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Real Estate Commission

In most areas there is a "customary" percentage that real estate
agents expect to earn as a commission. Usually, it is between six and eight percent of
the sales price. In some areas it can be as high as nine percent.
However, just like anything else in real estate, this amount is
negotiable. When completing the listing agreement, you and your
agent will agree on the amount of the real estate commission.

The listing contract also specifies when the commission is earned.
This is important and you should pay close attention:

If a ready, willing and able buyer presents an offer that meets your
listing price and terms, the agent has effectively earned the
commission at that time. If a buyer presents an offer and you reach
agreement on price and terms through counter-offers, the agent has
also earned his or her commission.

Sellers occasionally get cold feet, just like buyers do. If this is going
to happen to you - make sure you consider it before you agree to
terms with a buyer.

Once you reach terms with a buyer, you have incurred two contractual
obligations. One is to the buyer and the other is to your agent. if you
should decide to cancel just because you've changed your mind about
moving -- the agent has earned their commission according to the
terms of most contracts. They will probably want to be paid.

copyright 2000 by Terry Light and RealEstate ABC, revised 2002


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