You've decided to sell your home. Many people will first turn to the internet to attempt to do the selling themselves. However, before long, most realize that they should be using a real estate agent. Why? 

Because at first, although sellers don't want to pay a real estate agent's listing fee to save money, they realize that not using a licensed realtor will end up costing them more in the long run.

So, what is a realtor listing fee, and is it worth the money? If you're new to Calgary real estate, our team has provided many answers to questions you're probably wondering.

How Much Are Real Estate Commissions?

When you hire a real estate agent, they will provide services. Services come at a cost, and one of the costs involves realtor listing fees, also known as an agent’s commission fee. The fee covers the commission of both the seller and buyer’s agents, but is strictly paid by the seller. All payments are made when the sale of the house is finalized. 

According to the Real Estate Council Alberta, real estate agent commission fees depend upon the real estate agent. They will usually do one of three things:

  • Charge a flat fee for all services rendered

  • Charge a split or fixed percentage of the home’s final sales price

  • Negotiate the commission with sellers

You may notice on MLS® listings that the real estate agent posted the amount they will receive when the deal goes through, however, the listing won't say what fee they initially charged.

Is It Worth Negotiating the Listing Fee?

While there isn't a standard REALTOR® listing fee/commission fee, real estate agents have the option to reduce their fees if you ask. That said, it's not a guarantee. For the best results, you should research real estate agents, ask them questions, and discuss their listing fee method. You are under no obligation to go with the first one you meet. 

If you're not comfortable with their flat fee, for example, you're within your rights to part ways, be aware, if you're under contract, you could incur fees for breaking a contract, something your agent should clearly convey and explain.

You know what you can afford, after all. Most importantly, you will never know if they're willing to negotiate on their real estate commission fee if you don't ask them about it. Shaving off 1% can mean saving thousands of dollars. 

living room

What do Realtor Listing Fees Cover?

Depending on the listing fee, a real estate agent will provide a variety of services. If they offer you a discounted listing fee, then they may perform fewer services. Listing fees can include several elements, such as:

  • Pricing your home

  • Staging our home

  • Advertising your home on an MLS and social media platforms

  • Managing communications between the buyer, the buyer’s agent, and the seller

  • Closing a sale

In general, real estate commissions are split between the buyer’s agent and the seller's agent. If you agreed to a 6% commission fee split evenly, for example, you will pay it to your agent’s brokerage, which will then pay 3% to the buying brokerage and, inevitably, the buyer’s agent.

The Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Reputable real estate agents will handle a lot of stress and put out fires on your behalf, which will make their real estate commission worth it, whether it's a flat fee or a negotiated price.

Appearance Matters

Staging is much more important that many sellers think. If your home isn't tidy and devoid of personal effects in the listing photos and during open house tours, fewer offers will be made and they may be low offers. This means your home will potentially remain on the market longer.

Another reason you may be struggling to sell is that your home needs value... and renovations. A seasoned realtor has interior design knowledge and can point out what your home needs to appeal to buyers. It could be turning bold walls neutral or giving the exterior some curb appeal, and all for the fraction of the cost of a full renovation. 

Experience Speaks Volumes

Real estate agents have a firm understanding of the market, so they will know when the buyer’s agent tries to pull a fast one. Moreover, they are able to read buyers and will recognize whether or not they'll come back to negotiate. This is a particularly handy strength that first-time sellers need. Good real estate agents should have their seller's best interests at heart, which will justify their real estate commission.

human hand

Real Estate Commission Fee Misconception

When sellers hire an agent, many think that it's a guarantee that they will make the sale. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Each seller needs to look at their situation and weigh the pros and cons. By doing this, they will be able to determine whether or not the agent and their listing fee is worth it. 

For example, if you need to sell quickly, using an agent and paying their listing fee will be beneficial. Is this your first time selling? Then you’ll likely need the expertise of a licensed agent who knows the best ways of listing a home, and paying fees is part of the process.

Sell Your Home with Calgary's Best Real Estate Agents

Selling a home is a major transaction, so you need a professional and skilled agent that you can trust with the job. 

The Real Estate Partners team know our way around a negotiation table and Calgary's neighbourhoods. Trust us to help you sell your home and find your new place. Browse our listings, or contact us today!


Posted by Cody Tritter on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.