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Thinking of selling your home? Then you’ve probably already looked into using a traditional agent and factored in their commissions.

If you’re anything like us, after hearing the amount of money you’ll have to pay just to sell your home, you went online and searched for better ways to go about it. We’ve found that there are two ways to cut the price you’ll pay out on commission: Sell the home yourself (For Sale by Owner), or by discount listing your home with a discount broker.

While selling the home yourself seems like a great way to save some serious cash, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay the buyer’s agent, as well as factor in the fact that many looking to buy a home For Sale By Owner (FSBO) expect you to lower your asking price considerably.

Using a discount broker means one of two things: you get all the perks of working with a full-service agent at a flat rate cost, or you pay for partial service (such as just having your home listed on the MLS). Still interested in how listing with a discount broker works? We’ve broken it down for you.

How Do Discount Brokers Operate?

Discount brokers operate the same way traditional brokerages operate, but without the hefty commission. Some discount brokers charge a simple flat rate or a small percentage. This means you as the seller retain more of your profit from the sale, and buyers receive a rebate to cover closing costs.

While saving money is always worth pursuing, listing your home as an FSBO is a steep road to go down for little-to-no-profit on your end.

A recent study showed that the average FSBO home sold for about 24% less than a home put on the market by a real estate professional-- which is 3x what they would end up paying both the seller's and buyer's agent-- and they still have to pay the buyer's commission. Not only is selling your home FSBO a hassle, it's actually quite pricey.

What Are the Pitfalls of a Discount Listing?

When you hear an agent or brokerage advertising to sell your home as a discount listing, you often find out they aren’t full-service agents, which means they're willing to do some services, like list your home on the MLS, but not others, like put up signs, create flyers, and take pictures of your home.

Listing your home on the MLS is a great step in selling your home, but you deserve better. A full-service agent goes above and beyond in providing not only the way to sell your home but also provides the means. You can find out more about full-service agents here.

Will Agents Show Listings That Are Not Paying a Full 6% Commission?

You may be wondering if other agents working on behalf of a buyer will even want to show a listing that does not include the typical commission rate. The short answer is yes. The long answer is a bit more involved.

When looking to show a home to a buyer, agents are looking for the features of the home itself to ensure it is a good fit for their clients, not the percentage of commission. This is because they aim primarily to make their client happy and also because, ultimately, all commissions are negotiable until under contract.

While the typical commission rate is 6%, the rates have been declining over the years, and we anticipate them continuing to go down. This is due mainly to technology in the real estate industry. Technology makes it easier than ever to find the perfect home or property for you while eliminating the hours of searching that real estate professionals used to spend locating properties.

What's in a name?

When working with a discount broker, it’s important to make sure they are a reputable agent that works for a brokerage that isn’t exclusively known for working with discount listings. This is due to a common practice among brokers to haggle prices down if they discover you are saving money somewhere. Using a name brand broker, or top rated local brokerage ensures that potential buyers have no idea about your big savings.

Putting your home on the market may open a lot of doors for you, but it shouldn’t mean emptying out your wallet, too. Using the right discount broker can go a long way toward getting you the service you deserve, without costing you an arm and a leg.

If you're looking for a local and full-service agent from a major brand that will list your home for a flat fee of $3,000*, Clever can help. Call us at Call 1-833-2-CLEVER or complete our online form to get connected a top-rated local agent that will list your home with a discounted commission rate.

*1% listings for homes over $350,000.


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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