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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.