How Do I Get My Agent To Lower The Commission?

In the current housing crisis, sellers cannot realistically expect to get their full asking price. One option to maximize the sellers profit is by lowering the real estate agents’ commissions.
Real Estate Commissions have fallen in recent years from an average of 7% to 5.1% nationwide. And as the real estate market continues to flounder, real estate commissions will be under more downward pressure.
In the past when selling your home there was a choice of paying an expensive 7% commission to your real estate agent, or going the FSBO or “For Sale by Owner” route. In today’s market, there are a number of options. They include:

Negotiating down your agent’s commission;

Using a discount broker; and

Paying a la carte for the real estate services you need.

These options enable a seller to keep more money in his or her pocket.

How to Negotiate Your Realtor’s Rate of Commission
A typical home sale involves agents for buyers and sellers and each take a co broke commission of approximately 2.5% to 3%, for a total cost of 5% to 6%, which is paid from the proceeds of the seller. Due to competition with discount brokers and/or a la carte (flat-fee services) some agents are more amenable to reducing their commission to 2% or less.
To get a reduced real estate commission:

Ask several agents to prepare a CMA or Competitive Market Analysis, and estimate the sales price of your home.

Interview each agent and tell them how much you are expecting to make from the sale. Ask if they will lower their commission to the percentage you want. Each Realtor will be clear on your expectations and can respond accordingly.

If an Realtor turns you down, thank them for their report and let them know you’ll be putting your home on the market with someone else in the next couple of weeks. It might sway them. If not, consider another option to cut costs.

Discount Brokers Offering Full Service
Big chains offer discounts and rebates. ZipRealty is a full-service real estate company which generally gives sellers 1% off standard market commissions. The company says discounts often amount to a 20% savings. It also gives buyers a 20% rebate on commissions, which can be issued in the form of a check or applied to closing costs. If you use them to both buy and sell your home, you save an additional 5%. ZipRealty was formed in 1999 and now operates in 17 major cities and employs 1,450 agents.
Other chains offer non-cash rebates such as frequent-flyer miles. If you use a real estate agent sponsored by LendingTree, or its sister company, you can receive rebates for airline miles or gift cards from Costco or Home Depot.
However, about a dozen states, including Alabama, New York and Oregon, have passed laws limiting the ability of agents to give rebates or offer services at low fixed fees to home sellers. Sellers must research applicable laws in their state before entering into a contract.

Should I Sell My Home By Owner? is a national real estate website that offers access to the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) through a local real estate broker who charges a flat fee.
Sellers must conduct their own open house, printing of marketing fliers, etc. If you are comfortable handling part of the process, there is no shortage of sites and services willing to help you. Some will charge an hourly fee for services such as advising on price and preparing closing documents.
You just need to figure out what part of the real estate transaction you can manage on your own and what help you might want to pay for, such as marketing. Again, sellers must research all aspects of this type of service before entering into a contract.
Help-U-Sell Real Estate has more than 1,000 offices nationwide, and is one of the fastest growing franchises that provide a menu of fee-for-service options, including MLS listings, access to licensed real estate brokers and marketing help.

Other Well-Known Real Estate Services

Redfin is currently available in Seattle and San Francisco. is a Washington state brokerage that lists homes in the MLS for a flat fee of $595.

Both Redfin and MLS4Owners encourage buyers and sellers to work directly together to arrange times to see the house or make an offer but will assist with setting up inspections and paperwork. is a new property listing and marketing site that has several fee structures available for single listing and multiple listing interests. This company is producing very good results for their customers.

Assist2Sell, of Reno, Nev., has 640 franchises across the U.S. and offers various discount packages, including a paperwork-only option.

Should I Sell My Home Myself?
Selling your home on your own as a FSBO even for part of the transaction presents its own challenges. This could be a full time job! You must have the time to show the home which means days, nights and weekends. It is not a bad a idea to have some back ground in the real estate business.
Real Estate transactions are not as simple as they used to be. There are multiple page contracts and inspections. One missed item can mean years of grief in court. Make sure that you really examine if you are willing to go it alone.
Do your homework before deciding which option is the best one for you to sell your home.
If you want more information on this topic please ask EdGAR.