The largest misnomer in all of real estate is that all agents and companies are the same and can and will produce the same results. If that were true it would follow that you should hire the least expensive company to complete the task.
We as agents will all wholeheartedly disagree that all agents and results are the same and then proceed to tell you why we are better. But if we can all agree that our services are better than everyone elseâ€™s (and if we donâ€™t, why would you work with us individually), then we should be able to agree that there is no such thing as a standard rate. If we all provide different services and levels of customer service and in the end we all produce individually unique results, I think we should all be able to agree that there shouldnâ€™t be a standard rate for real estate commissions.
Financially you need to focus on the bottom line. I have yet to work with a single seller who when pushed on the topic was more concerned about how much they paid my broker than they were about how large the check was at the closing table. Donâ€™t get too hung up on the commission rate, but rather spend more time analyzing the entire picture.
-Maybe youâ€™re in a hurry and maybe you arenâ€™t, but if you are, the agent/company that sells houses faster is more valuable to you than the person who isnâ€™t.
-First time selling? The agent who can communicate the process to you is more valuable than the agent who is too busy to be able to help you through the extremely stressful and complicated nuances of the real estate transaction.
-Expect customer service? The agent who has the best systems and follow-up in place should be able to charge you more because the services they provide are more valuable to you. This is the single largest separating factor in all of real estate. The chasm between good agent agents and bad agents here is worth many thousands of dollars to even the least needy client. Donâ€™t believe me? Wait until you have an important question and your agent takes 3-4 days to get back to you.
-Experience, knowledge? If lack of experience or knowledge were to cost you time, stress, or money in a real estate transaction, it wouldnâ€™t matter if the agent were doing the work for free; you would expect some sort of restitution. Typically those matters flush themselves out in court or in similar hearings and are incredibly expensive.
Iâ€™m not saying that new real estate agents are bad people or will mess up your life. I am however saying that I wouldnâ€™t want the sale of my home to be my real estate agentâ€™s first anymore than I would want a surgery on my child to be their surgeonâ€™s first. Then consider the fact that surgeons receive light years more training than a local real estate graduate â€“ you make the call.
Moral of the story: Forget about commission rates, standard or not, and focus on the bottom line at closing. Find the best agent/company package for your situation and be willing to pay whatever they charge because they are worth it.
Coldwell Banker Burnet