As you prepare to buy or sell a house, you'll want to discuss the percentage of commission your real estate agent charges and other fees. Did you know you can get a discount on traditional real estate fees? Introducing discount real estate agents. There are a variety of ways they can save you money while still offering the same expert skills of a traditional real estate agent.
1. Lower Commission Percentage
A discount agent may provide a reduced commission percentage to save you money. For example, instead of paying the traditional 6% commission fee, you might pay only 2.5% commission when selling a home. For example, a traditional commission fee might return $24,000 to the agent ($400,000 home) but if it's reduced to 2.5% then the agent earns only $10,000. If you're buying a home, the agent would give up some of their commission, negotiate a lower home price or possibly put it toward the buyer's closing costs.
2. Flat-Fee Discount
Some discount agents offer a flat-fee discount vs. discounting the commission rate. A flat-fee typically starts around $3000 and varies based off the sales price of the property.
3. Commission Fee Rebates
Commission rebates are another way of saving you money. Instead of the traditional model where an agent gets back 2-3% of the sales price of a home, a discount agent would take that percentage and then provide a cut of that money back to the buyer. You could expect to receive anywhere from 10%-50% back on the discount agent's commission. For example, if the agent made 3% in commission ($12,000 on a $400,000 home) and gave you 10%, you would receive $1200.
4. Exchange Fees
A discount agent might offer to reduce seller fees if the seller agrees to buy a home in the agent's portfolio. The agent would be representing you for both the sale of your current home and the purchase of your next home.
5. Tiered Discounts
Some discount agents will offer discounts based off of different service levels. Each level features a different commission fee or flat rate and is dependent on the price your property ends up selling for. The cost may vary based on the level of service the agent provides in carrying out the contract.
If you decide to take advantage of a discount real estate agent, know that the discounts offered by each agent and agency may vary greatly. Typically, the more sales an agent completes in less time, the higher the likelihood of receiving a discount. Since they're dealing with a high volume of deals, it may take more time to respond to your texts or emails or they may delay showings for 2-3 days. In other words, you may not get the same attention you would receive from a traditional agent. Regardless of whether you choose a discount agent or a traditional agent, always research the agent and look at reviews. Finally, all real estate commissions are negotiable no matter who you choose for a real estate agent.