Everything in life is negotioable, even commisions.
Many times, over the years, in online Q&A's with the public about real estate, a consumer will ask the question of we Realtors "What's the standard commission in my area?"
Typically, good agents will jump in and state: "There is no 'standard', real estate commissions are negotiable"... and go on to expound on the virtues of finding a good Realtor, and not allowing the commission to be your sole criteria in selecting a Realtor. We can go into more of that, but that's a different post than this one.
Almost without fail, at some point or another on that thread, we go down the rabbit-hole with some agent who will say... "standard commissions in our area are 6%, but I'll do it for 5%, call me!!" (it's always followed by "call me"!) or "everyone in our area charges 5%". A few of us will try to explain to them that even the discussion of commission amounts, in public (and social media IS public) is a violation of Sherman anti-trust laws, and we inevitably get into a heated discussion over whether indeed that's true or not. In some of those conversations, I've been told by agents who've been in the business for a long time (so, what I'm saying there is ... not just some random "newbie")... that I don't know what I'm talking about...(which, in fairness is sometimes the truth) that we're just talkin' in generalities... and there's nothing wrong with that.
One agent went so far as to tell me that he'd been playing in the Sherman Anti-trust sandbox for 32 years, and he knew it better than I did...so basically "shut-yer-pie-hole".
Well, in a recent "thread that wouldn't die", we had that same deja-vu-vu conversation. But this time, one of the Trulia non-Realtor-regulars decided that he would test it, and sent a copy of the thread off to a Washington advocacy group. They, in turn, turned it over to the Department of Justice, who contacted him by phone, confirmed that it was an illegal discussion, and asked a lot of pointed questions... (including the url for the conversation) and have been monitoring.
I imagine there will be handful of interesting phone calls to managing brokers. What you say on a social media website, especially as a professional Realtor, is there forever (and ever and ever)... make sure that what you say is correct, and legal.
Now, I don't know anyone personally, nor have I heard of anyone personally, who's been brought before the D.O.J. on Anti-trust charges... but you don't want to be the first.... do you?
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779 Cell: 847.924.3313 Email: Almay@aol.com
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