The Best Flat-Fee Real Estate Brokers + Agents in 2023

Michael Warford

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Michael Warford

April 21st, 2023
Updated April 21st, 2023

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Top flat-fee brokers | Who should use a flat-rate realtor? | How to choose | FAQ

A flat-fee broker is a company or real estate agent who will sell your house for a fixed amount, no matter how much it sells for. Most listing agents charge a 2.5–3% commission, so the fee increases and decreases alongside the sale price.

Some full-service discount real estate brokerages offer flat-fee pricing. But these brands may skimp on service. And depending on your home's final sale price, you could actually end up losing money by going with a flat-fee realtor.

This guide breaks down all the top flat fee brokerages and how to calculate savings when comparing options. There aren't many flat-fee real estate brokers, so some of these brands may not be available in your area.

Top flat-fee and low commission real estate companies

1.5% or $3,000
Nationwide
4.9 (1,995 reviews)
$3,500
AZ, CO, ID, NV, UT
4.3 (1,187 reviews)
$2,950–9,950+*
74 locations in 18 states
N/A
$2,995–8,995*
126 locations in 35 states
N/A
*Actual fees vary by location

⚡ Just looking for real estate agents with low fees near you? Answer these five simple questions to get matched with agents in your area who work for just a 1.5% listing fee. Compare agents from the discount companies below, plus top realtors from major brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX.

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate

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💲 Listing Fee

1.5% (min. $3,000 fee)

💰 Avg. Savings

$5,625

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

4.9/5 (1,995 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Clever is a quick, easy, and free way to find a top-rated local agent. And, unlike many similar companies, Clever pre-negotiates big discounts on your behalf, so you can save thousands without sacrificing service.


Try Clever for free — save thousands on commission.

  • Clever matches you with full-service local agents from conventional brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX.
  • You get multiple agent matches so you can interview several, compare marketing plans, and choose the best fit.
  • Clever pre-negotiates low rates on your behalf — you get full service for a 1.5% listing fee.
  • Eligible buyers get cash back after closing.
  • You may not get matched with an agent from your preferred real estate brokerage.
  • Agents may not provide premium services like drone photography and professional home staging.

Clever has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, based on 1,844 reviews.


Read reviews from real Clever customers here.

Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates with top agents in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

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Clever isn't exactly a flat-fee real estate brokerage. And it's also not a true discount real estate brokerage, like Redfin or Houwzer. We're a matching service that connects you with top local real estate agents who work for some of the lowest rates in the industry.

Our goal is to make finding the right agent and saving money fast and easy.

You answer a few simple questions, then we handpick options in your market that fit your needs and preferences. We let you compare local flat-fee and discount brands with top realtors from major brokerages, like RE/MAX and Compass. These agents have agreed to offer low 1.5% listing fees when you find them through our platform. Sellers with homes below $200,000 pay a flat $3,000 fee.

We help you weigh your options, set up interviews, and choose the best fit. If you don't like your agent matches, you can request more. Or you can walk away at any time. Clever is free to use with no obligation.

🏡 Find a better agent, get a lower rate!

Try Clever today! Compare top local agents, list your home for just 1.5%. Our service is free with no obligation. Get your matches in minutes.

Homie Real Estate

💲 Listing Fee

$3,500

💰 Avg. Savings

$8,500

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

4.3/5 (1,187 reviews)

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Reviews
Locations

Homie offers legit flat-fee savings — but may provide less personalized service than a traditional agent.


Read the full Homie review.

  • The flat-fee pricing model offers big commission savings on higher-priced homes.
  • The self-service listing process lets you get your home on the market quickly.
  • Homie agents provide no in-person services or support.
  • Agents juggle up to 10 times as many customers at once, which increases the risk you'll have a bad experience.

Homie has a 4.3 out of 5 rating (1,187 reviews) across popular review sites like Google and Yelp.


Read reviews from real Homie customers here.

Homie is available in the following areas: AZ, CO, ID, NV, UT.

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Homie’s $3,500 flat listing fee offers some serious savings, especially if you’re selling a high-value home. For example, on a $750,000 home, you could save up to $19,000 in listing fees compared with a traditional real estate agent. But there are significant trade-offs when it comes to service.

Homie agents are busy — these flat-fee agents handle about 10 times as many clients as a traditional realtor, so they might not have as much time for you as you'd like.

Having a real estate agent provide personalized support throughout your sale is important. The more your agent knows about your house and your sale goals, the easier it will be for them to market your home — which ultimately translates into an easier time selling it.

Help-U-Sell

Help-U-Sell

Help-U-Sell

💲 Listing Fee

$2,950-7,950

💰 Avg. Savings

$6,550

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

No online reviews

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons
Locations

Help-U-Sell's pricing and service quality varies a lot depending on location, but in general it offers poor value for money.


Read the full Help-U-Sell review.

  • The flat-fee pricing can offer big savings on higher-value homes.
  • Some Help-U-Sell offices offer excellent service and support.
  • Pricing generally increases as home sale price increases, undercutting potential savings.
  • Service and pricing are highly inconsistent between Help-U-Sell offices.

Help-U-Sell is available in AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, ID, MI, MN, MO, NV, NC, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, WA.

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You can save money with Help-U-Sell in the right circumstances, but because it’s a franchise flat-fee broker, the service you get will vary between offices.

Generally, fees range from $2,950 to $9,950+, but they're mostly based on your home price. While Help-U-Sell advertises a flat fee, in reality that fee generally goes up the more your house sells for. So you can probably find a better rate with another discount brand.

Some Help-U-Sell offices have packages that fail to even include a listing on the multiple listing service (MLS). An MLS listing is crucial if you want to attract the most potential buyers.

If you're considering Help-U-Sell, verify that your local Help-U-Sell franchise includes, at minimum, an MLS listing, photography, and help with negotiations and closing.

Assist-2-Sell

Assist-2-Sell

Assist-2-Sell

💲 Listing Fee

$2,995-8,995

💰 Avg. Savings

$6,500

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating

No online reviews

✍️ Editor's Take
Pros
Cons

Assist-2-Sell's service and pricing vary by location, but generally it offers poor value for sellers.


Read the full Assist-2-Sell review.

  • Higher-value homes may be able to get significant savings with a flat fee.
  • Prices are inconsistent but generally higher than the competition.
  • Some customers complain about poor service and support.
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Assist-2-Sell is similar to Help-U-Sell — and comes with many of the same potential risks. It is also a franchise company, meaning that its fees and service quality vary by location.

Listing fees alone can range as high as $9,000, which is why we don’t recommend Assist-2-Sell for most sellers. Plenty of competitors offer better savings — and Assist-2-Sell’s business model could come with significant sacrifices in terms of customer service.

A common complaint among dissatisfied Assist-2-Sell reviewers is that agents are disorganized and hard to get in touch with, so you may find yourself with less dedicated customer service than you'd like.

Flat-fee brokers that offer limited service

Limited-service companies — often called flat-fee MLS companies — are cheap, but they aren’t a good option for most people. They're a great option to access the MLS without a realtor, but you’ll largely be left on your own to market your house, negotiate with buyers, and handle closing. Because of the amount of DIY required, many sellers who go this route often end up having to reduce their listing price or eventually hire a real estate agent.

Companies in the limited-service tier provide the most barebones level of support of all the flat-fee realtor companies. Typically, you’ll only get a listing on your local MLS and a handful of other basic services, like yard signs and lockboxes.

The only time limited-service companies are worth considering is if you have lots of experience selling houses and you’re confident you can handle every step of the process yourself.

» MORE: See the list of the best flat-fee MLS services

Who should use a flat-fee real estate broker?

Flat-fee real estate brokers are a good alternative to traditional realtors for many home sellers who are looking to save on realtor commission fees. Most people should only consider full-service companies — and not reduced- or limited-service ones — since they offer the same benefits as conventional real estate agents, but potentially with significant discounts.

But even with full-service flat-fee realtors, you need to make sure they make sense at your price point. Below $500,000, a typical flat-fee agent won’t offer better savings than percentage-based discount brands. So in that case, you’re usually better off choosing the best low commission broker in your area.

If you’re looking to save money on your home sale, don’t limit yourself to flat-fee brokers. Other types of discount brokers, many of whom provide discounted percentage-based listing fees, can help you save even more money without the service trade-offs.

» MORE: The best low commission real estate brokers

How to choose a flat-fee real estate agent

Unless you’re comfortable handling most of your home sale yourself, you’ll want to stick to a full-service agent from brands like Clever. When comparing flat-fee brokers, you should consider only ones that are highly rated online by previous customers and that actually offer full service.

While many companies advertise themselves as full service, that doesn't always mean the experience is on par with a conventional brokerage. For example, flat-fee agents often handle a lot more clients than a traditional realtor would, so they’ll have less time to devote to you. That could mean that they’re not available to answer your questions right away or they may have to hand off some steps of the transaction to another person on their team.

We strongly recommend avoiding limited-service brands. They provide little value and come with substantial risk. These companies are really only for extreme DIYers who have a lot of experience selling homes and live in a hot real estate market.

If you're set on a flat-fee realty company in the limited-service tier, be sure that the brand offers:

  • MLS access
  • At least a 20+ photo limit
  • Free or cheap cancellation
  • Free or cheap listing modifications

» MORE: Find the best flat-fee MLS service near you

Calculate your effective rate to find the best savings

Whatever brand you choose, check to make sure you’re getting the best possible savings at your home’s price point. To do this you’ll need to calculate your effective commission rate — your listing fee represented as a percentage of your home's sale price — and compare the flat fee to the percentage-based listing fee you could get elsewhere.

For example, if you pay a $5,000 flat fee to your realtor, your effective rate at different sale prices looks like this:

Sale price
Flat $5,000 listing fee
Effective rate
$100,000
$5,000
5%
$300,000
$5,000
2%
$500,000
$5,000
1%
$700,000
$5,000
0.71%
$900,000
$5,000
0.55%

In the above example, a $5,000 flat fee is a great deal if you’re selling above $500,000. However, below that you’ll pay more than 1% to your realtor. In that case, given that there are discount brokers that offer fees as low as 1.5%, you'll save more if you go with one of them.

You can calculate your own effective rate by entering your desired sale price and a hypothetical flat fee below:

Watch out for hidden fees and misleading claims

Some flat-fee companies — especially limited-service companies — are notorious for making misleading marketing claims and charging hidden fees. While few flat-fee brokers lie outright, they may make their services sound more impressive than they actually are.

To help you better compare what each company offers, these are the three most common issues we’ve spotted:

Most flat-fee brokers advertise how they’ll get your house listed on not only the MLS but also popular sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com.

While technically true, these claims fail to mention that all MLS listings automatically get syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com anyway. When your listing is on the MLS, it'll be reposted on all of these sites, regardless of whether you work with a flat-fee broker or a traditional agent.

Getting an MLS listing is the most basic service that all real estate agents and limited-service brokers should be providing. Getting syndicated to any of these sites is the bare minimum that you should expect from a broker — not something that you pay extra for.

Keep an eye out for hidden fees and extra charges when comparing flat-fee realtors and brokers. Limited-service brands in particular often charge extra for services that are fairly routine or mundane.

For example, one of the most common forms of hidden fees is charging you for modifying your listing. Some flat-fee MLS services charge more than $20 for each listing modification — meaning even a few changes could lose you hundreds of dollars.

Look for a flat-fee broker that lets you make free changes. Or, better yet, work with a full-service real estate agent or broker, who will typically handle changes to your MLS listing for you at no extra charge.

Flat-fee brokers often claim that you can set your own buyer’s agent commission or that you can even avoid paying realtor commission entirely if the buyer doesn’t have an agent. While both claims are technically true, they’re misleading.

For one, sellers are always free to set whatever buyer’s agent commission they want, regardless of whether they have an agent or work with a flat-fee broker. But that doesn’t mean they should.

We always recommend offering the standard 2.5–3% commission. If you offer less than that, buyer’s agents will have little incentive to show your house to their clients since they won’t be getting paid much (if anything). And if buyers aren’t seeing your house, it probably won’t sell very quickly.

Secondly, while you could avoid paying commission if your buyer doesn’t have an agent, the fact is that almost all buyers DO have agents. Expecting a buyer to not have one means your home could be listed for an extremely long time before it gets any offers — if it gets any offers at all.

Next steps

Whether you decide to work with a flat-fee broker or a traditional real estate agent, we always recommend comparing multiple options. Pick two to three flat-fee brokerages that you think could work for you, and compare what they offer.

But don’t assume that a flat-fee broker is the only way to save money. You should also compare them to what traditional realtors or other local discount brokers offer. While you’re more likely to pay a percentage-based commission with these options, you may find that the overall savings are better.

For example, paying $100 for an MLS listing sounds cheap, but if your house sells for $10,000 less because you struggle to market it yourself and negotiate with buyers, then you’re not actually saving money.

If you’re looking to save but you still want the expertise of a full-service realtor, we suggest comparing Clever Real Estate to other options you're considering. Clever’s savings are among the best in the industry, and because you'll work with a top local agent from a traditional brokerage, you won’t have to make any sacrifices in service.

💰 Compare hand-picked agents, list for 1.5%

Get matched with the best local agents from top brokerages and get pre-negotiated listing fees of just 1.5%.

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. Interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit — or walk away at any time.

FAQ about flat fee realtors

Flat-fee real estate agents and brokers help you sell your home for a fixed fee instead of the typical percentage-based commission. Listing with a flat-rate real estate agent could net you significant savings — particularly for more expensive homes. But some flat-fee companies don’t offer key services and support, which could negatively affect your sale outcome. Many sellers can find better value with a discount broker.

A flat-fee commission in real estate means you pay a set price to list your home, regardless of its final sale price. The flat-fee pricing structure differs from the typical percentage-based commission, which is a percentage of your home’s final sale price.

Real estate agents and brokers offer flat fees to attract more customers. Some companies have figured out ways to offer flat-fee savings without skimping on service. But many make up for the reduced rates by handling more customers per agent. This can limit their ability to provide you dedicated service and support, which can set you (and your sale) up for trouble.

Yes, you still need to offer a buyer's agent commission, which is typically 2.5–3%. While you can technically choose to not cover this fee, offering a buyer’s agent commission gives agents incentive to show your house to their clients. You might jeopardize your home sale if you don’t offer one.

Flat-fee MLS brokers are legitimate, and many offer substantial savings. But they often provide a lot less personalized service and support, and there can be hidden fees and overpriced add-ons that cut into savings. Most sellers can get significant savings and the support they need by using a discount realtor instead.

The best companies that offer flat listing fees include Clever Real Estate and Homie. Clever doesn't compromise on service quality. Some other flat-rate brokers advertise cheaper prices, but they offset low fees by providing much less support than a traditional listing agent. See our complete rankings of the top low commission companies.

Flat-rate realtors may or may not be a good value, depending on their listing fees, your estimated home price, and what services the agent will provide. In general, selling with a flat-fee real estate broker offers the biggest savings on more expensive properties. You may find better savings with a low-cost realtor who charges discounted percentage-based commission rates. Find the top low commission realtors.

Related articles

Michael Warford has been writing about real estate for over a decade. He specializes in consumer-focused reviews, particularly of agent matching services, for sale by owner websites, and flat-fee brokers. This guide drew on hundreds of hours of research by both Michael and the Clever team, including mystery shopping multiple flat-fee brokers. This article is reviewed and updated periodically to ensure you have the most accurate information to help you reach your real estate goals.

Methodology

Our ranking takes into account numerous factors, and we strive to take a holistic view of each company. That way no single factor where a company might perform exceptionally, such as low cost, can hide other shortcomings. The most heavily weighted factors are:

  • Service level
  • Price point

We weighed these the most heavily because we assume that service quality and cost are the most important factors for most home sellers. However, we also asked the following questions about each company and adjusted our rankings accordingly:

  • Does the company have hidden fees?
  • Does it make misleading marketing claims?
  • Does it offer add-ons? Are those add-ons fairly priced?
  • Does it have consistent and easy-to-understand pricing?
  • Is it missing important services?

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