BrokerageIndustry News

Real estate commissions are negotiable — if you ask

Study says cost plays small role in customer satisfaction

Real estate consumers who choose to negotiate commission rates charged by agents are mostly successful in lowering the amount they pay -- and customer satisfaction does not appear to be related to cost. That's according to a survey released Monday by Consumer Reports, based on responses to an annual questionnaire of 3,753 readers who sold or tried to sell a home, 4,029 who bought one, and 7,368 who both bought and sold a home in the past few years. In all, 9,141 responses were received from those who sold or tried to sell a home using real estate agents from 2004-07, and the total doesn't include those who bought or sold homes without a broker. Some companies were more willing to negotiate fees than others, the survey revealed, and there was a 71 percent success rate for sellers who attempted to negotiate a lower commission price. In a typical real estate transaction, the seller agrees to pay a commission rate to the listing broker that is a percentage of the home's selling ...