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Many agents will tell you "You get what you pay for," when you talk about negotiating their commission. Is that really the case or merely a way to get you to pay more money than is necessary? There is no need to pay 3% or even 4% fo your home's sale price to get a high-quality agent. You just need to know what to look for.

There are definitely a few things not to look for when you're looking to save on commission. It's easy to get caught up looking for the lowest price you can find, and neglect learning about the agent. By learning as much as you can about the real estate agent up front, you will save yourself a lot of headache and trouble later on.

Some discount brokerages use top local agents and charge a flat rate. While you should always thoroughly check the company’s policies and reviews, these brokerages can be a great compromise for saving money while working with a high caliber agent.

How To Pick A Real Estate Agent

Whether you decide to work with a regular agent and try to negotiate commission rates or go with a discount agency, there are several qualities to look for when choosing a real estate agent. First, you want to find a local agent. Second, you want to check their ratings, and third is their expertise.

Local Real Estate Agents

Choosing a local real estate agent is first on the list for a reason. Those who don’t specialize in the area compromise the level of service and expertise they can provide. Some real estate listing services save you money on commission by only listing your home on the MLS.

Often, these agencies are not local and therefore don’t have a clue what to highlight in the house description. For example, if you get a lot of flooding in your area, knowing the yard has a draining system in place would be a major selling point that non-locals might gloss over.

Having a local real estate agent also means they know what homes are selling for in the area. This is super valuable for putting in offers or listing your home for sale. This level of knowledge also means the agent has experience selling or putting in offers on homes similar to yours.

Experience in your area is crucial to saving and even making money on your house.

Real Estate Agent Ratings

Real estate agents are everywhere, and so are recommendations. Knowing how one agent compares to another in your situation helps you make the best decision for your house. Many online sites share reviews of real estate agents in your area. It may be tempting to look for agents that gave their clients a break on commission rates. Instead, try to notice the level of service that each agent provides. We’ll teach you how to work on commission later, but first focus on the level of service you expect to receive.

Some great agents may not have an online profile for reviews. It’s always a great idea to get a few recommendations and reviews from the clients themselves. Ask those in your area if they would recommend anyone in particular, and ask about what sets them apart. Those who have worked with really excellent real estate agents will be happy to share those memories.

Experienced Real Estate Agents

If you have found local, well-reviewed agents, chances are they are already experienced real estate agents. Having an experienced real estate agent means they know your neighborhood like the back of their hand. They are watching the housing market and taking note of the rise and fall in prices. They have been helping others like you buy and sell in this area for years and can predict the market with a high level of certainty. This level of expertise is what you give up when you choose the lower commission rate of an inexperienced agent.

Inexperienced agents are uncertain of market trends. They may have researched the area, but have never helped anyone in the neighborhood, or even one like it. Because of this, they may not be able to complete an accurate Comparative Market Analysis, and it could end badly for the sale of your house. Inexperienced agents are also unsure about the best times to buy or sell your home.

Save on Realtor Commission

As with most large transactions, the amount of money you can save plays a considerable role in determining the agent you choose. Hopefully, you’ve realized how important it is to select a real estate agent that is experienced and local before considering the price of their commission. When you look at the commission as a deciding factor for hiring, it could compromise the quality of service you receive.

Discount real estate companies that demand great reviews and pay flat rates are the way to go when saving thousands on commission. Some discount brokerages charge flat rates of 1% of the house sale price or even lower. For example, if you sell your home for $300,000, you would generally pay 3% to 4% or $9,000 to $12,000 to your real estate agent. Contrast that to using a discount real estate service, and you would only end up paying about 1%, or $3,000. That’s quite a difference!

This cut in price doesn’t come at a reduction to quality either. These are the agents that you don’t have to worry about providing quality service. That’s because the brokerage has put them through the screening process for you.

Saving money isn’t just for sellers, either. Some discount agencies, like Clever, provide up to a 1% commission rebate for buyers. This is dependent on the amount the house sells for and the number of homes the buyer is shown. How often can you make money from buying a house?!

Getting quality service without paying an arm and a leg should be the standard. Make sure you search out the best local agent for your real estate needs at a price you can feel right about.

Need an experienced local real estate agent? How about one that provides superior service for a fraction of the price? Then you need Clever. At Clever, we use only the top reviewed real estate agents and do it for a simple flat rate. Call us today at   1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.


Andrew Schmeerbauch
Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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