This is a response to an article that ran today on and MSN Money:

“From: Janel
Dated: 3/27/2008
I have been a Realtor since 1983. I started in Colorado and now sell in NC, my policy for my commission when listing a home was 7% now it is 6%. Also, I work very hard to get my listings sold. I spend a great deal of money right from the start. If that property hasn’t sold, I still have to pay my bills. So to say that we didn’t have to do anything in the past to sell a house and now we have to work, is very unfair. I have worked very hard and have spent a great deal of money since day 1 to get my properties SOLD. I am making this comment in reference to your comment made in the MSN money section online 03/27/2008. Janel, Broker Associate. A Top Producer since 1983.”

Thanks for taking the time to write.

In the past 10 years or so, the market has been superhot in many parts of the country, including many parts of Colorado and New Jersey. Houses that sell in a matter of days or weeks don’t require much work on the part of the agent. Property prices have surged in the past 10 years, and the average commission is 5.1 percent (according to NAR) of a much higher priced property.

While your expenses have increased somewhat, commissions have jumped.

More than 70 percent of the agents in business today are new to the business in the past 10 years. You started in 1983, the same year my mother started business as a Realtor. But for those who have never worked that hard to sell listings, who thought there would always be a strong sellers’ market, who thought they were naturals at selling real estate because the market was so strong — my comments were for them. I’m sure you can look around your office today and would see colleagues who fit this description, because it’s most of the people who are in the business today.

I was asked what I think of agents charging 7 to 10 percent commission. I told the reporter I think it’s an awful deal for consumers. And, it is. I was asked if it is worth it if someone throws in an existing home warranty policy (cost $350 to $500). I said no. That’s silly.

I wish you continued success in your marketplace.

Published: Mar 27, 2008