Real Estate Agent Commissions – Explained!

real estate agent commission

Being a real estate agent is definitely not on anyone’s list of jobs for a regular, predictable income. That’s because we don’t earn a salary. No regular pay days, no holiday bonuses, no raises based on performance. It’s true – real estate agents typically make their living only from commissions, or a percentage of the price of the home they help their client buy or sell.

Does it make sense to shop around for a real estate agent with a lower rate?

The answer is, absolutely. All real estate commission is negotiable. It’s still your money, and as Portland’s 2% listing agent, I am proud to offer a reasonable commission rate to my clients.

Most of my clients selling a home or property end up paying a total of 4.25% commission to list their home – that’s 2% for myself and 2.5% for the buyer’s agent. And as a buyers’ agent, I don’t charge a commission to the buyer at all and accept the advertised commission from the seller’s agent. (Some buyer’s agent charge their clients in addition to the advertised commission.)

So what does your money buy when you enlist the services of a Portland real estate agent? If you’re looking for a home or property, your buyers’ agent will help you find one that meets your needs. For those looking to sell, a sellers’ agent will list your property on the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) system.

This is where the commission based system starts to make sense. There is a lot more a buyers’ or a sellers’ agent can do for their clients, from providing information on potential neighborhoods to holding open houses to bringing buyers to your listing, and advertising your property online in such a way that achieves hundreds of thousands of views. It may seem like common practice, but really, it’s all optional. So choose wisely and ask questions to find out if your Portland real estate agent will work stridently on your behalf, or simply sit back and wait for something to happen.

Although my commission rate is low, I make up for it in the number of transactions I’ve completed every year. For many years, I’ve been in the top 10% of real estate agents nationwide for commissions earned. That’s not because I sit back waiting for something to happen – I work proactively for my clients, whether they’re buyers or sellers, to help them find what they’re looking for. Click here to read about buyers’ agent services, or here to read about sellers’ agent services. If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch. It’s all part of my job as a Portland real estate agent!

August 18, 2013
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.