Most home owners do elect to hire a full-service agent, but a good number of homeowners turn to discount and flat fee brokers.
The truth is, some brokers just plain charge less than others. You may have heard that commissions in your area are a standard 7%, 6%, or 5%. That could be the “standard,” but there are plenty of folks who deviate from the standard by finding brokers that advertise they work at a discount, or who will, if pressed, discount their fees. You can just do a quick Internet search and you’ll probably be able to find some brokers in your town offering a discounted fee.
There are also flat-fee brokers out there, who will let you choose the services you want to pay for. If you just want them to list your home on the MLS, it might be as low as $250-500. You can add other services, such as managing open houses, offer negotiation, closing services, whatever. There’s a variety of different options out there and the fees – as well as the quality of service – can vary widely.
The Buyer’s Agent Commission
You can also opt to pay the buyer’s agent less, or pay the buyer’s agent a small flat fee. This may seem like a good way to save money, but it’s going to make hundreds or thousands of agents in your market actively work to keep buyers away from showing your property. Remember, fewer showings means fewer offers means lower prices.
Another thing to remember about these flat fee and discount brokers is that their business model depends to a greater extent on buyer sales. They are less vested in getting your home sold quickly, because they are hoping to pick up buyers from “for sale” sign calls and Internet leads which they get from your property. The longer your property sits on the market, it’s to their advantage, because they are especially angling to get buyers for properties like yours. Everyone needs to eat, right?