Understanding the Costs of Working With a Top Atlanta Real Estate Agent

Understanding the Costs of Working With a Top Atlanta Real Estate Agent

What does it cost home sellers to work with a real estate agent? Some will contend that it costs quite a lot while others will say that it costs very little considering what you get for your money. Just don’t go into it blind. You should have an understanding of how much agent fees/commissions are, who pays them and when, and what you can expect for what you pay. Let’s see, then, if we can arrive at an understanding of the costs of working with a top Atlanta real estate agent.

Standard Costs of Working With a Real Estate Agent

The typical real estate agent fee/commission is about 5% to 6% of the sale price of a property. This is then split 50/50 between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent, with each standardly receiving about 3%. And the seller pays both agents’ commissions, that is, the full amount.

So let’s consider the sale of a $400,000 home. The total commission paid by the seller, in this case, is right at $24,000, and each agent receives about $12,000.

But the exact amount you’ll pay in agent commissions varies across the country from state to state. For example, in New Mexico sellers will pay around 6.21%, but in New Hampshire, they’ll pay only about 4.83%. (Be sure to contact a local agent at (404) 977-5054 to find out exactly how much you’ll be facing in commissions in Atlanta.)

The factors that influence real estate commission are . . . 

  • Local market trends
  • Actual home sale prices
  • Average time to sell
  • Marketing expenses
  • Cost of living

What Do You Get?

Now, let’s see what home sellers actually get for the costs of working with a top Atlanta real estate agent.

  • Access to the MLS, which is the huge listing database used by agents to list and find for-sale properties. And you’d still have to pay for using this service if you listed and sold your home yourself.
  • Marketing your property, both online and by means of traditional methods
  • Coordinating open houses and showing your home to prospective buyers
  • Answering all your questions throughout the whole process and providing experienced-based advice
  • Negotiating the best deal possible for you

When Do You Pay?

We’ve touched on how much you’ll pay, so now let’s take a look at when you pay when working with a top Atlanta real estate agent. Here’s how it typically goes . . . 

“As with most of the other expenses, related homeownership, [anagent’s]fee isn’t paid until the sale closes. On that day you’ll encounter plenty of other costs, too, from taxes to legal fees, so it will blend into the landscape of checks you’re making out. Generally, a seller will pay the full [agent]commission, and the other closing costs will be shared between the seller and buyer (with the buyer typically responsible for more of the fees associated with their mortgage).”

Here are a few other points to keep in mind about paying real estate agent fees at closing…

  • “[T]typically, closing costs for the seller will include [agent] fees.”
  • “[C]losing costs and [agent] fees are due at closing, but typically they’ll be paid by both the seller and the buyer. [Agent] fees are usually covered by the seller.”
  • “The party responsible for [agent] fee payment can shift. In some cases during the negotiation process, the buyer may offer to pay some or all of the [agent] fees.
  • “When the home changes hands, closing costs can include [real estate agent]fees – but they may not be the only closing cost that the seller is responsible for.”

Are You Paying Too Much?

Sometimes home sellers think they’re being fleeced by having to pay upwards of 6% in real estate agent commissions. But that’s hardly the case when you consider how much goes into successfully listing and selling a home at the best price possible. Just some to of the things yourAtlanta real estate agent will do for you include . . . 

  • “Performing a comparative market analysis to establish a competitive price
  • Arranging for photo shoots, sometimes getting aerial shots via drone in high definition
  • Writing descriptive listing copy to attract interest from other [agents] and potential buyers
  • Providing staging guidance
  • Showing the property multiple times to prospective buyers
  • Hosting open houses on weekends
  • Providing yard signage
  • Making sure listings are populated on all major property search websites
  • Helping the seller review and negotiate buyer offers”

But that’s not all. “When an offer comes in, the listing agent negotiates on behalf of the seller, often presenting one or more counteroffers. After deducting all the expenses involved, including fees, [an agent] then calculates how much the seller will net.”

In the Final Analysis . . . 

Ultimately, when you consider everything a top Atlanta agent can and will do for you, you may be inclined to say that they should charge even more to be truly fairly compensated. But not all agents are created equal, and that’s why you should work only with a top agent to get your money’s worth. If you’re ready to sell and want to work with a top Atlanta real estate agent, contact us today at (404) 977-5054.