What is the average commission on selling a home in Western, Massachusetts?

Asked by Joyce Dorow, South Hadley, MA Sun May 18, 2008

I'm trying to pick a realtor to sell my home but some realtors are asking outrageous commission rates, what is the average commission that a realtor should charge for selling a home? MSL Listing or private listing?

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Erik Hook, Agent, Somerville, MA
Mon May 19, 2008
I submit that the more important consideration, may be how to NET the most money from the eventual sale..... The higher the commission, the more likely the property is to be given wide exposure, as well as being marketed in a manner that avoids litigation. Your home needs be priced competitively, negotiated professionally , and only thereby sold for the most that the market will bear.
A lower commission increases the odds that your property will be sold as cheaply as possible.
Web Reference:  http://www.erikhook.com
1 vote
Ken Lambert, , Exeter, NH
Mon May 19, 2008
Hello Joyce- I can give you some more candid answers if you'd like, but I'd prefer to do that via email and not on the board here. However-
This is always a negotiating point. Depends on many things as you meet and interview different agents and/or brokers. What is outrageous? 6%? To some, 4.5% is outrageous....
It also depends on the town your in (likely days on market) and the big key is how much is your selling price. Most realtors would be more likely to drop a little off their commission rate if they're selling a $400K home vs. a $120K home- for obvious reasons.
I work in both Mass and NH- and also am quite familair with South Hadley (from my past).
Good luck. Thanks,
Ken L.
1 vote
Barbara Brown, Agent, Longmeadow, MA
Mon May 19, 2008
There are two aspects to this: 1) If you offer a low commission, agents that have buyers that are ready, willing, & able to buy your home will look at the properties that will pay them the most. If you had a choice between a job that would pay 10,000 or 12,000 which would you take? 2) You get what you pay for, paying a higher commission to the agent should get you more services. Most agents that offer to take listings for less commission are not going to put the time & effort into selling your home that it deserves. If your boss told you that today he decided to discount your pay, would you want to do your very best for him?

I suggest that you ask the agents you are interviewing what services you will be getting for your money, that will give you a better picture as to what the right commission is for you.
1 vote
Experienceun…, Home Buyer, South Hadley, MA
Mon Sep 23, 2013
Not knowing ahead of time what to expect in the way of "approximate" fees is not a business I want to deal with. Munyia Leblanc
0 votes
Lou Mayo, Agent, Wilberham, MA
Tue Sep 11, 2012
Hi Joyce,

First off I would like to thank you for an intriguing question.

Unfortunately there is no way any of us could properly answer that question. Besides the fact that we would potentially be violating antitrust laws. The reason we cannot answer that is there is no way of knowing what the average could be. You see when a listing agent takes a listing they charge a commission to the seller. The listing agent usually then offers compensation out to other agents who may have a buyer for the property. We see what is being offered but not what the total commission was.

There are so many factors that go into what an agent may charge a seller for their services. It should also be pointed out that not all agents do the same things for the same fee. You really should contact some local Realtors (like us for instance) who can show you what they will charge and what you will get for services.

Hope this helps you and best of luck with everything.

0 votes
Victoria Min…, Agent, Westfield, MA
Sun May 29, 2011
Hi Joyce, I have read through this and I agree with Rita from Upton. Some of this discussion violates anti trust laws. The simplest answer to your question would be.. there is no set rate.
Selling a home is one of the most important decisions you will make. That's why it's in your best interest to choose an experienced real estate agent who listens to and understands your needs. Look for a professional who understands your concerns and will provide you with the personalized service that makes all the difference. In regard to the fee you will be charged.. compare companies marketing plans & knowledge to the fee. Listing with a well known company such as a Century 21 who offers 500 + web sites and an agressive marketing plan you can be sure you are getting the most exposure for your money. If you have any other questions about the home selling process please contact me, I am happy to help. Victoria
0 votes
John L. Harr…, , 01075
Wed Jan 26, 2011
Joyce.....Ken the builder from NH and Bart from Boston go into areas of discussion that violate the law. I submit the builder, who doesn't state he is a licensed Realtor, but rather a Builder/Developer went so far as to tell you that he'd "prefer to do that via email and not on the board here". THAT should be a red flag to any Seller that unprofessional conduct is afoot. Bart from Boston is an actual Realtor, by claim, and he goes beyond the restraints of the law. Look for the Realtor that gave you a professional response of this being a matter negotiated between the Seller and the Realtor. Good luck with your search.
0 votes
Kathryn Acci…, Agent, Sturbridge, MA
Wed Jun 30, 2010
Joyce, as others have noted, it is indeed illegal (and unethical) for us to publicly discuss commissions. That fee is negotiated between you and your listing agent/broker. If you've not done so already, interview several agents. Ask what services they provide for their fee, then select the agent who seems to provide the best service and who also makes you feel comfortable about the process. Simple as that. Good luck!
0 votes
John L. Harr…, , 01075
Wed Jun 23, 2010
Joyce the Realtor from Upton ( out in eastern Massachusetts) was correct about discussing commission. It is indeed against the law to do so. This is something that is discussed ONLY between the Realtor and the potential Seller. One responder actually told you they would not discuss this question on this public board but would do so via email and went on to discuss what is outrageous for a fee and dropping the fee depending on the price of the home. Some of the folks that gave you answers went way beyond not giving specific answers and actually stated what they charged. This is a huge no no and clearly shows they do not know the law and that they are probably lacking skill sets in other aspects of marketing real estate, which is a very complex procedure.

I have been in this wonderful profession for 25 years and I have learned that my task is to provide the very best ethical and honest service to my clients and to follow all the laws governing our profession. Good luck in your search for a qualified and competent professional Realtor.
0 votes
Rita Thieme, , Upton, MA
Sun Feb 1, 2009
I've been reading some of the answers you have received and I have a different way of explaining. You're probably noticing that no one has been specific detail about what is an average commission. That is because it is a violation of the Federal Restraint of Trade laws for an agent to state an average/typical commission. Each agency is an independent company. They can only tell you what their fee is. If agencies were to discuss their commission with other agencies, they would be guilty of price fixing. The same way if airlines were to discuss their prices it would be a violation. Or car dealers.

So any agent who would answer that question the way you've asked it is not the agent you want to hire. That's because the agent who would answer it clearly doesn't understand the law. And if they don't understand the law then they might not understand other aspects of a very complicated transaction. Bottom line is that you wouldn't get the best representation possible.

Now! If you really want to know the answer to your question, here's what you need to do: call a number of agencies and ask what they charge... and for what services. That way you can compare apples to apples to make an informed decisi
0 votes
Gary Sainsbu…, , Amherst, MA
Wed Nov 19, 2008
Hello Joyce

Commission rates are negotiable, I recommend sellers to interview a realtor to understand what they have as a marketing plan, how they see your property fitting into the current market and generally how you feel about working with that person to sell your home.

Good Luck, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Gary Sainsbury
0 votes
The Moores', , Templeton, MA
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Dear Joyce,

To repeat my fellow associate professionals below, ALL commissions and fees in this business, we call Real Estate, are negotiable. Thats why its such a great business to be in!!

Gordon and I work from the Templeton MA area (thats just outside Leominster/Gardner) and have found a way to to make this point percisely about the client. For instance we have marketing plans starting as low as 1 percent and ranging as high as 10. Its all about the client and what will work for them.
0 votes
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