Gosh, I would love to charge more to do a short sale listing....but the sales commission is not set by us, but rather by the lender. Depending on how how much they are going to net from the sale, they may specify a much lower fee than the standard.
I've set the commission rate at 6% which tends to be the norm (although I've heard of other brokers who start out at 8%), But if the approved sales price is much lower than the original list price, or if the estimated sales proceeds are much lower than what the loss mitigation committee anticipated, the lender will, and they have, ask to reduce to commissions, sometimes down to 4% -- split 50-50 between the buyer's and seller's agents.
Thankfully, none of my clients are finding themselves upside down. But I have been approached by others who need help. I do it because a short sale will be less of a black mark (but a mark nonetheless) on the homeowner's credit.
The breakdown in sales commissions is not the only factor in determining the realtor's value. What is more important is the summary of all the activities that is involved, and how many hours and how much it costs us out-of-pocket. Remember, if the property doesn't sell, we don't get reimbursed for our costs. AND...how much is our time worth?
As for marketing --- I focus on internet marketing. And by that, I don't mean just activating it on the MLS or REALTOR.com.
On Realtor.com, I take as many pictures as I can (we're allowed up to 25), I customize the text description, I upload a visual tour. Then I also post on as many websites as I can --- Trulia is one, Active Rain, craigslist, vflyers, postlets, visualtour,com. I send electronic flyers (email blasts), too. Uploading the information is very time consuming since these sites are independent of each other.
When I do broker's tours, I serve refreshments to entice as many brokers as possible to come see my listing.
I also do the other traditional marketing that includes holding open houses, sending out postcards and letters, emailing prospects with information about the listings, following up with everyone who expressed an interest or saw the property. AND....advertise in newspapers, print color flyers. Although print is losing favor as compared to the internet, it still merits attention although this is the most expensive medium today.
I order/coordinate all the inspections (pest, home), order home warranty, complile all the disclosures, go to city hall to pull up permits, determine local ordinances and minimum compliance requirements. Then put this all online so that other agents can get the disclosures, and also make sure I have a property binder at the property so that other folks will see the information when they visit the property.
If my client can't afford to hire a stager, I do some light staging myself (and that involves investing in my own stuff to use for staging).
Finally, we also should take into account how much it costs us to be members of the local board...sometimes, on more than one board....so that we can post on the MLS. Membership also includes the cost of maintaining our lock box keys.
And....now that the gas prices are rising, we have to consider the cost of gas, wear and tear on our cars ferrying people around to show properties.
Through it all, I am always communicating --- via phone/email --- with the sellers, the agents, the title company, the inspectors, etc.
Like I said, it's a time-consuming process. So I guess the question is, how much is our time worth? If your realtor isn't doing all the things I just mentioned, then you may have room to negotiate the sales commission. In my case, once I present the activities I do for my clients, they see the value of my services.
Take care and good luck!