My real estate professional told me there is a standard rate of commission in Alberta, is that true?
It depends what they mean by “standard.” There is no legislative requirement or governing body that specifies the commission rate an authorized industry professional can or will charge.
The fact is, commission is something you can negotiate with your real estate professional. Some real estate professionals aren’t willing to negotiate their commission while others are. That’s their right. As a buyer or seller, you have the right to work with someone who charges a commission that you’re comfortable with.
Before choosing a real estate professional, you’ll likely want to compare the services and fees of a few real estate professionals. These interviews can help you understand the range of commission rates available, and the services provided at the various rates.
Typically, professionals calculate commissions by:
- a percentage of the sale price
- a flat fee or schedule of flat fees
- a fee for service
- a combination including any of these
Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies to real estate fees, as they are a “service.”
When you’re signing an agreement to work with a real estate professional, make sure you understand the commission arrangements. The service agreement you sign is a legal document and it’s binding. If you don’t understand something in it or you don’t agree with something, don’t sign. Seek legal advice or find a different real estate professional to work with.
While some businesses or companies may have specific commission structures, extensive changes within the Canadian real estate industry in recent years means there isn’t a standard commission rate.“Ask Charles” is a question and answer column by Charles Stevenson, Director of Professional Standards with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), www.reca.ca. RECA is the independent, non-government agency responsible for the regulation of Alberta’srealestate industry. We license, govern, and set the standards of practice for all real estate, mortgage brokerage, and real estate appraisal professionals in Alberta. To submit a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.