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Do sellers really save money when using a 'discount' real estate broker?


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Do sellers really save money when using a 'discount' real estate broker?
Written By: Linda Nelson ~ 8/19/2021


There are real estate firms and brokers that advertise listing your home for 1%. They say they are "full service" and will save you 2% commission costs. What does that really mean for the seller?

First of all, you need to understand that they are playing a numbers game. They have to sell more homes than the average real estate broker to get the same return. That also means that they have less time for their sellers when it comes to preparing the home for sale (to market it properly) as well as having the time negotiate the best possible offer.

I know all of this because I work with discount brokers frequently when I am representing buyers and sellers. For example, when I write an offer for a buyer and submit it to a discount broker, they typically review the offers with their seller and help them choose the "best" offer. On the flip side, when I am reviewing offers, I call every agent before presenting them to my seller. I let the brokers know where we are at and give them the opportunity to discuss strengthening the offer with their buyer. In today's competitive market everyone appreciates being given that chance and I am always able to increase the profit on the highest offer by far more than 2%.

It all goes back to the old saying, "You get what you pay for!" Just because it's a seller's market does not mean that homes sell themselves. Proper pricing and presentation are key. How often do you look at homes on the internet and think to yourself that they should have taken the time to declutter, clean, take care of deferred maintenance and Put the Toilet Seats Down! I am not suggesting that remodeling or major updates need to be made and I am all about "spending the least amount of money possible" to sell your home. I work with my sellers from day one to guide them through the process of properly preparing their home for sale by following some easy steps. I never rush my sellers because it can cause undo stress and anxiety. Everyone works at a different pace and I am there to coach them along the way. Once the home is "market ready" I have it professionally staged and photographed (at my expense) to achieve the highest buyer exposure possible.

As I mentioned earlier, properly pricing a home is just as important as presentation. If a home is priced too high it will sit on the market and buyer's will wonder what must be wrong with it. The longer it sits on the market, the lower the price. Many discount brokers are not concerned about pricing because they haven't invested much time or money to list the home and they can use it for open houses to pick up buyers. They then make the higher commission when they find the buyer a home.

I'm not saying any of this is wrong. It's just a different business model and typically doesn't benefit the seller in the best possible way. Sellers usually save far more than 2% and in fact they make a much higher profit when they work with an experienced, full-time, full-service broker like me!

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