The recent National Association of Realtors settlement has sparked meaningful conversation and confusion in the real estate industry. At the heart of the matter lies the question of who pays real estate commissions in Florida.

Let’s discuss this issue’s intricacies and explore how the NAR settlement might affect home buyers, sellers, and naturally Real Estate agents in the Sunshine State. 

Current commission structure and Influence of Multiple listing services MLS:

Currently, the commission payment process in Florida follows a familiar pattern; sellers negotiate a fee with their broker, traditionally 5-6%, and the seller determines the portion of that fee to be shared with the buyer’s agent. This arrangement is advertised in Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where real estate agents list properties for sale. When a home is sold, the seller covers the commissions for both their agent and the buyer’s agent from the proceeds of the sale. 

Challenges and concerns:

However, this traditional practice has been questioned for the last couple of years due to some agents and brokerages stating that these commission arrangements were the “STANDARD” when there are laws in place that prohibit the STANDARIZATION of real estate commissions and other Anti-competitive practices. This argument concluded with a class action that was in some cases settled by several real estate corporations and the National Association of Realtors with the plaintiffs. The NAR settlement aims to address such issues by prohibiting the inclusion of offers of compensation in the MLS. Instead, under the proposed changes, buyers and their brokers would negotiate directly with the seller or agent regarding the commission and payment structure.

In Florida, there are two main types of agents: 

  • Listing agents 
  • Buyer’s agents

Listing agents work for the seller, while buyer agents work for the buyer. Both help in different ways to ensure a smooth sale.

Commission Structure: 

In Florida, the seller typically pays the real estate commissions. These commissions are usually around 5-6% of the sale price. The seller’s agent (the listing agent) and the buyer’s agent share this commission.

Negotiating Commissions: 

Even though sellers usually pay the commissions, they can negotiate the rate with their listing agent, and even specify if the seller wants to offer a commission to the buyer’s agent and if so, the commission amount. This offer of commission can be any amount and in the form of percentage of the sale, or a fixed dollar amount. Buyers can also talk to their agent about commissions and negotiate compensation for their services.

Who pays realtor fees Buyers or Sellers? & their impact: 

Who Pays Real Estate Commissions in Florida
A model house with one dollar bills.

For sellers, paying commissions is part of selling their house. But it’s important to remember that good agents can make the process easier and help get a better price. For buyers, having a buyer’s agent doesn’t usually cost anything if the seller pays their commission. However, with the upcoming changes, the buyer’s agent commission may become a part of the buyer’s closing costs.

Does the NAR settlement change commissions

The settlement involving the National Association of Realtors did not directly change real estate commissions. However, it did bring attention to certain practices within the real estate industry and addressed concerns related to antitrust laws and competition in the real estate market.

As part of the settlement, the NAR agreed to change its rules and policies. These changes aimed to increase competition and transparency in the real estate industry. For example, the settlement required NAR to provide home buyers and sellers with more information about the commissions paid to real estate agents. It also allowed more flexibility for real estate agents to offer different commission structures and services.

While the settlement did not mandate specific changes to real estate commissions, it did promote greater consumer transparency and choice. As a result, homebuyers and sellers may have more options when negotiating commissions and selecting real estate services that best meet their needs.

Realtor Commission in Florida When Selling Your House

Who Pays Real Estate Commissions in Florida

In most cases, real estate commissions in Florida are calculated as a percentage of the final sale price of a property and are paid to the real estate agents involved in the transaction. This commission is typically shared between the listing agent (representing the seller) and the buyer’s agent (representing the buyer). The typical commission rate in Florida is around 5-6% of the sale price. However, it’s becoming more and more common to use a fixed rate expressed as a dollar amount, this can vary based on factors such as local market conditions and the services provided by the agents.

When a property is sold, the seller typically covers the total commission divided between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. As a result, buyers generally do not directly pay for their agent’s services, as the commission is included in the overall transaction costs the seller pays. However, after the lawsuit and the proposed settlement, this practice may switch, and the buyer may have to budget a buyer’s agent commission for their closing costs.

Who pays realtor fee for rentals in Florida? Is it Negotiable?

Who pays realtor fee for rental in Florida

Real estate commissions in Florida are negotiable, allowing sellers and landlords to discuss and agree upon the commission rate with their listing agent when entering into a listing agreement. Similarly, buyers and tenants can negotiate with their agent regarding service payment as a commission or a fixed rate, as well as any potential rebates or credits from the commission when paid by the seller.

Understanding how real estate commissions work is essential for buyers and sellers, or tenants and landlords, as it helps ensure transparency and fairness in real estate transactions. Communication with agents about commission rates and services provided can help facilitate a successful and satisfactory real estate transaction for all parties involved.

Real estate commission typical rates:
The typical commissions for rentals are:
If annual, 1 months rent or 4.16% of gross (one year lease term)
If seasonal or short term, 10% of gross (duration of lease term)

Here is an example of the most typical real estate commission rates for different cities in Florida:

CitySale price RangeTypical Commission Rate
MiamiUp to $1000007%
$100,001-$250,0006%
OrlandoUp to $100,0007%
$100,001-$250,0006%
TampaUp to $100,0007%
$100,001-$250,0006%
$250,001-$500,0005.75%

These rates can vary based on the agreement between the seller and the real estate agent in each city.

Other Alternative

Selling a property using a traditional full-service realtor is not the seller’s only option. Some sellers try a For Sale By Owner “FSBO” alternative to save money by not paying commissions, and if they use the MLS to list they have a better chance to succeed in doing it on their own. Properties that sell are due to their broad exposure on the MLS Multiple Listing Services, a huge database of property listings for sale or rent shared by licensed brokers and realtors members of the board. Only licensed real estate agents who are board members can list properties on the MLS; the unlicensed general public doesn’t have access to the MLS. 


However, some brokerages in many states, including Florida, offer the alternative of the MLS Flat Fee listing or Limited Service Listing, which allows sellers to list their properties on the MLS and all real estate websites through a brokerage for an upfront flat fee, and not to worry about commissions at closing. This model is not new but has become very popular in the last couple of years with the increase in information shared on the Internet, which allows customers to better understand the real estate market and alternative ways of selling properties.


When selecting an MLS Flat Fee listing company in Florida, we suggest researching and reading the contract to ensure there are no hidden fees or obligation to pay commissions in the agreement. It is also essential to make sure the brokerage will put your listing on your local MLS. Florida Flat Fee Homes offers MLS listing packages in Florida starting at $99 with NO COMMISSIONS or BACK-END fees. For more information, click here.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while the recent settlement regarding real estate commissions may change how agents are compensated, it’s essential to recognize that negotiation fundamentals and client representation remain unchanged. Buyers and sellers in Florida and beyond should stay informed about these developments and work closely with their agents to navigate the evolving real estate market effectively.

FAQ’s:

Why does the seller pay the real estate commission? 

The seller pays the commission as part of the overall transaction costs for selling the property. The commission is typically factored into the home’s sale price and negotiated between the seller and their listing agent.

Do buyers ever pay real estate commissions in Florida? 

Generally, buyers in Florida do not directly pay real estate commissions. The seller typically covers the commission paid to the buyer’s agent as part of the transaction.

What happens if there is a dual-agency situation? 

Dual agency occurs when one agent represents the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. In such cases, the agent may receive the full commission. Still, it’s essential for all parties involved to understand and consent to this arrangement, as it can present potential conflicts of interest. Remember that dual agency is illegal in Florida and other states. 

Where can I find more information about who pays real estate commissions in Florida? 

If you have further questions about who pays real estate commissions in Florida or need assistance with a specific transaction, consider consulting with a licensed real estate agent or contacting local real estate organizations or regulatory agencies for guidance and information.