Real Estate Agents: Worth The Commission?

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

Is a Real Estate Agent Worth the Real Estate Commission?

 When you're ready to buy or sell, paying a realtor to help can go a long way in helping you walk away with the highest dollar amount in your pocket, even after the realtor gets paid!

These are common questions that have straightforward answers. When you consider that, in the US alone, 5.34 million homes were sold in 2019, you can expect a standardized process.

A real estate agent commission isn't a simple transaction. Rather, a realtor must work for that portion of the sales price. And their work is continuous.

It involves data crunching through a comparative market analysis, consistent marketing efforts (be they traditional or digital), and legal and logistical affairs that can be quite overwhelming for first time buyers or sellers.

What's the Real Estate Agent Commission?


When it's time to buy or sell a home, the thought of a real estate agent often enters the picture. Chose an agent from Utah Mountain Properties because we can get you the most money for your home sale.

Typically, you'll see 6% listed, but 5.5% isn't abnormal either. At the end of the day any percentage is possible, and the real estate agent commission will be decided by you and your agent at Utah Mountain Properties.

So, if a house sells for $249,000, the 6% commission would total $14,940.

Who Pays the 6% Fee?


We're not sure if this is good news or bad, but the 6% typically comes from the seller. Now, this doesn't mean that the seller needs to save up $720,000 and write a personal check. Rather, the 6% gets deducted from the sale of the home. 

Here's another important detail: the seller's agent doesn't pocket the entire 6%. Rather, it gets split between the buyer's agent and the seller's agent.


Other Fees of Note

A realtor's commission isn't the only thing that gets deducted from the bottom line. Before a seller can take the check to the bank, there are a few other expenses they need to prepare for. Here's a quick checklist of some of those items:

  • Mortgage payoff
  • Capital gains taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Attorney fees
  • Transfer taxes
  • Title insurance
  • Escrow fee
  • Brokerage fee
  • Courier fee


Now, this doesn't cover everything. Some people like to conduct a pre-sale inspection, so they know what to anticipate. In some instances, it may be necessary to pay someone to stage the home. But surely, those are optional costs. 

What's listed above (mostly) falls into the closing costs and those typically range from 2% to 4% of the final sale price. So, as a loose rule of thumb, sellers can anticipate a 4% expense on closing costs and a 6% expense for the real estate agents. 

What Does the 6% Cover?

Whether it's $12,000 or $720,000, six percent may seem like a lot. So, it's important to know what you're getting out of this deal. Let's discuss some of the ways Utah Mountain Properties will go to work (and to bat) for you. 

Sprucing Up the Home

Okay, we won't come in with a dustpan and broom, but we will help you see how to maximize your property for sale. 

We can recommend improvements that can boost the bottom line. We’ve been in the game a while and will be able to provide referrals for said improvements. 

This also takes us back to the (optional) task of completing a pre-sale home inspection. Whether you think it's worth it or not to conduct a home inspection prior to listing your home is totally up to you though it can help spot any major problems that may arise

  • Foundational issues
  • Structural integrity
  • Electrical issues
  • Plumbing issues
  • HVAC issues

This can go a long way in helping you negotiate repairs. There's nothing worse than the disappointment that comes when you're about to close the deal, only for roofing, electrical, or plumbing issues to put everything on hold. These are the types of problems home inspectors look for, so you'll either learn about them prior to selling your home or after going under contract!

Photographing the Home

Sure, nowadays, with a filter or two, everyone's an iPhone photographer. We're not denying the beauty that comes from some of the edited personal photos we see out on Instagram and Facebook. 

They're never quite the same as truly professional photos. Professional photographers know how to photograph a galley kitchen to make it look light-filled and spacious. They understand angles, perspectives, and a slew of other techniques that they've studied. Having a wide-angle lens, extra lighting and the right editing techniques is what separates the true real estate photography pros from the rookies.

This is not to create deceiving photographs. Quite the opposite. It's to invite potential buyers to step into the home and see the magic for themselves. Photographs are taken early in the process, and it's all part of everything that comes next. 

Deciding On a List Price

Have you ever been to a garage sale? It's interesting to see some people value their grandmother's crystal vase for $100 when it should really be tagged at $20. The reason this happens stems from sentimentality. 

It's hard to remain objective when we have emotions tied into the mix. A Utah Mountain Properties Agent can push all that aside and conduct a straight-forward comparative market analysis (CMA).

Basically, we’re examining all the homes that are currently on the market, pending, or have recently sold. This is not a straightforward affair. Just because a similar colonial down the road sold for $250,000 doesn't mean that's the correct selling price for your home. 

What if you've recently put on a new roof, invested in a new HVAC system, or upgraded your kitchen? Just because the homes look the same on the outside doesn't mean they're worthy of the same list price.

All these variables are things that we will happily take into consideration, saving you from the strain that comes with number-crunching. 

Marketing the Home

Here comes the part that's truly an on-going affair. With photographs, property descriptions, square footage measurements, and the listing price in place, we will place your home on the multiple listing service (MLS) which will syndicate to other real estate websites. 

We’ll be able to gain a lot more traction than anyone placing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sign in the front yard. And, in our experience, the trouble with an FSBO home is that other agents won't show their clients these homes.  

Sometimes, a buyer's agent doesn't want to deal with an FSBO home because they know there won't be a professional colleague on the other end of the deal. 

The expression, "It's who you know," plays into a home listing in a major way. We can blast out an email to hundreds (if not thousands) of other realtors to let them know a new gem has hit the market. 

We also take other measures to move a house for sale. We'll post those lovely photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

Our marketing capabilities alone can make that 6% fee worth its weight in gold. 

Negotiating the Deal

Here's another area where emotions quickly enter the scene. What if, as the seller, you receive an insultingly low offer on your list price? If you're human, you're going to feel the heat rise to your cheeks. 

At this point, we will step in with the other agents and handle the negotiations amongst ourselves. We'll write up offers and counteroffers until things start to work in your favor.

This is also the stage where our agents put on their “counselor hats.” It's very difficult to know if you’re playing too much hardball or just the right amount. 

Ensuring homebuyers don’t get cold feet is one of the best things we do, by setting proper expectations and managing problems before they arise.

We will tell you if you've done the right thing by rejecting that offer, accepting this offer, or moving on down the road. Despite what anyone says, buying or selling a home does take an emotional toll. 

Bringing the Deal to a Close

By the time you're ready to close, our job will (mostly) be finished. But, again, this is a bit of a stressful time and it's often reassuring to have us by your side. Having an experienced agent from Utah Mountain Properties will help you prepare before the appraiser comes by to value the home and provide the bank with their price estimate. A low appraisal can totally derail the process, our experienced agents will make sure this doesn't happen.

We'll help you conduct the final walk-through, review the documents prepared by the lender or escrow agent, and review the terms of the contract. We will make sure all your conditions have been satisfied before the deed formally transfers to the buyers. 

Is a Real Estate Commission Worth It?

Imagine having to decide on an accurate list price, photograph the home, list it, market it, conduct negotiations, and examine contracts all on your own. We know you're up to the task. You're here reading about it, aren't you? 

But, if you want to lay a real estate commission in the balance with peace of mind and a successful sale, then we invite you to contact an agent at Utah Mountain Properties today.

You'll see that we don't spare any detail when it comes to a detailed listing, gorgeous property photos, and constant contact with all of our clients.

As you prepare to make one of the biggest decisions of your life, we'll be glad to take you by the hand and smooth out every road. We look forward to hearing from you soon!