Why trust us: Our data is based on a survey of 650 real estate agents and brokers across the U.S. We also interviewed two South Carolina real estate brokers for this piece. Learn how we researched.
In this guide: How much you’ll pay | Average SC realtor fees | How South Carolina agents set rates | How to save on commission in South Carolina | FAQ | Our research
The average total real estate commission in South Carolina is 5.63%. This includes a 2.82% listing agent commission and a 2.81% buyer’s agent commission. In South Carolina, sellers typically cover the real estate commission fees for both agents out of their sale proceeds at closing.
South Carolina sellers pay an average of $16,983 in realtor fees, based on the average South Carolina home price of $301,659.
Realtor commission rates vary considerably by region, city, or even neighborhood. The agent and brokerage you choose, as well as the specifics of your sale — like your home’s value, location, and condition — are also factors.
This guide breaks down how much commission sellers can expect to pay in South Carolina. We’ll also explain why South Carolina commissions are what they are (and offer up some tips that could help you save).
South Carolina real estate commission: How much will you pay?
Here’s what you can expect to pay in realtor commission based on the average home price of $301,659.
|Listing agent commission||2.82%||$8,507|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.81%||$8,477|
|Total realtor fees||5.63%||$16,983|
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How much are realtor fees in South Carolina?
The average South Carolina real estate commission is 5.63%. That’s just slightly higher than the national average of 5.37%. But, the agents we interviewed noted that the total commission can range anywhere from 4–6% across the state.
“I typically see a total of 5% or 6%, split evenly between sides,” said Susan Aviles, broker and owner of Reside Real Estate in Charleston, SC.
Dino DiNenna of Hilton Head Realty on Hilton Head Island said he’s seen as low as 4% in his area, which is a prime example of just how varied realtor fees can be. “Fees can be fixed depending on different factors, including the location, property type, and services provided,” he said.
That’s why we recommend asking two to three South Carolina real estate agents in your local area to get a sense of what’s typical.
Realtor fees can change over time based on market trends as well. In 2021, South Carolina real estate agents reported an average of 5.8% commission — slightly higher than the 5.63% we see today.
Part of this shift might be due to the buyer’s agent commission. “When it’s a seller’s market, we can offer a lower buyer’s agent commission,” Aviles said. In 2022, South Carolina had the hottest seller’s market the state’s ever seen, which might explain why commission (at least on the buyer side) was less than in 2021.
For some real estate agents, a hot market means it takes less time and resources to sell a home, which can give them some wiggle room on the listing fee. But a crazy market doesn’t necessarily mean your agent’s job is easy, though.
“Four months ago, back when the market was crazy, I had houses with 16 offers,” Aviles said. “There was a little bit of the mentality that listing agents had it easy, but it was a lot of work to compare a ton of offers.”
How real South Carolina agents and brokers set commission rates
South Carolina realtors set commission rates with two key factors in mind: what’s competitive and how much work it will take them to sell a particular home.
“I set my rates based on client discussions,” Aviles said. “It mostly depends on how hard it’s going to be and how long it will take to prepare the home to show at its best. I try to find out when I first talk to my client what the overall condition of the home is — the home’s age, how old is the roof, how high is the demand.”
Hours spent on the road can be another factor. According to Aviles, if a home is in a more rural area, the agent may charge a slightly higher commission for their time to drive to and from your property.
Agents also look at their bottom line. The total commission is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent, but those agents may have to shell out half of their commission to their brokers as well. For a listing agent, what started as 5.63% can quickly drop down to 1.4% in take-home pay.
Not to mention, real estate agents and brokers take on large overhead expenses to sell homes that their commissions need to cover. At the minimum, these typically include:
- Taxes: Real estate agents must pay a self-employment tax of 15.3% on all commission earned
- Association dues: $165 to $500 annually
- MLS fees: $130 to $160 quarterly
- State license fees: $25 to $65 annually
- Administrative staff: Assistants can help with bookkeeping, scheduling, and other day-to-day operations
- Marketing costs: Professional photos, advertising, open houses, and staging
How can I save on realtor fees in South Carolina?
While it may take some outside-the-box thinking, there are a few ways you can save on realtor fees:
- Negotiate with a traditional real estate agent or broker
- Work with a discount real estate broker
- Sell without a realtor
Negotiate with a traditional realtor
Both agents we spoke to for this article said real estate commissions in South Carolina are negotiable. The first (and most important) step is letting your realtor know you’re looking for a discount.
“If a client really wants a discount, I try to work with them on that.” Aviles said.
But do your research first. If you have an understanding of what realtors expect in your area, you’ll be able to suggest a lower rate that’s still within reason.
Ways to negotiate lower realtor fees
- Sell and buy with the same agent. Many agents are open to a lower listing commission if they know they’ll also make a commission on your home purchase.
- Plan to price aggressively. If you’re willing to price your home a bit below market rate to sell faster, your agent might accept a lower listing commission for a fast sale.
- Prepare your home to sell in advance. “If the owners have good style and it’s already staged great, that’s easier,” Aviles says. A little preparation can go a long way toward making your agent’s job easier (and less expensive).
Negotiating can be awkward and uncomfortable. If you’d rather avoid it, you can find an agent through Clever Real Estate. They’ve already pre-negotiated a 1.5% listing fee with experienced agents in South Carolina, so you don’t have to. Find a South Carolina agent for less.
Work with a discount real estate broker
Some brokerages offer discounted realtor fees up front. These companies can help you save money, but some come with risks or worse-than-average customer service. Do your research to understand what you’ll get for the discounted fee. See how we ranked discount real estate brokers in your area based on savings, customer reviews, and our experience mystery shopping with each company.
To save an average of $7,000 on your listing fee without sacrificing service, Clever Real Estate is your best option.
Sell without a realtor
The ultimate way to save on realtor fees is to sell without a realtor — though we don’t recommend this to most South Carolina sellers.
You’ll avoid paying a listing commission, but you’ll have to do all of the work of a listing agent on your own. Plus, you’ll still want to pay a full buyer’s agent commission to incentivize other agents to show your home to their buyers.
Learn more about how to sell a house without a realtor in South Carolina.
Other FAQs about South Carolina real estate commissions
How much commission does a realtor make in SC?
In 2020, the average real estate agent made $47,410, but some top-selling agents can bring in six- or seven-figure salaries. Learn about how much money real estate agents earn.
Who pays realtor fees in South Carolina?
In South Carolina (and everywhere else in the U.S.), the seller pays all realtor fees out of their sale proceeds at closing unless otherwise negotiated. Realtor fees include the listing agent fee and the buyer’s agent fee. Learn more about how real estate commission works in South Carolina.
What is the average real estate commission in South Carolina?
he average total real estate commission in South Carolina is 5.63% of a home’s sale price. South Carolina sellers pay an average of $16,983 in realtor fees, based on the average South Carolina home price of $380,342. Learn how to negotiate a lower commission fee for your home sale.
We regularly survey our pool of 14,000 partner agents nationwide on the commission rates they use for buying and selling. These data points are averages based on responses we’ve received from 27 agents across South Carolina.
We also interviewed
- Susan Aviles, Broker and Owner of Reside Real Estate in Charleston, SC
- Dino DiNenna, Broker at Hilton Head Realty in Hilton Head Island, SC
- Zillow Home Value Data
- Clever Real Estate Commission Survey Data
- SC home prices spiked in 2022 but these 5 places were hit the hardest. Will costs fall in 2023?, The State
- Self-employment tax, Internal Revenue Service
- South Carolina Real Estate Commission
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