How to Lower (or Completely Eliminate) Real Estate Agent Fees

The average real estate commission for selling a home is around 6%

From helping you understand things like real estate values to facilitating the negotiation of a home, real estate agents wear many hats. What if you want to reduce your agent fees, though?

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To learn some strategies for lowering real estate agent fees, keep reading!

Negotiate Your Fees

One way to try reducing your realtor fees is to negotiate with your agent yourself. This tactic depends on your negotiating skills and your agent’s willingness to drop their rate, though.

If you’re working with the same agent to sell your home and buy a new one, though, it can work in your favor. Rather than getting 3% twice on both the sale and the purchase, you could ask your agent to take 3% total commission for selling the home, and to split that with the other agent.

Hire a Flat Fee Company

Many agents and brokers offer limited services for a flat fee. Some realtors also offer a la carte pricing, meaning you can pick and choose and pay for the services you need.

If you want to list your home FSBO (for sale by owner), these lower-rate services could work in your favor.

Shop Around

When you’re looking to sell, take the time to interview different agents in your area. Say you find one, and you get along great, but their realtor fees are too high. 

Take the time to ask them some tough questions, such as:

  • How will you market my home?
  • How much residential real estate has your top seller sold?
  • What price tag do you recommend putting on my home with the goal of selling in 3 months?

Be honest in that you’re interviewing for the right agency. If you find one with a lower price, ask your preferred agent if they’ll match that commission price. 

Ask What Your Money Buys

If you’re paying buyer agent fees, it’s not unreasonable to want to know specifically what that money buys. When you ask an agent what services they offer for their agent commission fee, they should be able to tell you exactly where that money goes.

If they have a higher commission, find out why.

It might even be worth it! Sometimes the higher cost is necessary, too. For example, if it’s a luxury home you’re trying to sell, it can cost more to advertise. 

Maybe the more expensive agent has better contacts than the less expensive one. Find out exactly where your money is going and if you don’t feel you need all those services, your agent might be willing to negotiate.

Hold Out for a Higher Offer

Holding out for a higher offer will save you money in a different way. You aren’t necessarily negotiating a lower commission fee, but with a higher home sale, it’ll better cover those agent fees.

If you can afford to wait, don’t jump at the first offer that comes close to the amount at which you’ve listed your home. 

While the agent benefits from selling your home faster, you’ll benefit by holding out for that extra $15,000.

Offer to Do Some of the Work

Another way to reduce your real estate agent’s work is by taking on some of the tasks involved in selling your home.

You could make a big effort to make your home move-in ready, for example. Do the necessary renovations, clean it, and spruce it up on the inside and out.

Get rid of any clutter and give it some serious curb appeal. You could even offer to do some of your own advertising or host an open house. Place a for sale sign in the front yard.

The more work you’re willing to put in, the more likely it is that your agent will reduce their real estate commission.

Leave Early

Leaving your property early and also leaving it staged is an excellent strategy for negotiating with your agent. Many agents find it easier to sell a home when it’s not occupied.

Another way to make things easier is by putting a key in a lockbox outside your home so that potential buyers can come and look without the agent.

The more convenient you make things, the more likely they’ll be to reduce their commission fees.

Sell During Off-Season

Selling during the off-season is a great time to strategically get a discount on realtor fees. Real estate agents are more in need of business during the off-season, so it makes sense that they’ll be more apt to consider a negotiated fee.

The downside of selling during the off-season, though, is that while you might agree on a lower commission, it could be more difficult to find suitable buyers for your home.

Find an Alternative

There are plenty of alternatives to using a real estate agent to sell a home.

You could always opt to sell your home on your own and just hire a lawyer to do the paperwork. If you do find a buyer that meets your asking price, you’ll both save thousands of dollars by not having to pay commissions.

There are services dedicated to selling and buying homes that don’t ask for a commission fee, too. Finding a home buyer doesn’t have to entail going through a realtor.

Agent Fees Are No Longer Necessary

While hiring a real estate agent can make selling your home easier, there are plenty of different options that don’t require agent fees. From listing yourself to going through a professional home buyer, there are ways to eliminate realtor fees entirely.

If you still want to work with a realtor, you can also opt to negotiate and try and lessen the agent commission fee so that instead of paying 6%, you’re only paying 3%.

If you enjoyed this article, check back daily for more tips and advice for homeowners and buyers!

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