When our single largest purchase is made, arms are outstretched and pockets are lined.
A home sale opens the door to multiple middlemen. Chief among them is a real estate agent.
"Realtors are not supposed to discuss commissions and rates," said Deborah Farmer of StarLight Realty in Tampa.
Farmer, a veteran Realtor, made an exception for us. She said she's charged the same rate since mid-1995.
"I charge a flat six-percent commission. Sixteen years later, I'm still charging a flat six-percent commission," she said.
Farmer showed us a beautiful three-bedroom home that boats a beautiful lakefront view. The list price was $749,000. At six percent, Farmer's commission would be $44,940.
But that's not the entire equation. Farmer said she generally goes halfsies with the buyer's agent.
"Now you have three percent," she said.
Now we're at $22,000. But Farmer said expenses quickly eat up her cut, such as: flyers, signs, gas, websites, and massive self-employment taxes.
"The three percent dwindles away pretty quickly," she said.
Farmer said a six-percent commission is standard. But, she added, home sellers and home buyers can negotiate the real estate agent's take.
That's not the case with others who are integral to closing a home sale. Many times, their fees are non-negotiable—regardless of the service rendered.
Average amounts for select real estate closing costs in Florida, according to Bankrate.com:
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