The Press Newspaper
YONKERS, NY - Many real estate brokers are willing to negotiate their commission rates with sellers who try to haggle, according to an exclusive survey from Consumer Reports September issue.
Forty-six percent of sellers CR surveyed attempted to negotiate a lower commission rate. Roughly 71 percent succeeded. The survey also found that sellers who paid commission rates 3 percent or lower were just as satisfied with their brokers’ performance as those who paid 6 percent or more, suggesting that haggling can’t hurt.
Respondents who paid extra, in fact, were more likely to say they had regrets about the selling process. Nearly one-third said they should have been more assertive in negotiating their agent’s fee.
Paying less won’t hurt the quality of service. While some of the survey respondents who paid lower commissions got fewer services from their agents, the gap wasn’t significant. For example, 81 percent who paid 3 percent or less said the agent provided a competitive market analysis of their home, compared with 87 percent of people who paid 6 percent or more.
“Finding satisfying real-estate services shouldn’t be too hard. All the major chains and independent brokers scored very well in our survey,” said Amanda Walker, senior project editor, Consumer Reports, “So if you’re looking for an agent, shop by personal recommendation or commission split.”
Seventy-one percent of sellers in Consumer Reports’ survey said they were very or completely satisfied with their broker, while only 12 percent told us they were dissatisfied. Most of the larger real estate chains and independent brokers earned reader scores of 79 or higher, which indicated that respondents found them to provide “very satisfying” service.
Results were based on responses to Consumer Reports National Research Center’s recent Annual Questionnaire of 3,753 readers who sold or tried to sell a home, 4,029 readers who bought one, and 7,368 readers who did both during the past few years.
Other survey findings:
Consumer Reports’ September issue offers a complete real estate guide with helpful advice for selecting the right broker, and tips for buyers and sellers. Here are some highlights for sellers.
Tips for sellers:
For more survey results, helpful tips for buyers and sellers, advice on how to buy a foreclosed home and which home improvements matter most, the Consumer Reports September issue is currently available on newsstands or online at www.ConsumerReports.org.
Ratings were based on 9,141 responses to the Consumer Reports National Research Center’s Annual Questionnaire about selling or trying to sell homes using real estate agents from 2004 to 2007. The total doesn’t include those who did so without a broker. Reader score represents overall satisfaction with the selling agent. A score of 100 would indicate everyone was highly satisfied; 80 would mean respondents were, on average, very satisfied; and 60, fairly well satisfied. While there were no statistically meaningful differences among rated companies in customer satisfaction, some companies were more willing to negotiate fees than others.
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