When selling a home what is the norm listing agent commission %? We want to pay less than 5% total for both listing n seller agent. How realsitic?

Asked by J9dancer, Mount Laurel Township, NJ Fri Feb 17, 2012

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Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Fri Feb 17, 2012
Commissions are negotiable and should be discussed between yourself and your real estate agent or agents when you meet with them to discuss the sale of your house. Not only are you discussing commission with them, but price, marketing plan, communication, etc. so you know what you should expect if you hire them. So YES commissions are negotiable and you should be having this conversation face to face with local agents in your area and not on a public forum. Not to mention the Sherman anti-trust laws forbid agents from discussing commissions among themselves AND on a public forum such as this one.
2 votes
Ronald Shaff…, Agent, Toms River, NJ
Fri Feb 17, 2012
In New Jersey all commissions are negotiable. Your question asks " how realistic ?" , the answer is very realistic, that you will find an agent that will list the home for less than 5% . The issue is the quality of work you will get from a discounted commission. That is hard to determine. It brings to mind the saying " The bad taste of poor quality lingers longer than the satisfaction of saving a little bit off the top. " I wish you the best of luck, and I do know a great agent in Mount Laurel if you need one.
1 vote
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Fri Feb 17, 2012
There is no "normal" commission. All commissions are negotiable. Interview a few agents and see what you will get for your money. You can also FSBO and not pay a commission at all.
But, experience is priceless and what you save on a bargain agent could cost you in the price you receive for your house.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Fri Feb 17, 2012
J9, the dirty truth is that if you offer less than 5% the listing agent may offer the buyer's agent less than 2.5%. If they offer the buyer's agent less than 2.5%, then some buyer's agents will simply take their clients to see other homes, rather than to accept less commission. So my question to you is simple, do you want more or less agents to want to participate in selling your home? And by the way, 5% would be low here in Florida.

Realistically, can you find an agent who will accept less than 5%? Sure. But is it smart is the question!
1 vote
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Fri Feb 17, 2012

Commission is negotiable and you will find someone who is willing to list for less than 5%, but remember, you get what you pay for. Interview a few agents and see what they offer as far as services go, and make your decision on the agent and their experience/knowledge. An agent with experience and a wealth of marketing tools at their fingertips is worth their weight in gold to help you navigate the complexities of selling a home.

5%, though again it's negotiable, still seems to be the trend in commission rates. Just from a preliminary look-see, the average sales price in Mt. Laurel is about $260,000 according to Trulia. That amounts to $2600 more in commission at 5% (which BTW your agent only gets about 1/4 of). Might be worth the price for peace of mind knowing you have a good agent/agency on your side.
1 vote
Joan Congilo…, Agent, Freehold, NJ
Fri Feb 24, 2012
All commissions are negotiable. I think you should interview a few realtors and see what they have to offer and who you feel you will be most comfortable working with over the next 6 months. Rather than select a listing agent based on just the lowest fee you might want to consider selecting an agent with the best marketing plan of action, guaranteed advertising, web presence & experience. An agent that does more than just give you a discounted rate, list you and forget you may actually get your home sold faster and for more money. My experience in life has been you get what you pay for
Web Reference:  http://www.joancongilose.com
0 votes
Nathan Wolf, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Wed Feb 22, 2012
What's the point?

Determine what you want to walk away with in your pocket. This is called the "SELLER'S NET".

Then work backwards from there to determine the selling price including commissions.

It is generally NOT the commissions that will kill a sale. I've taked lower commission in the past, but I can honestly say, those are usually the clients who are unreasonable in the price at which they expect to sell their home.

MANY sellers are actually INCREASING the commissions to make sure their home attracts the Agents with GOOD QUALIFIED BUYERS. I recently listed a home for 9-percent commission. Of course the seller made their NET, and the Buyer Agent made a bonus. And the house was listed for a reasonable amount.

And if they Buyer Agent wanted to negotiate on price, they would use part of their commission to help the buyer with closing costs or whatever they wanted. This way it was put up front that there was a margin of negotiating on the purchase price available. And put the Buyer's Agent in the position to help their client make an informed offer to purchase.

Web Reference:  http://www.natewolf.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Feb 21, 2012
I like Ron's answer and his reminder: "The bad taste of poor quality lingers longer than the satisfaction of saving a little bit off the top". What a great reminder that is. My suggestion to you is to find the best agent you can to list your home, being sure that she is skilled at online marketing and has strong analytic and negotiating skills. Focus on readying your home for sale, then price is smartly right out of gate. With the best agent at the helm, your home prepared in its best light, and right pricing, you will do very well.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes
Nicky Faucett, Agent, Mount Laurel, NJ
Mon Feb 20, 2012
Average is 5%-6% in the area (split between both agencies). As everyone has said, you want to make sure that you have an agent who does their job. They should price your home right and not just tell you what you want to hear. If you have questions about what your home should be priced at, how properties are selling in your development or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am based out of mt. Laurel.

856-222-0077, ext 313
0 votes
Marie Souza…, Agent, Centerville, MA
Fri Feb 17, 2012
Well, commission is negotiable. Under 5% is going to be hard sell to any agent other that those who work for discount companies, as there are lots of expenses & an enormous amount of time spent to get a listing sold.

What if an agent only charged you 5%, put your house on the market for $300,000 and got you $275,000, you would owe them $13,750 in commission, bringing your net to $261,250.

Another agent puts the house on the market for the same amount ($300k) and gets you $295,000, but charges you 6%, you are better off with them as they are putting more money in your pocket.

Lesson: Don't pick an agent based on commission!

You should select an agent based on the # of area sales, % of selling price vs. listing price, negotiation, experience etc.

An agent who can negotiate you a better deal is worth more money because you will make more money.

This is one of those times where you truly get what you pay for. Don't skimp here. A good agent is worth their weight in gold, will get you more money & get your house sold within your time frame.

The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
Phone: 508-790-2000
info@mariesouzateam.com http://www.MarieSouzaTeam.com
0 votes
Ines De La C…, Agent, Marlton, NJ
Fri Feb 17, 2012
Hello J9dancer,
Thanks for your question.
Commission are always negotiable. You have to discuss that directly with your Realtor. Make sure you offer a good amount so your property is advertised appropriately and the buyer's agents show your home. Ask a lot of questions before choosing your real estate representative. You will be glad you did.
Good luck in the sale of your home.
Web Reference:  http://www.inesdelacruz.com
0 votes
Brent Dorner, , Sun Prairie, WI
Fri Feb 17, 2012
Hello J9dancer,

I wouldn't say that we have an "industry standard" and we are not allowed to do so. Every agent negotiates their commission, I have seen some as low as 4% and some at 7%. I would like to make 2 comments about your questions.
For starters, each home listed on the MLS has a split, the buyer's agent will get part of the commission for seller your home. Although every agent should do their best to get your home sold, if you where a buyer's agent and you noticed that one home had a 3.5% split and the one next to it had a 2% split, what home would you be more eager to sell?
Also, do you think a highly qualified agent selling your home will work for little to nothing? Many agents only get 25-30% of the commission and that is before taxes and expenses. What type of agents do you hope to attract with a low commission offer? If you offer someone a low amount how hard do you think they will push to get your home sold? If you pay 4% and your home sits on the market for 12 months because your agent is below average is it worth it? Many good agents can command a higher commission because they have a proven track record on getting homes sold fast and for top dollar. Many times this comes with high quality marketing that they pay for out of pocket, but wouldn't be able to if they where not making any money on the sale.
Obviously, as a seller you want to pay as little as possible but you need to factor in what that may cost you in the long run. If you can get a great agent at 4-5% I say go for it.

Good Luck,
0 votes
Oleg Polonsky, Agent, brooklyn, NY
Fri Feb 17, 2012
It is quite realistic. Just keep in mind that a part of your commission covers marketing expenditures. By negotiating a lower commission you may be lowering marketing outlay on advertising your property. Also, higher commissions give a strong incentive for the agents to sell your property.
0 votes
, ,
Fri Feb 17, 2012
If a Realtor isn’t worth what they ask for from you are they the right choice for you? If they can’t protect their income are they the agent you want protecting your price?
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Feb 17, 2012
Commission is always negotiable between you and your agent, there are no set standards; therefore interview in person a few person 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...
0 votes
Abu Musa, Agent, New York, NY
Fri Feb 17, 2012
This is negotiable, 5% is OK.but if you looking for better deal you should offer above market commission so you can attract all interested agent.
0 votes
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