The biggest difference between Atlanta real estate and the rest of the U.S. is best illustrated in the Buyer’s agent’s sales commission. Having Sellers pay the commission of the agent they are negotiating against is silly. Paying them 3% is practically criminal.
“If they can afford this house, they can afford to pay for their own agent”. And yes, no truer words have ever been spoken. Yet, a 3% Buyer’s agent’s commission remains the “norm” hawked by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). But, never forget this, Atlanta doesn’t have to play by those rules. Sadly, eliminating the Buyer’s commission altogether isn’t realistic at this time. That is why Atlanta Independent sales agents, meaning non-franchise types, negotiate this fee in concert with their Sellers. The goal is to do what makes sense for the client and not what makes the most money for some little known third-party sales participant.
Every year we make fun of the ex-homeowners of Inman Park. That’s because very year they give away nearly a million dollars of their own equity for NO reason at all. In 2022 homes in Inman Park had a “Days on Market” (DOM) statistic of less than 10 days. Consumers are waiting in line to purchase these properties. Yet every sale in Inman Park during 2022 carried with it a 3% buyer’s agent commission. WHY?! These homes would have sold just as easy with paying a 1% Buyer’s agent commission. Hell, at the price point of Inman Park properties, offer a .5% commission by repeating to yourself, “people are waiting in line to buy these homes”.
In 2022, every Buyer’s agent selling into Inman Park got a 3% sales commission and every Listing agent in Inman Park knew they didn’t have to pay that. They just didn’t care. A million dollars taken in plain sight.
Atlanta is loaded with pockets of low DOM areas. Popular neighborhoods with unique homes in well positioned locations will always sell. In these instances, sellers NEVER have to pay a Buyer’s agent 3%! Independent sales agents work with their sellers to review DOM data to develop a sales strategy that works best. It’s 2023, Sellers needn’t be defaulting to some antiquated standard of yesteryear, sell smart in today’s world. Use independent sales agents. Call a Wynd Realty agent today.
Are there situations where a 3% commission is still necessary? Have you ever been to Lawrenceville? (I kid, I kid) In fact there are plenty of instances that may warrant a higher buyer’s agent commission. The starter home and rehab markets for example. In these situations, oftentimes part of that 3% is kicked back to the buyer by the agent to help in closing cost or down payment. (Cash being the biggest hurdle for 1st time home buyers) Rural sales are a unique market all to themselves. Highly customized properties are also big candidates for higher percentages. How many times have you entered a home and thought, “this is gonna take a special buyer”.
For Sellers in a hurry, the buyers agent commission can be used as a tool expedite sales. And this is exactly the point. There is no standard, there is no norm.
The negotiating of the Buyers agent commission is unique to Atlanta. For the most part, it doesn’t happen like this anywhere else in America. Certainly not to the degree which Atlanta has implemented it. This is because Atlanta is NAR-free. The United States’s largest metropolitan market NOT controlled by NAR.
How and why Atlanta is NAR free is a story for the ages. The courage of one man against a system of ignorance and bullshit. Read the story of Fletcher Thompson, a hero who should be celebrated.
Wynd Realty would not exist if it wasn’t for the hard work of Mr. Thompson. He gave Atlanta a beautiful gift. We just haven’t been using it. The franchises are still fighting against us.
Don’t think for a second the concepts presented here are new. They are the mantra of the independent sales agent. Wynd Realty has long been Atlanta’s leader in negotiated buyer commissions. Re-read our blog of 12-15-2018, and you will find a remarkably consistent message.
In the four years since that “fiduciary” blog, Atlanta home sellers have lost tens of millions of dollars paying into a NAR system they didn’t need to pay into. You would have thought our local media would have wanted to cover a story like that? In an era of few heroes, why wouldn’t our local media want to highlight Mr. Thompson? Turns out highlighting the Thompson story would only have hurt the those who fund and pay the salaries of local media.