Trelora offers solid potential savings for both buyers and sellers — but there are some service-level tradeoffs to consider.
Trelora is a discount real estate brokerage operating in select markets in Colorado, Arizona, Washington State, and North Carolina.
The company has made headlines in the past for ruffling realtor feathers with its aggressive marketing and unapologetic “industry disruptor” attitude.
But despite its rocky reputation among traditional agents, Trelora has a solid track record of positive reviews from past customers. The value on offer appears to be legit as well.
You can sell your home with Trelora for a discounted flat fee, which could mean substantial savings, particularly if you have a more expensive home.
If you buy a home with Trelora, it will refund you 50% of the commission it collects from the seller as cash — a pretty stellar deal.
The trade-off is you’ll get a less personalized style of service and support. You’ll work with a team, rather than a single dedicated agent, which increases the risk of communication problems, mistakes, and delays, among other issues.
So is Trelora the right choice for you?
In this review, we’ll break down Trelora’s pricing, services, and overall value compared to other options to help you make an informed decision.
- As of 11/20/20, Trelora is only available in a handful of Colorado markets, Phoenix AZ, Seattle WA, and Raleigh NC. Selling somewhere else? Find discount brokers near you.
- Trelora’s flat-fee model could help you save big — but you’ll get less hands-on service and support throughout your sale.
- Many traditional agents don’t like Trelora and may even refuse to show its listings, which could make it harder to sell your home.
- If you buy with Trelora, you could get up to 1.5% of your home’s purchase price back at closing. This is a pretty good deal, relative to other discount brands.
- You’ll work with a different Trelora team member for each step of the process, which increases the chances of issues and might be stressful for some.
JUMP TO SECTION
Trelora is a multi-state discount real estate brokerage operating in select markets across four states.
|Colorado||Denver, Summit County, Colorado Springs, Northern Colorado|
Trelora has played around with different pricing models and tactics in the past, but the company is currently centered around two primary offerings:
- Trelora sellers pay a flat listing fee of $3,000 or $4,000, depending on the market, instead of the typical listing commission of 2.5-3%
- Trelora buyers get back half of the commission Trelora collects on the transaction as cash — typically about 1.5% of the home’s purchase price
Trelora provides the same general set of services as traditional realtors, but customers work with a team — i.e., a different person for each stage of the process — rather than a single dedicated agent throughout their sale or purchase.
While there are some risks inherent to this approach, which we’ll discuss later in this article, its viability will really boil down to your customer service preferences.
We recommend shopping around to compare Trelora’s rates and service with a few other options to get the best value and fit for your situation.
Is Trelora legitimate?
Yes, Trelora is a licensed brokerage in all of the states it operates in. Since launching in Denver back in 2011, Trelora has expanded its operational footprint to several other Colorado markets and three major metros in AZ, WA, and NC.
Trelora has an average customer rating of 4.7 based on 804 total reviews. It has an A+ rating with the BBB but is not accredited. To date, the startup has raised upwards of $5.3 million in investor funding.
It’s worth mentioning Trelora has had its fair share of shake ups over the years. Its disruptive pricing model and aggressive tactics garnered some serious backlashfrom traditional agents in the Denver market.
Joshua Hunt, Trelora’s founder and CEO at the time, acknowledged “that as many as 40% of buyer agents are refusing to show Trelora listings, an expression of their displeasure with the low Trelora commissions.” As a seller, this reputation can put you at serious risk: less interest from buyer’s agents leads to longer sales and lower prices for your home.
Hunt resigned in December 2019. The circumstances surrounding the decision aren’t entirely clear. “I have always known that, at some point, I may not be the best person to run the company,” Hunt explained in a statement. “The time has come to find a leader who can maximize and unlock Trelora’s true potential.”
Trelora promoted then-CFO Brady Miller to serve as interim CEO, but it seems he has possibly settled into the position for the long term.
Since then, the company has toned down some of its more aggressive tactics (specifically surrounding buyer’s agent commissions) and raised moneyto expand Signloc, its in-house title and escrow service, and enter the Raleigh, NC market.
How does Trelora work?
Trelora creates savings by handling a higher volume of transactions per agent than other brokerages — roughly 30x the industry average, or so its website claims.
The high-volume approach means Trelora can maintain lower margins and remain profitable — in other words, its savings are legit!
BUT there are some potential tradeoffs and risks to consider:
- Trelora relies on a team-based approach, which means you’ll deal with a lot of different people throughout your sale or purchase.
- Having a different person manage each stage of the sale can increase the risk miscommunications, disorganization, and mistakes.
- In addition, Trelora agents only work 9-5 Monday through Friday; this is uncommon in the real estate industry and can make you less competitive as a seller or buyer in a hot market.
Regardless of the technology and processes Trelora has developed to handle the higher transaction volume, there’s no way doing 30x more than the industry average isn’t going to limit the amount of hands-on attention and support its team can provide.
Just make sure you fully understand the nature and scope of Trelora’s service — and how it compares to other options in your area — before making a commitment.
How much does Trelora cost?
|Market||Colorado, Arizona||Washington, North Carolina|
|Buyer’s agent fee||2.5-3%||2.5-3%|
When you sell a home with Trelora, you’ll likely be on the hook for two different fees:
- Trelora’s flat listing fee: either $3,000 (CO, AZ) or $4,000, regardless of your home’s value or selling price
- Buyer’s agent commission: typically 2.5-3% of the home’s final selling price, though rates may vary by market and situation
Buyer’s agent commission is something you’ll encounter regardless of who you list with. And Trelora, like most discount brokers, only controls savings on the listing-fee side of the total commission equation.
Most agents and brokers will recommend a rate for the buyer’s agent fee based on what is competitive in that particular market. As a seller, how much to offer the buyer’s agent is ultimately up to you.
That said, not following convention could be risky; in most cases, offering below-market rates for buyer’s agents leads to less competition and, subsequently, lower sales prices.
How much could you save with Trelora?
Trelora offers significant potential savings compared to traditional realtors. It compares favorably to other discount brokerages, too — particularly if you’re selling a higher priced home (with flat-fee pricing models, savings increase as the home values go up).
Here’s a quick look at how Trelora's savings break down for both of its flat fees at four different price points, compared to a 3% listing fee, which is on the high end of typical commission ratesnationwide.
Colorado and Arizona: Average savings is $9,000
Washington and North Carolina: Average savings is $8,000
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
How good are Trelora Agents?
All of Trelora’s Lead Agents are fully licensed; however, experience and quality definitely varies across its team.
Trelora’s profile page on Zillow — which may not be 100% accurate or up-to-date — features 19 agents, most of whom are based in and around the Denver area. At the time of this writing, it appears there are only 1-2 Agents in NC, AZ, and WA, respectively. Moreover, only five Trelora Agents have more than 10 customer reviews.
In addition to selection, you’ll need to keep in mind that availability, incentives, and customer service may be different with a Trelora agent.
Agents may be hard to reach outside normal business hours
It may be difficult for you — or a prospective buyer — to get in touch with your Trelora Agent outside normal business hours.
While most agents have long and unpredictable working hours, most Trelora employees (including Agents) work regular 9-5, Monday through Friday schedules and get unlimited PTO.
This may be good for the Trelora team, but it can present some serious problems for you as a buyer or seller. What if your Agent goes on vacation in the middle of your sale? Or you need to respond to a Friday night counter offer within 24 hours, but your Agent is out for the weekend?
There will typically be someone in the office seven days a week, but usually not after 5-6pm local time (note: Phoenix is open until 8pm every day). And the team member working the weekend shift may not be your Agent — or even familiar with your sale or purchase.
Less direct incentive for agents
Compared to a traditional agent, Trelora agents have less direct incentive to get you the best deal or deliver stellar customer service.
Traditional agents work for commission; they get paid if and only if they close a deal. This motivates them to help you move fast and get the best outcome possible. By contrast, Trelora agents receive salary and benefits — appealing for agents, but it lacks performance-based pay for high achievers.
In addition, traditional agents are highly motivated to deliver a stellar customer experience because reviews and referrals from past customers are often their main source of business.
When agents work in-house for a discount broker like Trelora, the brand advertises and attracts new customers for its agents, meaning they don’t rely on their own reputation to generate business.
Team-based approach may not work for everyone
Trelora’s customer service model is quite different from that of a traditional realtor.
Trelora relies heavily on a team-based approach to manage the higher transaction volume it must maintain to offset its discounted rates. That means you’ll likely be working with many different people, rather than a single dedicated agent throughout.
A home sale or purchase is already a stressful process. This less-personalized approach — with its increased risk of miscommunications, mistakes, and delays — is not for everyone.
We recommend speaking to at least a few other agents or services in your area to compare rates, service models, and experience before making a final decision.
Trelora may well be best fit for your needs and budget, but that’s certainly not a given. When it comes to buying or selling a home, the stakes are simply too high to assume.
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How does Trelora compare to top alternatives?
|Avg customer rating||4.7 (843 reviews)||4.9 (540 reviews)||3.2 (283 reviews)||4.7 (333 reviews)|
|Dedicated point of contact?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Regions covered||CO, WA, NC, AZ||National||National||CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA|
|Listing fee||$3,000 or $4,000 (depending on market)||1% or $3,000||1.5% (min fees vary by market)||$3,500 or 1% ($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.
Trelora’s flat-fee pricing model offers solid potential savings compared to many other discount brokers and services.
That said, if you’re selling a home at or below the $400,000 mark, you can likely find better value — that is, savings and service — elsewhere.
Clever, for example, negotiates low rates with local realtors from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and more. If you were selling a $400,000 home in Raleigh, you could use Clever’s free agent-matching service to list with a top-rated, full-service agent for the exact same price.
Trelora’s real value starts to shine through at higher price points. Unlike percentage-based or tiered flat-fee pricing models, Trelora’s fee remains fixed even as the home price increases. That means the more expensive your home, the more you stand to save by listing with Trelora.
Note that the average savings figure in the table above represents both of Trelora’s flat fees. Taken along, here’s how the savings break down by market:
- Average savings in CO and AZ are $9,000
- Average savings in WA and NC are $8,000
It’s worth pointing out that while Redefy has a similar flat-fee structure and average savings score, it comes with the significant disadvantage of a non-refundable, upfront $500 fee. Trelora used to charge a similar upfront fee but has since done away with it.
Customer service and experience
While many discount brokers — and traditional agents, for that matter — rely on teams to a certain extent to operate more efficiently, it will likely be more pronounced with Trelora.
When you list with a discount broker like Redfin or Redefy, you may have to deal with numerous people throughout the process, but you still have a dedicated agent — or at least a primary point of contact.
With Trelora, you’ll likely work with a different person for each stage of your sale, meaning no one person has the full context surrounding your sale and goals.
If dedicated, hands-on service and support is a top priority, it’s worth shopping around and comparing rates for a few traditional agents in your area.
You want to hire the agent or service that will get you the best price for your home — not just charge you the lowest commission. Saving $5,000 on realtor fees is great, but if the agent sells your home for $20,000 below its fair market value, you’re not getting much of a bargain.
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Selling with Trelora
|Biggest benefits of selling with Trelora…|
|Biggest risks of selling with Trelora…|
When you sell your house with Trelora, you’ll get the same general range of services you’d expect from a traditional real estate agent — e.g., professional valuation and pricing recommendations; basic photography; your listing on the MLS and other popular real estate sites; help with offers, negotiations, paperwork, and so on.
There are a few key differences and potential risks worth calling out:
No dedicated point of contact
You’ll work with a different team member for each stage of the process, which could lead to problems or additional stress.
Most of Trelora’s team works standard 9-5 hours, Monday through Friday, which could be a problem if and when needs/issues arise outside of regular business hours (note: this happens often in real estate transactions).
While Trelora has seemingly softened a bit and made its model more buyer’s agent-friendly, its negative reputation could be a liability. By its former CEO’s own admission, at one point, roughly 40% of Denver buyer’s agents were refusing to show Trelora listings.
Buying with Trelora
When you buy with Trelora, you’ll get the same general range of services traditional realtors typically provide. It also won’t cost you anything, as the seller typically covers the commission fee for the buyer’s agent in real estate transactions.
As with selling, the experience will be more team-driven, with different people handling each stage of the process. Whether this is a problem will mostly depend on your preferences and the quality of the team in your area, so be sure to do your due diligence and compare options.
Many buyers will overlook service-level tradeoffs in favor of Trelora’s hefty commission rebate offering, which puts thousands back in your pocket after closing — and gets paid out as cash!
Buyer’s agents typically receive 2.5-3% in commission. When you buy with Trelora, it will split its commission with you, meaning you’ll get back between 1.25-1.5% of your home’s purchase price after closing. For a $400,000 home, that's between $5,000-6,000. Not bad.
Most commission rebates require lender approval, can only be spent in certain ways, and are never guaranteed. Not so with Trelora. Trelora told us it not only guarantees the 50% commission rebate regardless of the home’s purchase price — it pays out its rebate in cash.
In other words, this legitimately seems like a pretty sweet deal.
Of course, just because Trelora offers a great rebate doesn’t automatically mean it’s your best option. There may be other services or approaches that are A) better-suited to your situation and B) offer built-in rebates and savings opportunities, too.
Remember, as a buyer, you don’t pay your agent’s fee. Make sure you’re comparing all of your options and weighing Trelora against the very best of the best in your area.
Trelora customer reviews
Note: The following review information is up-to-date as of 11/20/2020. We will update this section as new information becomes available.
|Rating||# of reviews|
Trelora’s reviews across third-party sites are generally positive, with an average customer rating of 4.7 out of 843 total reviews.
Note that there are some office-specific reviews floating around out there. For example, the Seattle office has a 4.7 average rating on Google (31 reviews), whereas the Phoenix office has an average rating of 5 (10 reviews).
That is to say, it’s worth digging around and reading reviews for your local office to get a real sense of the quality of the team and service at that location, specifically.
So what are people saying about their experiences with Trelora?
The most common themes among positive Trelora reviews are:
- Savings are definitely worth it
- Great service for the price
- Team is supportive, friendly, professional
- Specific lead agents and their teams are great
Jill in Castle Rock, CO had a great experience selling with Trelora. She was a fan of the collaborative, team-based approach and felt the company set good expectations about how the process would work up front. She specifically called out the team’s professionalism and competency.
Sherry in Denver, CO had a great experience buying and selling with the Trelora team. She appreciated their patience and loved the savings. She was also very impressed with the team members that went above and beyond the call of duty, driving out to her house to help her lift and move some heavy items.
Phillip and LaChelle in Denver, CO had a great experience buying with Trelora and have used the service to sell and buy in the past. They are specifically pleased with Trelora’s professionalism, quality, responsiveness, and value.
This seller in the Seattle, WA area had a generally positive experience with Trelora. They called out the fact that because a different team handles showings and open houses, they may not be as familiar with the property or seller’s situation as the back-office team. But overall, they felt it was a great value for the money.
Mary in Lakewood, CO had a decent experience selling with Trelora. She felt her agent was honest and responsive, but she felt he lacked personal buy-in and enthusiasm. Her overall take was that he was relatively novice and was trying to figure things out as he went.
Megan had an “OK” experience selling with Trelora in Denver, CO. While the sale was successful, she felt the team’s negotiation skills and effort left much to be desired. She didn’t love the team-based approach and called out that she never actually met her lead agent and only spoke to her once. Most of the interaction was with associates and assistants who were more reactive than proactive. She said she would use Trelora again in the future, but only in a scenario that didn’t require extensive negotiation.
The most common themes among negative Trelora reviews are:
- Too many people involved in process
- Difficult to get in touch with people
- Home was undervalued
- Inexperienced agents
While Courtni in Denver, CO had a positive experience with Trelora’s seller team, her experience with the buyer team left much to be desired. They consistently struggled to reach their lead agent and their junior agent wouldn’t give them any straight answers. She explained there were many miscommunications with the team, who was more concerned about assigning blame than getting them resolved. They spent a lot of time checking the team’s work and felt the team wasn’t very knowledgeable about rules and regulations in their local market. Her overall take? Selling with Trelora is a great value, but buying isn’t worth the savings.
Ponlue liked the Trelora concept but wasn’t a fan of the actual experience as a customer. He didn’t like the lack of personalized service or that he had to deal with a different person for each step of the process. More generally, he felt the team was disorganized and disconnected.
Jonny in Denver, CO appreciated Trelora’s low fees but felt his Agent’s lack of experience and/or savvy ended up costing him a lot more money than he saved. His recommendation is to thoroughly vet the lead agent and/or team you’ll be working with before committing.
As with any product or service, reviews can only tell you so much. We recommend reaching out to Trelora directly — along with a few other services or agents — to discuss your situation and determine which approach or specific option is the best fit for you.
Conclusion: Is Trelora a good option for you?
|Trelora is worth considering if…|
|You may want to avoid Trelora if…|
Trelora is a totally legit service that has a proven track record of helping people successfully sell or buy homes and save thousands.
Whether it’s a viable option for you really comes down to:
- Your personal preferences
- How much risk you’re willing to take on for the potential savings on offer
- The situation surrounding your sale
- The quality of the Trelora Agents (and broader team) in your area
Whether it’s Trelora, another discount broker, or a traditional realtor, there’s never an obligation to move forward with any service or commit on the spot. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable at any point during the interview process, that’s a major red flag.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it’s VERY important to shop around and compare rates, experience, and personalities to find the best fit for you.
Trelora may be your best bet, but there’s no way of knowing for sure until you get out there and explore all of your options.
Trelora locations, business hours, and contact information
|Address||2401 15th Street, Unit 150Denver, CO 80202|
|Address||14354 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Suite 10Scottsdale, AZ 85260|
|Address||4208 Six Forks Rd. Suite 1000Raleigh, NC 27609|
|Address||2044 Eastlake Ave. E.Seattle, WA 98102|