What it Costs Your Realtor to Market Your House

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty DTC

Wendy Bibeau, Denver RealtorWhen a Realtor successfully markets a home for sale, he or she earns a percentage commission for their work.  Homeowners are often not aware of how much money their Realtor spends upfront in the marketing of their home.  Since Realtors are independent contractors, they are solely responsible for the costs of marketing and advertising homes for sale.

One very important expense of Realtors is their membership in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  When your Realtor adds your home to this database, it is instantly visible to qualified and motivated buyers who are also working with Realtors.  MLS listings are also available on many publicly-accessible websites, such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Google and Yahoo.

Since online exposure of homes for sale is becoming virtually essential, most Realtors will also place your listing on multiple websites.  Some of these websites offer enhanced services which make your home stand out from the crowd.  The expense of these upgrades are all paid by your Realtor.

There are also several direct expenses for the property when it is listed for sale.  For example, your Realtor provides yard signs and customized flyers for each property.  For certain properties, your Realtor may also choose to hire a professional photographer.  Virtual tours are an added expense that are becoming more and more common.

Realtors often pay to have a home staged by a professional designer.  This direct expense can often result in a higher offer for the property.  If your Realtor hosts an Open House, he or she provides advertising for the event, as well as refreshments or catering.

Nearly all home marketing tools have an associated expense.  These may be print ads, online advertising, newsletters, direct mail postcards and postage, and even the labor costs that go into preparing all these materials and online postings.

So, the next time you close on a home, take a moment to think about the expense and effort that went into finding the buyer that is sitting across the table from you.  Even if you simply look at the direct expenses, aside from the professional services and expertise of your Realtor, this knowledge should make it much easier for you to understand and feel good about the commission you are offering to your Realtor!


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Patty Anaya
Reliable Realty Service - Citrus Heights, CA
Broker / Owner, Reliable Realty Service | GRI, e-PRO,
Wendy, great article! I like your writing style.
Jun 07, 2007 10:42 AM #1
Victor DaGraca
Critical Home Inspections - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Home Inspections


Do you have any ball park numbers to go with the items mentioned?

just curious....

Jun 07, 2007 10:49 AM #2
"JT" Prevatte
Century 21 Family Realty, Relocation/Recruitment Director - Fayetteville, NC
Good write up!  I actually have a sheet in my listing presentation that outlines the costs that I have.  Talk about a powerful tool!  It really opens up the eyes of the sellers and they see that I have the risk on me until the house sells.  This has gotten me more than one listing!
Jun 07, 2007 11:09 AM #3
Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information


The more the public knows how much it costs us, the better. Anything that helps people to know what we really do, and spend to be helpful increases our public trust. That's a very good thing.  Thanks for your information. 

Jun 08, 2007 02:29 AM #4
Wendy Bibeau

Patty and Gary - thanks for the nice comments!

Jeffery - I'd love to see the sheet you use in your listing presentation...would you be willing to share?

Victor - That's a tough question...so many things would affect the costs, such as what market you're in, price point of the house, etc.  Let us know if you're really interested in pulling together some numbers for our area, Denver.

Jun 12, 2007 10:29 AM #5
Mary Owens

Hi Wendy,

Wonderful article.  One more thing that is vital, our representation as their Realtor cost as well.  That is one thing that can't be over looked.  Membership to CAR, NAR, other boards, classes to further our knowledge on marketing the home.  Previewing properties (the time aspect of cost) in the area that will be their competition.  Sometimes I think we overlook some of the hidden costs that we have.  I also have a cost sheet that I will send your way.  You can use the outline and develop it into your own.  Great job!

Jun 13, 2007 04:25 AM #6



Hope this old article helps.

Cordially, Carolyne


www.SellOffYourHouses.com  (for sale)

Oct 26, 2008 07:44 AM #7
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Wendy Bibeau

The Bibeau Group - Realtor - Denver Colorado Real
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