Fact: Real estate brokers’ commission rates are not regulated in any state and are ALWAYS 100% negotiable.
Surprisingly, many people think that real estate brokerage commission rates are “set” in their area and they have to pay a specific percentage of the sales price to the agent in order to get their services. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, you can pay whatever you and the agent have agreed upon.
Why was this rule change put into effect?
Who pays the Buyer's Agent commission?
Are commissions negotiable?
Do I have to offer a Buyer's Agent commission?
What happens if I don't offer a SOC (Selling Office Commission)?
Can I "Test" the waters with no SOC and then change my mind a few weeks later?
What happens when a Buyer's Agent has a Buyer's Agency Agreement?
Many Buyer's Agents offer "Rebates" to their clients. How does this rule change affect that?
NWMLS: The recent class-action lawsuits certainly called attention to this issue and afforded NWMLS member brokers the opportunity to review NWMLS rules and improve them to allow brokers to continue to innovate and provide better service to buyers and sellers alike.
As part of the changes, NWMLS will revise its listing agreement form to remind sellers that Washington law says that buyers’ brokers and agents are not required to show property for which there is no written agreement to pay compensation to the buyer’s broker. Asked why this was being added, NWMLS said, “When listing their home for sale, sellers in Washington state need to be aware of the legal consequences of not offering a SOC.”
Other MLSs could follow NWMLS’s lead. Real estate commissions have been under increasing scrutiny in the past year. First, they attracted an unexpected amount of attention at a real estate competition workshop held in June 2018 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Then earlier this year multiple class-action lawsuits accused NAR and several real estate franchisors of antitrust over the sharing of real estate commissions between listing brokers and buyer brokers.
What is a “Fair” amount to pay for real estate commission?
“Fair” is whatever you and the agent decide is fair, and just as you are not under any obligation to pay more than you want to, the agent is not under any obligation to do business with you if they are not going to earn what they expect.
If you have any questions about commissions, please fill out the form below.