An issue some home owners often forget when choosing a Real Estate Agent (after interviewing the agent, establishing you enjoy working with the agent and quizzing their knowledge and marketing savvy) : how well does your agent cooperate with other agents?
This cooperation may have far reaching consequences for the exposure your home gets, the number of showings (and feedback) your property gets, and yes: even the price you may eventually fetch.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR), New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR) and your regional Real Estate Boards such as HANFRA (whose members only may use the tradename "Realtors (TM) )" ) can provide statistics showing that working with a Realtor TM improves your chances of selling a home and fetching a better price.
And one of the important things a Real Estate Board does is just that: work hard to achieve better cooperation between Real Estate brokers & agents.
Furthermore, "Realtors TM" can participate in a "Multiple Listing System" or MLS, where they agree to share their listings, cooperate and compensate each other, increasing the levels of cooperation even further, making listings avialable to much larger demographics. An MLS makes it so much easier for the consumer and agents alike to find properties - compared to having to shop each individual real estate office separately.
So working with a "Realtor TM" probably ensures better cooperation.
Next, logically - how a broker compensates cooperating agents is a clear signal of his or her intention to cooperate. First, a homeowner decides on the level of compensation by agreeing to a certain commission if an agent sells their property. But the next decision a seller makes is how his or her agent shares with cooperating agents. I can think of very few instances if any where it would be in a home-owners best interest to let his agent share a commission with another agent less than how he or she rewards him or herself. It is not hard to understand that often arguments to take more money than you offer others are in the broker's interest alone.
Brokers and consumers look for homes on the internet, increasingly. The differences between how a real estate professional can see listings online include that an agent can also see the compensation on MLS offered if he brings a buyer. The level of compensation influences the agent's propensity to show the property. Especially in this market we see home owners even offering selling bonusses above and beyond a normal commission offered. We always explain to sellers they should put their best foot forward when deciding on compensation of the real estate brokers who are selling their homes.
So sellers beware of agents who try to convince you that they would like to keep a larger portion of a commission for themselves than what they offer to cooperating agents. It may be a sign of how well they cooperate with other agents - and is -while perfectly legal- a practice that may limit the number of people who even get to see your home.