Did you know it is expensive to sell a house?
In 2021, the average listing price of a home in the US was found to be $374900. Considering a 6% commission charged by an average real estate agent, you will be shelling out approximately $22,500 as brokerage fees. If this made you think that you would be better off if you install a For Sale By Owner sign on your front yard, think again. What are the chances that a potential buyer happens to be lurking in your neighborhood? The odds are very less which is why 92% of homes sold in the last year used a real estate agent. But is there a cheaper alternative? Yes. Enter discount real estate brokers.
True to their name, these real estate brokers offer discounted services that help you make hefty savings in commissions. A traditional realtor often charges a percentage of the selling price, making you lose thousands of dollars, sometimes forcing you to break even on your mortgage. On the other hand, a discount real estate broker charges a discounted ‘flat fee’ or a low ‘percentage’. A wise man once said that there are only two ways to make money: earning more and spending less.
Here is a curated list of top discount real estate brokers in the US in no particular order who could help you save thousands of dollars on your next home listing.
Houzeo is a 100% automated, real estate platform that follows a flat fee MLS system that allows buyers to list their homes for a flat fee. Even their popular package only costs $399 (Gold package) with no hidden closing charges. Available in 80+ markets nationwide, Houzeo promises to list hundreds of websites within 8 business hours compared to the weeks taken by traditional realtors.
The IntelliList Listing Management System empowers the buyer to take control of the listing by making changes such as scheduling Open Houses, managing Open Houses online, comparing offers, and even countering an offer. Potential buyers can directly negotiate with you on the platform without the need of a real estate agent helping you save on the buyer agent commission as well.
Finally, Houzeo even allows you to close the deal online without cumbersome paperwork. Houzeo is especially a top priority for buyers interested in playing an active role in the sale of their homes. To get a better sense of which packages are preferred in your region, look for Houzeo reviews on some of the most famous review websites.
Redfin is a leading online real estate broker with a daily growing market share. Redfin operates virtually too and with its mighty investment in its tech back-end, it provides a hassle-free platform for buyers and sellers. But it is slow with listing and according to the website, takes around 17 days for your listing to show up on real estate platforms.
Once registered, you are matched with a Redfin Agent who takes over the process and provides services appropriate to the agreed rate. Though Redfin charges a low rate of 1.5% and an even lower rate of 1% if you choose to buy your next home with them. But you could still be charged an additional 1% if the buyer is unrepresented.
Though Redfin offers buyers a refund, which is sourced from the seller, this enticing option is not available universally. Redfin is overall a great platform for buyers looking for discounted services but prefers the experience of negotiating through an agent.
3. Clever Real Estate
Clever Real Estate is a nationwide real estate brokerage company that connects you to full-services agents from top brokerage firms. The pricing is a hybrid model consisting of a $3000 flat fee for listing up to $350000 and 1% beyond it. Since the seller is matched with an agent, it is up to them to read up the Clever Real Estate reviews and find the best agents.
One of the downsides is that these agents do not provide premium services since the cost is fixed. Clever is a great option if you want to experience working with traditional real estate agents but is clearly not a clever option for lower and middle segment sellers.
UpNest is a proprietary agent matching company that only enlists agents with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It is similar to Clever but is better in its matchmaking process as it offers a no-obligation clause to allow you to walk away from a match at any time. It allows the user to compare agents based on their work and experience.
Clever markets itself as a free service with the marketing call “Agents Compete, You win”. But the user has to understand that the commission is not decided upfront and could end up costing more depending on the agents. That being said, the model is innovative and could help you save money if you end up with a decent agent at a low cost. UpNest is for users who want to enlist the services of a good agent for a hassle-free process at an increased price and minimal savings.
5. Listing Spark
Listing Spark is a full-service real estate brokerage firm with a unique price-per-day model. Unlike its competitors, Listing Spark does not charge large commissions or flat fees. Sellers need to pay $7 per day to be listed on their platform. From the time of listing, sellers will handle the inquiries, processing, and closure on their own. Users also have the option to enlist the help of full-services agents as a premium service. Listing Spark also provides à la carte services that users can choose from according to their needs. It is a great platform for motivated sellers capable of handling the process with little to no help.
To conclude, as a buyer, it is important to stay informed. You might be able to save thousands of dollars if you can correctly identify your needs and pick the right firm that can accurately address them. Money saved is money earned.