You see in this economy and in this very difficult Real Estate Market in most areas if not all in the country,
everybody struggles.... As we are in a buyers market, i.e. there are way more properties available for sale, than there are available and ready and willing buyers, it is not a good market for sellers, but buyers on the other hand, can negotiate heavily, and they can cherry pick from a large array of different homes, the best for them at the lowest possible price..... This is nothing any Realtor can change!
Now the Realtor may be of assistance to you, in preparing your home, its curb appeal better, so that it will show better on the internet and all other websites and in brochures, your Realtor may be able to stage your home better or hire a professional stager if need be.....i.e. move around furniture, or even remove furniture, do small repairs and paint a wall here and there to modernize the look of your home.... all that said, we of course do not know what your home looks like these are just general suggestions....
You cannot change the style of home, its lot size or location, and you need to compare very honestly your home to others on the market (are they similar but priced much lower?????) or look at homes in your current price range, to see are they larger, newer, more modern, better updated, better curb appeal, finished basements etc. etc. You may go with your current Realtor and view a few homes so that you get a better feeling for what the buying public can select from....
6 months on the market in this economy is not really a very long time, although I am not particularly familiar with the Madison market place, your Realtor though should be....
When you are thinking about reducing the Realtor's commission, look at the amount and is that amount
taken off your current asking price actually going to make a huge difference? 1 % on 500,000 $ is 5000 $
Do you believe that a buyer will buy your house if you reduce the price by 5000 $.....
Buyers who can afford 500 K potentially can afford 550 K, so then it comes to how does your home compete with the others, and will the others either newer, or bigger or whatever sell before yours!
I do not quite understand why your lender is not working with you but since we do not know what your current interest rate on your loan is, it is hard for us to make recommendations and what are your intentions once you get to sell your home..... you will rent or do you want to buy a smaller place?
To answer your question, real estate commissions in general are negotiable, but as with everything in life, you GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR, sounds like a cliche, but that is what it is in most cases. Remember also, if you are in a bad place, so are the Realtors, as in this market, paying ALL their expenses out of their own pockets, but now their listed homes are much longer on the market (more time and effort, more financial expenses for marketing, open houses, fliers etc. etc. than ever BEfore and they share in the total commission only = in most cases the commission total is split 4 ways, one part is split between the agent who brings the buyer and his/her brokerage company, and other part is split between your listing agent and his/her brokerage company, and then the taxes come off, all the expenses come off for each side --- so it sounds like a lot for you for the 4 and sometime 5 parties involved (if there is a referral fee involved) it is
not huge, especially when calculated on a per hour fee!
I hope this helps you just understand it a little better.... But I think what you should do, obviously you selected your current Realtor for a reason.... and you trust him or her, so sit down and see what can be done
a) as far as your lender is concerned, can your monthly payment be reduced? And is this financially an option
b) Discuss with your Realtor, what can be done to your home, to improve its chances to be looked at and
receive an offer, other than reducing the asking price (remember once a buyer comes in they still want to
negotiate on the asking price! and your Realtor can give you an idea where that % stands in your price range and area)
c) And at that time discuss with your current Realtor, if a reduction in commission is possible and if
there are other properties on the market with lower commissions offered to the buying side.
I hope this all helps you a bit.
I feel for you and know these are difficult times....
Hopefully your husband will find a job soon and you that way buy yourselves more time.
Good Luck and all the BEST to both of you
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago Northshore Connection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
Web Reference: http://tinyurl.com/MeetEdith