The Average Washington, D.C. Real Estate Commission (2021)

Bailey Peterson

By 

Bailey Peterson

July 12th, 2021
Updated July 12th, 2021

SHARE

How commission works | How to save on commission | The current Washington, D.C. housing market | The best low commission companies | Methodology

📊 The data: We surveyed local agents and found that the average real estate commission in Washington, D.C. is 5.30%, which is less than the national average of 5.49%.

That means, to sell an average Washington, D.C. house worth $518,900 you’ll pay about $27,500 in realtor fees.

Realtor commission is usually the largest cost you'll face when selling your home — but you don't have to pay the full 5.30%.

Selling with a discount real estate company like Clever could help you save thousands on commission. Clever negotiates 1% listing fees with full-service Washington, D.C. realtors from top brokers.

On that same $518,900 home — you'd pay just $18,200, up to 34% less than paying average rates.

» SAVE: Sell with Clever for 1% listing fees and save thousands in commission!

Below, we cover everything you need to know about Washington, D.C. real estate commission fees and share tips on how to save more when you sell.

How real estate agent commission works in Washington, D.C.

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

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

Both agents earn a percentage of the home's final price when the sale closes. This payment is called real estate agent commission, and it's baked into the sale price when you sell your home.

Based on our research, the average commission split in Washington, D.C. has 52.8% of the commission going to the listing agent and 47.2% going to the buyer's agent.

» LEARN: How do real estate commissions work?

Who pays realtor fees in Washington, D.C.?

In Washington, D.C., home sellers pay real estate commission fees out of the final sale proceeds for both agents involved in a deal.

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

» LEARN: Who pays realtor commission?

How to save on real estate commission in Washington, D.C.

💰 Best ways to save on commission:

  • Negotiating lower rates with a traditional realtor
  • Working with a low commission real estate company

Keep reading to learn how you can negotiate cheaper rates or find low commission companies that negotiate lower realtor fees for you!

💰 Sellers Can Save Thousands With Clever!

When you sell with Clever, you get full-service support from a top local agent and only pay a listing commission of 1% or $3,000. Clever sellers save an average of $9,000 on commission, no haggling required. Find a top local agent to sell your home now!

Tips for negotiating realtor commission in Washington, D.C.

Whether you’re selling a historic townhome in Georgetown, a Petworth rowhouse, or a Navy Yard condo, you can almost always negotiate a lower rate on your real estate commission!

Negotiating a lower realtor percentage in Washington, D.C. depends on two main 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 Washington, D.C. housing market
  • Homes are selling quickly
  • There are relatively few homes listed for sale
  • Home values are rising

While your personal situation will obviously vary, Washington, D.C. real estate market conditions will affect all home sellers in your area.

In general, 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 willing to lower their commission rates. The opposite is usually true in a buyer's market.

» LEARN: Find our top tips for negotiating lower commission fees

To judge the current state of your real estate market, look at these three factors:

  • Months of inventory
  • Sale to list price
  • Home value trends

If every factor points to Washington, D.C. being a seller's market, then you may be in a good position to negotiate a lower commission rate with your agent. If market conditions are mixed or favor buyers, it may be more challenging to persuade your realtor to accept a cheaper fee.

The current state of the Washington, D.C. real estate market

Factor
Trends
Indication
Months of inventory
There's 2.1 months of housing inventory on the market
Seller's market
Sale-to-list ratio
Homes are selling for 93.40% of their listing price
Buyer's market
Home values
Home values have risen 14.8% year over year
Seller's market

Find a top realtor in Washington, D.C.

Ready to negotiate with an agent in your area? We looked at the data and found the top Washington, D.C. agents for you.

» FIND: The best Washington, D.C. realtors by city

Low commission real estate companies in Washington, D.C.

Negotiating a lower rate with a professional negotiator can be hard! In many cases, home sellers can save just as much (or more!) by selling with a low commission real estate company.

These are some of the top discount and flat-fee MLS services in Washington, D.C..

The top discount real estate companies in Washington, D.C.

Discount real estate companies typically offer full-service support for a reduced commission percentage or flat rate. Like traditional agents, these agents are fully licensed and have met all of the requirements of the Washington, D.C. real estate commission board. How they create those discounts will depend on the company's model, with some creating more risks and tradeoffs than others.

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate

Learn More

💲 Listing Fee

$3,000 or 1%

💰 Avg. Savings

$7,375

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

4.9/5 (1,289 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Clever is a quick, easy, and free way to find a top-rated local agent. And, unlike many similar companies, Clever pre-negotiates big discounts on your behalf, so you can save thousands without sacrificing on service.


Try Clever for free — save thousands on commission

  • Free, nationwide agent-matching service that partners with full-service local agents from conventional brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX
  • Provides multiple agent matches so you can interview, compare marketing plans, and choose the best fit
  • Pre-negotiates low rates on your behalf — you get full service for a flat $3,000 listing fee, or just 1% if the home sells for more than $350,000
  • If you buy with Clever, you could get a check worth up to 0.5% of the home price
  • You may not get matched with an agent from your preferred real estate brokerage.
  • Agents may not provide premium services like drone photography and professional home staging.

As of November 11, 2021, Clever has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, based on 1,289 reviews.


Read reviews from real Clever customers here.

Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates with top agents in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC.

SHOW MORE

💲 Listing Fee

1.5% (min. fees vary)

💰 Avg. Savings

$5,550

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

3.9/5 (416 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Redfin offers real savings and a proven brand. But sellers could compromise on service — especially agent experience and availability.


Read the full Redfin review.

  • If you buy and sell with Redfin, you'll get a 0.5% listing fee discount
  • Redfin gives its listings premium placement in its popular home search app
  • If finding the right agent is a top priority, you'll have limited options Redfin only has a few agents in each of its markets
  • Redfin agents handle more customers at once than the average realtor, so they may not be able to provide as much personalized service

Redfin has a 3.9 out of 5 rating (416 reviews) across popular review sites like Google and Yelp.


Read reviews from real Redfin customers here.

Redfin is available in 80+ U.S. markets (see all locations).

SHOW MORE

💲 Listing Fee

$5,000

💰 Avg. Savings

$7,000

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

4.8/5 (1,300 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Houwzer offers true flat-fee savings — but homes near or below $500,000 can likely find better rates and less risk elsewhere.


Read the full Houwzer review.

  • Huge commission savings on luxury homes
  • Listing fee includes virtual home tours and other premium marketing services
  • Houwzer has a small team, which limits your options if you don't hit it off with the first agent they send you
  • If you're selling a lower-priced home, Houwzer may not be cheaper than selling with a traditional realtor

Houwzer has a 4.8 out of 5 rating (1,300 reviews) across popular review sites like Google and Zillow.


Read reviews from real Houwzer customers here.

Houwzer is available in the following locations: FL, MD, NJ, PA, VA, DC.

SHOW MORE
REX Real Estate

REX Real Estate

Full Review

💲 Listing Fee

2.5% ($9,000 min.)

💰 Avg. Savings

-$325

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

4.7/5 (956 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

REX’s promise of huge savings is misleading. Its advertising misrepresents the significant risks of its pricing model and marketing approach. And its high minimum fees mean that many sellers won't save anything.


Read the full REX Real Estate review.

  • REX's approach is incredibly risky — but if the gamble pays off, you could save about 50% on realtor fees
  • Like other full-service brokerages, REX agents provide in-person services and support
  • REX's 2.5% listing fee doesn't save you much — many full-price agents charge similar rates
  • REX doesn't list your home on the MLS, so up to 90% of buyers may not even know it's for sale
  • This risky marketing strategy seems likely to fail, so you may not save anything on commission

REX has a 4.7 out of 5 rating (956 reviews) across popular review sites like Google and Zillow.


Read reviews from real REX customers here.

REX is available in the following areas: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MA, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, TX, VA, WA, DC.

SHOW MORE

» LEARN: How do discount real estate brokers offer lower fees?

The top flat-fee MLS listing services in Washington, D.C.

Flat-fee MLS services list your home on your local MLS for a low fee, 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, or simply don't have the time to sell your home without a realtor, this might not be a good option.

SHOW MORE

» MORE: What you need to know about flat-fee MLS services.

Learn more

The nation’s capital has a thriving local economy based on tourism and the federal government, as well as a vibrant local culture. Because the largest local employer is the government, Washington D.C. is insulated from economic shocks, and has long had one of the strongest and most stable job markets in the country.

Home values in Washington, D.C. have skyrocketed over the past decade, making it one of the hottest markets in the country. Median home values here are nearly triple the national average, and there are few pockets of affordability left after several successive waves of gentrification and development. It’s a seller’s market, and low inventory means demand should remain high for the foreseeable future.

If you’re interested in saving thousands on real estate commission, Clever has already pre-negotiated low listing rates of only 1%, or $3,000, with some of Washington D.C.’s top real estate agents. Contact Clever today to find out how much you can save!

👋 Next Steps: Talk to an expert!

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

Our fully-licensed concierge team is standing by to answer questions and provide free, objective advice on getting the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your info below. Our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

Remember, this service is 100% free and there’s never any obligation.

Methodology

Our data on commission rates is based on a survey of 915 of our partner agents, in which we asked for 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 October 2021
  • Sale prices and sale-to-list ratios: Based on Redfin data as of October 2021 (unless specified otherwise)
  • Months of inventory: Based on Realtor.com data as of September 2021

Additional Resources for Washington, D.C. Home Sellers

Better real estate agents at a better rate

Enter your zip code to see if Clever has a partner agent in your area.

If you don't love your Clever partner agent, you can request to meet with another, or shake hands and go a different direction. We offer this because we're confident you're going to love working with a Clever Partner Agent.