What’s a fair realtor fee in Virginia? | How much does commission cost? | Who pays realtor fees? | Tips to save on Virginia realtor fees | FAQs
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Realtor fees in Virginia cost an average of 5.22%, which equates to a total commission fee of $18,343 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.
In this article, we look at what factors affect realtor fees and who pays them. Familiarizing yourself with Virginia’s average realtor fees can help you accurately budget for your home sale and avoid overpaying for a realtor.
But if you’re like many Virginia home sellers, you might think 5.22% is too much to pay a realtor. Luckily, there are lots of ways to save on realtor fees in Virginia.
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.
💰 SAVE: Find a top local agent and get a 1.5% listing fee!
What is a fair realtor commission in Virginia?
A fair realtor commission in Virginia 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 Virginia realtors expect a total commission rate of around the statewide average of 5.22%. But you may be able to persuade your agent that a lower fee is fair if:
- Your home value is higher than the market average
- You’re in a seller’s market where bidding wars are common
- Your home is in great condition
- Properties like yours are selling quickly
- You’re buying a house with the same agent
If you’re looking to save on realtor fees, it’s also possible to find Virginia real estate agents with low commission rates. The top discount brands offer reduced listing fees (as low as 1.5% in Virginia), but still provide all the expertise and hands-on service you’d expect from an experienced local agent.
How much do realtor fees in Virginia cost?
|Average realtor fee|
|Buyer's agent fee||2.66%|
|Total Virginia realtor fees||5.22%|
The average Virginia realtor commission rate is 5.22%, with 2.56% going to the listing agent and the remaining 2.66% going to the buyer’s agent.
Virginia 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 Virginia sellers end up paying between 4.62%–5.83% 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 Virginia:
|Seller closing costs||$3,345|
The seller pays the realtor fees in Virginia as part of the sale proceeds, just like some other closing costs. As a seller, you won’t owe your realtor until your house actually sells. While you shouldn’t need to pay for realtor fees out of pocket, you will need to ensure your list price is high enough to cover the realtor fees, along with your mortgage balance and other closing costs.
What factors affect realtor fees in Virginia?
Average realtor fees in Virginia 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.
Home price trends affect the average fees that realtors charge. When home prices increase, realtor fees are more likely to decrease, and when home prices decrease, realtor fees are more likely to increase. The reason? Realtors can usually make more money charging a low rate on a high-value home than they can charging a high rate on a low-value home.
For example, a realtor charging 2% commission on a $600,000 sale will make $12,000. However, a 3% commission on a $250,000 home will net a realtor only $7,500.
How your home compares to the market average is also important. Currently, in Virginia the median home price is $382,958. If your home is above that figure, you may find a realtor willing to lower their fees, but if your home is below the Virginia average, realtors may be less willing to lower their fees.
How many homes are for sale
|United States||up 67.8%|
Source: Realtor.com. Last updated: February 2023.
The number of active listings — also referred to as inventory — can likewise affect realtor fees. When active listings decline, realtor fees tend to decline too, and when active listings increase, so do realtor fees.
This trend happens because fewer homes on the market means realtors have to compete more aggressively for listings. Many realtors will lower their commission rates in order to attract sellers.
Conversely, when active listings increase, realtors have an easier time landing clients. They aren’t competing as hard for listings, so they are less incentivized to lower their rates.
Active listings in Virginia are up 32.5% since last year. Nationwide, inventory is up 67.8%.
How quickly homes are selling
|Average days on market*|
|United States||48 days|
*12-month rolling average. Source: Realtor.com. Last updated: February 2023.
The state of the housing market and how long homes take to sell also impact realtor fees. In a seller’s market, when homes sell quickly, realtor fees are more likely to go down. In a buyer’s market, when homes take longer to sell, realtor fees are more likely to go up or stay the same.
A seller’s market tends to put downward pressure on realtor fees because realtors don’t have to work as hard or as long to sell each listing. Homes are more likely to sell quickly, which incentivizes realtors to offer lower rates to get more listings.
When it’s a buyer’s market, realtors have to work harder to find buyers. Because they’re putting more hours into each listing, they are less incentivized to lower their fees.
Across Virginia, homes sell in an average of 38 days, but selling times can vary between markets. For example, the average selling timeline in Virginia Beach is 19 days, but homes in Big Stone Gap average 51 days on the market.
But whether you live in a seller’s or buyer’s market tells you only so much about how quickly your home might sell. For example, even in a buyer’s market, when home sales are slow, you may have a home with in-demand features that could make it easier to sell. In that case, it may be worth trying to negotiate a lower commission rate with your realtor.
How are realtor fees split in Virginia?
Realtor fees in Virginia are typically split down the middle between the two real estate agents involved in the transaction — often 50/50. On average, the seller’s agent earns 2.56% of the home price and the buyer’s agent earns 2.66%, for a total commission of 5.22%.
However, a 50/50 split in commission between the two agents is not a rule. As the seller, you decide the total commission rate and how to divide it.
That said, offering too low of a commission rate could have unintended consequences. For example, you may disincentivize agents from working with you.
Also, your realtor doesn’t take home the entire commission rate you set. Instead, realtors split their commission with their brokerages, usually 50/50. That means a realtor typically takes home only half the commission they make on a sale.
The table below breaks down an example of a typical Virginia realtor commission split.
|Seller's agent take home||1.28%|
|Seller's agent's broker split||1.28% (~50% of the seller's agent's commission )|
|Buyer's agent take home||1.33%|
|Buyer's agent's broker split||1.33% (~50% of the buyer's agent's commission )|
Who pays realtor commission in Virginia?
Realtor commission in Virginia is typically paid by the seller. Both the listing agent’s fee and the buyer’s agent commission come out of the sale proceeds at closing. This means the seller doesn’t pay upfront, out of pocket, or before the house sells.
The seller pays the buyer’s agent commission because it is essentially a marketing cost. By controlling how much buyer’s agents will make on their listing, sellers give those agents an incentive to show their house to their clients. Incentivizing agents typically leads to a bigger pool of potential buyers and, hopefully, a higher price for the home.
Also, most buyers don’t have the money to pay for agent fees upfront or out of pocket, so it makes sense to have those fees come out of the sale proceeds. If buyers were responsible for paying the buyer’s agent commission, then far fewer people would be able to buy homes.
How to save on realtor fees in Virginia
If you’re selling a house in Virginia 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 Virginia 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 2.56% listing fee that most Virginia agents charge.
Negotiate a lower realtor fee on your own
As a Virginia 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 a lower rate on realtor commission, you can look for a new realtor. Generally, if a realtor is wanting to build their business, they’re more likely to negotiate their rates.
Also, you can give yourself some negotiating leverage by investing in repairs and maintenance projects. The easier your house is to sell, the easier your realtor’s job will be, which may entice them to offer a lower fee.
But be realistic when negotiating. Most agents either won’t lower their rates or won’t lower them by much. The maximum discount you can expect is 0.5%. Instead of negotiating with individual realtors, your best bet for saving on realtor fees is to find a real estate agent who charges the same low rate to all clients.
Sell without a realtor
Selling your home for sale by owner (FSBO) in Virginia 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 2.66% on the average Virginia 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 Virginia
FAQs about realtor fees in Virginia
Are realtor fees negotiable in Virginia?
Yes, realtor fees in Virginia are negotiable. Although many realtors refuse to lower their rates, you can always try to negotiate. However, you’ll likely have more success getting a lower rate by working with a low commission real estate agent or broker.
What percentage do most realtors charge in Virginia?
The average total realtor commission in Virginia is 5.23%, which is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. The listing agent receives an average commission of 2.56%, and the buyer’s agent 2.66%. However, many sellers manage to pay less than average. To save on realtor fees, we recommend working with a discount real estate brokerage.
Who pays the realtor commission in Virginia?
The seller pays the realtor commission in Virginia for both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. The commission comes out of the proceeds of the sale, so the seller doesn’t pay upfront, out of pocket, or before the house sells. Learn more about who pays the realtor fees.
How much are realtor fees for a home buyer in Virginia?
Buyers don’t pay realtor fees in Virginia. The buyer’s agent commission — which averages 2.66% in Virginia — is typically paid by the seller as part of the sale proceeds. However, as the buyer, you may be eligible for a home buyer rebate. A rebate puts money back in your pocket after you purchase a home.
How much do realtors make on a typical sale in Virginia?
The average total commission in Virginia is 5.23%. Based on the median home value in the state, the average commission on a typical home sale is around $19,500. That amount is divided between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent, both of whom also share a portion of their commission with their brokerages. In reality, realtors typically take home only about a quarter of the total commission on a home sale, closer to $4,875. Learn more about commission and how realtors get paid.
How much do realtors earn in Virginia per year?
The average annual salary for realtors in Virginia is $69,190, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries range widely, however, with 10% of realtors in Virginia earning less than $29,010 and 10% earning more than $120,940. Learn more about how much realtors make.
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