To use a Boston broker or not?

The ultimate question is whether it is worth paying the average 5% commission when deciding to put your Boston condo up for sale.  Many years ago II sold my own home in the past (before I was a broker) and I had the exact same question so I am trying to provide information from an unbiased perspective as much as I can despite the fact that I am a real estate broker in downtown Boston.


First let’s talk about what the 5% looks like. If you sold a $500,000 home, that is $25,000 commission at 5%.  For a $1,000,000 home, 5% would equate to $50,000. The commission would be taken out from the escrow automatically at the end before you receive your portion of the sales price as a seller.  There will be additional fees taken out such as the escrow fee, prorated property tax, condo fess and other miscellaneous fees.  However, the biggie is the commission.  Although 5% doesn’t sound like a lot of money compared to the price of homes, if you’re talking about your equity ownership in the house after paying off your mortgage, it may be a significant amount of money to some people.

Is it worth it?

So is it worth it to hire a real estate agent to sell your Boston condo for sale?  My answer as a trained professional is, “it depends”, of course.  If you hire a good seller’s agent, you will be able to sell your home more quickly and for more money.  Now, those who have read  Freakanomics, you may disagree with the statement involving “more money.”  But there are other factors that negate the core argument from Freakanomics such as time does not equal to a constant supply of subsequent opportunities and sellers have a greater access to information of comparable listings on the internet in today’s market.  After all, many sellers are not savvy with selling Boston condos for sale and do not understand what appeals to home buyers.  Cleaning up their clutters and staging can increase home values and sellers often ignore the issue.

Additionally, agents provide marketing of downtown Boston condo for sale on the MLS, and a variety of other websites.  This marketing adds additional benefits of hiring an agent.  There are ways to pay a flat fee to be on the MLS when a savvy seller wants to sell by owner to save money. There are many situations where it makes a lot of sense that a seller sells the property him/herself such as when they are experienced in real estate, are investors, selling between family members or friends. If you are selling your own Boston condo for sale, you should be ready to market your own properties.

How can I help?

First of all, two of our websites bostonreb,com and  are the most viewed Boston condo websites in Boston. We Rank # 1 on Google for many downtown Boston condo neighborhoods.Our broker fee is only 4% if we co-broke and 3% direct, of which we give back to the buyer a percentage of our broker fee as an incentive. For more information please contact me at 617-595-3712 or via email

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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