A set of online tools launched by real estate brokerage company ZipRealty identifies a “standard buyer’s agent commission” rate for a given market area and allows consumers to review the possible benefits and drawbacks of various pricing options.
In the first step, a home seller is prompted to enter information about a for-sale property, including a dollar estimate on the home’s value.
The next page features a brief list and a map displaying comparable properties, based on location, price and other characteristics, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. This page also features a Zestimate where available, which is a property-value estimate provided by the Zillow.com property valuation and marketing site.
A third step in the process prompts sellers to “choose a selling plan that fits your needs,” and lists three possible options for setting a commission rate to offer to a buyer’s agent. This rate is in addition to the commission rate paid to the ZipRealty agent who serves as the listing agent.
The site lists the typical share of commission for a ZipRealty agent at 2 percent of the sale price, and notes that this amount can vary. “ZipRealty charges either a competitive fee for the local area, typically 1 percent below the going rate for the area, or a Minimum Listing Fee, whichever is greater.”
The company defines this Minimum Listing Fee as $2,000, plus the cooperating brokerage fee to be paid to a cooperating broker in the transaction.
For a property in San Francisco’s 94111 ZIP code area, the ZipRealty site states that the standard buyer’s agent commission is 2.5 percent, while this rate is 3 percent in the 20001 ZIP code in Washington, D.C. Also, this page estimates the amount that a seller might save based on the seller’s desired sales price for the home.
For the San Francisco ZIP code example, the site suggests a commission range of 2 percent to 3 percent of the selling price to offer as compensation for the buyer’s agent — and notes that 2 percent represents more savings for the seller but lower incentive to other agents, while 3 percent represents lower savings to the seller and higher incentive to other agents.
For the ZIP code in Washington, D.C., the site recommends a buyer’s agent commission rate ranging from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent of the home’s selling price.
The online tools seek to attract more sellers to the site: Users are prompted to click for a “professional market analysis” and to fill out a form to set up an appointment with a ZipRealty agent.
ZipRealty is a publicly traded company that has operations in 28 markets in 17 states and the District of Columbia.