6 Things To Consider About What Is a Fair Commission for a Real Estate Agent

Real Estate agents make most of their salary through commission

When you are buying or selling your home, fees for a real estate agent should also be factored into your budget. Here are a few things to consider when determining what is a fair commission for a real estate agent. 

The Importance of Determining What Is a Fair Commission for a Real Estate Agent 

The real estate market is a complicated arena to navigate, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer or seller. Realtors or agents are often necessary to ensure the entire process runs smoothly and quickly. 

When assisting with your property purchase, an agent can: 

  • Supervise open houses and/or scheduled house visits 
  • Collect your property preferences to discover your most desired house 
  • Coordinate meetings with potential sellers
  • Prepare and review all essential documents and legal contracts 
  • Supervise appraisals and inspections 
  • Negotiate competitive offers and property repair appeals
  • Manage requirements needed for title and mortgage companies
  • Assist you throughout the closing process

If assisting with your property sale, an agent’s responsibilities include: 

  • Predicting a competitive asking price based on sound market analysis 
  • Performing a home evaluation to determine the prime selling points for your property and identify areas where essential improvements are needed 
  • Strategically staging the property for maximum buyer appeal and commissioning professional photography of the exterior and interior  
  • Listing your property in a timely manner on the Multiple Listing Service and arranging focused advertising to attract a wider buying network 
  • Coordinating open houses and/or scheduled showings to prospective buyers 
  • Preparing essential legal documents, including contracts, offers, and closing statements 
  • Managing communications between appraisers, inspectors, and lenders 
  • Handling inspection results and advising on repairs, if needed 

Considering the high-level duties required of a listing agent and buyer’s agent in the buying and selling of your home, determining what is a fair commission for a real estate agent is important. Note that these responsibilities are the bare minimum that a dedicated agent should do. 

The Factors for Calculating a Fair Commission for a Real Estate Agent

Commission fees are typically covered entirely by the seller. The market standard dictates that the seller pays for the commission for both the listing agent and buyer’s agent as assigned in the listing agreement. Usually, this fee is deducted from the sale price of your home. Before your agent offers a price quote for his or her services, you should weigh in the following factors: 

  1. National average real estate commission: The average across the states can vary each year. If the average is around 6%, the commission for a home priced at $450,000 is around $26,000.
  2. Geographical commission rate variance: Depending on the area you are buying and selling your home, the commission rate can vary. The rate can be either higher or lower than the national average. A good real estate agent should be well-versed in your desired area of interest. Do not hesitate to research commission rates with several local brokers before making a decision.
  3. Negotiable rate: Some real estate agents only offer a flat listing fee, while other agents are open to negotiating the commission rate. However, if you come across someone who will not budge on his or her rate, you should closely examine the track record of this prospective agent. 
  4. Broker-realtor commission split: Realtors and real estate agents usually have contractual agreements with their brokers on how to split the fees. Sometimes these splits work in your agent’s favor and sometimes they do not. Agents often rely on a broker because of the benefits of marketing, workspace, and integrative technology applications. 
  5. Seller and buyer contracts: In the event that you do not buy or sell your home, you probably will not be responsible for paying commission to your agent. Nonetheless, always read the fine print in your contract. There may be situations where you are responsible for paying agent fees, such as backing out of a sale or prematurely breaking the contract. Never sign a contract without first reviewing all the details. 
  6. Scope of your property transaction: Determine the complexity of your unique real estate situation. Is your current home in dire need of repairs? Are you planning on moving across the country? How quickly do you need to buy or sell? These questions help you figure out the anticipated workload you expect from your agent. 

It is important to note that most real estate agents are 1099 contractors. This means that they rely heavily on their commissions to maintain their career and yearly pay. If your home is not highly appraised or is located in a slow market for your listing agent, negotiating a lower commission rate is not advisable since your agent might have to invest an inordinate amount of time for considerably less pay. On the other hand, if your home is located in a fast-moving market and has a high value, requesting a lower commission rate can be considered fair. 

Overall, agent compensation can be worth the cost. Hardworking listing agents will go above and beyond to sell your home quickly at an ambitious price. Cutthroat buyer’s agents can find that forever home for you at a competitive price. A competent agent will go the distance for you. 

The Place for Discovering Top-Rated Agents 

While there are ways to avoid paying commission fees, such as selling or buying your home without an agent, these options involve a lot of time and work and a lot of room for things to go wrong. In the grand scheme of real estate transactions, considering what is a fair commission for a real estate agent is a minor part of the entire process. Finding the best agent to work with is way more crucial for the success of your property sale or purchase.

At Fast Expert, we connect you with a top-rated agent who is best suited for your unique circumstance. We have the largest online database of agents so that you can select someone with confidence. Book an appointment or contact our dedicated team today. We look forward to bringing you closer to your dream home. 



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