BrokerageIndustry News

Real estate commissions are negotiable — if you ask

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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 ...