Do you want a fairly sure way to save money if you’re selling your house? According to a survey in Consumer Reports’ September issue, 71 percent of sellers who attempted to negotiate a lower commission with their real estate broker received a discount.
The problem? Only 46% of the sellers attempted to negotiate. And if you think they received worse service from their broker as a result, think again. The survey found that those who paid lower commissions were just as satisfied with their broker’s performance as those who didn’t.
The lesson? Research what is negotiable and what isn’t in different areas – especially when large sums of money are involved. Don’t assume. And don’t be afraid to at least ask and attempt to negotiate if you’re not sure.
One other piece of advice Consumer Reports suggests in selling your home – interview multiple agents before picking one. There are many reasons for this, including strengthening your leverage with each by creating a good Plan B or C by interviewing others.
About six years ago, just before my wife and I got married, I decided to sell my house and buy a new one. So I sat down and interviewed three possible real estate agents, all of whom came highly recommended. One was not a good fit personality-wise, but two were pretty good.
Of those two, the first had a long-standing policy of not discounting her fee – which I understood and respected. The other, however, after some negotiating, agreed to discount her two commissions (she received a commission on both of our house transactions).
Guess which agent I selected? And we were extremely satisfied with her performance.