What’s a fair realtor fee in North Carolina? | How much does commission cost? | Who pays realtor fees? | Tips to save on North Carolina realtor fees
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Realtor fees in North Carolina cost an average of 5.60%, which equates to a total commission fee of $16,836 for a typical home in the state. This includes the fees for both the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent, with each realtor earning around half the total commission amount.
Knowing how much realtors fees in North Carolina typically cost can help you be better prepared when selling your home. You’ll have the information you need to avoid overpaying on realtor commission, and you’ll be able to budget accurately for your home sale.
But if you’re like many North Carolina home sellers, you might think 5.60% is too much to pay a realtor. Luckily, there are lots of ways to save on realtor fees in North Carolina.
The best option for most people is to find a realtor through a free service like Clever Real Estate. Clever negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top local realtors at trusted brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. You’ll get guaranteed full service, but pay a fraction of what real estate agents typically charge.
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What is a fair realtor commission in North Carolina?
A fair realtor commission in North Carolina is whatever rate a typical seller with a home like yours would expect to pay in your local market. But what’s most important is that you and your agent agree on a rate you’re both comfortable with.
Most North Carolina realtors expect a total commission rate of around the statewide average of 5.60%. But you may be able to persuade your agent that a lower fee is reasonable if:
- Your home value is above others in the area
- You’re in a hot market where bidding wars are common
- Your property requires no repairs or updates
- Properties like yours are selling quickly
- You’re also buying a house with the same agent
If you’re looking to save on realtor fees, it’s also possible to find North Carolina real estate agents with low commission rates. The top discount brands offer reduced listing fees (as low as 1.5% in North Carolina!), but still provide all the expertise and hands-on service you’d expect from an experienced local agent.
How much do realtor fees in North Carolina cost?
|Avg. realtor fee|
|Buyer's agent fee||2.74%|
|Total North Carolina realtor fees||5.60%|
The average North Carolina realtor commission rate is 5.60%, with 2.86% going to the listing agent and the remaining 2.74% going to the buyer’s agent.
North Carolina realtor fees usually don’t vary too much from agent to agent — the majority of agents charge rates close to the area average. Our data found that most North Carolina sellers end up paying between 5.01%–6.19% in total real estate commission fees.
The table below shows an example of how realtor commission costs would affect a seller’s net profit on an average home in North Carolina:
|Seller closing costs||$2,444|
Sellers typically pay for the realtor fees in North Carolina as part of the sale proceeds at closing. When selling, you shouldn’t have to pay your realtor anything out of pocket. You’ll just need to make sure your sale price is high enough to cover the realtor commission and other closing costs after deducting whatever is left on your mortgage.
What factors affect realtor fees in North Carolina?
Average realtor fees in North Carolina are affected by conditions in the local housing market. Key factors include home price trends, the number of active real estate listings, and how quickly houses are selling.
Home price trends
|Median home value||Annual increase|
Source: Zillow. Last updated: February 2023.
Market factors play an important role in realtor fees in North Carolina and how open your realtor may be to negotiating them.
If you live in an area with higher home prices, then you can often expect to pay a lower commission rate. If homes are worth less, then average commission rates tend to be higher. This is because realtors can make more money charging a lower rate on a high-value property vs. a lower-value property.
For example, a 2% commission on a $500,000 home nets the agent $10,000, whereas 3% commission on a $200,000 is just $6,000. The current median value of a home in North Carolina is $300,640.
Similarly, when prices start to climb, NC realtors may be more willing to be flexible with their rates since their take-home pay should also be climbing. Of course, when prices are falling, realtors are unlikely to be as open to negotiating their fees since they’ll already be seeing their potential income dropping.
But your home’s unique characteristics also matter. If you have a home that is worth more than the average in your area, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate with your realtor. However, that also means that if your home is worth less, realtors are less likely to budge on their standard rates.
How many homes are for sale
|North Carolina||up 118.2%|
|United States||up 67.8%|
Source: Realtor.com. Last updated: February 2023.
Another factor that affects realtor fees in North Carolina is the number of active listings. If there are fewer homes on the market, you’re more likely to be able to find a lower commission rate since realtors are competing with each other for fewer listings.
When there are more homes for sale, realtors are under less pressure to lower their rates since it’s easier for them to find listings. More listings also usually means that buyer demand is cooling, which in turn means that home sales are slow. When that happens, getting a listing isn’t a guaranteed sale for a realtor, which is another reason for them to be careful about lowering their rates.
To give you an idea of what the current market is like, active listings in North Carolina are up 118.2% since last year. Nationwide, inventory is up 67.8%.
How quickly homes are selling
|Average days on market*|
|North Carolina||41 days|
|United States||48 days|
*12-month rolling average. Source: Realtor.com. Last updated: February 2023.
How long houses are taking to sell can also affect realtor commission rates in North Carolina. When houses are selling quickly, buyer demand is strong and realtors have to put in less effort to get your home sold. In those situations, you can usually find a realtor willing to lower their rates below the market average.
When the market is cooling and homes are taking longer to sell, then your realtor may have to work extra hard to find a buyer for your property. For that reason they’re probably going to be less open to charging a lower rate to win your business.
Across North Carolina, homes sell in an average of 41 days, but selling times can vary between markets. For example, the average selling timeline in Raleigh is 9 days, but homes in Cullowhee average 57 days on the market.
But remember that market conditions won’t tell you everything about how long your particular North Carolina property will take to sell. Even if you’re in a slow market, your house may be in a hot neighborhood or have features that buyers are looking for. The best thing to do is to talk to a real estate agent to find out what your market conditions are like and how much effort your property may take to sell.
How are realtor fees split in North Carolina?
Realtor fees in North Carolina are typically split down the middle between the two real estate agents involved in the transaction. On average, the seller’s agent earns 2.86% of the home price and the buyer’s agent earns 2.74%, for a total commission of 5.60%.
However, splitting realtor fees evenly between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent isn’t a rule. As the seller, it’s up to you to decide both the total commission rate and how that rate will be split between the agents.
While the fees for both realtors are negotiable, you’ll have to make sure you can find a listing agent who’s willing to work under those terms. It’s especially important when setting a buyer’s agent commission that your rate is competitive. Buyer’s agents aren’t going to be incentivized to show your home to their clients if the commission you’re offering is too low.
Keep in mind that whatever commission rate you set, the realtor is unlikely to get all of that money. Realtors have to split their earnings with their brokerages, and in many cases as much as 50% of their commission ends up going to the brokerage.
The table below shows an example of a typical North Carolina realtor commission split breakdown. Although the seller pays a 5.60% commission, each realtor has a 50/50 commission split with their brokerage. This means the agents actually take home only half of the fee they earned on the sale.
|Seller's agent take home||1.43%|
|Seller's agent's broker split||1.43% (~50% of the seller's agent's commission )|
|Buyer's agent take home||1.37%|
|Buyer's agent's broker split||1.37% (~50% of the buyer's agent's commission )|
Who pays realtor commission in North Carolina?
Realtor fees in North Carolina are typically paid by the seller. As is the case in most of the country, the seller almost always pays the realtor commission for both agents as a part of the sale proceeds.
As a seller, you won’t have to pay for realtor fees upfront or out of pocket, and you only pay if the house sells. That does mean, however, that you will need to make sure your sale price is high enough to cover the realtor fees and other closing costs.
Why does the seller pay the buyer’s agent commission? You can think of it as a marketing expense for selling your home. A higher commission incentivizes more buyer’s agents to show your home to their clients, which means more potential buyers for you.
Plus, most buyers can’t afford to pay commission fees out of pocket. So having it come out of the proceeds of the sale tends to be easier for everyone. It also means you’ll have a larger pool of potential buyers since they won’t need to worry about covering realtor fees.
How to save on realtor fees in North Carolina
If you’re selling a house in North Carolina and want to save on realtor fees, you have a few different options. Most sellers get the lowest rates (and best experience) by working with a full service realtor who charges lower rates, but you could also try to negotiate a lower realtor fee on your own or sell your house by owner.
Find an agent who charges lower rates
Most North Carolina home sellers who want to save on realtor fees should work with a local real estate agent who offers full service for a lower rate.
Our top pick is Clever Real Estate, a free service that matches sellers like you with top local agents — and negotiates lower realtor fees on your behalf. (See our full low commission real estate agent rankings for more local options.)
Clever is the best choice for most people because it negotiates 1.5% listing fees with experienced agents from trusted brands like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Berkshire Hathaway. You’ll get 100% full service from your agent (guaranteed), but pay a fraction of the 2.86% listing fee that most North Carolina agents charge.
Negotiate a lower realtor fee on your own
As a North Carolina home seller, you can always try to negotiate realtor commission rates yourself — you don’t have to just accept whatever listing an agent quotes you.
If you want to negotiate your realtor commission, there are some things you can do that will increase your chances of success. For example, offering to invest in repairs or improvements that make your house easier to sell will also make your agent’s job easier — and it may entice them to agree to a lower fee.
You can also agree to have your realtor represent both you and the buyer, a situation called dual agency. Since the agent is making money on both ends of the deal, they may be willing to lower their commission rate. Dual agency only applies if your listing agent finds a buyer. If the buyer already has an agent, then dual agency isn’t possible. Dual agency also comes with risks — and it’s even illegal in some other states — so be careful before pursuing it. But if it’s an option you’re comfortable with, it could be a way to save money.
Keep in mind that not all realtors are going to be willing to negotiate their fees. Those that do are unlikely to lower their rates by more than 0.25%-0.5%. If you’re looking to save on NC realtor fees, your best option is usually to find an agent or brokerage that charges all customers the same reduced rate.
Sell without a realtor
Selling your home for sale by owner (FSBO) in North Carolina lets you avoid paying the listing agent’s fee, effectively halving the cost of commission compared to working with a traditional agent. Most FSBO sellers still end up paying a conventional buyer’s agent fee, around 2.74% on the average North Carolina home sale.
While the potential savings from avoiding listing fees look great, there are many risks you’ll encounter when you try to sell your house without a realtor.
FSBO sellers take on a lot more work than regular home sellers. You’ll have to attract buyers, negotiate offers, pay extra fees to list your home on the MLS, and navigate legal paperwork. You’ll also miss out on the local market expertise that top real estate agents provide, which is critical when trying to price your home strategically to get the highest sale price possible.
In fact, research shows that FSBO homes sell for 5.5% less on average than similar properties listed with an agent. So while you may save 3% by cutting out the listing agent’s fee, you could lose more than that if your home sells for less than its full market value.
» MORE: How to sell your house without a realtor in North Carolina
FAQs about realtor fees in North Carolina
Are realtor fees negotiable in North Carolina?
Yes, NC realtor fees are negotiable. However, not all realtors are willing to negotiate their fees and those that are willing are unlikely to lower them by much. If you’re looking to save on realtor fees, you’re usually best off finding a real estate brokerage that offers built-in savings for all its clients.
What percentage do most realtors charge in North Carolina?
The average total realtor commission percentage in NC is 5.6%, which is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. On average, listing agents in North Carolina get 2.86% and buyer’s agents get 2.74%. However, those rates aren’t set in stone and you can try to negotiate a lower rate on your own. If you want guaranteed savings on realtor fees, we suggest working with a low commission real estate broker.
Who pays the realtor commission in North Carolina?
Sellers are responsible for paying the realtor fees in North Carolina, which is how realtor fees are handled across the United States. However, realtor fees are only paid if the house sells — and the commission comes out of the sale proceeds. As the seller, you won’t pay for any realtor commission upfront or out of pocket. Learn more about how real estate commission works.
How much are realtor fees for a home buyer in North Carolina?
Home buyers aren’t usually responsible for paying NC realtor fees. Sellers typically cover the fees for both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. However, as the buyer, you may still be eligible for a commission rebate, which can put money back in your pocket after you buy a home or help lower closing costs.
How much do realtors make on a typical sale in North Carolina?
On a typical home sale in North Carolina, the listing agent will make around $9,000 based on the median home value in North Carolina. However, agents will have to share that amount with their brokerage, with a 50/50 split being common. So the actual take-home pay for a listing agent on a typical home sale will be around $4,500. Learn more about how agents get paid.
How much do realtors earn in North Carolina per year?
The average annual salary for a real estate agent in North Carolina is $59,890, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is slightly higher than the national average.
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