What are real estate agents asking for commissions these days when selling your home?

Asked by Barbie White Kimball, Cape Cod Sun May 31, 2009

Are they willing to work with sellers if they are assisting you in buying a new home?

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sun May 31, 2009
Goat... baaaaa-aaaad answer.

There's nothing "hard" about answering this question. The law forbids us from discussing it either amongst ourselves or with the public. Period. What's hard about that?

... and your suggestion that a buyer should "simply contact the home owner and tell them you would like to offer after the contract has expired with the agent" would not save them any money, as most agency contracts have a "protection period" of 3 mos, 6 mos, sometimes a year, for anyone who buys the property, who approached the property during the listing period.

... the "ethical" way for your buyer to do it, is to simply allow the listing to expire and THEN (and only then) approach the seller. Of course, that risks the possibility that the house may sell out from under them.
1 vote
Joe Arnao, Agent, Sanwich, MA
Sun May 31, 2009
As a Cape Cod Realtor I can attest that there is no set commission. All is negotiable. You get what you pay for most times. A low commission most likely will equal minimal service. Shop around with a few Realtors. Small local shops as well as national brands. It is an experience, personality and service match that you need to have in order to have a successful selling experience.
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sun May 31, 2009
I totally agree with Rockinblu. His synopsis of these "most respected Realtors" is dead-on.

Any discussion of commission between Realtors (whether on a public forum, or on the back nine of the local golf course) could be considered an attempt to price-fix, and should be avoided. Even Kendall's innocuous "many agents I know of are asking X%, and X%" would be considered unacceptable when drawn before an anti-trust subcommittee.
1 vote
James Kinchla, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Fri Aug 20, 2010
There's no set commission rates in the industry. Most offices will have their own policy's and rates to discuss with the seller during the listing process. The very most important thing is experience and how well you and your home will be represented by the listing agent and the Real estate company.
Web Reference:  http://www.kinchla.com
0 votes
Goat, , Denmark, IA
Sun May 31, 2009
Wow...what a hard question this is for agents.

Go for 0% commissions by refusing to deal with realtors and their delusions.

If a buyer simply contact the home owner and tell them you would like to offer after the contract has expired with the agent. Best deals to be had do not involve agents.
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Sun May 31, 2009
I've frequently had sellers as if I would charge X% if I sell it in four weeks, X – 1% if it takes 3 months and X – 2% if it takes 5 months, in effect penalizing me for something I have no control over (whether or not someone likes their house, and regardless of whether they are overpriced. Also insinuating that I don't try to sell a house, for some reason I just like paying advertising, broker opens, sending posts cards, but don't want to sell is as soon as possible). I'm thinking of using a sliding scale from now on: The longer I have the listing the more it costs.
0 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Sun May 31, 2009
Hi Agnes,

Like the others have said, it would be inappropriate for agents to discuss specific commissions in a public forum. But yes many would negotiate some consideration if a client were both buying and selling a property. Commissions on the sale & the purchase are inividually negotiable. You would negotiate the listing commission with your agent as your listing agent and again if you used them as your buyers agent as part of the buyer agency contract.

What you should do is ask friends, familiy, colleagues for recommendations of agents/brokers they've worked with recently that they've been pleased with. Interview several agents and discuss your scenario. Research the agents to check their other refrences, areas of expertise in the areas you are selling in and looking to purchase in. Interviewing several would give you the best idea of their pratices & suggestions.

Hope that helps,
0 votes
Kendall Sims, , Jersey City, NJ
Sun May 31, 2009
In the state of New Jersey, commissions are negotiable between the seller and agent. In the current market characterized by excess inventory, agents are using the commission compensation to distinguish their listings. Since most properties are not sold by the listing agent but by a cooperating agent from a different brokerage, a larger commission can result in greater compensation to the cooperating agent by a larger commission split. Accordingly, most agents I know of are asking 6%, but 7% or even 8% is not unheard of. A listing priced at 5% is disadvantaged in the current market relative to comparable inventory.

As to the second part of your question, Agnes, I am unclear what you mean. Most agents work with both buyers and sellers, the notable exception being buyer-only brokers such as Buyer's Only.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions, although I must note that I can only advise you of real estate practice in New Jersey. A Massachusetts broker would be better situated to guide you in the peculiarities of real estate practice in Cape Cod.
0 votes
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