What Do Real Estate Agents Charge?

If you need to hire a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a house, keep in mind these real estate professionals get paid through a real estate commission. So how much does it cost and why? Can this be negotiated?

As a real estate agent in Orlando, FL since 2004, please let me explain everything you’ll need to know about real estate commissions.

How much are real estate commissions?

Instead of getting paid by the hour or weekly salary, real estate agents only get paid if the real estate transaction goes through.

Some brokerages will charge a flat rate for their services, most agents work off a percentage of the sale once the sale has gone through. The exact percentage can vary however, most real estate commissions are usually between 5 and 6% of the sale price. So on a $100,000 home, a 5% commission would be $5,000.

This might seem like a lot of money, but keep in mind that the real estate commission gets split between the listing agent and buyer’s agent. Also, real estate agents don’t receive a penny until the deal has gone through… a process that can take weeks and even months of work depending on the deal.

Who pays the real estate commission?

Usually, the seller of the home pays the entire amount of the commission for the service of both the listing agent as well as the buyer’s agent… unless the agent is representing both buyer and seller.

The two agents typically split the real estate commission 50/50. If a home sells for $100,000 at a 5% commission, each real estate agent will walk away with $2,500. However, this can also vary in certain situations such as if the listing agent was only offering 1% to the buyer’s agent. Everything in real estate is usually negotiable.

Dual Agency Explained

If the same real estate agent is representing both the buyer and the seller, the agent then becomes a “dual agent” and receives the entire amount of the real estate commission. That’s why listing agents love it when they also find the buyer in addition to representing the seller. [Talk about a huge payday!]

As an Orlando real estate agent, this has happened to me countless times. However, many real estate agents don’t like representing both parties because it puts them in the awkward situation of having to work for both the buyer which could at times become a conflict of interest.

What Exactly does real estate agent commission cover?

Homeowners certainly have the option of selling or buying their home “For Sale By Owner”, but when they find out the tremendous amount of time and work that it requires, they usually end up hiring a real estate agent. Real estate agents provide a whole wide range of services like; pricing the home correctly, marketing the home [on the Multiple Listing Service, social media, etc.] negotiations, and even guiding homeowners through the closing.

An experienced real estate agent can help you get top dollar for your home while handling all the stress that comes with selling a home. I can tell you from experience… good real estate agents earn their money!

Need proof? Check out these numbers… A recent National survey done in 2019 found that a typical FSBO home sold for $195,000 compared to $245,000 with the assistance of a real estate agent, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

That means that homes listed for sale with a realtor sold for $50,000 more than without an agent. Maybe that’s why a whopping 92% of homeowners used a real estate agent to sell their home.

Are real estate agent commissions negotiable?

As my first ever real estate teacher used to say all of the time “everything in real estate is negotiable”. Although a 5% to 6% commission is the norm here in Florida, there aren’t any state or even federal laws that set commission rates.

This means that if you want to sell your home, you can certainly ask your real estate agent to reduce their commission however, they aren’t obligated to do so.

One thing to consider is this: Your listing agent must pay for marketing your home from the commission they receive after the closing, less commission could mean a lower marketing budget for your home which could mean more time on the market.

With that being said, it won’t hurt to ask your agent to lower their commission. Most real estate agents won’t be offended [who cares if they are?] and the worst they can tell you is no. If you are tight on the numbers, you may ask them to charge you a flat fee for helping you list the home, communicate with buyers, and write the contract, but you won’t get a full service from the agent or brokerage with a flat fee. Most agents don’t offer a flat fee listing agreement, so you’ll have to shop around a bit, and be prepared to do some of the heavy lifting yourself.

Buying or selling a home will probably be one of the largest financial transactions of your lifetime, so make sure to find an experienced real estate agent that you can trust to do a great job. This isn’t the time to hire your nephew who just got his license 3 weeks ago…

Other Things You Should Know About Real Estate Commissions

Every detail about an agent’s real estate commission must be outlined in the listing agreement [contract] that you signed when you hired the agent. A typical listing agreement should also state how long the agent will represent you. Usually, a listing agreement in Florida lasts between 90 to 120 days.

As the home seller, you want a real estate agent who will fetch you the highest and best sales price and the terms you want, but the best real estate agents aren’t cheap. Like the old saying goes with most things in life… you get what you pay for.

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Orlando Short Sale Listing in 32835

New Short Sale In Orlando | Investment Property Orlando | Buy A House in Orlando | 408 N BUENA VISTA AVE ORLANDO, 32835

This is a great investment opportunity, needs some attention but it will make a Great Home for a Flip or rental.


Big lot and lots of living space. Stop by and take a look. It will not last, It is Priced to Sell! SUBMIT YOUR HIGHEST AND BEST


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Realtors In Orlando Ask: Sellers Where Are You?

If you’ve been keeping track of the Orlando Real Estate market lately you’re probably aware that housing recovery is in full swing. Lenders are advertising aggressively and new housing developments have been popping up all over Central FL. Mortgage companies are offering qualified buyers loans as low as 3%.

“Where are the sellers?” Realtors in Orlando ask.  Inventory continues to drop at an alarming rate and the homes that do hit the market are flying off the shelves. I feel bad for buyers’ agents because even if you have 100 buyers ready to go, you’re in trouble if there’s nothing to show them. From our own experience, the Orlando homes that do become available are usually under contract within the first week of being on the MLS.

For home buyers looking for their dream home, it can be challenging to say the least. And even if they do find what they’re looking for, they’re sure to encounter some heavy competition. As a matter of fact, competition is such that the days of taking a week to decide if you want to make an offer on it are long gone.

It appears that consumers are buying off the top and as soon as a house hits the market, it’s sold. Lately, when we show houses to potential buyers in certain neighborhoods, we bring a contract ready to go at the initial showing just to try and get an edge on the competition.

 Hang In There Buyers!

In our experience as Orlando Realtors, seller activity historically picks up during the spring season. This should give buyers a spark of hope in finding the perfect home. Many Orlando real estate agents that have been targeting buyers are now starting to hunt for sellers to try and help boost the inventory.

Tips On Making Your Offer Stand Above The Competition

  • Don’t send a low ball offer thinking that the seller will counter. With Orlando homes getting multiple offers low ball offers will be the first ones out. Submit a strong and fair offer right off the bat. This will ensure that your offer will stay on the table.
  • Have your financing ready to go. By being prepared with a pre-approval letter from your lender, you will be ahead of the game and your offer will be taken more seriously by the seller.
  • Add a personal touch. If this is truly the house for you, write a letter to the seller explaining why you want to live in the house so badly. For some sellers, it really does make a difference knowing that the person buying their home will love and enjoy it as much as they did. And if you have kids, talk about them also. If not, then get a puppy… lol!
  • Put down a larger deposit. Giving the sellers a larger deposit than they are asking for, it will show that you are truly committed to making the deal happen.

Many realtors in Orlando remain optimistic about the upcoming spring and summer seasons even though the supply and demand are soo out-of-whack right now.

If you or someone you know is considering selling right now or if you just want to find out how much your house is worth, please give me a call at 407-902-7750.   

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Higher Tax Bills to Follow Higher Property Values in Orlando

For Orlando residents who are trying to sell their properties, there is a cause to celebrate: residential property prices in the region went north in 2014. However, the celebration will cease to exist for people who do not plan to sell their properties. The reason is simple: a high property value comes saddled with bigger tax bills. This will hold true for all Orlando real estate, even if the government doesn’t change the tax rates.


The rise in property values

According to Orlando realtors, people with homestead exemptions will face a lesser blow, but their tax rate will go up anyhow. The property values in Seminole County are anticipated to increase by almost 5.5 percent in 2014 when compared to 2013. Property values in Orange County are expected to increase by approximately 6.6 percent. In Osceola, property values will spike by about 2.4 percent and Lake’s nearly 3.6 percent.

Among the cities, property values in Winter Garden are anticipated to rise to almost 13.2 percent up 2013 prices. About 14 percent appreciation is expected in Groveland and the value of properties is expected to increase in Altamonte Springs by approximately 5.5 percent. This increase in property valuation across the region for the second consecutive year is a sign of a healthy economy.


The economy bounces back

According to Rick Singh, a property appraiser in Orange County, the economy is slowly clawing back and with sound fundamentals. He added that both the home buyer and the investor show more prudence today than what they exhibited in the past, in a reference to a market which went ballistic and plunged the country into a Great Recession.

Orlando realtors cite a number of causes for the rise, the factor of new home construction prominent among them. To give an example, Lake County will see an extra $295 million in value from brand-new residential construction. Another important factor is that the number of employed persons is increasing and they are purchasing homes. The profile of other kinds of buyers includes investors who purchase foreclosures only to rent them out to tenants.

In totality, residential properties in Orlando are becoming rarer, leading to an increase in residential prices. Singh pointed out that the Orlando real estate agents are beginning to receive a number of offers on the same property.

In the usual sense, a property’s appraised value, which is determined by the government, is quite less than its purchase price. The market is exhibiting unmistakable improvement signs. https://orlandorealtyconsultants.com/blog/



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Outer Edges of Orlando Enjoys Strongest Recovery in Home Prices

Residential property prices at the edge of central Orlando have revived the most, according to listing agents in Orlando. Pockets of growth are being seen in Paisley, Montverde, and Eustis. All three come under Lake County and have exhibited price gains of up to 30 percent since February 2013. A few localities of St. Cloud and rural regions of the southern part of Osceola County also showed an uptick in prices.

Maximum gains in a few areas

The total increase in value of all the four counties in the metropolitan area of Orlando was 20 percent in the same period. Lawrence Bellido, an agent of Keller Williams, one of Orlando’s real estate companies, said that the above-mentioned areas are showing the maximum recovery since they were hit the hardest. He specifically mentioned Montverde’s Bella Collina and Harmony, where not a single property was sold at one point in time.

Gains not equal

Orlando has exhibited unequal gains in price when one community is compared with another. To give an example, the growth areas located in the southern borders of St. Cloud have exhibited gains of approximately 30 percent in 2013. In contrast, prices have risen only half of that number in older localities of St. Cloud, where a few homes were constructed in the 1920s.

Similarly, older localities of Kissimmee, Oviedo, and Casselberry saw an appreciation in price by approximately 15 percent in 2013. The numbers reveal an excellent recovery by a majority of standards but are still trailing behind the region’s other parts. Prices in Apopka and Mount Dora areas escalated by 11 percent. In contrast, home values in the Winter Park locality rose 8 percent in the same period.


A possible reason for prices getting increased quicker in a few neighborhoods might be foreclosures. The foreclosure phenomena hit hardest in areas that are newly developed as the house owners in 2007 had negligible or no home equity. These owners were more prone to enduring short sales. Lenders incur short sales when they give their assent to sales prices that are lower than the mortgage. Values plunged to the maximum in these foreclosure-scarred neighborhoods, so they bounce-backed quite rapidly.

According to Mike Timmeran, President, MJT Realty Economic Advisers, the markets where prices rose the most were also those that fell severely. Buyers, however, can be very confused about these wide swings, presently. It will be very difficult for them to assess the correct market value of a property.


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