arrangement whereby you agree to pay your listing broker a lower percentage (such as 5%) if the listing broker sells it without a co-brokerage arrangement and 6% if there is a co-brokerage involved. Keep in mind, though, that since you're only selling a 1 bedroom, the savings of the 1% may not be so significant. The traffic is the most signifcant. So if you find that the brokers you interview are not receptive to the above-referenced alternative, you might simply consider sticking with the 6% standard arrangement. After you have interviewed and selected a particular brokerage firm, you will be requested to sign an exclusive agreement with such firm. The agreement will contain numerous provisions, including, but not limited to the commission. Many of our clients call us with questions they may have concerning this agreement. In general, commencing a relationship early on with counsel is beneficial as questions can be answered as they arise. For instance, you may have questions concerning a buyer who conditions his or her offer on having a mortgage contingency, or you may have concerns as to the timing of the proposed closing, etc. As the seller, you will want to have your attorney send out a contract as soon possible once an offer is accepted and do everything possible to faciliate the buyer's signing of the contract. I would be more than happy to speak to you further. Please feel free to call me at 212-949-5586 or email me at barbie@lieberlegal.com or my partner, Bruce Lieber, at 212-949-5586 or at bruce@lieberlegal.com Good luck to you.
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Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Jan 26, 2009
Commissions traditionally are 5-6% in the city. However, all the development in Chelsea and the Financial District that has been happening the last couple of years has changed things a bit. Sponsors are commonly offering 4% to the buyer's agent. If you are paying a 5%commission, bear in mind that the buyer's agent and seller's agent split that (actually their companies split it and then split it with the agent). Similarly a 6% commission is split 3% and 3%. A full 90% of real estate deals in NYC are agent to agent or "co-broked." So when you list it with your listing agent/sellers agent, bear in mind that your buyer will probably be brought by a buyer's agent rather than an individual finding you on their own. Buyer's agents are more likely to go where they can get 3% or 4% than 2.5%. So saving on a commission might actually cost you more because you will get less traffic and thererfore less attractive offers.
That said, your listing agent should be with a company that will give the broadest possible exposure to your listing. As my colleague mentioned below, Coldwell Banker Preview International is the only local, national and international company in NYC. Furthermore, we are REALTORS, which most other NYC companies are not. This means we belong to the National Association of Realtors and have to subscribe to the highest code of ethics, much more stringent than that of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). It also means your listing will be on Realtor.com, as my colleague mentioned (and 65 other sites). Realtor.com is the most heavily trafficked real estate website, and and the second most trafficked website second only to E-Bay. Additonally, your agent should be someone you click with and feel good about. Preferably they have been recognized by their company in some way. If you would like help from someone who fits all of this...feel free to click my contact info and get in touch.
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Sophia Anzar…, , New York, NY
Mon Jan 26, 2009
Commissions vary slightly among firms but the "top" brokerage firms in Manhattan charge b/w 5 - 6%. The commission rate should not be your deciding factor in choosing a broker. Do you remember the "Foxtons"- they were a discount brokerage company that charged 2.5% commission. They didn't last very long in NYC b/c basically you get what you pay for- no advertising, no expertise in your building or neighborhood, no exposure for your apt., etc. Ultimately, you should choose a broker you trust and feel comfortable with from a reputable Manhattan firm. You are going to deal with this person for the next 6 months, so it's important that you get along with them and that they can get the job done. Feel free to contact me to discuss this further.
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Richard Lass…, Home Buyer, 98110
Wed Oct 8, 2008
I might be interested in buying it. Please send details to Richard Lasser. My email is offyougo@gmail.com
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Diary Of A R…, , New York, NY
Fri Feb 22, 2008
You should interview three agents, preferably people who have been referred to you by happy customers.

Ask each agent about their commission -- and also about what they're going to do to EARN that commission. Every single New York City real estate agent is going to put your listing in the same database -- but what else will they do? Are they buying you ads in the New York Times? What about shooting a video?

What kind of open house schedule are they going to run? Can give they give you a reference from the last apartment that they sold? What was easy and hard about that sale?

I'm happy to talk to you when you it's time for you to interview agents. I'm a nationally known real estate writer, and a local agent -- my office is on 16th Street. Plus, when you hire me, you get my boss, who has been selling apartments in the Village and Chelsea for two decades. (I went to work for him after he sold me an apartment in the John Adams on 12th Street).

Our goal is to make sure you walk away from your sale having had the best experience possible, with the most money in your pocket that you possibly can. We'll take care of you, because we wouldn't stay in business if we didn't.

Alison Rogers
author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
Insider Real Estate Tips with a Twist of Humor: http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
Web Reference:  http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
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Gerry Vazquez, Agent, NY,
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Absolutely you can dicker on the commission--although you'll need to carefully weigh realtor fees against what you'll actually receive. In a super competitive market like NYC, you'll need a realtor w/the skills, tools and network to get your maximum exposure to the right buyers and then negotiate and close the best possible deal. A realtor w/o the skills, tools and network will cost you more money in lost time and price than you'd pay the right full-service agent. I would give serious consideration to enlisting a Prudential Douglas Elliman agent for these three hugely important reasons: 1) they have the largest and best trained agents in Manhattan; 2) they do the largest and smartest marketing; and 3) they have the largest client base of sellers AND buyers. Email me at Gerardo.Vazquez@prudentialelliman.com and I'll give you the names and contact info of 3 great agents for you to interview.
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