Owners.com was a discount real estate brokerage that promised to save buyers and sellers money through different bundles and service packages.
While the site recently shut down, there are still other ways to save when buying or selling a home.
When you list with Clever, you'll only pay $3,000, or 1% of the closing price if your home sells for more than $350,000 — plain and simple. Plus, you'll get something Owners.com never provided: a full-service real estate agent.
Get in touch to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a real estate expert and learn how Clever can help you save on your home sale.
Although Owners.com was no longer around, learning about what they used to offer can help you get a better idea of what some discount selling options offer. If you're curious about how Owners.com worked, read on.
What was Owners.com?
Owners.com provided sellers with remote assistance from licensed real estate agents and cost-saving bundles and service packages. In some states, Owners.com also offered settlement services, including escrow and closing assistance.
The brokerage's flagship offering was their 2% Professional Listing Package, which included a listing on Owners.com, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and other popular sites, as well as an MLS listing, and remote assistance from a licensed realtor.
Additionally, Owners.com offered Buy and Sell Bundles to sellers who both sold their current home and bought a new one with the company. These bundles offered savings in the form of a rebate at the end of the sale and purchase.
Why Use a Discount Broker
Discount brokers can provide huge savings. When you sell with a traditional realtor, you'll typically need to pay 6% of your home's closing price in commission fees.
A discount broker, on the other hand, offers their services for a reduced rate. However, in most cases this also means you'll receive a lower level of service from the broker, either in the form of fewer services or lower quality of services provided.
When a discount broker works out well, it's great: you walk away from your sale with thousands of dollars in savings and a successful home sale.
However, when it doesn't work out so well, it can make the already stressful home selling process all the more exhausting. Sellers can easily find themselves lost and without enough guidance if they don't do their research and choose a top discount brokerage.
What to look for in a Discount Broker
Ideally, a discount broker will offer the same level of service as a traditional broker but at a reduced price.
Why would they do this?
In many cases, it's as simple as increased sales volume. Certain discount brokers provide realtors with a steady flow of new clients, meaning that the agents save time and money that they'd otherwise spend marketing their services. They can then pass on those savings to you in the form of lowered commission rates without limiting the quality or number of services they provide sellers.
Additionally, you'll want to find brokers who have good reviews. Check out any broker that you're considering on Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and other popular review sites to make sure that you're dealing with a company that's on the level.
How did Owners.com work for sellers?
Owners.com offered sellers a 2% Professional Listing Package that provided listings on Owners.com, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and other sites, as well as an MLS listing, professional photographs for the listing, and remote support from licensed real estate agents.
If sellers wanted more service, they could request it and negotiate a price for any additional services with Owners.com.
If you sold your house and purchased a new one with Owners.com, you were eligible for their Buy and Sell Bundle, which provided a rebate after your sale and purchase wrapped up. The savings for this program varied by state.
What did selling your home with Owners.com cost?
Owners.com's premier offering, the 2% Professional Listing Package, generally cost sellers 2% of their home's closing price. However, this did not include the buyer's agent's commission, which is typically an additional 3%, bringing the total cost to 5% of the final sales price.
Owners.com also charged a minimum $3,500 commission. You would've needed to sell your home for at least $175,000 for the Owners.com commission to actually work out to 2%.
If your home sold for $100,000, for example, you'd have actually paid 3.5% in listing agent commission alone, which was 0.5% more than you'd pay for a traditional, full-service realtor.
If you could sell for over $175,000, however, Owners.com could've provided significant savings compared to a traditional realtor. Furthermore, if you were eligible for the Buy and Sell Bundle, you could've received an additional rebate at the end of your sale or purchase. The exact amount varied by state.
Benefits of Owners.com
Let's take a look at some of the former benefits of selling with Owners.com.
Buy and Sell Bundles
If you were selling your home and planned to buy a new one shortly after closing, Owners.com's Buy and Sell Bundles could've provided you with significant savings.
Owners.com offered three ways to save:
- Owners.com Loans: If you found a lender on Owners.com, you saved around $750.
- Close with a Preferred Provider: If you closed on your home with an Owners.com preferred provider, you saved approximately $150.
- Buy and Sell: If you sold your current home and bought a new one with Owners.com, you saved approximately $1,250.
These programs were available in six states: Florida, California, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Masschussetts. The exact amount saved depended on your state.
Potential Drawbacks to Owners.com
While Owners.com provided several benefits, there were some drawbacks.
Higher Commission Rates
Although Owners.com touted a 2% commission fee, it was not that simple. First off, you still would've paid 3% to the buyer's agent, raising the true cost of commissions to 5%.
Second, due to the $3,500 minimum commission fee, if you sold your home for less than $175,000, you paid more than 2% in listing commissions. In states like Arkansas, where, according to Zillow, the 2019 median home sales price was $148,600, you'd have paid more than you originally thought.
Discount Brokerage Marketing
When you listed Owners.com (or choose to list on similar ones that are still active), buyers knew you were paying a reduced commission fee. Because of this, many buyers attempt to negotiate a lower sales price since you're saving money can afford to go a little lower in price.
The extent to which discount brokerage marketing actually affects your sales price depends on how persistent the buyer is. But nonetheless, these negotiations are bound to be a headache.
While Owners.com operated nationwide, their Buy and Sell Bundles was only available in six states. This was a very small number of eligible states, and most Americans could not benefit from a rebate from Owners.com.
Now the website and its services are no longer available.
As of October 4, 2019, Owners.com had 1.4-out-of-5 star rating on Sitejabber.com (16 reviews).
As of the same time, Owners.com had a 4.7-out-of-5 star rating on Review.io (113 reviews).
Choosing the Right Discount Agent for You
Selling your home is likely going to be the biggest financial decision you'll make in your life, and your realtor will be the person who guides you through the process from start to finish.
Picking the right agent is no easy task; you need to make sure that your realtor is both a top performer and a good fit on a more personal level. That's why Clever Real Estate lets sellers interview as many top, local real estate agents as they want before choosing one.
Each of our Partner Agents is ranked within the top 5% of local realtors and has agreed to provide full-service for just $3,000, or 1% of your home's closing price if it sells for more than $350,000.
Plus, since all Partner Agents work for well-respected brokerages like Keller Williams and Century 21, buyers will never know you're saving on commission.
Get in touch to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a top agent near you and learn how you can save thousands on your home sale.