Is 6% realtor fee too high?

4 Replies

Hey guys I’m selling a studio co-op apt in West New York NJ. The realtor that lives in the building wants to list it for me and says it’s worth around 185 but wants 6%. This commission seems crazy high to me but I’ve never sold anything on the east coast. Isn’t it supposed to be closer to 3%? Should I try to sell it myself? The market is crazy hot and there’s nothing else in the building for sale. Very nice building with a pool overlooking manhattan. Thanks for your input!

I'm not sure about the going rate in NJ, but here in California, owners typically list with a listing agent for 5% to 6%. However, real estate commission are not fixed and can be negotiated between Agent and Seller. Now, 20 years ago it was mostly 6%, but recently in the last 10 years or so I would say 5% is more common. However, the listing agent typically offers 1/2 of whatever they took the listing at as compensation to an agent that brings a buyer that purchases the property. Not all listing agents split it 50/50 with the buyers' agent but as the seller you can specify that in the contract, and I would do definitely do that.

I've been an agent since 1993, broker since 2004 and I would not sell my house without offering a commission to agents to bring me a buyer via the MLS, the exposure you get from being listed on the MLS and all the sites it pushes out to means more buyers see your home and the more the better.  You want multiple offers and the chance to pick the best or to counter for more or to do a round of highest and best, whatever is the norm in your area, but in general the more exposure the higher sales price. And that higher sale price could more than make up for the commission or at least off set a good portion of it. And, I know I'm biased here but I feel that realtors do provide a very valuable service beyond just the sales price they get you. Often the hardest negotiations are after the home inspection and having a knowledgeable professional advocating for you and looking out for your interests is worth more than the commission. And they make sure that the seller follow their disclosure requirements or ensure that buyers complete their due diligence and generally facilitate the transaction.

Normal is around 6%, as @James Stinnett mentioned that is usually split if another broker brings in a buyer and they keep the 6% if one of their people sell it, realtors i have dealt with usually make the split 3 1/2% them 2 1/2% to other broker. you could see if they will do the 6% if another broker brings the sale in and if they do they get 5% ? worth a try. and your realtor, usually ends up with about 1% of the sale, most of it goes to the broker they work for.

It's typically 5-6%.  When you're thinking 3%, it's actually 3% EACH for the buyer and seller's agents.  Thus 6%.  I know it sucks, but they need to make a living too.  

That said, I would say that 5% has definitely become more commonplace in recent years, and if you're really wanting to go lower, I've known people who even go lower... But these are usually either a close friend (who is giving up most or all of their commission for you) or a "part-timer" who has a day job and moonlights on the side. In the case of a moonlighter, I would say that you should probably remember the old saying "you get what you pay for". In regards to a close friend, I wouldn't want to screw them over too much either.