Ohjohno, Home Seller in San Antonio, TX

Is there a maximum commission percentage an agent can receive on a sale?

Asked by Ohjohno, San Antonio, TX Wed May 2, 2012

One agent wanted to charge me 10% (plus the buyers agent cost!) to sell my vacant lot... is that even legal?

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Tony Z - In…, , San Antonio, TX
Wed May 30, 2012
Just sell it yourself. The Title Company you closed at when you got the lot can assist you with the contract. You'll save all the hassle and fees that way. If you must be in MLS, find a "flat-fee" broker that will put your listing in MLS and put you and your contact info on there. You can get that done for $250-$500.

Don't count on a quick sale, vacant lot sales right now are abysmal. Some areas you can't even give them away. Good luck.
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed May 2, 2012
Commissions are always negotiable between you and your agent, there are no set standards; therefore interview in person a few local agents from different realty companies, then choose the one you like best and who has the most to offer; choose your agent with care and not by commission alone.
1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
That is reasonable to me, but everyone is different.
There is a fair amount of work involved on vacant lots, for low price and typically long listing periods.

There is no maximum that I know about.

It may depend on the value of the lot.
If it is a $250,000 lot, commission might be lower.
If it is a $5000 lot, commission might be higher.

Commissions are not set though, so shop around. You might find someone who can do it for less. What you really want though is someone who can sell it, not just someone who will list it for cheap. There is a difference.
1 vote
Patrick Fiel…, Agent, Plano, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
There is no maximum or set commission percentage imposed by law, Code of Ethics, or MLS boards. There is also no minimum. The percentage is the rate agreed upon by the parties to the agreement.
1 vote
Amanda P. He…, Agent, Bulverde, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
Commissions are negotiated between agent and seller. There is no minimum or maximum amount required by law or by The Texas Real Estate Commission.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'd be glad to assist you!


Amanda Herring
Realtor-Broker, ABR
(210) 771-8608
1 vote
Craig Tapley, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri May 4, 2012
Hello Ohjohno,
The quick answer to your question is that there is no limit (either high or low) on the amount of commission an agent can ask for. Commissions are really a negotiation for service. Often times a percentage looks strange but is driven by the actual value of the property. For example, a 3% commission on the resale of a $4000 lot would be $120. Very few agents could afford to represent that transaction for that amount of money. In my case my cost of E&O insurance would be about that so I would be working for free. On the other hand charging the same 3% for a 4 million dollar property would earn me a commission of $120,000 for one transaction... also not a very fair commission.
I would make two suggestions. First, figure out how much actual money you are talking about for your transaction and see if it sounds reasonable. If not then you may want to negotiate for a different number, but keep in mind that getting an agent to agree to a commission that is way too small will also mean your agent can't invest the time and money he or she should in order to sell your property. Second... and this is important... your agent should be your closest ally during the sales process. If you are not comfortable with your agent at this point then you will not be able to depend on them when you really need them later in the process. Find an agent you are comfortable with. Make sure you are comfortable with that agent, then depend on them to act in your best interests.
The fact that you have posted this question about commissions suggests to me that you may need to start the process of interviewing for agents again and see if you can find someone who is a better fit for you personally. you may not find an agent who will work for less, but if you find an agent that you feel is earning whatever commission you agree on then the search was well worth the time.

Best of luck with your agent hunt, and your transaction!
Craig Tapley
Casa Grande Realty
0 votes
Tommy Burris, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Baton Rouge, LA
Thu May 3, 2012
What Bruce said below.....

Don't get hung up on percentages. Is the agent making a fair dollar amount for their work?
If you don't think so, then hire an agent who does not value their expertise as much and good luck!
0 votes
Tracie Hassl…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
Just because you charge more doesn't mean you are better at producing results. Pick the person you think.is the best fit for you.
0 votes
Jose Novelo, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
It is always negotiable. Some broker charge 10% on vacant lots, but, it is negotiable.
Good Luck.
0 votes
Diana Ayala, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 2, 2012

Where is the Lot? Commissions are negotiable. I have a customer looking for a lot. How many acres? Let me know. Maybe were she is looking.... I have two people looking for a lot. Thanks Diana 210-392-3386
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed May 2, 2012
simplest answer to your questions is NO, commissions are negotiable.
ask why he will charge 10 % and get his answer.
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
0 votes
Jason Campbe…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
All things are negotiable... A seller may pay you any commission that you agree to.

On vacant lots... usually the sales price on one of those is so small, that the only way to make the proper marketing cost effective would be to charge 10%. After all, at the end of the day... it is still a business.

I know my ads are everything but cheap... I spend literally thousands and thousands of dollars on ads, and internet marketing. So if I take a listing that is only $20,000 and my commission at 3% is $600 and I spend $1000 to market it... you can see that the numbers don't quite make that a profitable use of time and resourses.

It really depends on what the price for the property is. If you are selling a vacant lot that is 10 acres for $200,000... then you can do a lot better than 10%... Most agents will charge 6%, and then you have some of the more self throat cutting agents that will charge 4.5%.. but.. seller beware... just because someone charges less, does not mean you will make more... in fact... often it goes the other way... as a more aggressive agent with a higher ad budget will usually get you more buyers to play with which drives up the price. You get what you pay for in almost any case.

Hope that helps...
0 votes
Thomas Perdue, , San Antonio, TX
Wed May 2, 2012
The short answer is no. Commissions are negociated between Agent and Client and are not fixed. Each region of the country has different customary commission amounts but NAR does not allow "fixing".
For the most service for the money in the San Antonio area, contact me.
0 votes
Tom Sommers, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Wed May 2, 2012
I don't know about Texas but in Minnesota the commission is completely negotiable. My advice would be to interview 3 different agents and go with the one who has the best marketing plan. Have them demonstrate to you why they are worth what they are charging. Don't forget we are all independent and you get what you pay for so really review all of your options.

Good luck
0 votes
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