What has been causing the drop in fees?

●Rising numbers of agents are working for brokerages that allow them to negotiate lower commission rates, with no set minimum. Murray says 2016 appears to be the first year when the percentage of all agents working for brokerages that do not impose some floor on commissions exceeds the percentage of agents working for firms that do.

●Tech-savvy discounters such as Redfin, which is now active in 83 markets, are offering their lower charges — a 1 percent listing fee in Chicago, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and 1.5 percent elsewhere — putting pressure on competing firms’ agents to be more flexible on fees. Redfin also offers refunds to shoppers who buy through one of their agents.

● Some major markets saw severe shortages of homes available for sale, making traditional agents more willing to negotiate lower fees to obtain listings.

Commissions in real estate are always negotiable. Typical transactions involve “splits” among the brokers and agents involved. If the total commission in the listing contract is 6 percent, normally that gets split in half between the listing agent’s brokerage and the brokerage that brought in the buyer. Each of the slices gets further split between the brokerage firm and the agent. If the listing fee gets negotiated down to 2.5 percent and the fee to the buyer’s agent is 3 percent, the listing brokerage and agent get to split only the 2.5 percent.

Boston condos for sale

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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