A Commisson By Any Other Name

Just Don’t Call it a Commission

Other Realtors charge a commission.

I, on the other hand, prefer to call it a “reality fee” (a friend passed along the email, below, from an upcoming FSBO seller — as in “For Sale By Owner”).


We are announcing the upcoming sale of our beautiful home. It will be available to see by appointment mid-July, possibly a little sooner. If you are interested in seeing the home yourself or know if someone looking to move into our area, please contact us.

We will be selling this home ourselves ask that our buyer use a lawyer or pay their own reality fees. There will still be traditional measures taken in the sale of our home such as a disclosure statement, walk-through, inspection, etc.

P.S.: my advice to FSBO sellers? In a word: ‘don’t.’

Just one mistake can more than offset any savings you hope to realize doing it yourself — not to mention the time, inconvenience, etc.

As an example, I was showing a FSBO home to a client last year, and asked the Seller how long it had been in foreclosure. The owner was adamant that it was not in foreclosure — in fact, the home was completely paid off!

I showed her the MLS printout showing that, in the box for financial status, “in foreclosure” had been checked.

Hmm, maybe that’s why she hadn’t had any showings the first three weeks her home was on the market.

The home finally sold 8 months later (not my Buyer), at a steep discount.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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