Discussion on Commission Rates

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With the sellers market, many sellers are looking for brokerages that offer a low commission. Many sellers think the home will sell itself due to the demand, and that the listing broker won’t have to do much.

This might be the best case scenario, however it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I am a broker with Coldwell Banker Bain, who is a traditional brokerage with a wonderful support team in each office. We have a transaction coordinator, front desk receptionist, two managing brokers with an open door policy, and a legal team. We have an office in just about every county where I can stop in and have client meetings.

If I did keep track of all of my hours, I would find that the hourly rate would probably be equal to the person who had a regular nine-to-five job. Much of my work is behind the scenes and includes driving to meetings, previewing the listing, working up a comparative market analysis, keeping track of active, sold and pending listings in the target neighborhood.

To keep track of the listings, I attend the broker’s opens to tour each one and follow it to see the final selling price.

When I have the listing, I usually open title with Rainier (our in-house firm), order professional photography, create flyers and input all to the Northwest Multiple Listing service (with the help of staff). When the date to go active is set, I order sign installation and schedule three open houses – one midweek for the broker’s open, Saturday and Sunday. I also often buy an advertising service that sends the listing out across the state. I put a lockbox on the house (these have gone up in price as they are all run by Bluetooth).

The goal is to expose the listing to as many buyers as possible, through all channels (including social media), to get as many people in the door as possible. This helps get as many offers as possible in by the offer review date, if one has been set.

I write a progress report after each open house, and keep sellers informed of any inquires and showings.

In this market, multiple offers are common when a home is priced correctly, and often presented via a spreadsheet. Ten offers might be an average on a very desirable listing. A strong offer could be all cash, no contingencies, although those can also backfire by not providing either side with much protection.

I have a spreadsheet to detail multiple offers.

Here are some of the variables:
Included Items
Earnest Money
Deferred (?)
Contingent Upon (?)
Closing Date
Possession Date
Financing Contingency
Type of Loan
Seller Contribution
Inspection Contingency
Title Review
Neighborhood Review
Continent or Subject to (?)
Remove Escalator?
Septic Inspection
Other Items (Appraisal, Commission)

The buyer’s agent is paid from the commission, or has an buyer’s agency agreement with the buyer to make up the difference in the commission if a low commission is offered. They might write-in a higher commission than what was offered.

Once we accept the offer, I create a timeline to keep track of the contingencies. For example, the inspection contingency is often ten days, title review five days, etc. I then keep in touch with all of the professionals in the transaction to see if the timelines are being met.

By the time all is said and done, and the commission is split (my office share is 50%, and my share a percentage of that), I feel that I have earned my keep.

This is also a good article which explains much: