I won't speak for Chicago, but major discounting is ballooning all over the country ... you're seeing it in Florida, the Carolinas, Virginia, OH, PA, CA, etc etc ...
Discount brokers doesn't mean less service anymore - it means less dollars spent ...
You have styles like Pete Wolgram just mentioned .. and you also have full service brokers discounting their services because of the slow market and they have every intention of competing ... agents that are discounting means beating their competition and staying in business - and it's great for the consumers pocketbook.
The condo we just sold in Florida was negotiated down to a full service flat fee of $10,000 - it sold for $419,000 ... the listing agent will receive $5,000 and the buyers agent will receive $5,000 .. if we use percentages, it was a 2.4% total commission instead of the 5% that the original insisted on -- we saved $11,000...
It's a buyers market and it's reflective all the way down to the commissions spent .. shop aggresively, shop smart .. as long as you're proactive and you interview the next 4 or 5 potential agents, then all should do well ... don't ask, tell.!
--- REAL ESTATE ---
Speak up, home sellers
Those who haggle on commissions often get what they want: report
By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch
-- CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent for a lower commission -- chances are, your wish will be granted without affecting the quality of service, according to a new survey by Consumer Reports.
Forty-six percent of the sellers surveyed by Consumer Reports for its September issue said they attempted to negotiate a lower commission rate, and 71% succeeded in getting one.
Plus, those who paid commission rates of 3% or lower were as satisfied with the performance of their broker as those who paid 6% or more, according to the survey results.
--- Because people are so successful, said Amanda Walker, senior project editor for Consumer Reports, "then clearly it should be something that you should try to do." That's especially true in today's challenging markets when sellers may need to cut their price, she added.
The results were based on a survey of 3,753 readers who sold or tried to sell a home, 4,029 readers who bought one and 7,368 readers who did both during the past few years.
In fact, people who paid higher rates were more likely to have regrets about the selling process, the survey found. Almost one-third of respondents said they should have been more assertive in negotiating the agent's commission.