If you’re thinking about selling your home in Georgia, there are plenty of factors to consider. This includes your Realtor commission. In 2022, the average Realtor commission in Georgia was 5.76%, slightly higher than the current national average of 5.37%.1
Understanding how the real estate commission can affect the total sale price is important. If you want to maximize your return, you should understand what a commission is, how it works, and why the rates can change between agents, locations, and home prices. With careful research, you’ll have an idea of what you should expect to pay, and where to find lower rates.
Realtor commissions are the same thing as real estate agent fees. (Realtors are real estate agents who actively belong to the National Association of Realtors. Their duties—and their commissions—are largely the same.) When they decide to put their home on the market, one of the first things most sellers do is find a Realtor they’d like to work with.
While no one is required to work with a real estate agent, Realtor insight is invaluable. They guide buyers and sellers through the real estate transaction, from providing initial insight into the housing market all the way through closing. Furthermore, Realtors know what buyers want in a home and how to enhance your property’s appeal. They can also provide marketing services, which ensures your home is seen by more buyers than most people can accomplish themselves.
Realtors are paid via commission, which is often a sizable percentage of the home’s selling price. In Georgia, the average percentage is 5.76%, just a bit higher than the national average. 1
Keep in mind that 5.76% is just the current average. Realtor commission percentages not only vary by time, but from location to location. The average real estate commission in Massachusetts is currently 4.85%, while Ohio’s is 5.81%. Furthermore, commissions tend to vary between high- and low-demand areas within states.
Related: Do buyers pay realtor fees?
Different factors affect real estate agent commissions in Georgia over time and location, including how well the economy is performing and the local real estate market. The biggest consideration, however, is how much the average home costs.
In-demand states typically have higher residential real estate sale prices. In turn, their real estate commissions tend to be lower than commissions in states with low residential real estate prices. It all boils down to percentages: lower commission rates on a high-priced property will generally bring in more money than a higher percentage of a lower home price.
For example, if your Georgia Realtor sells your home for $299,886, the average Georgia home price,2 their 5.76% commission will net $17,233. If they sell a home in Washington state for $552,398 3 with a 5.3% commission 1, they’ll earn $29,278. The difference between the commission percentage is just 0.46%, but the commission in Washington is over $12,000 more.
Because real estate commissions can fluctuate within the state, you’ll often see the same pattern playing out in high-demand, urban areas versus low-demand areas.
Fortunately, you won’t have to pay those commissions out of pocket. A Realtor’s commission is taken out of the funds received in the sale price, and split between the buyer’s and seller’s agentss. Of the $17,233 average Realtor commission in Georgia, the agents would earn about $8,600 before they pay their own brokerage fees.
Doing your research before you look for an agent helps in two ways: you can estimate how much money will be taken out of your sale price, and you’ll also be able to compare commission percentages among different agents.
Even if your Realtor commission is relatively low, most people want to maximize the return on their investment. Because commissions can be affected by numerous factors, you may be able to negotiate your Realtor commission rate down. Even half of a percentage point can make a big difference.
Of course, there’s no guarantee a Realtor will agree to reduce their fees. As you’re determining whether and when to sell your home, keep an eye on the commission rates, average home selling price, and time spent on the market in your area. In some cases, it might be better to choose the lowest fee among reputable Realtors than spend a lot of time researching and negotiating.
Even if you’re not able to lower your realtor commission in Georgia, that doesn’t mean you’re getting a bad deal. Focus on things you can do to command a higher selling price, like improving amenities and curb appeal. Whatever the commission percentage, your Realtor will make suggestions to help present your home in the best light possible.
Source 1: Bankrate: “How do real estate agent commissions work?”
Source 2: Zillow: “Georgia Home Values.”
Source 3: Zillow: “Washington Home Values.”
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