Just a couple of years ago, the real estate market was booming and supporting a large pool of real estate agents. Today, however, properties sit on the market longer and more owners are being foreclosed on. Many people either can’t afford to buy (or are afraid to buy), resulting in many agents who are struggling to stay in business. A wide array of issues will affect an agent’s motivation to negotiate their commission.
Think from the agent’s perspective when asking for a commission decrease. The bottom line for most agents is: it depends. What kind of property is it, and how complicated is the deal expected to be? A seller should consider that a property in a difficult location or unkept will require more effort from an agent. Most potential buyers will have higher concerns than with a property without these issues, and the agent can expect to be burdened with those concerns every time it is shown. A buyer should know the property he or she is considering purchasing. Knowing how long it’s been on the market is smart; no seller’s agent likes being known for properties that sit unsold for too long.
The ideal scenario for a commission negotiation occurs when a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent are the same. When you sign with an agent as a buyer, evaluate the properties listed with that agent. An agent will usually happily negotiate since they can expect to make full commission rather than having to split it with another agent.