Buying and selling a house could be one of the biggest expenses in a person’s life. The average cost of selling a house in the US is more than $15,000. Now that is a lot of money. The major chunk of this cost is the commission paid to realtors, which makes up for around 5-6% of the sale price. Are Discount Realtors Worth it in 2022?
But the good news is that a new breed of realtors, who are technology-oriented and offer services at a discounted rate, are disrupting the industry. So you don’t have to sell your house the traditional way.
What are discount realtors?
Discount realtors are companies or agents that provide built-in commission savings for sellers. Rather than charging the 2.5-3% listing fee charged by most traditional realtors, these companies charge a flat fee or rates as low as 1%.
Then there are also for sale by owner websites, which eliminate the need for a full-service agent to sell your house. You can list your property on such for sale by owner websites and save a lot of money. But be mindful that you will assume all the responsibilities and the legal risks of finishing the sale.
Should you use a discount realtor?
Considering a discount broker sounds like a great option as top brands like Clever Real Estate offer huge savings while providing high levels of customer service.
Having said that, some discount realtors are not even worth considering. Do not go for firms that provide fewer services and little-to-no hands-on support than traditional real estate companies. Such limited-service companies usually advertise lower rates, but you might face risky trade-offs which will restrict your savings.
Top discount realtors
Besides being a popular home search platform, Redfin is also a discount brokerage, which provides a discounted listing fee of 1.5% to sellers.
It is not as cheap as its competing discount brokers like Clever and 1 Percent Lists, Redfin does offer some great savings to sellers.
Its agents normally work with more clients at a time as compared to traditional realtors. So, there might not be a lot of hands-on support from the agent. While this is not a problem for many people, it might not be the best solution if you are a first-time seller or are facing a complicated selling situation.
2. One Percent Lists
This discount realtor is a great choice for sellers in the Southeast. Sellers will have to shell out a 1% listing fee and they will get most of the services that traditional real estate agents provide.
1 Percent Lists agents also collaborate with more than one customer at a time. This discount brokerage firm also cut costs by removing the traditional marketing methods like print advertising.
This will not impact the overall experience for most sellers. However, if open houses are crucial for you then you should try looking into a different discount brokerage.
3. Clever Real Estate
Clever is a well-established, pan-USA discount real estate firm. So Clever real estate reviews from customers are mostly very positive. It has an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 1,512 reviews. The company also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
As per Clever Real Estate reviews, they provide the best combo of service and savings for many home sellers. Its licensed concierge team will match you with suitable local agents from leading brokerages.
Sellers pay a pre-negotiated discounted fee of only 1% of $3,000. According to Clever Real Estate reviews, the company provides a similar experience to that of a traditional realtor, at a lower price.
The service is free to use and without any obligation. You can interview several agents till you find the one that fits your bill, or just walk away whenever you feel right.
Be wary of ‘limited-service’ discount realtors
When digging for discount realtors near you, there are high chances that you will come across certain firms that market themselves as full-service despite offering much less value.
These are “limited-service” real estate agents who advertise similar rates as the top discount realtors, but the savings are at the expense of very significant services like dedicated agent support and in-person listing appointments.
Working with a limited-service agent is not recommended. If you are fine selling on your own, then you can simply avoid paying the seller’s agent commission by listing your house on for sale by owner websites that usually charge a Flat Fee to list on the local MLS.
Nonetheless, if you want hands-on service and dedicated agent support and still save big on commission, working with a discount realtor is recommended. It offers a customer experience similar to that provided by traditional real estate agents while saving you thousands.
Having said that, it is always wise to compare multiple options to find the agent that provides you maximum value and checks all your boxes.