The average realtor commission in Washington, D.C. is 4.96%, which equates to a typical realtor fee of $27,341 for home sellers in the state.
Knowing the standard commission rate in your area can help you avoid overpaying for a realtor and accurately estimate costs when you sell your home.
You might be thinking, “Wow! $27,341 is a lot of money!” Well, luckily there are companies like our friends at Clever Real Estate that offer listing fees as low as 1.5% in Washington, D.C..
Finding your agent through Clever could save you thousands. Clever’s free service matches you with the best local realtors from top regional and national brands, like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. You get the same full-service experience — but for a fraction of the typical cost.
✍ Why should you trust our numbers?
Our team strives to provide the most accurate data possible. We regularly survey real estate agents from across the country to gather the most current and accurate database of realtor commission rates on the web.
What is a fair commission for a real estate agent in Washington, D.C.?
Since realtor commission is negotiable, what’s fair will ultimately come down to whatever rate you and your agent are comfortable with.
That said, our data showed that a majority of realtors expect between 4.34% to 5.57% with the statewide average being 4.96%.
|Washington, D.C. average||4.96%||$27,341|
So why does total realtor commission cost so much? Well, there are a couple of factors:
- Agents split their commission – The listing agent typically only takes home a fraction of the realtor fees.
- Listing a home involves risk – Realtors pay upfront for marketing costs (e.g. professional photos, advertising, staging, etc.) and only get paid when your home sells.
- Finding clients can be hard and costly – Real estate agents spend time and money generating new business, an expense that’s often passed along to home sellers.
Luckily, most Washington, D.C. home sellers can avoid paying the full 4.96% commission rate.
Some real estate companies — like our friends at Clever — aim to make agents’ jobs easier so that they’re able to charge lower rates without sacrificing any hands-on service. By matching home sellers directly with realtors, Clever is able to reduce the cost of acquiring clients and negotiate lower realtor fees.
Sellers who work with Clever get agent matches from well-known brokerages like Century 21 and Berkshire Hathaway — and pay just a 1.5% listing fee when their home sells!
How much do realtor fees in Washington, D.C. cost?
Realtor fees in Washington, D.C. typically cost around 4.96% in total. This includes both the listing fee and buyer’s agent fee.
Realtor fees are generally paid by the seller out of their proceeds at closing. You typically don’t owe agents anything until your house sells. But remember, sellers typically cover the costs for both their listing agent and the buyer’s agent.
Here’s and example of how commission costs would affect a seller’s net profit on an average home in Washington, D.C.:
|Seller closing costs||$11,943|
How are realtor fees split in Washington, D.C.?
When you sell a home with a realtor in Washington, D.C., your listing agent will typically take home 1.235% of the total sale price.
Less than you thought, right? Even though the typical realtor fee in Washington, D.C. is 4.96%, that money is actually split between your agent, the buyer’s agent, and each of their brokers.
Here’s an example of how commission is often split on a sale in Washington, D.C.:
|Seller's agent take home||1.235%|
|Seller's agent's broker split||1.235% (~50% of the seller's agent's commission )|
|Buyer's agent take home||1.245%|
|Buyer's agent's broker split||1.245% (~50% of the buyer's agent's commission )|
Who pays realtor commission in Washington, D.C.?
In Washington, D.C., the home seller typically pays the realtor fees for all agents involved in the sale. This is the standard nationwide.
Realtor fees are baked into the price of the home and are paid out of the proceeds when it sells. So home sellers don’t have to pay real estate commission up front; the agents get their cut when the deal closes.
Why are sellers responsible for paying the buyer’s agent commission? Think of it as a marketing cost for your home. By offering a competitive buyer’s agent commission, you give realtors an incentive to show your home to their clients.
How to save on realtor fees in Washington, D.C.
Our Tips for Saving on Commission
The District of Columbia’s real estate market is pretty neutral at the moment. Those planning on listing their homes should work with a local real estate agent to sell quickly and fetch a decent profit from the sale. To save some money, you can try negotiating for a discount with an agent you’ve previously worked with — about 35% of agents in the state stated that they’d consider a lower fee when working with repeat clients. You can also consider using an agent matching service to find a realtor who will work for a lower commission without the hassle of negotiating.
Local markets often vary across the state, so it’s best to do some research on your area’s trends before you jump into listing.
Advice current as of June 24, 2022
The average home seller in Washington, D.C. will pay around $27,341 in realtor commissions. But there are several ways that you can get a lower rate and keep more of your hard-earned equity in your pocket when you sell your home.
- Use a discount brand that offers built-in savings
- Negotiate lower rates yourself
- Sell for sale by owner (FSBO)
NOTE: For all the options below, savings come by lowering (or cutting out) the listing agent commission. Regardless of how you sell, you should offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission, which in Washington, D.C. is 2.49%.
Work with a discount brand like Clever
Clever Real EstateLearn more
- Listing fee: 1.5% (min. $3,000)
- Available nationwide
- Full service, zero tradeoffs
Clever Real Estate is our top pick because it delivers the best combination of savings and service of any low commission company we’ve reviewed. Sellers get a 1.5% listing fee with a top agent from full-service brokerages like Keller Williams and Century 21, saving you thousands when you sell your home.
Sellers save an average of $5,625 when they list with Clever, compared to a traditional 3% listing fee.*
*Average savings based on listing fees at four common price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $750,000.
Clever has a 4.9 out of 5 rating (1,995 total reviews) on popular review sites like Google, Facebook, and Trustpilot.
Clever is available to sellers nationwide.
Often the best way to save on realtor fees in Washington, D.C. is to sell with a discount real estate broker that offers full service at lower rates.
Our top pick is Clever Real Estate, a free service that matches home sellers with top agents in their area for pre-negotiated low rates. You’ll get matched with local agents from trusted brokerages like Century 21 and RE/MAX.
Sellers who work with Clever can sell for a low 1.5% listing fee — compared to the fee that most Washington, D.C. realtors charge. You’ll receive full service and support from your agent, saving you thousands on realtor fees without any trade-offs. Interview as many agents as you want until you find the right fit, or walk away at any time with no obligation.
Negotiate a lower realtor fee on your own
As a Washington, D.C. home seller, you can always try to negotiate a lower commission yourself — you don’t have to just accept whatever rate an agent quotes you.
Right now, Washington, D.C. homes are selling at a faster pace than the national average, and listing prices have gone up nearly 10% compared to the same time in 2020. There isn’t much inventory in the state either, so prospective buyers are competing for a small pool of homes. All in all, this is a hot market that favors sellers.
That said, there are still agents who aren’t accustomed to reducing their fees. And in many cases, agents are required by their brokerages to charge certain rates. So while it never hurts to ask, be aware that you may not be able to negotiate a large discount with your realtor.
Sell without a realtor
Selling your home for sale by owner (FSBO) in Washington, D.C. lets you avoid paying the listing agent’s fee, effectively halving the cost of commission compared to selling with a traditional realtor.
While the potential savings look great, there are many risks that come with selling a home without an agent.
FSBO sellers take on a lot more work than regular home sellers. You’ll have to attract buyers, negotiate offers, 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 sell for as much as possible.
In fact, research shows that FSBO homes sell for 5.5% less on average than agent-represented homes. 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 market value.
Data on commission rates comes from a survey of over 630 agents conducted by our partner site, Clever Real Estate.
We also used reputable online sources for the following data points: