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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-02-2011

Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

Hi, I'm looking for some input on what the going rate(s) are for listing your home for sale. Is it 4, 4.5 or 5 percent? Which firms can I expect the various rates with and what are some ways to successfully negotiate?


We're on the north shore of Boston so the usual cast of characters prevails, Cent21/remax/caldwell and a few smaller ones.



Redfin Open Book Certified
Posts: 581
Registered: ‎06-02-2010

Re: Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

[ Edited ]

In my experience, 4-6%. A lot of agents I have met will not show (or dance around showing) houses that do not offer at least 2.5% commission to the agent. I'm not supporting this, just reporting it . . . so at least 2.5% offered to the buyer's agent, and the remainder to the list agent. (I work on the north shore as a loan officer, so I meet a lot of agents, good and bad and in between, in that area).


Defining "full service" and what you'll actually get for it is a much more difficult task . . . sometimes worth twice what you pay, sometimes half or less, haha. Choose carefully and define your expectations from the get go, no matter what real estate agent model you end up preferring.

Kelcey Morange, NMLS 85965
MA Lic. #MLO85965.
Redfin Recommended Lender
Read my reviews!
Regular Visitor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-22-2010

Re: Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

Are you going to let your selling agent represent you to buy a new property? You can definitely negotiate a great deal that way.


Not knowing more, but guessing that your property is probably the standard 400-600K property, I'd do 4% with 2% for buyer agent, negotiable, depending on your property's value. No buyer cares whether the property is 2% or 2.5%, and they are all armed with information from the internet now. They choose their house. The buying agent has less monopoly power, and can't dictate what house to show or not show just because he's getting 2% instead of 2.5%.


Be an informed seller and don't fall for traps.



Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-30-2009

Re: Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

Full service brokerage (except for Redfin) will charge between 4-6%. On the North Shore I have seen differentials where the Listing  agent takes 2.5 or 3 and they offer the selling agent less.  Its best to offer 2.5% to the Buyer's agents just to be sure they won't talk your property down. Redfin gives the same full brokerage services for 1.5% but with a minumum of $6000 for the listing. What you give the buyer's broker is up to you.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-04-2009

Re: Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

If you shop around you can get a full service Realtor (with Coldwell Banker Re/Max etc.) to sell a typical house for 4-4.5% while giving 2.5% to buyers agents. Many agent will say "we'll sell your house for 4%" but they are only giving 2% to buyers agent. It is correct that buyers agent will try and avoid showing houses that only offer 2%.


Just shop around. You can find someone who will do it for 4%--but make sure they offer 2.5% to buyer agents!

Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-13-2011

Re: Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

Disclosure: I am a MA licensed real estate broker


Guys/gals, here is my experience and opinion on commission rates, buyer agent motivation, and such.


Unethical, greedy, and unprofessional real estate buyer agents may not want to show a property below 2.5%, but please do not accept this as standard practice among buyer agents. If you are worried about not attracting buyers and their agents due to the compensation being offered, then compromise at 2.25%. However, I would also add that real estate commissions vary by town/city. In a town such as Stoneham, MA, you may see 4-5% as the range for a total commission and many buyer agent commissions will be at/around 2% in that town. However, if you go to Winchester or a more upscale town (no offense intended toward Stoneham here), then the market is going to be mostly 5% for real estate commissions and buyer agents will be offered half of this amount, or 2.5% most of the time in Winchester. Find out from a local Realtor what the range for commissions is for the town you are selling in.  


Btw, I seldom, if ever, see a 6% total commission unless it is a distressed property or property that may be difficult to sell. An example of distressed would be: short sale, foreclosure/bank owned, or a totally run down property that needs a contractor's touch. 


Good idea: Package deal for using same Realtor for your Sale and Purchase .. however, and of course, make sure you like and trust the person. I've done package deal business like this before. It makes sense and is productive. Also, it saves you some money and that is important. 

Silver Trusted Contributor
Posts: 940
Registered: ‎11-20-2010

Re: Going rates for realtor fees (full service brokerages)

In this market, agents should be happy to make a 2% commission versus none at all.  With the commission savings, you can price your home more competitively, thus enhancing the chance of a sale.


I have seen where agents swamped in with offers for a 1% commission.  Any commission is better than none at all.  If the home is marketable (i.e., decent house, not over-priced), the % commission is negotiable.