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How many people get part of a commission?

How many Realtors do you pay when you pay a real estate sales commission?

Most times two, sometimes three and many times four. How is that?

In most sales the seller pays a commission to the listing broker who splits it with the listing agent.

If the property was listed and sold by the broker himself, he can keep the whole commission. When an agent listed the property, the commission is split between broker and agent according to the broker’s policy on commissions.

When the property was listed by an agent of the broker and is sold by another agent of that broker, the commission is split three ways among the broker and his two agents.

When the property was listed by one company but the buyer comes through a different company, the commission is split between the two companies, and split again between the broker and agent in each company.

The typical commission on residential property is 6%. If two companies are involved, the commission is split, usually 50-50, with each company receiving 3% of the selling price.

What if you listed your property with a broker, e.g., Michael Dixon, at a 6% commission, and he sells the property himself? In that case he would not have to split the commission with anyone. Would he keep the whole 6% commission for himself? No.

He would take only half of the commission and let you keep the other half. Michael can afford to work for 3% of the selling price because he has very low operating costs. You would still get all of the services you usually would pay 6% for.


If your real estate hasn’t sold

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Believe me, your Realtor would love to sell your listed real estate. Until and unless the property is sold the real estate agent and broker don’t make a penny. The only way they get paid is for you to sell your real estate.

We say that Realtors “sell” real estate. Yes, they “sell” it in the sense that they advertise it and promote it. But only the owner can “sell” it in the sense of transferring the title to a new owner. The property has been sold when the buyer has a deed signed by the seller, and the seller has a check for his or her proceeds.

Only then will the real estate agent or broker receive a commission check. Some of us Realtors say that we “market” real estate rather than “sell” real estate. Others might say we make a distinction without a difference. I, for one, think there’s a difference between marketing and selling.

The Realtor tries to find a buyer who not only “likes” a property but is ready, willing and able to buy it. That includes being approved for mortgage financing if a loan is involved. Lack of loan approval is a deal killer.

The seller likewise must be ready, willing and able to give the buyer a clear title and sell the property.  The Realtor may bring a reasonable offer to the seller, but if the seller turns it down then nothing happens and we’re back to square one. The Realtor may have done a good job of marketing, but the seller didn’t sell.

And let’s remember that Murphy’s Law always applies in the real estate selling process: If anything can go wrong, it will. (And it will go wrong at the worst possible time.) Fortunately, most real estate deals do get closed – when the Realtor has effectively marketed the property, and seller sells it. (That’s why he’s called the “seller.”)

Feel free to comment.

Besides unlocking doors, what do we do?

Like any job, there’s more to being a real estate agent than meets the eye. For starters, it costs us thousand$ of dollar$ to get licensed and to stay licensed to do our job.

It costs more thousand$ for annual dues to our Americus Board of Realtors, Georgia Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors.

Locally, we pay monthly dues for membership in our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and to have lockboxes to attach to listed properties. These dues run, in my case, about $500 a year.

All of that is just so we can work. In addition we pay for websites on which we advertise properties for sale. The seller risks nothing for advertising; we pay for it.

Here’s a situation I’m involved with currently. The seller wants to sell the house. To get the house ready to show it needs some cosmetic help. I have asked three contractors to contact the occupant of the house and arrange a time to look at what is needed and give an estimate of the cost. Will they?

If we can make the house presentable, the seller will list it for sale. With me? Probably, but there’s no guarantee.

I prepared Comparative Market Analyses from two sources so that the seller would have a basis for an asking price. I pay for those sources.

So far I probably have 4-5 hours invested in this property. As the listing agent I’ll invest lots more time, including unlocking the door and showing the house to possible (at best) buyers.

If it all culminates in the house being sold I’ll finally be compensated. If it doesn’t, I won’t be; I’ll have nothing to show for my time and effort, but my expenses will go right on.

Multiply my experience by the number of active Realtors in Americus and you get an idea of what it costs us to be real estate agents – without any guarantee we’ll ever be paid one cent by anyone. What a business!


We need a website like this for our restaurants in Americus and Sumter County.

Make Americus and Sumter County a Diner’s Destination. Create a website like this just for our restaurants:



Schley Post Office

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Known by Concord area residents as the Patton Hill Post Office. Alternatively named in the National Register of Historic Places as the Woodall-Patton House and Post Office.

Attached is an article I wrote for the Ellaville Sun in 2002.

Schley Post Office

October 20, 2002

From: Michael Dixon
To: Jerry Gaultney
Subject: Schley County house on National Register of Historic Places

Here is the article I promised to write on the former Schley Post Office at Concord. An article and two photos of the house were published in The Tri-County Journal & Chattahoochee Chronicle, April 17, 2002, written by the staff based on information supplied by me. In that article, the house is called the “Woodall-Patton House and Post office” as designated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division. I have tried here to place more emphasis on the official name, Schley Post Office.

– – – – – – – –

My grandmother recalled the many times she and her brothers and sisters rode in a wagon from their home near Buck Creek to the post office at Concord in northwestern Schley County. For farming children in the late 1880s, the short trip by dirt roads was an outing they relished.

Three days a week, a carrier came on horseback from Buena Vista and Tazewell, dropped off mail, picked up outgoing mail and rode on east to Murray’s Crossroads and perhaps as far as Oglethorpe before retracing his route to Marion County.

Today few passersby on Ga. Hwy. 240 cast a glance at the little house just west of the Concord United Methodist Church. Fewer still know that the house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Little more than a footnote of Schley County history, the house was the post office at Concord for 17 years. As such, it witnessed the comings and goings of area residents. It served not only as a United States post office but also as a place where news and views were exchanged.

The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 11, 2002.

The post office was operated in the living room, which was entered through one of two doors on the front of the house. The other door, the one on the left, went into the home’s one bedroom. A porch with banisters stretched across the front of the house, sheltering the two doors and two deep windows.

The living room-post office and the bedroom were connected by a door, and both rooms had fireplaces. To the rear, the living room led into the small dining room, and the kitchen beyond. Two more porches, one off the kitchen on the west side of the house and another off the bedroom and dining room at the rear, rounded out the structure.

Water was drawn from a well. A barn stood about 100 feet west of the house and contained a hay loft and wooden boxes for chickens’ nests. Cured meats were kept hanging in a small smoke house about 20 feet from the kitchen. Finally, a tiny building with one door served as a repository for outdated catalogs and other reading materials.

The post office was established Feb. 13, 1888, according to an official “Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-September 30, 1971.” It was officially designated the Schley Post Office. James W. Woodall was named postmaster. The house was owned by James’ mother, a widow, Elizabeth Woodall. Like their neighbors, the Woodalls earned their living by farming. The post office provided supplemental income while meeting a need in the community. Previously, the nearest post office was at Murrays Crossroads, three miles to the east.

The Schley Post Office was not the first attempt by local residents to establish a post office at Concord. On April 21, 1884, James Franklin Hudson filled out a U.S. Post Office form called a “location paper,” as required by the federal government. Hudson proposed to name the post office Schley. It was to be located at a place called Beulah, 600 yards south of “the route from Oglethorpe to Buenavista (sic) on which the mail is now carried 3 times per week.” Hudson stated that the facility would serve “200 or 250” patrons.

For some reason the proposed post office at Beulah never came into being. Four years later the Schley Post Office was established in the Woodall home.

James Woodall was succeeded as postmaster by his sister, Mary Ella Woodall Patton, on April 21, 1893. Mrs. Patton was the widow of Samuel Patton and the daughter-in-law of Robert Patton, a prominent citizen of Schley County. Patton’s headstone in the cemetery at Concord indicates that he was a captain in the Army of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. He later served as a state senator. He died July 27, 1893, three monthss after his daughter-in-law was appointed postmaster at Schley.

Ella Patton remained “postmistress,” as she was called, until July 31, 1905. On that date the Schley Post Office was discontinued; by that time, patrons were served by motor route from the Ellaville Post Office.

Changing times brought new opportunities. A reporter for the Columbus Enquirer-Sun visited the Concord community and wrote her observations, which appeared in the edition of May 7, 1903. Her story was headed: “Schley, a Flourishing Community Down in Schley County,” and was datelined: Schley Post Office, Schley County, Georgia, May 6 (Special).

Among her observations were these: “Professor Horace Stewart is now principal of the Concord High School here ….

“Thirteen ladies of this neighborhood, unmindful of the unlucky number, got up a fishing excursion to Buck Creek a day or two ago. The spent an enjoyable day, caught lots of fish, and had a fine time generally. The genus homo was excluded from the trip, with the exception of one gentleman and a boy, who went along, the ladies no doubt believing that one or two men would prove ‘handy’ on an expedition like this ….

“The cozy little Patten (sic) house here, kept by the postmistress, Mrs. M.E. Patten, is a hotel where the traveler and his team always get excellent accommodations.”

The tax district in which the lands of the Woodalls and Pattons were located was called “Nubbin Hill” in the early 1800s. By 1887 the name “Patton Hill” appears in the tax digests. Eventually, the Schley Post Office became known, unofficially, as the Patton Hill Post Office.

Elizabeth Woodall deeded her property to her daughter, Mary Ella Woodall Patton, on July 17, 1924. The following year Mrs. Patton married businessman Arthur Hill. Mary Ella Woodall Patton Hill’s two married names were the same as the name of the tax district in which she resided and the eventual name of the post office of which she was postmaster: Patton Hill.

– – – – – – –

P.S. — The writer lived in the Patton Hill house as a child. At that time, the house, barn and outhouses remained unchanged from their original construction. More recently, electricity, indoor plumbing, a bathroom and a back bedroom were added. The property currently is owned by the writer’s cousin who lives in Atlanta.

Back on Facebook

Recently I opened a Facebook account after a few years of staying away. It’s good to reconnect with friends and acquaintances.

Also, Michael Dixon Realty has its own Facebook account. I’m trying to stay busy, with limited success. Wish I was much busier. If you are thinking about selling your home,  land or commercial property call me at 229-924-3089 and let’s talk about what you might expect from the real estate market.

Check out my other real estate websites: and You’ll find information on my sites that you won’t find anywhere else, and it could help you as a seller.

Buyers, talk to a mortgage lender at a bank, preferably a local one, and get financially pre-qualified for your home purchase. Then call me, 229-924-3089, and let’s find you a home in your price range.  I love working with qualified buyers.

Thanksgiving at a log house

Today I’ll go to Brownlee’s Grocery store and get four pounds of fresh link sausage. Thursday morning I’ll cut the links into bite size pieces and bake them in the oven. They will fill a large platter which I’ll take to a Thanksgiving Day family reunion in Schley County.

The reunion is always held at the log house that was the home of ancestors Stephen Murray and Harriet Lightner Murray in the mid-1800s. They were my great-great-grandparents. Most of the people who will be at the reunion are descended from  Stephen and Harriet.

The house was built with large pine logs. It has been updated with modern conveniences, but remains basically as it was constructed.  Fortunately, it was inherited by cousins who value it and will preserve it into the future.  This Thanksgiving Day reunion is one of two reunions held every year by descendants of Stephen and Harriet Murray.

The other one is always held on the third Sunday of July at Concord in Schley County. It is called the Murray-Etheredge reunion to include all descendants of Martha Murray, Stephen and Harriet’s daughter, and William Thomas Etheredge. Most of us attend both reunions to make sure we don’t miss out on the great food and fellowship.