Ask a Realtor: Consider everything that goes into Realtor fees (column) |

Ask a Realtor: Consider everything that goes into Realtor fees (column)

Joan Harned
Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan: We are really struggling with how much the Realtor could make when our house sells. We bought this house, put a lot of money into repairs and upgrades over the years, as well as a lot of “blood, sweat and tears,” as they say.

When I look at the Realtor’s possible commission and think that they did not even get their hands dirty, I start thinking I should do a for sale by owner and keep all of the money myself. However, I am not sure where to begin and how to do the paperwork correctly on my own. Guess I can hire an attorney and still save money. What are your thoughts on my plan?

Dear Vision Impaired: You are looking at the wrong target and that is distorting your picture and decision. What you need to concentrate on is, how much money you are getting, not what the broker is making.

If you are going in for critical surgery (your home sale is like financial surgery), then do you check around to see which doctor will personally make the most off of your operation, or do you verify who will do the very best job for you and therefore you will have the very best results for your health (not the surgeon’s health)?

You want the best representation, marketing and service, and the best negotiator to bring in the best buyer and top price so that you can net the most money possible. There are dozens of reasons why a great Realtor will attract the best buyer for your property. If you are still hung up on what the Realtor is making, then consider what it costs the Realtor to stay in business through busy and slow periods. Consider how many people take money out of the commission check — the Realtor’s Company, the Realtor’s partner or team, admin help, advertising and marketing, referral fees, if applicable, not to mention taxes. The dollar amount of the commission check is greatly reduced by the time the check is put in the Realtor’s account.

But remember, the most important check is the one you put in your bank account. Don’t miss out on the best “represented buyers” and spend all your time attracting the buyers who are looking for bargain basement pricing from for sale by owners, spending your valuable time marketing and showing your home to not necessarily qualified buyers, and then taking the chance that if you find a buyer that he will be a much better negotiator on price and compensation for inspection items than you are.

We Realtors believe — and it is statistically proven — that we can net you more money than you can net on your own. Call a reputable Realtor today and have them show you how this works. Wishing you all of the best.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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