Are realtor commissions negotiable?

Sure….how high do you want to go? 😆

Commissions aren’t all the same, just like agents aren’t all the same. Different agents charge different rates because they do different things for the consumer. Commissions/fees range from $100 to 7%. Nice range!

So if all that matters is paying less for your agent, then shop around – there are plenty of discount agents. You might consider hiring the very best agent you can find – one who pays for themselves, and more.

This is the question that has never been answered by the industry:

“If agents employ different skill sets and services, why do they all get paid the same?

It was mentioned in the recent lawsuit, and they presented it as part of their case:

72. Additionally, because the Rule requires a blanket offer, the Rule compels home sellers to make this financial offer without regard to the experience of the buyer-broker or the services or value they are providing — in other words, the Rule treats all buying brokers and their services the same. The seller is required to offer the same fee to a buyer-broker with little or no experience as that offered to a buyer-broker with twenty years of valuable experience. Accordingly, there is a significant level of uniformity in the payments that sellers must pay to buyer-brokers.

73. As a result, there is little relationship between the commission and quality of the service. “Skilled, experienced agents and brokers charge about the same price as agents with little experience and limited knowledge of how to best serve the consumer clients.” In a price-competitive market, less experienced and less skilled brokers and salespersons would be offering consumers lower commission rates, but they have no incentive to do so because of the Rule.

74. The Rule creates tremendous pressure on sellers to offer the “standard” supra-competitive commission that has long been maintained in this industry. Seller-brokers know that if the published, blanket offer is less than the “standard” commission, many buyer-brokers will “steer” home buyers to the residential properties that provide the higher standard commission.

The changes or fines from the lawsuit(s) probably won’t matter much today. Offering no commissions to buyer-agents is a nice idea, and you’d think it would cause agents to publicize the full set of productive services they offer to their buyers to convince them to pay the fee. Don’t get your hopes up.

Ideally, the consumer would research the detailed resumes and work histories of each prospective agent and make an informed decision. The agent pages on Zillow do provide the basics, but based on results, consumers aren’t using them much.

It’s why realtors have a lousy reputation – consumers keep hiring the inexperienced/bad agents, and the industry doesn’t mind because they make more profit off them.

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