Negotiating Realtor Fees: 10 Tips to Lower Their Commission

March 5, 2023

Are you looking to reduce the cost of selling your home? One way to do that is by negotiating realtor fees. Realtors typically charge a commission – usually around 6% of the sales price – when they facilitate the sale of a house. That fee can add up quickly, so it’s important to know how to negotiate it down.

Here are 10 tips for lowering your realtor's commission and saving money on sales platforms or real estate email marketing while still getting top-notch service from your agent.

Research sales platforms to find the best deals

When researching which sales platform is the best for buying real estate, it is important to consider a variety of factors. Online marketplaces often have user reviews on their site that provide invaluable insights into their services.

Compare the fees and rates across different platforms to find the best deal. It may also be wise to look at what types of properties are being listed in an area, as well as contact any brokers associated with these listings. All of this research will help determine which provider offers the most competitive options and services while working within your budget.

Ask for referrals from friends and family

One of the most effective marketing strategies when selling real estate is to ask your friends and family for referrals. Doing so is mutually beneficial -- they get to help out their family or friend and you are able to benefit from their references.

Recipients of such requests may be hesitant to refer clients if they don't know enough about you, so make sure that you properly position yourself and showcase any advantages that potential buyers can obtain if they work with you (or even give out tokens to them after a successful referral).

A good way to do this is by creating an online portfolio with detailed descriptions of the services or properties you offer, and with the help of a few well-placed ads, your marketing campaigns could easily be propelled forward.

Negotiate commission fees with your Realtor

Negotiating commission fees with a realtor is a great way to save money when buying or selling a home. Knowing the market value of your property and the going rate for commissions in your area can help you get started.

Working with a qualified realtor gives you an edge by providing valuable information about the local community and negotiating power, as well as access to listings that may not be publicly available.

Keep in mind that you can also negotiate other services such as showing times and marketing materials; so do your research, come prepared, and seize the opportunity to get the most from your realtor experience.

Take advantage of sales incentives offered by real estate companies

Real estate companies offer plenty of sales incentives to make purchasing property a more attractive prospect. From tax breaks to special discounts and frequent buyer promotions, the savvy real estate shopper can find a lot of opportunities to save money with these incentives. In addition to traditional methods of payment like cash or home equity loans, many companies are offering creative financing alternatives that make it easy for prospective buyers to purchase a home in a way that meets their individual needs.

By taking the time to research all available options and view properties from various real estate companies, you’ll be able to find the perfect home at the most competitive price.

Utilize real estate email marketing strategies to reach potential buyers

Real estate email marketing is an incredibly effective tool for agents to connect with potential buyers. By creating custom-tailored emails, agents can establish a connection with their audience and stay top-of-mind in their inboxes. Agents should use email marketing to boost brand awareness, stay in contact with prospects, speak directly to their audiences, and keep clients informed of new releases or changes in the market.

These marketing strategies provide key analytics such as open rates and clickthroughs that allow agents to better understand how their messages are being received by prospects. Utilizing real estate email marketing strategies is essential for agents to successfully reach potential buyers.

Consider a flat-fee listing service instead of a traditional Realtor fee structure

When considering the best option for selling your home, a flat-fee listing service may be the best way to go. Unlike with a traditional Realtor, you will be given an agreed-upon set fee at the start of the process. With this strategy, you also retain more control as no commission will go to anyone - including brokers - if your home does not sell. Of course, this type of listing means you will handle certain aspects of the sale, such as marketing and advertising yourself. Those who do not want to take on these tasks can opt to hire a real estate attorney or legal representative to help them through the process. Ultimately, flat-fee listings provide homeowners with an affordable alternative when trying to maximize their profits on a sale.

Offer flexible payment terms that are tailored to your budget

Offering flexible payment terms on real estate can help you fit the right property into your budget. By giving potential buyers options for payment schedules, you make it easier to agree on an arrangement that works best for both parties. Payment plans can be tailored to factors such as creditworthiness or household income. If a large upfront cost is an obstacle, installment payments can provide a way forward and offer peace of mind to buyers. Providing flexible payment terms allows many more individuals the opportunity to purchase the property they truly desire, which is why it's recommended for any enterprising real estate professional.

Discuss any special services you may need, such as staging or photography, and negotiate their cost separately from the commission rate

When it comes to attempting to gain maximum visibility for your listings, several specialized services could be beneficial. These services may range from staging and photography to targeted marketing. While any cost associated with these services should not be part of the traditional listing commission rate, it is important to consider whether such services would support the sale of the house and therefore benefit from being part of the fee structure.

If a service is offered as an additional expense, make sure you are sufficiently informed about what getting that service entails to make a sound decision about whether or not it is worth incurring.

Try negotiating different types of compensation other than cash (e.g., free advertising)

If you're in the market for a new home or looking to resell one, consider negotiating with your realtor for non-cash compensation. Advertising, both online and off, can be an extremely valuable tool that benefits both the realtor and yourself.

For example, free marketing of the property will attract more attention and increase the chance of it being sold quickly. Additionally, partnering with a local business to create sponsored content could also allow for more eyes on the property and lead to more interested buyers. Working out a deal like this allows you to save money while also helping your realtor develop their network of connections - creating a win/win situation!

Be prepared to walk away if negotiations don't go in your favor

Negotiations for anything, whether it's a job, salary, or contract, require a certain level of finesse. Knowing when to be firm and when to walk away can help you ensure that you get the best possible outcome. A good negotiation tactic is to prepare to walk away if things don't seem to be going in your favor.

At the end of the day, every party must be getting something out of the exchange and if walking away will leave you in better stead than staying to negotiate any longer, then that option should always be on the table.

Negotiating realtor fees doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can maximize your profits while still offering quality sales services. From leveraging sales platforms to utilizing email marketing for real estate, there are plenty of ways that you can make sure your property is seen by potential buyers without breaking the bank on commission rates. Remember: if negotiations don’t go in your favor, it's always best to walk away rather than settle for an unfavorable deal. By following these 10 tips above, we hope you find success when negotiating with realtors so that both parties benefit from the experience!


I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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