Chris Calia, an agent at House Pro Realty Group in suburban Lake Worth, says he’s making sellers an offer they find hard to refuse: He charges a commission of only 1.5 percent.
If the buyer is represented by an agent, Calia urges the seller to pay that Realtor 2.5 percent, bringing the total fee to 4 percent. But if the buyer doesn’t have an agent, Calia says, he charges the seller only 1.5 percent.
He credits the discounted commission for what he calls “a huge increase” in his business. The marketing approach is just another example of how real estate agents are responding to intensifying pressure on commissions.
“It’s hard to compete with the Internet, and real estate is no exception,” Calia says. “To pay 6 percent, in my opinion, is absurd. Maybe in 1986, the 6 percent was reasonable. But the Internet made it quicker, easier and more efficient to do business.”
The traditional commission long was 6 percent, but that benchmark has eroded in recent years. Realogy Corp., the nation’s largest brokerage, says commissions have been hovering in the 5 percent range for years. In another measure, REAL Trends, a consulting and research firm in Denver, says the average commission nationwide was 5.18 percent in 2015.