COMMISSION RATES Professor Siegmann's research examined the role of the real estate agent in the house prices transaction, and compared the for-sale-by-fee agent, the new generation of agent that has risen since the advent of the internet, with the performance of the traditional commissioned agent.  In the Netherlands, where the study was conducted, commission rates for an agent selling a home is between 1.5% to 2%.  This compares with an average of around 5.5% in the United States. In fact, commission rates in the United States are among some of the highest in the world at an average of around 5.5%.  Unlike the United States, most countries have seen significant drops in real estate commissions in the last 15 years or so.  The lowest in the world are in Northern Europe at around 1.7%, and the highest is in Mexico at 7.5%.  For those countries that have seen drops in commission rates, the average decline has been 34%.  That there has been no significant change in the US gives pause for thought:  Why is there such pricing uniformity among ostensibly competing agents? ‘Before the internet everyone needed an agent to buy a house and an agent to sell the house’.  Agents maintained exclusive access to the multiple listing service and so were the gatekeepers for sellers to a market of buyers, and to buyers who wanted to see what was available to buy. However, since the advent of the internet, buyers and sellers now have full access to detailed information about all the houses that are available on the market, and yet sellers are still paying, on average 5.5% to agents who are erstwhile intermediaries.  This begs the question that, if information is freely available to everyone, ‘what is the use of an agent?’   The former role of the agent was to match buyers and sellers by providing access to a proprietary data network to each side of the transaction, but now the network itself provides direct access for buyers with seller and vice versa. FOR SALE BY FEE  (FSBF) The for-sale-by-fee agents in this study involved the Seller in showing their house rather than the agent on the principle that the owner is, presumably, the best person to show the house because they know the house better than anyone else.  This model of for-sale-by-fee agent emerged once the availability of information became more widespread on the internet.  The for-sale-by-fee agent can offer considerably lower fees than the commissioned agent because, by taking the showings from the agent services, a time consuming component of the agent task is eliminated.  In addition, relative to the homeowner, the agent is not as good at showing the home because, simply stated, they do not know as much as the agent.  COMMISSION AGENT – A CASE WHERE YOU DON’T GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR The researchers’ thesis was that the for sale by fee broker to underperform the high paid commission broker.  But what they discovered was that the for-sale-by-fee broker not only sold for a higher price but did it slightly quicker than the commissioned agent. ‘This is really remarkable because it means that they are cheaper and better’.  For-sale-by-fee agents do better than commissioned agents irrespective of whether it is a cheap house or an expensive house, it does not depend on whether a home is in a rural area or in the city, does not matter if it is for houses that typically take a long time to sell or a short time to sell.  Having a for-sale-by-fee agent, where you do the showings to buyers yourself, will give you a better result – you will sell for more, in less time, and it will cost you considerably less to do it. Simple Conclusion:  For-sale-by-fee brokers, when you do the showings yourself, do better than traditional commissioned brokers.  Period. WHY DO FSBF AGENTS OUTPERFORM COMMISSIONED? There are two possible reasons.  One is that the homeowner knows much more about their house than an agent who may be juggling multiple homes at once.  The agent can