Average Real Estate Commission in Massachusetts

By 

Bailey Peterson

Updated 

March 6th, 2021

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How commission works | Getting low rates | Low commission companies | Methodology

📊 The data: We polled local agents and found that the average real estate commission in Massachusetts is 5.26%, which is less than the national average of 5.45%.

For a house sold for $457,192, this rate translates to $24,048 in real estate agent commission costs.

Realtor commission is usually the largest cost that home sellers face, but the upside is that it also represents the biggest potential for savings.

» MORE: Learn how Clever can help you save on commission.

Below, we cover everything you need to know commission costs in Massachusetts and also give you tips for getting low rates.

How real estate agent commission works in Massachusetts

There are two real estate agents involved in a typical home sale:

  • The seller's agent (also called the listing agent), representing the home seller
  • The buyer's agent, who represents the person buying the home

The seller's and buyer's agent get paid a percentage of the home's final price when the sale is finalized. This payment is called real estate agent commission, and is baked into the sale price of a home and split between the two agents.

» LEARN: More about how real estate commissions work.

Based on our research, the average commission split in Massachusetts has 53.07% of the commission going to the listing agent and 46.93% going to the buyer's agent.

Who pays for real estate commissions?

Home sellers are responsible for paying the real estate commission of both the agent representing them, as well as the agent representing whoever buys their home.

However, since the realtor commission is baked into the sales price you could say that the home buyer is paying — at least in-part — through a higher sales price.

» MORE: Who pays realtor commission.

How to save on real estate commission in Massachusetts

💰Best ways to save

While there are a number of options for home sellers looking to save on commission, good options for most home sellers include:
  • Negotiating rates with a traditional realtor
  • Working with a low commission real estate company

» MORE: Options for saving on realtor commission

The median home value in Massachusetts has risen by 6.24% year-over-year, indicating a seller’s market, so this might be a great time to try negotiating with your agent.

Not only have home values risen, but the median sale price in the state is actually greater than the median listing price, so most buyers are paying competitive prices to enter the market.

Agent’s don’t have to work as hard to find a buyer in a hot market like this, so they may be willing to reduce their commission for you.

Below we cover how you can negotiate lower rates, and list some of our recommendations of low commission real estate companies that you should consider.

With Clever you can save on commission without negotiating… AND work with top agents!

Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates, with top local agents across the country.

The result is that you can save thousands of dollars when you sell your home, without having to haggle over commission rates!

With a Clever agent, you get full service and only pay a listing commission of $3,000 or 1%.

Tips for negotiating realtor commission in Massachusetts

Successfully negotiating commission rates depends mainly on two factors: your situation and the housing market.

Factor
You may have an easier time negotiating low rates if...
Your situation
  • You're selling a high-value home
  • You have a personal relationship with a realtor
  • You can offer a realtor repeat business
The Massachusetts housing market
  • Homes are selling quickly
  • There are relatively few homes listed for sale
  • Home values are rising

» LEARN: How you can negotiate lower commission rates.

While the personal factors that affect your ability to negotiate commission rates are unique to you, the local real estate market conditions will affect all home sellers in Massachusetts.

In a seller's market — where home sellers have more leverage than buyers — a listing agent's job is easier and they may be more inclined to offer lower commission rates. The opposite is true in a buyer's market.

📖Definitions

Months of inventory, is measured by dividing the homes listed for sale in the most recent month by the number of homes actually sold in that month. It is a key indicator of how much supply and demand there is for houses in a market.

Sale-to-list is calculated by dividing the median sale price by the median listing price in a given area. If homes in your area are generally selling for more than their listing price, that is a good indication that you are in a seller's market.

Home values rising in your area indicate that demand is growing. Whereas if this figure is falling, then it's more likely that homes in your area are becoming less desirable.

To judge the current state of the real estate market, you can look at three factors: months of inventory, sale to list price, and home value trends. Below, we've included a current breakdown of these factors in Massachusetts.

Stats and facts: The current state of the Massachusetts real estate market

Factor
Trends
Indication
Months of inventory
There's 2.6 months of housing inventory on the market
Seller's market
Sale-to-list price
Homes are selling for 100.90% of their listing price
Seller's market
Home value
Home values have risen/fallen 6.24% year over year
Seller's market

Low commission real estate companies in Massachusetts

Home sellers looking to save money when selling their home should consider a low commission real estate company. To help you out, Clever has picked some of the top discount and flat-fee MLS services across the state:

Discount real estate brokers in Massachusetts

Discount real estate brokers are companies that will list your home for a reduced commission percentage or flat rate. The catch is that the service might not be on-par with what you'd get from a top local agent.

Listing Fee

1% (minimum $3,000)

Clever Cash Back

0.5% on homes over $150,000

Avg. Customer Rating

4.8/5 (386 reviews)

Description
Locations
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Clever Real Estate is a nationwide, online concierge and agent matching service for sellers and buyers — learn more
  • Buyers and sellers are matched with multiple highly rated agents from major brands, such as Keller Williams, Century 21, Compass, RE/MAX, and more
  • Sellers choose a full-service agent and pay a flat, $3,000 fee — or just 1% for homes more than $350,000
  • Buyers may be eligible for 0.5% back after closing (in qualifying locations)

Clever has pre-negotiated lower commission rates with top agents in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico

Pros
  • Listing fee of $3,000 (or 1% on homes >$350K) for a full-service agent
  • Sellers only pay once their home is sold
  • Partner Agents are top, local realtors with at least 5 years experience
  • Agent matches are customized and based on your specific situation
  • Eligible buyers receive 0.5% in Clever Cash Back
Cons
  • Sellers may not be matched with an agent from their preferred brokerage
  • While homes are listed on the MLS, there's no independent Clever listing site.







As of May 20, 2020, Clever's average customer rating is 4.8/5 based on 386 reviews on Trustpilot.

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Door Real Estate

Door Real Estate

Listing Fee

$5,000

Buyer Rebate

Up to $1,500

Avg. Customer Rating

4.8/5 stars (420 reviews)

Description
Locations
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Door.com is a discount real estate service and licensed brokerage in 10 U.S. states 
  • Sellers pay a flat $5,000 listing fee at closing for full-service listing assistance from a team of agents and specialists
  • Door's online portal allows sellers to manage their listing and get virtual support from Door's in-house team
  • Eligible buyers get up to $1,500 back at closing
CaliforniaOklahoma
ColoradoOregon
FloridaPennsylvania
GeorgiaTennessee
MassachusettsTexas
Pros
  • Sellers get full service for a flat $5,000 listing fee
  • Eligible buyers can get up to $1,500 back at closing
  • Online seller dashboard for managing your listing and centralized communication
  • Buyers get daily MLS email alerts




Cons
  • Other companies offer the same services at lower prices
  • Other companies may offer better value for buyers
  • Team-based approach vs dedicated agent may not be for everyone — learn more
  • Door agent will not attend showings on seller's behalf
  • Salaried agents could be less motivated to sell your home for top dollar

As of May 20, 2020, Door's average customer rating is 4.8/5 based on 420 reviews across Zillow, Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

  • Zillow: 4.9/5 (338 reviews)
  • Google: 4.2/5 (40 reviews*) 
  • Facebook: 4.4/5 (38 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (4 reviews*)
  • BBB: An A rating, not BBB accredited*

*Reviews are for Door’s Dallas, TX office. Reviews may vary by location. We recommend conducting your own research for customer reviews specific to your area.

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REX Real Estate

REX Real Estate

Listing Fee

2% ($9,000 min.)

Buyer Rebate

Up to 1-1.5%

Avg. Customer Rating

4.6/5 (536 reviews)

Description
Locations
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Sellers get full service (minus MLS access) for a 2% listing fee — $9,000 minimum fee for homes below $450,000
  • REX does not post listings on the MLS. Instead, it uses digital advertising to target unrepresented buyers and help you avoid paying a buyer’s agent commission (typically 2-3%)
  • This may significantly reduce your pool of prospective buyers (roughly 87% of buyers work with agents), making it harder to attract offers
  • Represented buyers must cover their agent's fee themselves, which could hinder their ability or desire to purchase your home
  • If you buy a non-REX home with a REX agent, you may qualify for a 1-1.5% commission rebate. If you buy a REX-listed home, you are not eligible for a rebate
Arizona
California
Colorado
New Jersey
New York
Florida
North Carolina
Georgia
Pennsylvania
Oregon
Illinois
Texas
Maryland
Vermont
Massachusetts
Virginia
Nevada
Washington, D.C.
Pros
  • Save up to 1% on listing fees
  • Potential to avoid buyer’s agent commission (2-3%)
  • Get full service (minus MLS access) and concierge support



Cons
  • $9,000 minimum may result in listings fees higher than advertised 2%
  • Not listing on the MLS significantly reduces your home's visibility
  • Not offering a buyer's agent commission puts you at a competitive disadvantage

As of May 20, 2020, REX Real Estate’s average customer rating is 4.6/5 based on 536 reviews across Zillow, Facebook, and Google. See the breakdown below.

>> VIEW REX’s Better Business Bureau profile here.


*These reviews are for REX's main California office. Reviews may vary by location. We recommend conducting your own research for customer reviews specific to your area.

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» MORE: About discount real estate brokers.

Flat-fee MLS listing services Massachusetts

Flat-fee MLS listing services offer to post your home on your local MLS for a low rate often around $100-300. The trade-off is that you'll have to handle almost the entire home-selling process yourself. If you're a real estate novice, this might not be a good option for you.

Entry Only New England

Entry Only New England

Price Range

$297-697

Number of Photos

10-42

Listing Term

12 months

Description
Pricing
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Entry Only New England is a flat-fee MLS service operated by Stuart St. James, a licensed real estate brokerage in Massachusetts
  • Listing typically go live by the next business day
  • Buyer and agent inquiries are forwarded directly to you
  • You set the buyer’s agent commission — Entry Only New England offers a buyer’s agent commission report on what competitive percentage is to help you decide (Standard and Advanced packages)
  • Pay no commission if you find an unrepresented buyer
  • Unlimited, free listing changes and open house announcements
  • Free cancelation anytime
$297 - Basic
  • 12-month listing on MLS
  • Syndicated to Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and more
  • 10 Photos
  • State real estate forms (downloadable)
$697 - Advanced
  • Same as Standard package, plus:
  • 42 photos
  • Realtor.com Seller Report
  • Online FSBO education video
$497 - Standard
  • Same as Basic package, plus:
  • 30 photos
  • Marketing flyers
  • Home selling guides
  • Buyer’s agent commission report


Pros

  • Free changes, cancel anytime with no fee
  • Buyer inquiries forwarded directly to you
  • Pay no commission if you find an unrepresented buyer

Cons

  • No built-in home valuation or pricing assistance
  • No a-la-carte or additional services to get more help if needed

As of August 5, 2020, Entry Only New England has an average rating of 4.9/5 based on 102 ratings across Google and Yelp.

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Houzeo

Houzeo

Price Range

$199-399

Number of Photos

6 to max allowed

Listing Term

3-6 months

Description
Pricing
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Houzeo is a flat-fee MLS referral service that connects you with Massachusetts brokers and agents who will list your home on your local MLS for a pre-negotiated rate
  • Draft your listing, upload photos, set your price, and sign MLS contracts via Houzeo’s online dashboard
  • Autofills listing details using publicly available info about your home to expedite the listing process
  • Home valuation not included in service
  • Does not require that you offer buyer’s agent commission
  • Listing is typically live within 24 hours of submission
$199 - Bronze
  • 3-month listing on MLS
  • 6 Photos
  • Virtual tour
  • $25 for each listing change
  • Syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and more
$299 - Silver
  • Same as Bronze plan, plus:
  • 6-month listing on MLS
  • 24 Photos
  • 10 free listing changes
  • Select and communicate with Escrow Agent
$399 - Gold
  • Same as Silver plan, plus:
  • Max photos allowed by MLS
  • Federal and state disclosures forms













Pros

  • Free cancellation anytime (no refunds)
  • Freedom to specify any buyer’s agent commission
  • Listings typically go live within 24 hours

Cons

  • Limited coverage in rural areas
  • “Free changes” only apply to listing’s price, status, and property description; $10 for additional changes

As of August 10, 2020, Houzeo has an average rating of 4.8/5 based on 21 reviews on Google.

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» MORE: About flat-fee MLS services.

Methodology

Data on commission rates is based on a survey of 554 of our partner agents, in which we asked them to indicate the typical rates for both buyer's and seller's agents in their area. Due to data limitations, Massachusetts commission figures were inferred from regional averages.

Additionally, we utilized the following data from Zillow and Realtor.com:

  • Home values, list prices, and sale prices: Based on Zillow data as of September, 2020
  • Sale prices and sale-to-list ratios: Based on Redfin data as of September, 2020 (unless specified otherwise)
  • Months of inventory: Based on Realtor.com data as of September, 2020

Additional resources for Massachusetts home sellers