Vail Daily column: A top broker is worth the price |

Vail Daily column: A top broker is worth the price

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am getting ready to list my house and I am concerned about what commission​ amount​ the listing broker will charge. I have interviewed three Realtors so far and I seem to just be getting more confused about what services the broker provides and if it is worth paying the top commission or if I should choose someone who I can reason with and get them to reduce their percentage. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks for any help.

Dear Commission Shy,

It is interesting that very few people choose their dentist, doctor or attorney by what they charge. And I really don’t know anyone that argues with these professionals about what they charge and try to get them to lower their fees. I think this is because they have carefully picked these professionals and would not insult them by haggling over the fee nor would they want them to do a lesser job then the very best they can do for them. I feel the same way about top Realtors. They may not be the cheapest, but they certainly take care of you, care for your property and protect and deliver the maximum proceeds you can receive.

A top professional broker will usually choose to represent you as your seller’s agent. They want to be your advocate and negotiate your very best​ ​price and terms. ​A top Realtor will offer you the most professional photography available, as properties have to be first sold on the Web before clients will actually come look at them. They will help you price the property to sell, not to languish on the market for years, and they will help you through the delicate and potentially costly process of the buyer’s inspection objection list. I believe a top broker can help a seller net a lot more than if the seller attempted to sell the property on their own.

I would also suggest that if you are able to argue and negotiate you​r​ listing broker into a lower commission, then you might wonder about that broker’s ability to negotiate on your behalf to get you a higher price. You also may need to find out if that broker is cutting cost in other areas to compensate for the lower commission you were able to squeeze out.

I believe the better listing broker you have, the better chance you have of getting a higher purchase price in the first place. And then a much better chance of not losing thousands of dollars in the negotiation of the inspection objection period. Remember that old saying “You get what you pay for​?”​ ​It​ certainly could apply here. Be sure ​to ​ask for references ​prior to making your final decision​. There is nothing like hearing from other clients that,​​ hopefully, are not just satisfied​​ but were delighted with their​ broker’s​ service and results. Best of luck.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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