Are commissions negotiable?

The common perception is Yes, because commission rates aren’t determined by any regulatory body, and brokerages/agents are free to devise their own compensation plan.

But the agents who have a meaningful skill set and a book of business have determined their fee. They aren’t going to work for less just because the NAR blew their defense of a two-bit lawsuit in Missouri. In addition, the consumers who are convinced that their agent is worth it will pay their fee to ensure they get quality help that delivers the best results.

If you want to negotiate the fee, you will have to find a different agent.

The exodus of incompetant realtors leaving the business over the next 2-3 years will be significant, and their commission rate will be more negotiable than ever. Will consumers take a chance on the has-been agent hoping to eek out one last deal before they quit, just to save a point? Unfortunately, the answer will be yes in many cases.

How bad is it? I could tell a new story every day.

How about the listing agent wants to give his 80+ year old seller the personal touch, but he doesn’t like driving the 30 minutes to her house….so completing the final documents to close escrow has been stalled. The seller is moving to Arizona, and she had to get her realtor there to help her fill out the forms!

Hopefully the result of the Big Shakeout will be that consumers investigate thoroughly the services that realtors offer, and understand that different agents do different things. There will always be the agents that offer to do less – carefully examine whether reduced services are in your best interest.

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