Selling your house with Assist-2-Sell may cost less than listing with a traditional agent — but its franchise model means savings and service quality will vary by location.
Assist-2-Sell is a discount real estate franchise with offices in 130 cities across 33 U.S. states.
If you’re looking to sell your home, an Assist-2-Sell broker will provide the same general range of services as a traditional realtor — but you’ll pay significantly less.
You can also buy a home with Assist-2-Sell, but there are no built-in cost advantages to doing so.
Assist-2-Sell’s savings do come with a catch: to charge less and still turn a profit, Assist-2-Sell brokers must handle a much higher volume of customers than the typical agent.
This will likely limit the amount of attention and support they can provide throughout the process, which could negatively impact your experience or outcome.
So are the potential savings worth it?
Read on for a detailed review of Assist-2-Sell’s business model, pricing, and services so you can weigh the pros and cons vs. other options and make the best choice for your situation.
- As of 10/28/20, if you’re selling or buying in AK, AR, AZ, DC, DE, HI, IA, IL, KS, LA, MN, MS, MT, ND, NE, NJ, RI, or VT, Assist-2-Sell is not an option. Find a discount broker near you.
- Assist-2-Sell’s discount pricing could help you save big, but you may get less personalized service or hands-on support throughout your sale. Compare with other services.
- Each Assist-2-Sell office is independently owned and operating. Costs and service quality will vary (sometimes significantly) by location.
- If you’re considering Assist-2-Sell, be sure to compare your local office’s rates to the average commission fee in your area — then interview several other agents or services to find the best fit.
JUMP TO SECTION
What is Assist-2-Sell?
Assist-2-Sell is a discount real estate brokerage with 130 offices in select cities in 33 U.S. states.
Importantly, Assist-2-Sell is a franchise. That means each local office is independently owned and operated — the same model used by major brands like Century 21 and Keller Williams.
The big difference is that Assist-2-Sell has built its brand around offering discounted fees for home sellers. But exactly how much you stand to save depends on where you’re selling.
While Assist-2-Sell encourages franchisees to use its “proven” flat-fee pricing model, each office sets its own rates and terms of service. In fact, some of the locations we reached out to don’t follow a flat-fee model at all — they charge a percentage-based fee.
Same goes for the customer experience. Assist-2-Sell recommends offices offer a standard set of services and support, but this too is ultimately up to the local owner-operator.
The takeaway is that selling with an Assist-2-Sell broker in, say, Mobile, AL will likely be very different from one in Eugene, OR in terms of the price, services, and overall experience.
Just remember to do your due diligence and shop around for the best rates and service. If you’re considering listing with a local Assist-2-Sell Agent, make sure you’re comparing them against at least 2-3 other services and/or agents in the area.
Try Clever’s free agent-matching service!
Interview top local agents, save thousands on commission.
Is Assist-2-Sell legitimate?
Yes, each Assist-2-Sell broker is fully licensed in the state it operates in. The original Reno, NV office launched back in 1987, and the company has been franchising since 1993 — over 27 years.
That said, the franchise has been experiencing a steady decline for the past decade. At its peak in 2006, there were upwards of 630 Assist-2-Sell officesin North America. Today, there are only 130 offices across the U.S. — an approximate 79% drop.
Source: Entrepreneur Franchise Hub, 2020
Assist-2-Sell is hemorrhaging local offices, which suggests its business model and approach isn’t working. The two simplest explanations are:
- It’s being displaced by newer, sleeker discount brands offering better technology and customer service
- Its compensation model isn’t competitive enough to attract and/or retrain talented agents — they’re jumping ship for greener (i.e., more lucrative) pastures
Either way, this is a potential red flag for you as a prospective customer. Struggling, unprofitable businesses often go hand-in-hand with poor service quality and outcomes.
How does Assist-2-Sell work?
According to Assist-2-Sell, it offsets its discounted rates by handling a higher volume of real estate deals than the average brokerage.
What’s unclear is how local Assist-2-Sell offices manage to handle that higher volume of business without it negatively affecting their service quality or customer experience.
- Assist-2-Sell HAS NOT invested in technologies that boost efficiency and/or capacity (in contrast with other discount brokers like Redfin and Door Real Estate)
- Assist-2-Sell DOES NOT rely on a centralized, back-office team to support its agents (in contrast with other discount brokers Redefy and REX Real Estate)
It’s possible some Assist-2-Sell offices have found some alternative means for balancing savings and service. But if not, your agent may be overextended, which could jeopardize your experience and outcome.
In other words, we’re not saying you should automatically disqualify Assist-2-Sell; just be aware of the risks inherent to its business model when comparing it with other options.
How much does Assist-2-Sell cost?
Because Assist-2-Sell is a franchise, there’s no standard price or offering. That said, Assist-2-Sell recommends its offices follow two general pricing models, and many of them do.
MLS for Less
Assist-2-Sell’s “MLS for Less” program is similar to a traditional sale, but you’ll pay a flat listing fee between $2,995-$8,995, depending on your home’s value, instead of the typical 2.5-3%.
You’ll also pay 2.5-3% of the final sale price to the buyer’s agent for bringing their client to purchase your home. This isn’t unique to Assist-2-Sell; in most real estate transactions, the seller covers the buyer’s agent commission with the proceeds from their sale.
Direct to Buyer
If you opt for the “Direct to Buyer” program, Assist-2-Sell will not list your home on the MLS and, instead, try to find you a buyer who is not working with an agent.
The potential upside is that if you find an unrepresented buyer, you don’t have to cover the 2.5-3% buyer’s agent commission. You just pay Assist-2-Sell the flat $2,995-$8,995 fee.
However, there are some major risks that come with this approach:
- About 90% of home buyers work with an agent
- By not offering a buyer’s agent commission or listing on the MLS, your pool of prospective buyers shrinks significantly
- This could make it incredibly difficult to sell your home, resulting in a longer timeline, lower sale price, or outright failure to sell
Typical pricing model
Most Assist-2-Sell offices follow the same tiered pricing structure for both MLS for Less and Direct to Buyer. The difference is whether you have to pay the buyer’s agent commission or not.
For example, if you list a home for $300,000 with Assist-2-Sell and opt for the MLS for Less package, you’ll pay $3,995 to Assist-2-Sell and 2.5-3% to the buyer’s agent.
If you sold the same house via Direct to Buyer, you’d only pay the $3,995 to Assist-2-Sell.
Here’s an example of the fee structure for an Assist-2-Sell office in Tampa, FL, which is typical for many A2S offices:
|Original List Price of Home||Flat Listing Fee*|
*Actual pricing structure may vary by location.
While many Assist-2-Sell offers will follow the above flat-fee pricing model (or something similar), other offices will charge a reduced listing commission fee — for example, 1.5% of the home’s final purchase price (Jacksonville, FL).
Long story short: while the savings and actual terms of service will vary by location, you’ll generally be paying between 1-2%.
Savings compared to traditional realtor
Based on the standard flat-fee pricing model outlined in the section above, Assist-2-Sell customers save an average of $6,755, compared to a 3% listing commission fee.
|Price Point||Fee||Effective Rate||Savings*|
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
Many Assist-2-Sell offices also offer a “Paperwork Only” package to “for sale by owner” (FSBO) sellers — essentially a transaction coordinator service — in the range of $1,995.
The Paperwork Only offering is designed for people who already know their buyer — i.e., if you’re selling to a family member or friend — and just need help with the contracts and legal documents.
If you are considering hiring Assist-2-Sell for a “Paperwork Only” transaction, compare their prices with real estate attorneys in your area. A real estate attorney typically only costs $500-$1,500, depending on your situation and the complexity of the sale, and can provide roughly the same set of services.
How good are Assist-2-Sell agents?
All Assist-2-Sell agents are fully licensed and will provide the same general range of services you’d expect from a traditional realtor.
That said, there are a few key differences you should be aware of.
May get less hands-on service and support
As was discussed in previous sections, Assist-2-Sell’s business model depends on its agents handling a higher volume of customers to offset the discounted rates.
This increases the chances you may experience:
- Limited attention and hands-on guidance
- Gaps in communication
- Disorganization, mistakes, and delays
At best, these kinds of issues will add undue stress to an already stressful process. At worst, they could adversely affect your sale or even derail it entirely.
Less-than-competitive compensation for agents
Compared to other discount and traditional brokerages, Assist-2-Sell’s compensation structure is not very competitive, which is a potential red flag from an “agent quality” perspective.
Unlike other discount brokers that hire agents as salaried employees, Assist-2-Sell uses the same general “commission split” model as traditional brokerages like RE/MAX and Keller Williams.
While commission splits aren’t intrinsically problematic, remember that Assist-2-Sell charges less than traditional brokers. That means Assist-2-Sell agents earning less per individual sale because they’re splitting a smaller pot.
The agents make up for this by taking on more customers, but Assist-2-Sell doesn’t offer any sort of technology or support to help them effectively manage the heavier workload.
This obviously has negative implications for the quality of service on offer; however, it also suggests Assist-2-Sell is probably not attracting top-notch agents.
With most traditional brokerages offering more competitive splits — and other discount brokerages offering stability with salaries, benefits, and bonuses — it’s hard to imagine why a talented agent would choose to work harder and earn less with Assist-2-Sell…
This might help explain the 61% drop in Assist-2-Sell offices over the past decade we mentioned earlier in this review.
Agent quality and experience is mixed
Just like with realtors from traditional brokerages like Keller Williams or RE/MAX, quality will vary considerably from office to office — and agent to agent.
Remember, you’re hiring an individual, not a brand!
Interview your Assist-2-Sell agent along with several others from different brokerages and services to compare key factors like price, relevant experience, approach, and personality.
Selling a house is a high-stakes, high-stress endeavor. It pays to shop around not only for the best rate but also the best fit for your situation and goals.
How does Assist-2-Sell compare to similar services?
|Avg customer rating||N/A||4.9 (550 reviews)||3.2 (247 reviews)||4.7 (333 reviews)|
|Dedicated point of contact?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Regions covered||National||National||National||CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA|
|Listing fee||$2,995-$8,995||1% or $3,000||1.5% (min fees vary by market)||$3,500 ($500 due up front)|
|Learn more||Learn more||Learn more||Learn more|
*Average fee compared to a 3% commission at four price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $750,000.
While Assist-2-Sell is considerably cheaper than a traditional realtor, its savings compared to other discount services are average at best.
If hard cost savings are your top priority, you can definitely find better rates elsewhere.
Assist-2-Sell has a tiered pricing model, which means the fee increases alongside the home value. Some other discount brokers, such as Redefy and Houwzer, offer true flat-fee models (at least up to a certain price), which offer better savings at higher price points.
In terms of overall value — i.e., cost-savings and service — Clever’s agent-matching service is probably your best bet. Clever pre-negotiates low rates on your behalf (lower than Assist-2-Sell’s flat fees) with top local agents from traditional brokerages like RE/MAX and Century 21.
Also, remember that Assist-2-Sell’s savings are by no means guaranteed. Because of its franchise model, the actual amount you stand to save depends on your location. You’ll need to contact your local Assist-2-Sell officeto verify its pricing and terms of service.
Service quality and scope
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: every Assist-2-Sell office is independently owned and operated, which means customer experiences and service quality will vary by vacation.
As you’ll see in the customer reviews section, many Assist-2-Sell offices seem to provide consistently stellar, 5-star service and support — others, not so much…
While it’s difficult to make sweeping statements about any franchise (the Wendy’s near your house might make a better burger than the one across town), we can point out inherent risks with the overall business model that could affect service quality.
If you’re thinking about hiring an Assist-2-Sell agent, compare them to other discount services and traditional agents in your area based on the following criteria:
- Experience in the specific neighborhood and price range you’re targeting
- Past customer reviews and testimonials
- Communication style and responsiveness
- Their estimate of your home’s value
- And finally, the fees they charge, too!
Selling and/or buying a house may be one of the biggest financial transactions of your life — it pays to take your time and find the right person for the job.
Connect with top local agents, save thousands!
Try Clever’s free agent-matching service today.
One look at Assist-2-Sell and its franchisees’ websites makes one thing extremely clear: this is not a tech-forward brand. In particular, the websites for local Assist-2-Sell offices are a bit dated, which makes them difficult to navigate and understand.
Buying and selling property has become an increasingly technology-driven process. Most discount real estate brands are tech startups that emerged to capitalize on this fact. As an older company, Assist-2-Sell is a bit of an outlier in this regard.
Choosing to sell with a brand that has struggled to keep up with the times could put you at a competitive disadvantage — or simply be a frustrating experience, considering our collective expectations surrounding seamless, tech-driven services these days.
In short, there are plenty of brands out there that are more tech-focused with comparable savings and service.
Selling with Assist-2-Sell
|Biggest benefits of selling with Assist-2-Sell...|
|Biggest risks of selling with Assist-2-Sell...|
If you opt for the MLS for Less package, you’ll get the same general range of services as you’d expect from a traditional realtor. That includes:
- Pricing recommendations
- Yard sign
- Professional photos
- Your listing on the MLS and other real estate websites
- Help with offers, contracts, and negotiations
- And more
With the Direct to Buyer program, you’ll get the same services mentioned above with the exception of the MLS listing.
But remember because Assist-2-Sell agents are typically handling a lot of customers, they may have less time to provide hands-on guidance and support throughout your sale.
While this will be true of any discount brokerage to some extent, because of Assist-2-Sell’s business model, it may be more pronounced.
Exactly how pronounced will depend on the specific office and customer load the team is carrying at any given moment, but it’s an inherent risk of the service you should just be aware of when weighing it against other options.
Buying with Assist-2-Sell
You wouldn’t know it from the name, but you can also buy a home with Assist-2-Sell.
Assist-2-Sell provides the same general services as a traditional buyer’s agent, and it won’t cost you anything. This is because in real estate transactions, the seller typically covers the commission fee for the buyer’s agent.
In terms of benefits, some Assist-2-Sell offices may offer commission rebates — also known as home buyer rebates — to qualifying buyers. This is when an agent agrees to kick you back a small percentage of their fee as an incentive to work with them.
A few important notes on commission rebates:
- They typically require approval from your mortgage lender
- There may be limitations on how you can receive the rebate (i.e., to buy points on your mortgage or cover closing costs, instead of as a check or cash at closing)
- Certain states don’t allow them: AK, AL, KS, IA, LA, MO, MS, OK, OR, TN
» MORE: What is a commission rebate?
Aside from the possibility of a rebate — which only some offices will actually offer — there aren’t many advantages to buying with Assist-2-Sell, unless you really hit it off with an individual Assist-2-Sell agent.
Remember, as the buyer, you don’t have to worry about paying your agent’s fee. Don’t settle for anything less than perfection!
If you’re considering Assist-2-Sell as an option, make sure you’re shopping around and comparing it to the very best-of-the-best in your area.
Because each Assist-2-Sell office is independently owned and operated, customer reviews and ratings may vary considerably by location.
We recommend looking up reviews specific to your local office via tools like Zillow, Google, Yelp, and Facebook for the most accurate representation of customer experiences and outcomes.
Broadly speaking, Assist-2-Sell reviews for local offices and agents are generally positive, albeit a bit few and far between. Many offices have few if any reviews, which makes it difficult to summarize any key takeaways about the service as a whole.
Most of the customers who do submit reviews commend their agents for providing quality service, good communication, and ensuring a smooth transaction.
Here’s a review submitted by an Assist-2-Sell customer in Reno, NV. They had a great experience with their agent, who helped them achieve a successful outcome in spite of the challenges posed by selling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In contrast, here’s an excerpt from a review by an Assist-2-Sell customer who had a less-than-stellar experience with Assist-2-Sell in Pensacola, FL. He specifically called out his agent’s inexperience, lack of communication, and unreliability as major problems throughout the process.
Conclusion: Is Assist-2-Sell the right option for you?
|Assist-2-Sell is worth considering if…|
|You may want to avoid Assist-2-Sell if…|
Assist-2-Sell is a totally legit brokerage with offices across the country that have helped many people sell or buy their home successfully. Whether it’s the right choice for you really comes down to:
- Your personal preferences (and tolerance for risk)
- The situation surrounding your sale
- The quality and pricing of the Assist-2-Sell office and/or agents in your area
Importantly, there is never an obligation to move forward or sign with an agent or service when you interview them.
You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by shopping around and comparing rates, experience, and personalities to find the perfect fit!
Assist-2-Sell locations and contact info
|Beverly Hills, CA||310-897-0527|
|Pleasant Hill, CA||925-939-7653|
|Santa Barbara, CA||805-692-5060|
|Santa Clarita, CA||661-799-7400|
|Castle Rock, CO||303-814-8500|
|Colorado Springs, CO||719-596-3300|
|Colorado Springs, CO||719-487-1777|
|Highlands Ranch, CO||303-768-8600|
|Coconut Creek, FL||954-571-6700|
|Coral Springs, FL||954-346-4600|
|Fort Myers, FL||239-561-2500|
|Lake Mary, FL||407-330-4343|
|Merritt Island, FL||321-453-2313|
|Orange Park, FL||904-999-4130|
|St. Augustine, FL||904-825-2800|
|St. Cloud, FL||407-892-1001|
|St. Johns, FL||904-287-4663|
|Warner Robins, GA||478-333-2995|
|Idaho Falls, ID||208-529-0111|
|Mountain Home, ID||208-587-9111|
|New Albany, IN||812-945-2735|
|Au Gres, MI||623-910-5653|
|St. Louis, MO||314-961-6500|
|Las Vegas, NV||702-355-1060|
|Las Cruces, NM||575-521-7355|
|New Bern, NC||252-636-5797|
|Spring City, PA||484-938-7434|
|Fort Mill, SC||803-548-4995|
|Rapid City, SD||605-716-6966|
|League City, TX||281-332-8880|
|San Angelo, TX||325-949-8257|
|Salt Lake, UT||801-463-7000|
|St. George, UT||435-673-3000|
|Virginia Beach, VA||757-427-9191|
|Scott Depot, WV||304-755-2980|