Real estate agents usually aren't paid a base salary. Instead, the vast majority work on commission, i.e., a set percentage of the final price of the home being sold.
Low commission real estate agents offer commission rates that are considerably less than the nationwide average of approximately 6%.
Working with one of these low-cost agents could save you as much as 50% in commission fees.
Below we detail how low commission real estates work, how they can differ from traditional realtors, and how you can save on commission.
A low commission real estate agent will list and sell your home for a low cost, saving you up to half of the 6% fee agents typically charge in a real estate transaction.
* Based on a commission model of 3% for the buyers agent and $3,000 or 1% for homes over $350,000 for the listing agent.
If you're looking for a low commission or discount real estate agent, there are a few different options to choose from:
- Low commission brokerages who only do discount listings
- Low commission agents who only list your house on the MLS and offer no additional services
- Agents who run a traditional business but will also take a low commission listing if it's referred by Clever
When you work with a Clever Partner Agent, you get the best of both worlds: full service and support from a top-rated agent for a significantly reduced commission fee. Clever Partner Agents can list your home for a flat fee of $3,000 — or just 1% if your home sells for more than $350,000.
Our Partner Agents are all full-service realtors who have been identified as top performers in their local markets. The only difference is that they've agreed to offer their services to our clients for a fraction of their typical rate.
Want to learn more? Fill out the form below or call us directly (1-833-2-CLEVER) for more information and next steps.
How are low commission real estate agents different from traditional realtors?
Just because you work with a cheap realtor, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on service — it all depends on which type of low commission agent you choose to work with.
When you work with a traditional real estate agent, you can expect to receive a comprehensive array of services and support in exchange for your full commission fee, including:
- Home staging
- Professional photos
In contrast, many discount and flat-fee brokerages will significantly limit the scope of their services and support to offset their reduced rates. Below, we've broken down the key differences between the different types of low commission real estate offerings.
Are realtor fees negotiable?
In a word, yes.
The idea that realtor commission rates are set in stone is a common misconception among home sellers and buyers. The reality is that everything in a real estate transaction is negotiable, including your agent's fee.
That said, it is true that in most markets, traditional agents end up charging a similar fee for their services — approximately 6%, split between the listing and buyers' agents involved in the sale.
Your ability to negotiate your commission rate down will likely depend on two key factors:
- The temperature of your local market
- The quality of the property you're trying to sell
Both of these factors will help your home sell quickly — which you can use to argue for a cheaper commission rate.
Top Tips for Negotiating Lower Real Estate Commission Fees
1. Do your homework in advance
Before initiating the conversation, you should do some preliminary research. Look at recent sale prices for similar homes in your area, evaluate whether you're in a buyer's or seller's market — this will give you a good indication of how much bargaining power you have going in.
2. Consider your specific needs
Be upfront about what services you value — and which ones you don't. When haggling on price, you may have to sacrifice certain services or types of support. Maybe you want to try handling the showings and open houses yourself, or you're a professional photographer and don't need assistance on that front.
That said, keep in mind that some agents may not want to sign a listing agreement if they're not in the driver's seat. They're the experts and may not want you jeopardizing their ability to maximize their profit on the sale.
3. Work with a company that pre-negotiates rates for you
There are companies (Clever is one of them) that can connect you with traditional, full-service agents for a pre-established low commission rate. Oftentimes, it's a whole lot easier to let someone else negotiate on your behalf, and these referral services can often get rates lower than you'd be able to get negotiating for yourself.
Think of it like the “Groupon Model” for real estate agents. When you approach an agent on your own, they may not be very open to negotiating rates — after all, you're just one client and they may rather choose listings that pay the standard commission rate. In contrast, when they work with a discount broker referral service, they're getting a much higher volume of new business without having to invest any time or money up front.
How Clever can help you save on commission
Clever has a nationwide network of top-rated, full-service real estate agents, all of whom represent major brands and/or regional brokerages (Keller Williams, Century 21, RE/MAX, and more).
Our Partner Agents run traditional, full-commission real estate businesses, but have agreed to offer a significant discount to any home seller who connects with them through Clever's referral program. Despite the low commission rates, you can still expect to receive comprehensive, end-to-end real estate services and support. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Comparative Market Analysis
- Expert Pricing Guidance
- Home-Staging Tips
- Professional Photos
- Sign in Yard
- Marketing Services & Support
- Listing on the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and hundreds of other sites
- Negotiation & Counteroffer Support
- Home Inspection Coordination & Support
- Title Transfer Support
- Closing Services
- Ongoing Expert Guidance & Support Throughout the Home Selling Process
In other words, unlike when you work with other discount brokerages, prospective buyers will have no idea that you saved thousands on your listing commission. That helps you avoid lowball offers and hard-line negotiations from potential buyers
When you list with a Clever Partner Agent, you'll get all of the expert guidance, support, and exposure needed to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar.
Schedule no-obligation consultations with full-service, low commission real estate agents near you!
Why do real estate agents partner with Clever?
Real estate agents typically have to sink a ton of their time and resources into acquiring new business for themselves. Of course, they don't get paid when they sign new customers — they get paid when they sell homes.
When agents work with Clever, they get a steady stream of new clients, meaning they can spend less time selling themselves and more closing deals.
In effect, they're able to generate more revenue with less effort — and those savings get passed on to you in the form of a cheap commission rate.
Working with Clever supplements their traditional business, generates new connections, and increases awareness of their personal brand around town.
Our Partner Agents know that if they fail to provide our buyers and sellers with the best possible service and results, we'll stop sending them referrals — and they'll likely damage their professional reputations.
In other words, expect to receive the same treatment and care they'd extend to any of their traditional clients.
Find a top-rated, low-cost agent near you!
Let us match you with a top-rated, low commission agent.
Clever has a nationwide network of thousands of Partner Agents who have agreed to list and sell your home for a flat fee of $3,000, or just 1% if your home sells for more than $350,000.
Get multiple proposals and interview as many agents as you'd like to find the perfect realtor to match your specific needs and circumstances.