A Realtor’s expertise is well worth the cost, but before you choose who you want to work with and negotiate your contract, there are a few things you’ll want to become informed on.

What is a real estate commission? 

If you’re planning on buying or selling a home with the help of a Realtor, you will be paying them a fee called a commission upon the sale of your property.

How much is a typical commission?

In more recent years, commissions on home sales have averaged around 6% of the home’s sale price. Typically, this amount is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent, covering the time and resources each agent has spent making the sale happen. If you’re buying, lucky you: you can roll closing costs like commissions into your mortgage.

Who pays the Realtor’s commission?

Paying the commission is the seller’s responsibility and is taken directly from the sale proceeds, so most sellers factor this cost into the list price of their property.

Are commissions negotiable?

In short: Yes. It is possible to negotiate the terms in a listing agreement, including the size of the commission. Though not all agents will be open to negotiation, some will be willing to take a lower commission for the sake of winning your business.
Commissions can vary depending on factors such as the area where your property is located or the type of property being sold. Some Realtors are open to working for a flat rate instead of a commission. Realtors that charge lower commissions tend to offer more limited services.

What is included or excluded from the commission I’m paying?

The details covering your commission structure should be laid out in a listing agreement, which is a contract that a seller signs with an agent. This listing agreement should state the terms of the commission as well as describe the services the agent will provide to facilitate the sale, such as digital and/or print marketing, professional photos, open house facilitation, inspection coordination, etc. If you’re hoping to negotiate a lower commission, rank your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves accordingly and do away with aspects you can take care of yourself, such as home staging.

How do I use this information to my advantage? 

Because Realtors can charge different commission rates and provide varied ranges of service, it is crucial to get an understanding of the norm in your area. By using the Listing Llama platform you can conduct your research in peace without ever revealing your identity, contact info or mailing address. With less spam in your digital and literal mailboxes you’ll be free to prioritize what really matters in your unique real estate dealings. Confidently ask the questions you need answered using our online chat, and avoid those awkward face-to-face money talks. Skip the anxiety common to listing a home, and get in control of your real estate sale with the soundness of a well informed perspective. 


A licensed Realtor who has extensive experience navigating the complexities of the home-buying process in your specific market is invaluable. They can help you broker the sale of your property in the most efficient and profitable way possible. By understanding the breakdown of how and why your agent is compensated, you will be ready and able to negotiate the best listing agreement possible for your real estate needs.

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