what you've said on the internet about Commission is there forever, forever, forever

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Many times, over the last few years, in my experiences on Trulia and Zillow, someone will ask the question of we Realtors "What's the standard commission in your area?"

Most of the time, good agents jump in and state: "There is no 'standard', real estate commissions are negotiable"... and go on to expound on the value of finding a good Realtor, and not allowing the commission to be your largest criteria in selecting a Realtor. We can go into more of that, but that's a different post than this one.

Almost without fail, at some point or another on that thread, some idiot Realtor will say... "standard commissions in our area are 6%, but I'll do it for 5%, call me!!" or "everyone in our area charges 5%".  A few of us will try to explain to them that even the discussion of commission amounts, in public (and social media IS public) is a violation of Sherman anti-trust laws, and we inevitably get into a heated discussion over whether indeed that's true or not.  In some of those conversations, I've been told by Realtors who've been in the business for a long time (so, what I'm saying there is ... not some "newbie")... that I don't know what I'm talking about... that we're just talkin' in generalities... and there's nothing wrong with that.

One agent went so far as to tell me that he'd been playing in the Sherman Anti-trust sandbox for 32 years, and he knew it better than I did...so basically shut-yer-pie-hole.

Well, in a fairly recent "thread that wouldn't die", we had that same hackneyed conversation (deja vu, deja vu, deja vu vu).  But this time, one of the Trulia regulars (a non-Realtor) decided that he would find out the truth, and sent a copy of the conversation off to a Washington advocacy group.  They, in turn, turned it over to the Department of Justice, who contacted him by phone, confirmed that it was an illegal discussion, and asked a lot of pointed questions... (including the url for the conversation) and are now monitoring.

I imagine there will be handful of interesting phone calls to managing brokers.  What you say on a social media website, especially as a professional Realtor, is there forever (and ever and ever)... make sure that what you say is correct, and legal.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Sybil Campbell 11/26/2009 07:49 PM
  2. Michael Dougherty 11/27/2009 08:58 AM
  3. Mark Rienzie 11/27/2009 10:19 AM
  4. Dana Devine 12/11/2009 07:49 AM
  5. Daniel H. Fisher 09/16/2011 10:35 AM
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Anonymous
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Thomas

The Sherman anti trust laws talk about anti trust a wide range of issues from price fixing to monopoly's,But I don't see any mention of exchanging information to RE licensees from state to state. as a matter of fact it didn't specifically talk of Real-estate but all commerce in generalThat would fall under state licensing laws. I started marketing for a title company also and the prices are regulated by the government the allowed fees are regulated yet enough for them to make a decent profit. Of course that doesn't pertain to the junk fees that some of them tack on. I wonder if the Government will some day step in and say all fees must be uniform in order to protect consumers and how NAR and other industry groups will react to that. How would we on the board react to this hypothetical situation. interesting. 

December 01, 2009 07:42 PM #195
Rainmaker
261,430
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

You are correct Alan. Some Realtors are to dense to get this.

December 01, 2009 11:46 PM #196
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

lots of wondering, Thomas.

Tigard - some are, indeed.

December 02, 2009 07:24 AM #197
Rainmaker
62,663
Dolores Mauriello
CENTURY 21 Gemini LLC Realty - Wayne, NJ
Realtor, Homes For Sale Wayne NJ

Real estate commission is negotiated and not a fixed amount and thats all folks!

December 02, 2009 08:41 PM #198
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Dolores - that's all folks.

December 02, 2009 09:24 PM #199
Rainer
59,430
Dennis Puckett
Adams,Cameron & Co. - Deland, FL

Can you say till infiniti? Some people just don't know when to shut up.

December 03, 2009 10:51 AM #200
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Dennis - yes, I can.

December 03, 2009 01:24 PM #201
Ambassador
1,724,649
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate

It is amazing that in this day and age people still don't realize that you have to THINK before posting things on the internet! It WILL come back to bite you!

December 04, 2009 12:13 PM #202
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

BarbaraJo - it is amazing.

December 04, 2009 12:19 PM #203
Rainer
4,947
Jim Hix
Jim Hix, Realtors - Waco, TX

If Realtors are so crooked and stupid and spend all there time trying to figire out right from wrong they need to become lawyers.  Do the right thing all the time every time.

May 29, 2010 12:13 PM #204
Ambassador
807,693
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Commissions are sacred.  Trust me.  There is no "standard" commission, given our business model, however, we tend to hover around ^% or whatever that is....Let the undercutters and undelivers offer whatever they want. I recently had a client who had had his home listed for nearly 9 months with a big box for &%. And, when I listed it, and got him an offer that he accepted within 8 days, told me that other agents would have listed it for 4 or 5%.  Right.  I told him.  But, could they have sold it?  Your more expensive agent didn't and she had more incentive to sell it.  Nuff said. 

June 29, 2010 06:03 PM #205
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Suzanne - whether there is, or isn't a standard commission, isn't really even the point.  The point is that there are sacrificial lambs out there, who are willing to stand up on the mountainside and announce at the top of their lungs, that the standard commission is X%!  And once those feathers have been let out of the pillowcase, they are impossible to put back in, and are permanently out there in the world for all to see.

June 29, 2010 07:28 PM #206
Anonymous
Anonymous
Thomas Preston

I dont want to talk about commisions anymore, Talk is cheap ill just collect as many as I can.

June 29, 2010 08:55 PM #207
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Thomas - you're right.  Talk is cheap.

June 29, 2010 08:57 PM #208
Rainer
61,268
Chris Dugger
Real Estate Marketplace - Louisville KY - Louisville, KY
Louisville REALTOR

Alan, I know this post is coming up on a year old already, but it will remain relevant forever! I am often amazed at how openly agents from different brokerages talk about commission structures. My commission structure is my business and the business of my clients. I don't even talk about it with my wife because, not being in the business, she might misquote or misrepresent what could be perceived as a 'standard commisson'! Great post, and so much more good info in the comment thread too!

September 06, 2010 04:09 PM #209
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Chris - it surely was one of the good ones.

September 06, 2010 04:39 PM #210
Rainmaker
137,388
Aida Pinto
United Associated Brokers - Downey, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 916-3237

"the discussion of commission amounts, in public (and social media IS public) is a violation of Sherman anti-trust laws"  Thanks for reminding us....I found your post because someone reblog it and I'm glad he did.

September 16, 2011 10:52 AM #211
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Aida - I'm glad he did, too.

September 16, 2011 10:58 AM #212
Rainer
5,327
Thomas Preston
Exclusive Agents Realty Inc - Queens Village, NY

I think we should all stop talking about commission and go out get us some, Whos with me on that ?

October 27, 2011 10:32 AM #213
Ambassador
984,597
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Thomas - you go ahead... we'll be along shortly.

October 27, 2011 10:44 AM #214
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