The Real Deal New York

US homeowners negotiating lower commissions with brokers

Sellers got an average discount on fees of 41%: report

August 10, 2016 04:00PM

Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim for The Real Deal

For many residential brokers across the country, negotiations are increasingly starting long before a prospective buyer walks through the door.

A new survey by online real estate brokerage Redfin finds that 60 percent of people who sold a home in the United States over the last year got a discount on fees from their agent, according to Bloomberg News.

On average, brokers were taking a 41 percent haircut on their commissions, according to Redfin.

The commission cuts could be due to tight markets creating increased competition among agents, as well as higher sales prices and less time on market. Or, in a theory advanced by Redfin, agents could be seeing pressure from real estate tech startups like Redfin, which charges sellers 1.5 percent to list a home.

A more realistic theory, according to Bloomberg, is that agents with more expensive listings have more wiggle room because they receive larger commissions. [Bloomberg]Rich Bockmann