Average Real Estate Commission in the District of Columbia

By 

Bailey Peterson

Updated 

February 11th, 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 the District of Columbia is 4.90%, which is less than the national average of 5.45%.

For a house sold for $641,114, this rate translates to $31,415 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 the District of Columbia and also give you tips for getting low rates.

How real estate agent commission works in the District of Columbia

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 the District of Columbia has 49.66% of the commission going to the listing agent and 50.34% 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 the District of Columbia

💰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

Each time a new presidential administration moves into the White House, it brings a fresh wave of jobs to Washington, D.C. The anticipated influx of transplants — coupled with the District’s hot seller’s market — means you may have better-than-average luck negotiating your agent’s commission rate.

Given the high demand, sale prices in Washington, D.C., will continue to be high in 2021. If your home was worth the median value of $625,585 in 2019, you could potentially sell it for around 3% more now.

Since agents in Washington, D.C., won’t have to hustle as hard to close deals in 2021, they may be more flexible than usual about their commission rates.

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 the District of Columbia

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 the District of Columbia 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 the District of Columbia.

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 the District of Columbia.

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

Factor
Trends
Indication
Months of inventory
There's 4.5 months of housing inventory on the market
Seller's market
Sale-to-list price
Homes are selling for 100.60% of their listing price
Seller's market
Home value
Home values have risen/fallen 2.48% year over year
Neutral

Low commission real estate companies in the District of Columbia

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 the District of Columbia

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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Houwzer Real Estate

Houwzer Real Estate

Listing Fee

$5,000

Buyer Rebate

N/A

Avg. Customer Rating

4.9/5 (897 reviews)

Description
Locations
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Houwzer is a real estate brokerage operating in select markets in and around Philadelphia, South Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
  • If you're selling, get full service and support from Houwzer's in-house team of agents for a flat $5,000 listing fee.
  • You should also expect to pay a buyer's agent commission. Rates vary, but 2.5-3% is typical nationwide.
  • If you buy and sell with Houwzer, the $5,000 listing fee is cut in half.
  • Buyers get full service and support; however, unlike some other discount services, Houwzer doesn't offer built-in commission rebates.
  • Houwzer also offers mortgage broker services in Philadelphia and South Jersey.
  • Houwzer agents don't work on commission — they're salaried, which could have negative implications for sellers.

Philadelphia*

City of PhiladelphiaDelaware County
Bucks CountyMontgomery County
Chester County


South Jersey*

Burlington County (most)Gloucester County (parts)
Camden County (most)


Washington, D.C. / Virginia

ArlingtonLoudoun
AlexandriaManassas
FairfaxManassas Park
Fairfax CityMontgomery
Falls ChurchPrince William


Baltimore

City of BaltimoreAnne Arundel
Howard


*Mortgage services available

Pros
  • Full service for a flat $5,000 listing fee
  • Additional savings if you also buy with Houwzer
  • Online listing dashboard for sellers
  • Mortgage broker services available in select markets
Cons
  • $5,000 listing fee is relatively high at low to mid-range price points
  • Salaried agents could be less motivated to sell your home for top dollar
  • Your choice of agents is limited to Houwzer's in-house team
  • No built-in home buyer savings

As of May 20, 2020, Houwzer has an average rating of 4.9/5 across Zillow, Google, and Facebook. See the breakdown below.


*These reviews are for Houwzer's main Philadelphia, PA office. If you're looking to sell or buy in one of Houwzer's other markets, we recommend conducting research and finding reviews specific to your location.

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Redfin

Redfin

Listing Fee

1-1.5% (min. fees apply)

Buyer Rebate

Avg. $1,500 (where availabe)

Avg. Customer Rating

3.2/5 (243 reviews)

Description
Locations
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Redfin is an online listing portal and multi-state real estate brokerage operating in 80+ markets across the United States
  • Sellers get full service and support from a Redfin agent for a reduced listing fee (rates and minimums vary by location)
  • Redfin agents are salaried. Since they do not work on commission, there is no incentive to get sellers the highest sale price — learn more
  • RedfinNow — Redfin's iBuyer program — makes all-cash offers on qualifying homes in 10 markets for a 7% service fee (but no additional commission)
  • Buyers in select markets might be eligible for a home buyer rebate — learn more
AshevilleHouston*
Orlando
AlbanyIndianapolis
Palm Beach
AtlantaInland Empire*
Palm Springs
Austin*Jacksonville
Philadelphia
Birmingham^Kansas City^
Phoenix
BoiseKnoxville^
Pittsburgh
Boston
Lake Tahoe
Portland, OR^
BuffaloLas Vegas*Raleigh
CharlotteLittle Rock^Rhode Island
ChicagoLos Angeles*Richmond
CincinnatiLouisiana^Sacramento
Cleveland^Louisville^Salt Lake City
ColumbusMarylandSan Antonio*^
ConnecticutMemphis^San Diego*
Dallas*MiamiSan Francisco
DelawareMinneapolisSavannah
Denver*Nashville^Seattle
Des Moines^Nebraska^South Carolina
DetroitNew JerseySouth Texas^
El Paso^New MexicoSpokane
FlagstaffNew York CitySt. Louis^
Fort MyersNortheast VirginiaTampa
Grand RapidsNorthern New EnglandTucson^
Hampton RoadsOklahoma^Washington, D.C.
HawaiiOrange County, CA*Wisconsin^

*Also a RedfinNow location

^No home buyer rebate available

Pros
  • Sellers get full service and support for a discounted rate of 1.5%
  • Rate drops to 1% when you sell and buy with Redfin
  • Access to a variety of online tools and services, including virtual showings, paperwork, closing, and more
  • Commission rebate offered to eligible buyers in select markets
Cons
  • Only available in ~80 U.S. markets
  • Minimum listing fees can result in paying more than advertised 1-1.5% rate
  • Choice of agents is limited to Redfin's in-house team or local partners
  • Local partners don't necessarily adhere to Redfin's discount pricing model

As of May 20, 2020, Redfin's average customer rating is 3.2/5 based on 235 reviews across Yelp, Google, and Consumer Affairs.

*These reviews are for Redfin's Seattle, WA office. Reviews may vary by location.

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» MORE: About discount real estate brokers.

Flat-fee MLS listing services the District of Columbia

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.

Houzeo

Houzeo

Price Range

$295-395

Number of Photos

6-max allowed

Listing Term

3-6 months

Description
Pricing
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Houzeo is a flat-fee MLS referral service that connects you with Washington, D.C. 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
$295 - Bronze
  • 3-month listing on MLS
  • 6 Photos
  • Virtual tour
  • $25 for each listing change
  • Syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and more
$350 - Silver
  • 6-month listing on MLS
  • 24 Photos
  • Syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and more
  • 10 free listing changes
  • Select and communicate with Escrow Agent
$395 - 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 7, 2020, Houzeo has an average rating of 4.8/5 based on 21 reviews on Google.

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Net Realty Now

Net Realty Now

Price Range

$299-1,299

Number of Photos

50-150

Listing Term

6 months

Description
Pricing
Pros & Cons
Reviews
  • Net Realty Now is a licensed real estate brokerage that specializes in flat-fee MLS listing services in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and New York
  • Set your own buyer’s agent commission (Net Realty Now recommends 2%-2.5%)
  • Buyer leads forwarded to you
  • Unlimited text editing of your MLS listing
$299 - Flat Fee MLS Package
  • 6-month listing on the MLS
  • 50 photos
  • Listing syndicated to Realtor.com, Zillow, Homes.com, and more
  • Unlimited text editing of your MLS listing
  • Comparable sales info on similar properties if available
  • No closing fees
  • Legal documents to complete transaction
  • Buyer leads forwarded to you

$1299 - Full Support Flat Fee Package
  • Same as Flat Fee MLS Package, plus:
  • 150 photos
  • All end-to-end paperwork completed electronically
  • Marketing advice
  • Contract negotiations
  • Guidance through the sale process








Online appointment service through Showingtime can be purchased for $50. Full service representation can be added for 3-4% at closing.

Fees may be incurred for excessive photo editing of submitted pictures.

  • Pros:
    • 50 photos in base package
    • Buyer leads forwarded to you
    • Unlimited text editing of your MLS listing
  • Cons
    • No built-in home valuation

As of August 17, 2020, Net Realty Now has an average rating of 4.53/5 based on 21 reviews across Yelp and Zillow.

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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.

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 the District of Columbia home sellers