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Discount Realtor Reviews (5 Options to Know About)

Discount realtors have taken the world of real estate by storm, giving sellers a cheaper alternative to the traditional 6% realtor commission. In this guide we are taking a look at some of the most popular discount realtor companies and what their customer reviews sat.
Discount Realtor Reviews (5 Options to Know About)

With traditional real estate agents typically charging 6% of the total sales price of a home, many sellers search for a cheaper alternative.

Discount real estate agents are disrupting the real estate market by offering sellers a new way to save thousands of dollars in listing commissions.

But how do you know which discount realtor will offer excellent service, as well as a reduced commission?

You want to work with an agent who is a top performer in their area and who is the best fit for your situation. And it certainly won't hurt if they save you up to 50% in commissions.

> Get a free, no-obligations consultation with a top discount agent in your area.

In the meantime, this guide will look at various discount realtor reviews, so that you can make an informed decision.

What are discount realtors?

A discount real estate agent will list your home for a lower commission or a flat rate. Discount realtors offer many different levels of service, so it is important to look around and find the one that provides everything you need. Opting for a cheaper service with little support may cost you more in the long run.

For example, some discount realtors charge a low fee, list your home on your local MLS, and offer no additional services. If you don't have the time to show your property yourself, or don't feel comfortable negotiating with buyer's agents, your home won't sell and even with the discount, the flat fee is a waste of money.

In comparison some discount realtors, such as those that partner with Clever Real Estate, offer the full-service experience you would receive from a traditional realtor, but for a much lower price.

It's important to note that hiring a discount realtor to list your home does not mean settling for a limited-service — as long as you do your research.

Pros of Discount Realtors

  • Save money: Discount realtors typically charge much less than the 6% of the total sales price that a traditional realtor charges. This can save homeowners thousands of dollars in closing costs.
  • Flexibility in services: Many discount realtors offer a variety of service packages allowing sellers to pick and choose what they want to pay for. For example, if you simply want to utilize the agent's access to the MLS, but handle everything else yourself, there are discount realtors who offer MLS listings only.
  • Experience: Discount realtors often close a high volume of sales, this means they're likely to have a substantial amount of experience.

Cons of Discount Realtors

  • Level of service: Not all discount realtors are created equal, and the level of services they offer can vary significantly.
  • No buyer's agent commission discount: Even though you hire a discount realtor to list your home, sellers should still offer a commission to incentivize buyer's agents to show your home. The buyer's agent typically expects to receive 2.5% of the total sales price from the seller.

What to Look for in a Good Review of a Discount Realtor

Like most businesses today, you can find reviews for discount realtors online. But how do you know which reviews you can trust?

Remember that customer service is subjective, and what one person may deem exceptional, another may feel just isn't enough. Managing expectations is an important part of reading reviews online.

Here are some things to look out for when looking at good reviews:

  • Similarities: Was the transaction similar to yours? The more similar the seller's situation was to yours, the more likely that your experience will be as good.
  • Specifics: Does the review mention specifics of how the business performed well? This can help gauge the reviewer's standards.

What to Look for in a Bad Review of a Discount Realtor

Bad reviews are inevitable, even for the best company in the world. This is because regardless of how experienced or helpful an agent is, the outcome of real estate transactions can sometimes be out of their hands.

What you need to determine is if a bad review is a fluke or if it's a habitual way of doing business you should avoid.

Here are some things to look out for when looking at good reviews:

  • Being realistic: Is the reviewer highlighting a lack of customer service or experience? Or is the issue with something that the agent couldn't realistically control? Selling a home can be extremely stressful and emotive, so if something doesn't go to plan it's natural for the seller to be disappointed.
  • The company's response: It's impossible to make every client 100% happy, however a responsible business and agent will address complaints and try to rectify them in a prompt and respectful manner.

5 Discount Realtors to Consider

UpNest

UpNest gives homeowners an easier way to find a real estate agent. After requesting the services of an agent, the UpNest platform allows real estate agents to compete for the business of local home sellers by offering a lower listing commission.

If you wish to work with an UpNest agent, you simply enter your details on their website form and wait 24 hours to receive offers from local agents in your area. It is up to you to consider the different proposed commissions, interview the agents, and choose who's the best fit.

Pricing: UpNest connects sellers with local agents, and they do not take a fee for this service. What sellers pay their agent will depend on the commission quote the seller accepts, but in most cases, it's lower than the traditional 3% listing rate.

What UpNest Offers

  • An easy way to connect with local realtors
  • No obligation to hire the agents if you don't find a fit
  • Competitive commission rates

What Sellers Need to Know

UpNest does not set the agents' commission percentage, so exact savings are not guaranteed. Homeowners may not save significantly if all the agents they're connected with bid close to the traditional rate.

It's also important to note that if you're only choosing from a pool of three to five agents, you may be missing out on a better fit.

UpNest Reviews

As of August 22nd, 2019, UpNest has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Redfin

Redfin agents work for customer service bonuses — not commissions — and are rewarded for the positive reviews that their clients give them. This allows them to offer sellers a lower listing fee.

Pricing: Redfin charges a 1.5% listing fee, however, it can be as low as 1% in certain markets. There are also commission minimums that range from $3,000-$5,500. It is important to note that this does not include the buyer's agent commission.

What Redfin Offers

  • Professional photography
  • Signage
  • Flyers
  • 3D scans of home
  • Full-agent support from a team of realtors

What Sellers Need to Know

Redfin is not currently available in Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming, so if you live in any of those states you're out of luck.

It's also worth noting that rather than connecting you with one sole point of contact agent, Redfin adopts a team approach. While you'll have a primary agent in charge of your listing, they may not be the one who's present for showings, inspections, etc. This may not be ideal for homeowners who want a personalized experience.

Redfin Reviews

As of August 22nd, 2019, RedFin has an D+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. However, there are only 14 customer reviews on the site, which is too small of a sample to draw definitive conclusions.

REX Real Estate

REX is an online platform that markets homes without using the local MLS. Sellers can, therefore, avoid paying the buyer's agent commission because buyers are targeted directly through the use of data modeling, machine learning, and social media instead of through their agent and the MLS.

Pricing: REX charges 2% of the total sales price in commission. If a buyer with an agent wants to purchase your home, they are responsible for paying their agent's commission.

What REX Real Estate Offers

  • Targeted, data-driven marketing
  • No buyer's agent commission
  • Full-service agents (pricing, marketing, showings, etc.)

What Sellers Need to Know

REX real estate is currently only available in a limited number of markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

While REX claims it's no longer necessary to list homes on the MLS, it's important to note that currently, that is the main way buyers find homes. Not being on the MLS can mean it takes longer to find a buyer.

REX Real Estate Reviews

As of August 22nd, 2019, REX has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Home Bay

Home Bay offers homeowners a remote selling experience with online tools and support from real estate agents. Selling through Home Bay is like a FSBO sale, but with multiple tools and support. For example, although sellers show their own homes, Home Bay coordinates between the buyer and the seller to organize a convenient time.

Pricing: Home Bay's prices vary, depending on the value of your home, however it starts at $2,000. It's also important to note that Home Bay's cost does not include the buyer's agent commission.

What Home Bay Offers

  • Professional photos
  • Yard sign
  • MLS access
  • Marketing tools
  • Pricing assistance

What Sellers Need to Know

If you're looking for a full-service listing experience for a low commission, Home Bay may not be the ideal choice for you. While Home Bay provides virtual support, your agent will never see your home in-person.

Home Bay is also not currently available in all markets of the U.S.

Home Bay Reviews

As of August 22nd, 2019, Home Bay has a 4.5-star rating with Trustpilot.

Clever Real Estate

Clever Real Estate connects sellers and buyers with full-service real estate agents from across the country and pre-negotiates a lower commission on behalf of sellers. From strategically pricing your home to negotiating with buyers, a dedicated Clever Partner Agent will handle everything.

Clever partners with top-performing, local agents from nationwide brokerages (Century 21, Keller Williams, etc.) so buyers never know you're saving on listing commissions.

Pricing: Sellers pay a flat-fee commission of $3,000, or 1% for homes over $350,000.

What Clever Offers

  • Full-service support from a licensed real estate agent
  • MLS listing and syndication to all major real estate websites
  • Professional photography
  • Signage from a well-known brokerage
  • Strategic pricing plan
  • Effective marketing
  • Showings
  • Negotiations
  • Contract support

What Sellers Need to Know

Clever partners with top agents across the country, so no matter where you live, you can get connected with multiple, high-performing agents. You can interview as many agents as it takes to find the best fit for you.

> Start interviewing local agents today!

Clever Real Estate Reviews

As of August 22nd, 2019, Clever Real Estate has a 5-star rating with Trustpilot.

Top FAQs About Discount Realtors

Can you negotiate a realtor's commission?

Most realtors are open to negotiating their commission, however, it's important to note that many won't reduce their commission by more than 1%. Many real estate agents are also highly trained negotiators and may be difficult to persuade them to lower their commission.

How can I lower my realtor fees?

There are many ways to lower your realtor fees, including selling your home For Sale By Owner, or negotiating a lower commission with a local realtor. One of the easiest ways of lowering your realtor fees is to work with a full-service, discount realtor.

However, know that even if you lower your own realtor fees, you'll still be responsible for the buyer's agent's commission.

Why do realtors charge so much?

Listing agents typically split the 6% commission equally with the buyer's agent; each agent receives 3% of the total sales price, minus their brokers cut and the expenses it cost to sell the property.

From the commission that they earn, they also have to pay many operating costs such as professional photography for the home, marketing expenses, travel, and their brokerage fee.

Do realtors get paid if a house doesn't sell?

Real estate agents get paid at closing, therefore if a sale doesn't make it to that point, they don't get paid. Even if the agent has spent money marketing the home, and showed it many times, most listing agreements stipulate that the agent gets paid once the home had sold, and not before.

However, if you break your listing agreement with your agent, you may have to pay them whether the home sells or not.

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Jamie Ayers
Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

See all Jamie's Posts
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