multiracial colleagues shaking hands negotiate realtor commission

How to Negotiate Realtor Commission: Expert Tips for Home Sellers

Selling a home is a big decision, and it’s important to get the best possible deal. That includes negotiating the realtor commission. Here are some expert tips to help you get started:

Do your research. Before you start negotiating, it’s important to understand the prevailing realtor commission rates in your area. This will give you a good starting point for negotiations. You can find this information by searching online or by talking to other home sellers in your area.

Highlight your property’s unique selling points. What makes your home stand out from the competition? Emphasize these features during negotiations to show the realtor why your home is worth more than the average commission rate. For example, if your home has a lot of natural light or a great view, be sure to mention that.

Discuss the scope of services. What services will the realtor provide? Will they do professional photography, create a virtual tour, or hold open houses? The more services they offer, the more likely they are to be willing to negotiate on commission. For example, if the realtor is willing to do all of the marketing for you, you may be able to negotiate a lower commission rate.

Present a strong sales and marketing plan. Show the realtor that you’re serious about selling your home by presenting a well-thought-out sales and marketing plan. This will demonstrate that you’re willing to put in the work to sell your home quickly and for a good price. For example, you could create a list of potential buyers or develop a marketing strategy for your home.

Be prepared to compromise. Negotiations are about give-and-take. Be prepared to compromise on commission if the realtor is willing to offer other concessions, such as extended marketing or enhanced property staging. For example, you could agree to a higher commission rate if the realtor agrees to extend the listing period or stage your home for free.

Negotiate based on performance incentives. Propose a tiered commission structure where the realtor’s commission percentage increases if they achieve a sale price above a certain threshold. This will motivate the realtor to work hard to sell your home for the highest possible price. For example, you could agree to a 5% commission rate if the home sells for $200,000, but a 6% commission rate if the home sells for $250,000.

Negotiate at the right time. If the real estate market is slow, realtors may be more willing to negotiate on commission. Timing your request strategically can increase your chances of success. For example, you could start negotiating when the market is starting to slow down, but before it’s completely dead.

Be polite and professional. Even if you’re not happy with the initial commission offer, it’s important to be polite and professional during negotiations. This will help you maintain a good relationship with the realtor, which could be important if you need their help in the future.

Be prepared to walk away. If you’re not happy with the final offer, be prepared to walk away from the negotiation. This will show the realtor that you’re serious about getting a good deal.

Negotiating realtor commission can be a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you have the power to negotiate a fair price. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success.

Additional tips:

  • Use a comparative market analysis (CMA) to show the realtor how your home compares to similar properties in the area. This will help you justify your request for a lower commission rate.
  • Get quotes from multiple realtors before you make a decision. This will give you a better idea of what a fair commission rate is.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. The worst that can happen is the realtor says no.


Negotiating realtor commission can be a fruitful endeavor when approached with a well-prepared strategy. By researching local market rates, emphasizing your property’s unique selling points, and presenting a strong sales and marketing plan, you can effectively negotiate with confidence. Remember to be open to compromise and consider incorporating performance-based incentives for optimal results. Armed with these expert tips, you’re ready to navigate the negotiation process and secure a beneficial deal for both you and your realtor.

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