In many real estate markets, real estate agents have had to change their selling methods for that 3-bedroom, 2-bath bungalow in California or condominium in Florida. Technology is helping agents to reach more buyers. It is increasing the number of service models available to sellers and it offers house sellers the option of only paying for what they want.
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Larger companies, such as Redfin, offer buyers lower commission rates than usual if they live in Washington D.C. The company cut their commission rates from 1.5 percent to 1 percent to attract more sellers to choose their company, when they sell their home. There is fierce competition between boutique brokers, full service brokers, and traditional real estate agents.
Sellers rely on agents to cut down real estate commissions
Rachel and Mark Stephens decided to sell their house in Northwest Washington and did not want to pay a high commission. They chose to hire DC Home Buzz, a real estate agency. This boutique broker has six real estate agents on staff and four employees, whom provide house staging, marketing, and transaction support. Using the company’s flat rate commission, the Stephens saved $20,000. Lower commissions may draw customers to brokers, but some real estate agents may be willing to match the commission fees or offer discounted commissions, too.
How much can a seller expect to pay in real estate commissions? There are no regulations governing commission fees, so they vary. In California, fees are 5 to 6 percent: half goes to the buyer and half goes to the seller. Commission rate vary; sellers can pay between 3 and 6 percent.
The Stephens paid between 1 and 1.5 percent for a real estate agent’s commission; these fees are lower in the UK. As the Stephens found, sellers have many options. They do not have to pay the real estate agents’ higher commission fees, since they opted for getting a boutique broker that has a lower commission rate. Check into sliding commission rates or go ala et carte. Some real estate offices may offer a sliding scale commission of between 2.5 percent and 5 percent. Some real estate agents may not agree to take a lesser commission. Others will offer ala et carte options and let home sellers choose what services they need. This option allows sellers to pay for the services that they are going to use, without having to pay for services they do not want.