Commissions are too high, agents argue

by Olivia D'Orazio18 Nov 2014
The latest in the debate on commissions has some agents pointing the finger at their high-rolling counterparts, arguing sky-high payouts are overly opulent, not well-deserved.

“To say you get what you pay for and that because I am with a brokerage that is trying to help our clients by charging less [and that] means we are less competent is a completely ignorant statement,” writes Robyn in the REP forum. “This is 2014 people! Times are changing and I advise you to hop on board. Greed will end your career.”

That’s a strong warning, but one that agents seem to increasingly be heeding. An anonymous forum commenter said he, too, believes that the current commission structure, whereby agents can walk away with $50,000 from one deal, is far out of whack.

“I just believe in my heart that I can make a decent living based on prices of homes today by taking less on my end,” he writes. “It has nothing to do with being a better negotiator.”

However, opposition to that view point is also plenty. Commenter Doug Best said clients who recognize value in their agents have no problem paying whatever commission that agent charges.

“If you don't feel your representation is worth what others are charging, you don't feel you add value or you’re feeling outside pressure to reduce your commissions, then maybe you have an internal unworthiness feeling or maybe you just can't deliver what truly needs to be delivered to the client,” Best wrote. “Just because someone can research something on the internet, doesn't diminish your value, if you think it does, it's you that should be leaving the business.”


  • by 11/19/2014 2:13:52 PM

    Access to the listings which provide those "lofty" commissions are much harder to come by and much harder to find buyers for. The costs of marketing those homes are also considerably higher. Let the market decide!

  • by Mark Ranger 11/19/2014 2:26:03 PM

    I whole heartedly agree with Mr. Best who said "Just because someone can research something on the internet, doesn't diminish your value, if you think it does, it's you that should be leaving the business.” What a good REALTOR® does in addition to negotiating and a great deal of that negotiating is; checking emotion at the door and bringing logic to the table. The sooner we stop prostituting ourselves by doing every song and dance and jumping through every given hurdle we think clients want us to do which are superfluous to the whole intended end game and increasing professional standards to be achieved to entering the business in the first place the sooner we can reduce our costs while doing a BETTER job for our clients and pass along those savings to them. 50 to 66% of listings expire before they sell, WHY? Because we do what our clients tell us to do instead of what we know needs to be done. Seriously; do you tell your doctor which scalpel to use? Do you tell your dentist which drill to use? Do you tell your lawyer which precedent to cite? Come on people, you call this a profession? Ya right, like the oldest profession, we prostitute ourselves to promise clients what they want in order to compete with our fellow REALTORS®. Does that make any sense at all?

  • by DG 11/19/2014 2:32:46 PM

    As Realtors, we all have the right to charge a commission that aligns with our business model. Personally, I don't cut my commissions. The reality is that if you're an agent only charging 1% plus co-op, then you are restricted on how you can market the home. This is particularly true for higher end homes, which cost more to sell. Personally I don't really care how much another person makes, but I do care when agents cut the co-operating commissions. This is just bad practice in all respects and reduces buyer traffic.

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