Commissions are negotiable |

Commissions are negotiable

If you are considering selling your home with a Real Estate Agent keep in mind one important aspect of the deal that you have complete control over … the compensation you are willing to offer your listing agent and the buyer’s agent.

There is no such thing as a standard commission. Price, property type, market conditions, seller preference, agent preference, and brokerage firm rules all play a factor. Nationwide they tend to be in the 5-6% range with half going to the listing agent and half to the buyers agent. With agreements like this the listing agent usually assumes all responsibility for marketing expenses.

It certainly doesn’t have to be this way. The compensation can be anything that you and your Agent agree upon. It can be a flat rate, a percentage of the total price, or a percentage of your profits. Marketing expenses can be paid by the agent, you, or some combination of both. Many brokerage firms have rules regarding listing agreements, meaning that individual agents are not empowered to accept listing agreements that do not adhere to firm policy.

The amount you offer the buying broker and your listing broker can differ as well. You can pay your listing broker 2% and offer 3% to agents that bring ready and willing buyers. The concern is that offering little to prospective buyer brokers is likely to result in less traffic in your property. If fewer buyers come to see your property then presumably it will take longer to sell. The total numbers for Eagle County are inconclusive in this regard. The percent offered to buyers brokers do not correlate at all with the days on market, meaning that lower percentages did not appear to slow down the sale of the property. During 2006 the range of commissions was 0-4% with the majority of deals in Eagle County falling into the 2-3% range, indicating that Agents here are unlikely to want to perform their services for less.

Keep in mind that in most situations in life you get what you pay for. The listing agreement is completely negotiable but you may have difficulty finding an agent willing to represent you if you are unwilling to compensate them fairly for their time, effort, and expenses.

Mark Conlin can be reached at or (970) 367-1426.

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