Author Topic: Real estate agent fees  (Read 2853 times)


  • Walrus Stache
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Real estate agent fees
« on: August 28, 2017, 09:33:03 AM »
We are selling a home in a super hot market.  Everything is selling for $10k-20k over list price and in a matter of days.  The house is fixed up real nice and ready to go on the market this week.   I say the market is so hot we don't need an agent, or at the least we can just do a flat fee agent.  We know what the other houses are selling for. My wife is super hand holdy and doesn't like the idea of doing anything DIY, she wants a professional for everything even when I think it's not necessary.  So she's been in communication with her agent, and he sent over a template (not the real thing) contract for us to check out.  On the commission line it says "5/x" and also lists a $395 brokers fee.  I wanted to clarify that the "5/x" really means 5% split between both agents and not 5% for him plus x% for other agent, and also wtf the $395 fee is for since we are apparently paying at least 5% of the cost of the house already. 

His response was "oh that should be six [6% split].  And the $395 is a brokers agency fee, it's a standard fee the agency requires".  I'm thinking this is bullshit and he's just adding on a $395 fee because he thinks he can.  I also think it's bullshit we are losing 6% of the purchase price of the house.  I understand most people coming to look at the house are going to have their own parasite agent who is going to get around 3% and that's just the cost of doing business if I want to sell the house, but wtf am I paying my agent 3% for? To spend an hour taking pictures, measuring rooms, and posting it to an MLS?  How the fuck is that worth 3% ($5k) plus $395?!

My wife thinks he is a great guy.  He is charismatic and personable and seems like he really cares.  I think it's all an act and he has no problem getting $5-6k from us for 1-2 hours worth of work all the while smiling.  In addition no one else really seems to have a problem with the fees since we are still making money on the house.  IMO the fact that I bought at the right time, aggressively paid down the mortgage, and am selling after a lot of appreciation are completely irrelevant to the fees being charged - as if the 6% transaction fees are somehow justified because I personally have done well in this circumstance.

Since the buyers agent is getting 3% and I'm already considering that a sunk cost, it seems like the other 3% and $395 (estimated around $5.2-5.4k total) are what's really in question.  I really don't think I can ditch this guy without causing a lot of strife in my marriage, and I don't know if it's worth that stress to potentially save $3k.  I know there will be some transactional costs, and I'm not prepared to navigate that world on my own, I do need someones assistance and am expecting to pay for that, but his fees just seem excessive.

Should I push to remove the $395 fee?  Should I push to keep the commission at 5% instead of 6%? What else?

EDIT: Apparently my wife relaid the info to me vaguely as well, the "5/x" was actually Six written out.  Who the fuck writes an I at a 45 degree angle?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 09:50:22 AM by frugalnacho »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Real estate agent fees
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 10:54:56 AM »
I'm a Realtor.  There are some brokerages that charge an additional fee.  I think it sucks frankly, but there ya go.  I eat my fee for my clients as a result.  Not my clients fault my brokerage adds it.  But it is a legit add and he's not trying to scam another $395.  Also, in the listing input forms, it should state the BAC (buyers agent commission).  If you would like to negotiate (hot market) to decrease your listing fee to say 5% if your listing agent double ends the transaction (finds the buyer unrepresented) it is within your rights.  Everything is negotiable.  Best of luck.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Real estate agent fees
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 11:45:07 AM »
Use or any of the other services that do this for a flat fee. You'll be listed in MLS which is the key. Offer to pay the buyers agent a 3% commission.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Real estate agent fees
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 12:03:05 PM »
You can try to FSBO in a hot market, it is worth a shot for a few weeks (less than a month, cut your losses early).  If you do this, create a small brochure, offer a flat buyers agent fee, and then walk the brochure / leave copies at 10 closest realtor offices nearby, with the agents (and clients) showing date / open house.

See what happens.  Many agents look for pre-sale / pre-listing information for their clients, and if your property is a good one, with a good price, then it could sell quickly.

Also, let your neighbors know, especially if you are in a condo, because sometimes they want to move up into a nicer property, or have a friend looking to get into your school district.

After 2-3 weeks of effort at this, switch to one of the low cost MLS listing services the others mention.   I would only go for the agent if you need a lot of hand holding, or are trying for aggressive over market bids, in which case, select a realtor with a lot of experience doing just that.  It takes a lot of experience to do it well, which you and many other full service agents don't have.


  • Stubble
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Re: Real estate agent fees
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 12:11:33 PM »
Sold my wife's house (she was my fiance at the time) in a super hot market without a realtor.  We had 9 offers in the first day.  We could of had a bidding war, but we felt like with the escalation clauses in some of the offers that we were already getting enough.  We used a MLS listing service, but otherwise handled everything ourselves, including having an open house (posted to MLS and on Craigslist, etc.).  If you go this route, do make sure to offer the 3% buyer commission, as someone else mentioned.  I've heard all sorts of stories of Realtors steering their clients away from certain houses because of reduced commissions.

Have you tried "pre-listing" on Craigslist to see if you could sell it yourself that way?

Better yet, have you looked at Redfin and their full service 1% (total 4% commission)?  If nothing else, you could use that as bargaining leverage with the agent your wife likes.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Real estate agent fees
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 12:13:02 PM »
I'd recommend trying FSBO if you research it and put in serious time and effort.

You could offer a 2.5% commission to the buyer's agent.