Although we do work with Realtors, sometimes it’s best to avoid paying someone to be in the middle.
After all, paying 5-6% of the sale of a property in a commission is a lot of money. In certain situations, brokers and their real estate agents can be very useful and earn their commission. Not always.
There are a few ways to avoid paying high commissions.
First, there’s a tricky custom that you’ve gotta know about.
In most sales, roughly half of the commission you pay as the seller goes to pay for the buyer’s broker.
Doesn’t make much sense, right?
Why should you pay for the agent on the other side of the table?
Truthfully, it defies logic – it’s just what’s typically done.
You can use that to your advantage in a few ways.
First, factor in the commissions paid when you’re looking at the comparable sales. If the properties similar to yours sold for prices that included commissions, take that into account.
Don’t underprice your property – be aware that a savvy buyer may expect to take a discount too. If you’re doing the work of one agent, you can expect to save that money.
Sometimes, buyers who aren’t represented by an agent won’t remember to negotiate the buyer’s side commission out of the price for themselves, so don’t remind them if you don’t want to pay them. Just don’t be surprised if it comes up during the negotiation.
You may want to consider offering 2.5% to buyer’s agents who will bring their clients to show your property. Sure, it’s a lot of money. If you’re pricing your property including that commission, you can always negotiate a better deal for a purchaser who comes without an agent.
On the other hand, if you don’t leave room for the buyer’s agent’s commission, you’ll be excluding most of the buyers in the market in the Bay Area.
Over 90% of transactions happen through the MLS – that’s the Multiple Listing Service. It’s the main database that all the brokers use to access information for their clients on the houses, condos, land and investment properties for sale, along with data on the sold prices.
Once upon a time, you had to pay a full commission to get your property on the MLS. Now, in the Bay Area, there are a few brokers who will charge you a fee just to list your property on the MLS. Often, you spend a few hundred bucks and you only pay commission if the sale closes.
Compared to the cost of a newspaper ad, the MLS is a cheap way to market your property to a very wide audience.
All the major real estate search sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, etc. get data from the MLS. Chances are good that when you submit your listing to the MLS, information on your property will end up on most of the major sites within a few days.
Each of those sites sells ads. They’ve got packages that let you pay to enhance your listing, feature it at the top of the search, and a lot of other bells and whistles that might or might not get an interested buyer to buy your property.
Advertising is a gamble. Sometimes open houses can be a great way to sell property, and sometimes they’re a waste of time. Same with newspaper ads, craigslist postings, fancy signs – sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.
To effectively sell your property on your own, you have to market it well.
Putting up fliers and signs around your neighborhood can generate some calls, and there’s a lot of free websites where you can post information. But often just putting up flyers and an open house isn’t enough if your house doesn’t appeal to the average home buyer.
In theory, real estate agents charge big commissions because they have to spend a lot of money up front to advertise your property. By advertising lots of properties at once, they expect to get more phone calls – and obviously, they’ll make good profits by selling lots of houses.
Certain properties might require thousands of dollars in advertising expenses before the right buyer happens to see the ad and call.
If you want to avoid paying any commissions, you can also sell your house to investors like us for CASH
We fair prices for properties – and we can close fast (in as little as 3-5 days if you need to).
Sometimes we’ll purchase the Bay Area houses, fix them up, then rent them out… sometimes we’ll fix them up and sell them to other people looking for great homes in the area, and a lot of other reasons, too – but we love to hear from people like you who are thinking of selling anywhere in California.
We close fast and pay cash in as little as just 3-5 days. Other times, depending on what a seller’s needs are, we may rent it back to them for a month or so. Give us a call now at or fill out the short form over here.