Be on the lookout for the commissions, extra fees, add-ons, hidden fees and other overlooked expenses that can suck the profit out of your sale.
Never forget that commissions and fees are negotiable. Know what’s a fair rate, then stick to it.
You’ll want that fact top-of-mind if ever your Realtor® hands you a pre-printed contract with a broker commission of 8, 9 or even 10 percent. Also, keep in mind that those high numbers may be inflated, set high, either to make room for a reduction, or to make a reduction seem like a “discount.”
Besides the commission you’ll pay, also pay attention to the co-op fee that sets how that commission will be split. It might be included in your listing contract. Or, you may need to dig a little deeper and check the MLS data sheet.
Although the most common seller/buyer split is 60/40, as the seller, you are better off with 50/50. Insisting that a fairer percentage of the commission goes to the buyer’s agent creates an incentive for more agents to show your house to more potential home buyers.
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Some dual agencies avoid cooperative listings—or charge a fee when they do—since co-op exposure decreases their chances of representing the seller and buyer (and taking both sides of the commission!). Don’t let your listing agent make you feel otherwise. It is reasonable to expect any Realtor® to list your home on websites such as Zillow for no additional cost.
Broker or Admin Fee
Beware of the “broker” or “administration” fees that might be added to the commission. Although these fees can soar as high as $795, they are negotiable, sometimes all the way down to zero.
Other factors that can deplete the proceeds from your sale include business affiliations and arbitration.
You know why lots of second-time home buyers choose an Exclusive Buyers Agent over a traditional real estate agency? It's because they've already been through the process—and realize there's a better way to buy a house.