There are three certainties in this life: death, taxes, and real estate commission fees. As much as your wallet may not like it, if you make the smart decision to work with a real estate agent, you eventually must pay for their services in commission fees once your house sells.
However, while commission fees are inevitable, high ones aren't. Although most real estate agents charge 6% in total commission, companies like Clever can get you the same great listing service for only $3,000 or 1% (plus buyer's agent commission) of the sales price for homes that sell for over $350,000 — now that's Clever!
If you're considering working with a Keller Williams agent, make sure you're aware of all the associated fees and the more affordable alternatives before signing any paperwork. In this article, we'll walk you through Keller Williams's commission fee model and let you in on how you can save thousands of dollars by working with a Clever Partner Agent.
The Keller Williams Model
Keller Williams is a traditional real estate company, and it follows the standard conventions for commissions. While there is no set percentage that all agents must take, the fee is typically 6%. Recently, however, it's become more common for realtors to charge 5%.
It's important to note that agents can charge any price they want, so the commission is always negotiable. That said, unless you present a compelling argument, it's difficult to negotiate a lower fee, so don't count on getting a deal.
So, why do real estate agents charge so much? Well, real estate agents make most of their income from commission and they need to charge enough to keep them afloat during slow months that may not have any sales. Despite the increased expenses, this usually ends up working well for both the agent and the seller as it keeps the agent motivated, which helps the seller get their house off the market sooner.
However, agents don't keep the entire 6% — 3% of that goes to the buyer's agent. Traditionally, the seller pays the buyer's agent's commission as well so that the buyer has fewer financial barriers between them and buying the seller's home.
Of the remaining 3%, Keller Williams takes a cut. In fact, the agent only keeps 64% of the commission and the remaining 46% is split between the local Keller Williams office (30%) and Keller Williams International (6%).
Luckily for the agents, Keller Williams has a cap system. That means that after the agent has paid a predetermined amount to the local office — let's say $15,000 — they can keep 100% of the profits they earn afterwards.
Saving Big with Clever
What would you say if someone (read: this article) told you you could get the same great service you expect from a Keller Williams agent at a fraction of the price? Well, as it turns out, you can! In fact, you can even work with a Keller Williams agent for thousands of dollars less when you work with Clever.
How does it work? Clever finds top-rated real estate agents and makes a deal with them: Clever will provide them with a steady stream of new clients so long as the agent keeps their rates low. This allows real estate agents to save on marketing themselves and recoup the difference in commission costs from the higher volume of clients they're provided with.
The Clever commission structure is simple: just pay a flat fee of $3,000 or 1% of the sales price if your home sells for over $350,000. Let's look at an example to see how much this can save you.
The median home value in the US in 2019 according to Zillow is $226,800. If you were to pay a 6% commission on that, it would cost you $13,608 — $6,804 to each agent.
When you sell with Clever, you still must pay $6,804 to the buyer's agent, but the fees for your agent will only be $3,000 unless your home sells for over $350,000 — that's a $3,804 difference! In fact, that's close to a 28% discount.
Let's look at one more example with a home that sells for over $350,000. In San Francisco, the median home value in 2019 is $1,357,500. Using a traditional real estate agent you would be responsible for $81,450 in commission fees — that's almost enough to buy a new house!
However, when selling with Clever, the seller's agent only charges 1%, totalling 4% including the buyer's agent's fee. That means that if you work with a Clever Partner Agent, you'd only pay $54,300 in commission fees — that's a difference of $27,150, enough to buy a new car with!
To make things even better: Clever partners with Keller Williams, so you can find many agents from this major real estate brand for a fraction of the price when you connect with them via our platform.
If you're considering selling your house but don't want to overpay in commission fees, be sure to fill out our simple form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss how we can help you achieve your home selling goals.