Discount Real Estate Brokers: How to Find a Top Realtor for Less

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By Ashley Simon Updated February 28, 2024

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Discount real estate brokers are companies or agents who sell your home for less than the average real estate agent commission rate. Most discount brokers create savings by charging a 1-2% listing fee, which is less than the average listing fee of 2.83%.

If you want to save on realtor commission and are considering hiring a discount real estate brokerage, there are a lot of options out there. But not all offer the same level of service, savings, and value.

This guide breaks down all the top discount real estate brokers: learn the costs, pros and cons, and which brands are available where (many discount real estate companies are only available in certain regions and cities).

Just looking for agents with discounted rates near you? Get proposals sent straight to your inbox from local agents charge a 1.5% listing fee. Compare agents from the discount brokerages below, plus top realtors from major brands like Compass and Century 21 who have agreed to offer lower rates.

The 5 top discount real estate brokers in the US

Company Listing Fee Availability
Best overall
1.5% (min. $3,000)
Nationwide
Find Agents
On listwithclever.com
1.5% (min. fee varies)
Nationwide (select markets)
Learn More
2% (min. $3,000)
Nationwide
Learn More
1% (min. fee varies)
AL, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA
Find Agents
1.5% (min. fee varies)
CO, DC, FL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, TX, VA, WA
Learn More

How did we rank these brokers?

Best overall

Clever Real Estate

Find Agents
On listwithclever.com
4.8

Listing Fee

1.5% (min. $3,000)

Customer Rating

5/5 (3,048 reviews)

Editor's Take

Overview

Locations

Clever Real Estate is the best option for most sellers who are looking for a low commission realtor. Clever matches you with multiple full-service agents from local brokerages, including top brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. You can interview as many agents as you’d like until you find the right fit, or you can walk away at any time. If you choose a Clever agent, you’ll pay a low 1.5% listing fee.

Pros

  • You get matched with top-producing local agents in minutes.
  • You get a 1.5% listing fee (half the usual rate) no matter which real estate agent you choose.
  • Clever’s agent matching service is free, with no obligation to commit to any realtor.
  • Clever's network of 19,000 agents offers great selection compared to similar services like Ideal Agent and UpNest.

Cons

  • There’s no guarantee you’ll get matched with a specific local agent or brokerage.
  • Add-ons like professional home staging and drone photography may cost extra (agents will let you know exactly what’s included during listing presentations).

Clever Real Estate offers a lower commission without sacrificing quality. Through its free service, you can find top-rated agents in your area and sell for just a 1.5% listing fee (much lower than the average realtor commission rate).

How it works: You take a short online quiz (five questions) to help Clever understand your situation and preferences. Then Clever matches you with vetted agents in your market who are a good fit. If you don’t like the agents Clever recommends, you can request more matches until you find the right fit — or simply walk away.

Why it’s great: You can use Clever to compare top-producing local realtors from major brands like Compass, Century 21, and Coldwell Banker. Each realtor in Clever’s network has agreed to offer lower commission rates, which lets you focus on choosing the best agent instead of worrying about the price. You get the same savings no matter what.

Clever is available nationwide.

Great savings, but some risks

Redfin

Learn More
On listwithclever.com
4.5

Listing Fee

1.5% (min. fee varies)

Customer Rating

2.9/5 (331 reviews)

Editor's Take

Overview

Locations

Redfin’s 1.5% listing fee is much lower than the traditional 2.5–3% rate, so the company can save you a lot of money when selling. If you also buy with Redfin, you could save even more. But its service model comes with risks.

Redfin agents handle a lot of clients, and they don’t always have time to provide as much hands-on service as you may need. At different stages of your sale, you’ll be handed off to another member of the Redfin team. This service model creates opportunities for errors and miscommunication.

Also watch out for minimum fees, which vary by market and can be high in some areas.

Pros

  • Redfin's low listing fee of 1.5% offers excellent savings.
  • Clients who buy and sell with Redfin can save even more.
  • You can easily manage your listing online or via Redfin’s app.

Cons

  • Agents provide limited one-on-one service.
  • Customer reviews have recently become more negative.

Redfin is a discount real estate brokerage that offers a listing fee of 1.5% — about half of what realtors traditionally charge. If you buy and sell with Redfin, you can get a 0.5% rebate, bringing your listing fee down to 1%.

The company can offer these savings because of its team-based service model. Various members of the Redfin team handle different stages of the transaction, which allows agents to take on a high volume of clients. With this model, Redfin agents tend to provide less one-on-one service than traditional realtors.

Redfin is one of the largest brokers in the country, operating in 100 major cities across the US and Canada. But it has almost no coverage outside of large cities.

Read the full Redfin review.

Redfin is available in major cities in most states, except ME, MT, ND, SD, VT, WV, and WY.

Good agents, but limited choice

Ideal Agent

Learn More
On listwithclever.com
4.5

Listing Fee

2% (min. $3,000)

Customer Rating

4.9/5 (6,997 reviews)

Editor's Take

Overview

Locations

Ideal Agent is a solid option if you’re looking for a top agent. The company vets its realtors thoroughly, so you’ll likely get a quality agent.

However, you might not get to choose who you work with, since Ideal Agent usually has only one or two realtors in a given area. Even if you get a top-performing agent, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be the right fit for your sale.

Ideal Agent’s listing fee of 2% is a bit lower than the traditional rate. But if you want to save money, other brokerages offer even lower fees while still maintaining high-quality agents and service.

Pros

  • Agents are vetted and meet strict performance criteria.
  • The 2% listing fee is lower than the traditional rate.
  • Customer service gets excellent reviews.

Cons

  • You likely won't get to choose which agent you work with.
  • There are no savings for buyers and limited savings for sellers.
  • There's limited ability to manage your listing online.

Ideal Agent is a real estate company that matches buyers and sellers with real estate agents.

Compared to similar companies, Ideal Agent has some of the strictest performance criteria for the agents it lets into its network. This vetting process means you're more likely to be matched with a top agent, although it also means there are fewer agents overall to choose from.

The company also offers a discounted listing fee of 2% (min. $3,000) compared to the 2.5–3% that realtors traditionally charge.

While Ideal Agent’s primary service is agent matching, the company also has a cash buyer program. With this program, Ideal Agent solicits multiple cash offers for your home from various investors. While you’re unlikely to make as much as you would selling on the open market, a cash buyer provides the convenience of a fast closing.

Ideal Agent is available nationwide.

Best for listing fee savings

1 Percent Lists

Find Agents
On listwithclever.com
3.8

Listing Fee

1% (min. fee varies)

Customer Rating

5/5 (385 reviews)

Editor's take

At a Glance

Locations

1 Percent Lists offers a solid combination of savings and full service. But it doesn't have strong agent vetting requirements. If you're located in one of its service areas, read customer reviews and check Zillow transaction data to ensure you don't end up with an inexperienced real estate agent.

Pros

  • The 1% listing fee is among the lowest in the industry.
  • You get full-service support, including professional photography, an MLS listing, and contract negotiation.
  • You can list on multiple MLSs for more exposure.

Cons

  • Agents aren't held to specific performance or review standards.
  • The company doesn't offer any discounts or benefits for buyers.
  • Company is young, so the location near you may not have a long review history.

1 Percent Lists is a full-service real estate brokerage. Agents won't hold open houses, but otherwise provide the same services as traditional realtors (professional photography, MLS listing, contract negotiation, etc).  Buyers can work with 1 Percent Lists and won't pay any fees.

1 Percent Lists has franchises in select markets in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington.

Located somewhere else? See our nationwide discount real estate broker picks.

Best for buyers in high-end markets

Prevu

Learn More
On listwithclever.com
4

Listing Fee

1.5% (min. fee varies)

Customer Rating

5/5 (465 reviews)

Editor's Take

Overview

Locations

Prevu offers savings for both buyers and sellers, but it offers the most value for buyers of high-value properties. Its buyer rebate of up to 2% is substantial, although the full 2% is only available on properties over $1.25 million.

Sellers can also save thanks to Prevu’s 1.5% listing fee — about half the traditional rate. But the company charges minimum fees that vary by market. If your home doesn’t sell above a certain threshold, minimum fees mean you’ll save less — and you could even end up paying more than you would with a traditional realtor.

Pros

  • Eligible buyers get a rebate of up to 2%.
  • Sellers can save with the 1.5% listing fee.
  • The company offers significant savings on high-value homes.

Cons

  • Only homes over $1.25 million qualify for the full 2% buyer rebate.
  • Minimum fees undercut seller savings.
  • Prevu has a small agent network, which means you could get stuck with a lackluster realtor.

Prevu is a discount brokerage that connects buyers and sellers with agents. The company advertises a buyer rebate of up to 2% and a 1.5% listing fee for sellers. However, minimum fees and other requirements mean many customers won’t qualify for these advertised rates.

Prevu is still a relatively small company with a limited pool of in-house agents. Because there are fewer agents, customers may not be able to change agents.

Like at some other discount brokerages, you may receive less one-on-one support from Prevu than you would with a traditional realtor. Prevu agents take on a lot of clients, which leaves them with less time to provide personalized attention to each buyer and seller.

Prevu is available in select markets in CO, DC, FL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, TX, VA, and WA.

How to choose a discount realtor

When choosing a discount real estate agent, think about what services are important to you, and make sure the agent offers the right set of services to fit what you need.

For example, 23% of recent sellers said they wanted an agent who could help price their home competitively and effectively market it to buyers. [1]

Other useful services a discount agent may offer include:

  • Helping you sell within a specific timeframe
  • Advising improvements to make your home more sellable
  • Assisting with paperwork, inspections, and negotiations
  • Providing photography and video.

If you're on the fence about an agent after an initial interview, talk to a few more candidates. Pay attention to each agent's past sales and customer reviews.

⚡ Get the best agents at a better rate. Use our free agent matching tool to find a great agent and take advantage of our 1.5% listing fee. Compare top local realtors from major brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX — with no added fees or strings attached.

What is a discount real estate broker (and how do they work)?

A discount real estate broker is a licensed realtor who passes on savings to home buyers and sellers by charging lower total commissions than traditional brokers.

The current average real estate commission is 5.49%. In an average real estate transaction, that fee is split, with 2.83% going to the listing agent and 2.66% going to the buyer's agent.

Most of the time, the seller is responsible for paying the entire commission fee, though sometimes the buyer's agent fee will be split or paid by the buyer. In 2023, nearly half (48%) of buyer's agents were compensated by the seller.[1]

Discount brokers typically offer savings by reducing the listing fee. For example, both Redfin and Clever Real Estate charge a 1.5% listing fee, which is less than the average listing fee of 2.83%. If you were selling a $500,000 home, you'd save around $6,650 by working with an agent from one of these brands.

Even if you work with a discount broker, you'll likely still have to offer the full buyer's agent fee. It incentivizes agents to show your home to their clients. And since the majority of buyers work with an agent, this is your best opportunity for finding a qualified buyer quickly and selling your home for full price.[1]

How do discount realtors get paid?

Many discount realtors get paid just like traditional real estate agents: through commission fees paid by the seller at closing. Agents who partner with Clever Real Estate, for example, charge customers a 1.5% listing fee at closing.

Other discount realtors, such as agents that work for Houwzer and Trelora, are employed by the company directly and are paid a salary.[2] Redfin uses a dual approach: agents earn a base salary but are also eligible to receive performance-based bonuses.[3]

How much can you save with a discount realtor?

The amount you can save with a discount realtor depends on three main factors:

  • Your home price
  • Your discount realtor's listing fee (factoring in any minimum fees)
  • Average commission rates in your area

We'll cover the first two points first — home price and listing fee — then we'll discuss how savings can vary based on where you live.

This first table breaks down how much you'll save at different price points based on the listing fee charged by your discount realtor. Most discount real estate brands charge 1–2% (for context, the average listing fee nationwide is 2.83%). That can seem like a small discount at first, but it actually breaks down into a significant dollar amount, especially at higher price points.

How much you save based on listing fee paid

Home price2% listing fee1.5% listing fee1% listing fee
$250,000$1,800$3,050$4,300
$500,000$3,600$6,100$8,600
$750,000$5,400$9,150$12,900
$1,000,000$7,200$12,200$17,200
Show more
Savings are calculated in comparison to the national average listing fee of 2.72%.

Now, it's important to break it down by location. Average commission rates vary depending on where you're located.

The average listing fee in New York, for example, is 3.00%. If you sell your $500,000 home with a realtor who charges a reduced fee of 1.5%, you'd save about $7,500 in realtor fees.

A seller based in Utah with the same priced house would save $4,000 (based on South Dakota's average listing fee of 2.30%).

Discount real estate broker alternatives

If you're on the fence about selling with a discount real estate broker, you may be better off trying one of these alternative sales types.

Alternative optionDescription
Sell without a realtor or with a flat fee MLS company.Save big on realtor fees. Good for people with real estate experience who don't mind a big time commitment.
Sell to a cash home buyer.Sell in as little as a week. Good for homes in poor condition.
Sell to an iBuyer.Sell in as little as a week. Good for homes in move-in ready condition.
Negotiate realtor fees yourself.Pay a lower listing fee with an agent of your choice. May be an option if you're selling an expensive home in a hot market.

Risks of working with a discount real estate broker

The best discount real estate brokers, like Redfin and Clever, provide full-service, just like a traditional broker. But service levels can vary by agent and brand.

Ultimately, the risks boil down to the individual agent you work with — and you run the same risks with traditional agents as you do with discount brokers. Example: you may end up with an agent who works hard and provides full service — or you may end up with someone who phones it in

Additionally, depending on where you live and what brands are available in your area, you may not have lots of discount agents to choose from.

The best way to have a great experience with your discount realtor? Always prioritize the best agent over the lowest price. If you're on the fence about an agent, listen to your gut. Don't go with a subpar agent just for the discount. And ask what services they offer before signing a contract.

👋 Next Steps: Talk to an expert

If you're weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!

Our fully licensed concierge team can answer your questions and provide objective advice on getting the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

When you enter your info below, we'll ask you a few questions about your situation via a short form. Then our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

This service is free, and there’s never any obligation to move forward with us.

Related articles

About our discount real estate broker recommendations

Data on average real estate commission rates is based on a survey of 630 of our partner agents, in which we asked them to indicate the typical rates for both buyer's and seller's agents in their area.

🔬 Our research process

Clever has helped thousands of home sellers find great low commission real estate agents and save on realtor fees. Our Editorial Team also spends hundreds of hours each year researching other discount brands and crafting in-depth reviews to help home sellers compare their options and find the right fit for their needs and price range, whether that's Clever or another service.

Our rigorous research process involves reading thousands of customer reviews, mystery shopping local offices to fact-check marketing claims and uncover details not listed on the company's website, and updating our rankings regularly to ensure we give consumers the best — and most accurate — information about low cost real estate agents available on the web.

Our primary goal is to empower you to make smarter real estate decisions, achieve your goals, and, ideally, save some money while you're at it. To that end, we strive to deliver highly objective, helpful guides that offer practical advice to sellers with different experience levels and with homes in different locations and price ranges.

Selling a house is one of the biggest financial transactions you'll ever make. We want to provide you with the information you need to have the best possible outcome, even if that means you ultimately choose to work with one of Clever's competitors.

Learn more about Clever's editorial policy.

Article Sources

[1] National Association of Realtors – "Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report". Updated 2023.
[2] Houwzer Real Estate – "Our Agents".
[3] Redfin Real Estate – "How are Redfin Agents paid?".

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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