The answer to this question is a complicated one, as real estate agents are paid on

commission and the amount of that commission can vary by state. The national

average is 5.45%, according to a study by real-estate brokerage Clever, but that

figure doesn’t account for differences in commission rates at the local level. As a

result, the exact amount of real estate agent fees will be negotiated between buyers

and sellers.

Traditionally, sellers pay the majority of the commission, with that amount often

baked into the home’s asking price. But that doesn’t mean that buyers don’t also

pay at least some of the commission—either directly or indirectly.

Most people assume that if they’re selling a home, their agent will be getting a big

commission check once the deal closes. But that’s rarely the case. Instead, the

actual commission payout is more of a series of payments that flow to multiple

parties involved in the transaction. For more info


A broker, who is able to operate independently of a real-estate firm, is the party that

actually receives the initial commission check. From there, the broker will typically

distribute a portion of the total amount to the buyer’s and seller’s agents. The exact

split will be detailed in the agent’s initial contract with the seller and is generally

negotiated beforehand.


On top of that, the listing agent will likely have to pay a fee to their real-estate firm

for being allowed to list properties on behalf of their brokerage. And then there are

the various expenses associated with marketing, taking professional photos, and

showing the property. All of these additional costs can add up to a fairly significant

sum, even for a single transaction.


Because of these added expenses, many people assume that real estate agents

aren’t willing to negotiate their rates, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, it’s

completely normal and in your best interest to ask about lowering the commission

rate—even if you’re in a hot market where homes are selling at record speeds.

Another great way to leverage lower commission rates is to offer to sell and buy with

your agent. Since they’ll be earning commission on two transactions instead of just

one, they may be more inclined to cut you a better deal on the listing side in

exchange for repeat business. However, you’ll want to make sure to discuss this

with your agent in advance of any offers or negotiations so that they can clearly

explain the value they’ll bring to your home sale. You should also take into account

how competitive your area’s housing market is when negotiating your agent’s

commission rates. You’ll want to find out if other sellers are offering reduced

commission rates, which can be a good starting point for your own negotiation.