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Real estate commission: How do realtors get paid in Canada?

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


May 10, 2018 - Karl Yeh

Thinking about hiring a real estate agent? Wondering how much they charge? In this episode, we discuss real estate agent commission and if you have to pay a realtor if you are buying a home. We also explore how much you need to pay an agent to sell your home and what services are included. 

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Karl Yeh:

Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of Homebuyer's School.

Today I'm joined by Eddy D'Ambrosio, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Elite. The question we're gonna answer is:

What's a typical real estate agent commission?

So [00:00:30] essentially, Eddy, how much are you getting paid? Well, not you getting paid, but how does that work, in terms of commissions for real estate agents?

Eddy D'Ambrosio:        

Well, there are so many different options out there.

I think just like anything, it really just depends on a seller's level of need.

And so, you can ... there are companies that offer lower levels of service, obviously at a lower cost.

And then there [00:01:00] are companies and real estate agents that offer maybe more of a full service, or they offer more services, more marketing, and then you do ... those do cost a little bit more.

Karl Yeh:                      

So there's the difference between going, with say, like a small firm, or maybe a one person firm versus a really big ...but the level of service is obviously different?

Eddy D'Ambrosio:        

For sure.

And I think because many [00:01:30] sellers ... every seller has a different budget in mind, and they also have different perceived capabilities.

Some may say, "Well, I have a home in a really popular neighborhood, and I want to try to sell it on my own." So they may enlist some help, but only need kind of half of the help.

 I think most seller's today, are really looking for a lot of help when selling a property.

It's such a big decision to sell your home, and obviously, we're [00:02:00] talking about a lot of money here.

And so, enlisting the full service help, of a professional that knows the market, that knows marketing, and how to showcase your property in the best way to get you top dollar, can be worth every penny.

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Karl Yeh:                  

Do I have to pay a real estate agent when I'm buying a house, as well as selling a house?

Eddy D'Ambrosio:        

This is one of the most common questions that I get, actually  [00:02:30] .

So the way that it works, is actually your ... the seller of a property pays the full commission to sell their property, and half of that commission is offered to the buyer's agent, as a cooperating commission.

And then the other half of a commission for a seller, pays their listing agent to market the property, and to get the property sold for them.

So this is for a buyer, like maybe yourself, it might ... it would be a great idea [00:03:00] to enlist the help of a buyer's agent, of a realtor that can help you to find great properties, to negotiate the best deal on a property, and know that you don't have to pay that buyer's agent yourself.

Karl Yeh:                      

That's pretty awesome, because I always thought that if I'm buying a home, and using a real estate agent, that you, regardless of buying or selling, you'd always have to pay. Right?

Eddy D'Ambrosio:        

Yeah, and I think it's such a common misconception, that a lot of buyers maybe are a little bit hesitant to reach out to a real estate agent, [00:03:30] to get some help in house shopping. 'Cause they think, "I'm gonna have to pay that real estate agent. And so, maybe I can look around on my own."

 And actually, it's funny that with, I know, with many clients, often times a client ends up finding their own property, 'cause who knows better what you're looking for, than you.

How much do you pay a real estate agent to sell your home?

Karl Yeh:                      

So is there a typical percentage that sellers would pay their real estate agent? Like 5%, [00:04:00] 7%? And is that ... That percentage obviously includes the buyer, right? Because you're paying the other buyer ... the buyer's agent too, right?

Eddy D'Ambrosio:        

No, you know what?

There's no set percentage, there's no set amount.

So that becomes part of a discussion with your real estate agent, when you are interviewing real estate agents to sell your home.

Ask those questions, and find out what they specifically charge, [00:04:30] and then along with those costs, what sort of services are involved:

  • How much marketing will be completed for your property?
  • What experiences does that realtor have?

These are the kinds of factors that will play into how much you pay that real estate agent.

What are the services included when hiring a realtor to sell your home?

And in a case where you have a real estate agent who is offering you full services, they're even going to pay for professional photography, and a lot of ... get you a lot of online exposure, [00:05:00] you may pay a little bit more for that type of service.

But typically, that's gonna translate in getting you a higher dollar amount for your home.

Karl Yeh:                      

Does that service include making sure your home looks good? I think the term is staging your home, which is what your home looks like while people are going through it.

Eddy D'Ambrosio:        

Yeah, and staging is just becoming so popular, right now.

I think the general public is really, maybe with more [00:05:30] television shows, being exposed to the power that staging can have, in showcasing a property.

You know, that's something that buyers will ... that's something that sellers will pay for on their own.

And in the right circumstance, again, it can really impact how buyers are perceiving your property. And so, it can really be a good idea.

Karl Yeh:                      

Awesome. Well, thank you very much, Eddy. Thank you very much, everyone for joining us. And we'll catch you next time.

Recommended Watch

So of our other videos that you may be interested in watching related to this topic are:

Pros and cons of selling my home with and without a realtor

How to choose a real estate agent that right for you (for both buying and selling a home)

How to get your house ready to sell


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from homebuying experts. 

About Eddy D'Ambrosio:

My experience in the real estate industry started in 2010 selling homes for one of  Edmonton's largest new home builders. With over 150 homes sold, I learned what it takes to sell homes in both a busy and a slow market. In all of my years selling homes I was a top producer and in 2014 I received the A.C Westman Award for both Top Sales and Customer Service Ranking which is the highest honour. The skills I learned working in the New home Industry transfer over to general real estate in a big way and make me a huge asset to have on both the selling side of a transaction and the buyers side.

My message to those looking to sell a home today is that my experience and expertise is in understanding the people I'm selling for and the people I'm selling to, understanding the product or property that I'm working with, and developing a creative and effective strategy that will get us top dollar for your home. I enjoy the unique challenge and opportunity that comes with each individual property and I don't work with a one size fits all approach so contact me when you are ready to meet and work together to put together the best strategy for you and your home.

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