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Brad Inman and Realtor Commissions

Pushing boulder Inman

Daniel Rothamel, Inman Community Manager responds to my post.

I can’t ever think of a time that Brad, personally, or the Inman organization, have ever taken the position that real estate professionals are overcompensated.

I can. 

In fact, if there is anyone in the English speaking world who has been working on "the Realtor commission issue" longer or more diligently than Brad Inman, I have to confess, I’ve missed them completely.  Good market, bad market – no matter – it has always been something that needs "adjusting".

Here are a few examples, quoting Brad Inman – all found by searching Google, using the words, brad inman commissions.

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From a transcript of an interview on CNN – aired Oct 26, 2006

INMAN: Yes. A big secret in the industry and, you know, I think in the eyes of the public is it’s all six percent. If they all charge six percent, by the way, the government has said that could be price fixing. If it’s you know — they have this informal agreement. So the first thing is, by law, it’s negotiable.
WILLIS: Well, I mean, is there information I should bring to that conversation and say, hey, I’m only paying you five percent or four percent?
INMAN: I think the important thing is to interview several so you can have leverage. You want the best realtor in your neighborhood or your forming area, but interview several. And then say to them, hey, I’ve got an offer here to do it for five percent. Will you consider that?  Some full-service brokers will turn you down, but I think you’ll find a good realtor if you — and also at a better commission if you’re willing to negotiate.

 From a Nov 7, 2000 Homegain press release

HomeGain is the Internet’s largest matching service for consumers and real estate agents. With HomeGain’s technology, a home seller or buyer posts a profile online, including information about the home they either hope to sell or purchase, price expectation, and qualifications of an ideal agent. The information is forwarded to real estate agents in the consumer’s zip code who, in turn, submit marketing proposals, which include the commission rates they charge to sellers. The agent-finding feature is free to consumers, who remain anonymous to the agents until they select an agent.
"The Web is definitely providing the cost savings home sellers expect in a transaction," Bradley Inman, founder and CEO of HomeGain, said. "And with a matching service such as ours, you not only save thousands of dollars but you get to choose your own agent. You’re not forced to place your number one asset in the hands of an agent that was foisted on you by some rebate-driven brokerage. You get savings and full service."

From March 31, 2006 on CNN Money

When it comes to tough negotiations, you may want to step outside your home. We’re taught to be polite to guests in our homes, says Brad Inman of Inman News.

"It’s tough to play hardball when your ten-year-old son is in the next room," he says. You may want to take your negotiations to your office, or a friend’s home.

Just two weeks earlier, March 13, 2006 on CNN Money

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Do you need a Realtor? and Do you need to pay 6 percent? And on the buy side, according to Inman, the Internet has become the de facto sales agent. "You’re now doing 90 percent of the buy side work yourself," he says. "That should reduce the 3 percent of the commission that goes to the buyer’s agent."

From, July 1, 2003

Some real estate Web sites offer sellers a chance to solicit anonymous bids from agents for the right to list their homes. According to Inman, forcing real estate agents’ hands this way has brought the commissions of his participating employees, all of whom must at least belong to the National Association of Realtors, down to 4.9 percent.  "These are top-producing agents," he says, "not weak-kneed low performers who need to get into the business and will discount their rates to do so."

There are lots more.  But I think you get the idea.  Mr. Inman was a major part of the mid 90’s Microsoft HomeAdvisor and in 1999 launched Homegain.  He has been working on "the problem" for a while.

For the record, I am a paid subscriber to Inman News and have been for years.  Also, I want to point out that I don’t have any disagreement with Homegain as it exists today (in fact, I am a blogger there), nor do I have any disagreement with Brad Inman having any viewpoint he wants to have and promoting that view, including him wanting commissions to be lower for everyone.  My only disagreement is pretending that it is otherwise.

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Written By

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at and



  1. Thomas A B Johnson

    February 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Brad Inman: A decade of dedication to diverting real estate commissions from your pocket to his.

  2. Rob Aubrey

    February 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Brad Inman has an agenda and it is not reporting valuable information. The rants and the articles that come form his site is laser focused.

  3. Ken Brand

    February 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm


  4. Elaine Reese

    February 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I’d like to see Inman get his hands out of my pocket. What I charge is none of his business, but rather between my clients and myself.

    Why doesn’t he take on the amount attorneys charge? See how that works for him!

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