October 12

How to Avoid Fees for Real Estate Agents


If you’re considering selling your home, you may feel a bit of sticker shock about the various fees you’ll pay to close the deal. One of those fees is the commission paid to the agent who handles your sale.

Depending on where you live, those fees average between 5% and 6%. In Alabama, fees for real estate agents can cost the seller around 5.59%.

Let’s say you sell your home for $100,000. At 5.59%, you’ll pay a real estate agent $5,590. 

The good news is that you may not need to pay real estate agent fees. Read more here about how you can avoid paying commissions to a real estate agent.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

If you decide to sell your home the traditional way by contracting with a real estate agent, you may be able to reduce—but not eliminate—real estate agent fees.

Don’t hesitate to negotiate the fees when you meet with prospective agents. Many agents leave room for negotiations. Why not, when just about every other piece of the real estate transaction includes at least some level of negotiation?

Conversations regarding the agent’s fees should take place during your first contact. If one agent isn’t willing to budge, there’s nothing wrong with continuing to shop for one that will work with you on the fees.

Remember that some brokerage agencies do not allow their agents to negotiate fees. If you feel the prices are too high, you likely won’t have a choice other than to try to find another agent.

Shop Until You Find the Best Deal

Shopping for a real estate agent is similar to what people do when engaging in our major financial transactions. You probably wouldn’t buy the first car you see on a car lot. It would be best if you approached selling your home the same way.

In today’s hot market, most agents must fight for clients. Also, real estate is a particularly competitive field. Sometimes both buyers and sellers are fickle, and real estate agents do what they can to attract and retain clients.

Selling a home is a highly personal thing, and you don’t want just anyone helping you with the process. If time allows, take as much time as you need to find the best agent for you.

Ever Heard of FSBO?

It’s not uncommon for a seller to want or need to sell quickly. If you need to sell your house fast, you may not have time to shop for a real estate agent.

If you’ve never considered an FSBO—For Sale by Owner—using this method could save you some time. And it will minimize the fees you’ll pay to sell your home. 

How does an FSBO save the seller money?

It’s not uncommon for the seller to bear more fees than the buyer. That includes covering 100% of the real estate agents’ fees. 

Notice we said agents’ fees. That’s because there are two agents in most real estate transactions.

One works for the seller. The other represents the buyer. The agents split the commission.

Using the FSBO model to sell your home will only pay the buyer’s agent’s fees. You’ll pay just under 3.5%.

Look for a Flat Fee Listing Service

When you work with a real estate agent on a commission basis, you’ll pay them a percentage of the sales price. One way to minimize the fees is to negotiate a flat fee rather than a rate.

Using a flat fee listing service may work for a seller who doesn’t have the time or desire to take care of all the details involved with selling a home. 

If you use the FSBO model to sell your home, you’ll take on the marketing, showing, and negotiations with the buyer. You’ll also handle the paperwork.

If you’ve sold a home before, you may remember the piles of paperwork involved in the transaction. It can be overwhelming.

The real estate agent takes care of everything when you sell through a flat fee listing service. They list the home in the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) marketplace. Also, depending on the contract, they may provide other services.

What most sellers like about working with a flat fee listing service is that there’s no mystery about the fees. You agree on the price before the agent provides services, and the cost won’t change.

Sell Your Home for Cash

The other options discussed so far include the seller paying at least a portion of the real estate agent fees. Using those methods, there isn’t much of a way to avoid fees altogether.

If you prefer not to pay any fees to a real estate agent, there is another option. You can sell your home for cash. 

Cash sales are attractive for several reasons.

A cash sale is an excellent option if you need to sell as quickly as possible. Most cash real estate transactions can close in weeks—sometimes even days.

Another reason to consider a cash sale is that sellers usually aren’t asked to make repairs or leave money on the table at closing. Instead, you’ll sell your home in as-is condition. 

The icing on the cake for this type of sale is that, generally, the seller doesn’t pay any fees, including agent fees, commissions, and closing costs.

If you decide to make a cash sale, you won’t need to create a listing, market your home, deal with prospective buyers wanting to view your house, or worry about paperwork.

Companies that specialize in cash sales handle every detail of the transaction. For most sellers, that’s a welcome relief.

Interested in Avoiding Fees for Real Estate Agents?

Whether you’re in a hurry to sell your home or prefer to avoid some of the fees, a cash sale may be the ideal option.

Wiregrass Home Buyers can help!

We buy homes in as-is condition for cash. There’s no real estate agent involved. If you’re ready to sell but aren’t excited about paying the usual fees for real estate agents, call us at 334-867-6300.

You’ll get a quick response, and if you agree to our offer, you’ll close at a time most convenient for you. 

Let's get started on your all-cash offer!

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