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High commission fees can put a damper on the excitement of selling your home, as those fees usually take a substantial chunk out of your home’s sale proceeds. But there is a way to put some of that cash back in your pocket – discount real estate brokerage platforms.
What are Discount Real Estate Brokers?
Discount real estate brokers are real estate agents who work for a discount. Instead of charging you the standard full seller’s agent commission of 3%, they’ll work for less, such as a 2% or 1% commission or a flat fee rate. This reduced rate can save sellers a bundle.
To talk about discount real estate brokers is to say there are standard-fee brokers, and nobody will own up to that statement. Why? Because all real estate commissions are negotiable.
Homeowners today have more options to sell their homes themselves with several Discount Real Estate Brokers available for them to choose from. But how do you assess all the Discount Real Estate Brokers out there, which one is the best one?
In this article, we’re going to review all the different Discount Real Estate Broker Platforms and assess them on what matters most to a home seller.
Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?
What are the different Discount Real Estate Brokers websites available?
- And several others, but we’ll only be covering the first 6 sites above as these are the most popular ones out there!
Discount Real Estate Brokers Review: How Do We Assess and Compare Each Site?
To come up with an assessment framework, let’s look at what’s most important to homeowners when selling their homes:
- Sellers Want the Most Profit in a Sale: According to the Zillow Group’s 2018 Consumer Housing Trends Report survey, most sellers see their homes as an investment. It’s no surprise then that for over 50% of sellers, getting maximum returns was the most important consideration when selling their homes.
- Sellers Want Control in their Transaction: 60% of baby boomers wanted to save money. But over 40% of younger sellers desire more control over the transaction.
- Sellers Want to Save Time: The 3rd important finding was that time is an important consideration for home sellers. And towards that, getting maximum exposure for their property listing is key.
In addition to this, based on our years of experience helping homeowners sell their own homes and other homes for sale, we also know the top 6 items that contribute to a successful Discount Real Estate Brokers sale.
The Discount Real Estate Broker Platform Review Framework
Now that we know what are the most important items for home sellers and the items that’ll help enable a sale, we’ve come up with a list of 4 dimensions below. We’ll give each website a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being excellent.
We’ll also then calculate an average score and call it the Discount Real Estate Broker Score. This composite score indicates, in our opinion, the capability of that website to assist home sellers in selling their own homes. 10 is the perfect score, while 1 is poor.
So what are the parameters that form the Discount Real Estate Broker Score?
- Lowest Fees. Maximum Savings: The amount of savings the home seller can get.
- Speed to Market: Being able to respond to the market is key. If you request a price change on Thursday, and it doesn’t get reflected till Saturday evening, you missed 2.5 days of prime exposure. And price, status, commission changes, and open house advertisements require signed contracts. The website should be able to provide digitally signed contracts easily.
- Technology: The website should make the listing easy to complete.
- Ala Carte Services: The website should allow the home seller to order any optional item as necessary – like seller disclosures, yard signs, lockboxes, etc. And finally, it should make any changes to the listing like price, status, and photo changes easy to request.
Our infographic summarizes our analysis based on these 4 factors. Below, we’ll be adding more detail and granular analysis on each site to this blog.
Disclaimer: Houzeo.com is not a broker or an agent. It’s a real estate platform that connects home sellers with agents that cover their local MLS’. Houzeo.com also digitizes the entire listing process to efficiently help sellers and brokers list homes and address listing changes.
Houzeo.com claims to be the “Most Advanced For Sale By Owner Platform,” providing maximum exposure to home buyers, and brokers on Houzeo can more than compete with any Discount Real Estate Brokers available out there. Let’s review this website on each of the parameters above:
- Houzeo’s Maximum Proceeds to Home Sellers: Houzeo helps home sellers get offers at market value. Listing price ranges from $75 to $495 depending upon the state with an average plan at $295. The average buyer agent commissions for sellers can range from 0 to 2.5%, saving home sellers 3% to 6% in commissions and thousands of dollars. Score: 10
- Houzeo can get you listed within 2 to 48 hours: With its automated online interface, listing documents are automatically assigned, with most listings going live in under 24 hours. There are more and more brokers are being onboarded every day for a fully digital experience. Score: 8
- Houzeo has an advanced task-based interface: The interface automatically assigns tasks that come with pictures and explainer videos. It promotes collaboration between the home seller, broker, and closing agent. Score: 10
- Houzeo provides you with more options that suit your needs: Houzeo has a strong suite of optional items including for sale signs, lockboxes, document assistance, etc. Buy only the items you need when you need them for a low price! Score: 10
That gives Houzeo a composite Score of 9.5, making it the best option to getting maximum returns in selling your home!
As of this writing, Homebay serves California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas. Let’s review this website on each of the parameters above:
- Homebay’s has no definite amount on how much you can save: The average price to list is $4,750, but it varies between $2,000 to $7,000 depending on the list price of your home. Score: 5
- Homebay can get your home listed relatively quickly: Majority of the information is collected on the platform, but some listing documents are sent manually. Score: 6
- Homebay provides a full-service agent but remote: Though Homebay manages all of your paperwork, the agents assist you remotely, so they don’t go to your house for showings. Score: 7
- Homebay also offers limited service: Homebay bundles all of essential selling services into one fee. But, limited services like Transaction Management and Land Sales for a flat fee are also available. Score: 7
That gives Homebay a composite Discount Real Estate Broker Score of 6.25.
Listingspark.com is proud of its dollars a day listing. It claims to be different by not asking for crazy commissions and big upfront flat fees. Let’s review this website on each of the parameters above:
- Listingspark offers per day pricing to sell your home: Listingspark allows you to list your home for $7 a day, but it can become stressful and costly if your home takes more than a month to get under contract or close. Although professional photos are included, you have to pay $100 extra to buy their rights for use. Score: 7
- Listingspark may take a longer time to get your home listed: Some listing docs are manually sent to you introducing a manual step and thus a delay.
- Listingspark allows you to access what Realtors use to sell your home: Listingspark has a linear interface with documents separately emailed for you to sign. The platform guides you through those steps and provides the same seller tools as Realtors use so you can do what they do. Score: 5
- Listingspark also provides additional services: Listingspark has a strong suite of optional items including agents hosted open houses and transaction coordinators. Involving a closing expert if you determine you need a specialist to guide and partner with you through the transaction process costs $1500. Score: 8
That gives Listingspark a composite Discount Real Estate Broker Score of 6.5.
Listwithclever.com partners with top-rated, full-service agents across the country from major brands and/or regional brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, RE/MAX, and more. Let’s review this website on each of the parameters above:
- Listwithclever offers a flat fee or percentage-based commission: You can list your home for a $3,000 flat fee or a 1% commission. Choosing to list for a 1% commission can save you 2-3% in commissions. Score: 6
- Listwithclever may take a longer time to get your home listed: Since you will be working with a traditional agent, listing docs are manually sent to you introducing a manual step and thus a delay. Score: 6
- Listwithclever may be manual or online: You’ll be partnered with a traditional full-service agent, so getting listed may be manual, online, or both. Score: 5
- Listwithclever provides a full-service traditional agent: You’ll get all of the expert guidance, support, and exposure you need to sell your home. Score: 7
That gives Listwithcelever a composite Discount Real Estate Broker Score of 6.
Homelight.com works with thousands of successful sellers and top real estate agents to create tailored guides and resources for selling a house in any circumstance. Let’s review this website on each of the parameters above:
- Homelight only provides guides and tools to sell your home: You can list your home and get offers for free, but the traditional 3-6% commission still applies, depending on the agent. And offers may be lower than the market value. Score: 5
- Homelight helps you get offers in as quickly as few minutes: Answer a few quick questions about your home and timeline and get offers from agents instantly. Although fast, only homes that are off-market are allowed. Score: 6
- Homelight only provides tools and comprehensive online guides: Although the interface has tools and comprehensive guides to help sell your home, the burden of doing it alone can be stressful. Score: 6
- Homelight can help you find an agent: Homelight recommends the best agents in your neighborhood for a full or limited service. Score: 5
That gives Homelight a composite Discount Real Estate Broker Score of 5.5.
Upnest.com works just like homelight.com, allowing you to compare agents in your neighborhood and find the best one. It claims to have facilitated billions of dollars in home sales and saved consumers millions of dollars in commissions. Let’s review this website on each of the parameters above:
- Upnest only provides guides and tools to sell your home: You can list your home and get offers for free, but the traditional 3-6% commission still applies, depending on the agent. And offers may be lower than the market value. Score: 5
- Upnest helps you get offers in as quickly as few minutes: Answer a few quick questions about your home and timeline and get offers from agents instantly. Although fast, only homes that are off-market are allowed. Score: 6
- Upnest only provides tools and comprehensive online guides: Although the interface has tools and comprehensive guides to help sell your home, the burden of doing it alone can be stressful. Score: 6
- Upnest can help you find an agent: Upnest recommends the best full-service agents in your neighborhood. Score: 5
That gives Upnest a composite Discount Real Estate Broker Score of 5.5.
Eager to know how Houzeo works?
Here’s a complete guide to getting you started listing your home.
Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You could do a Google search, go with an agent from one of the national discount brokers like Redfin, or find the top discount broker via Houzeo.com. Houzeo.com is a technology platform where top local discount and Flat Fee MLS brokers offer their services.
Generally, there are 4 types of discount brokers: 1. Low Commission Brokers: Brokers who charge 1 to 1.5% commission to list and sell your home; 2. Flat Fee Discount Broker: Brokers who charge a flat fee, like Homebay; 3. Sell & Buy Combo Discount: The broker’s sell your home for free if they help you purchase your next home, and get a commission from the seller of the home you purchase; 4. Flat Fee MLS Brokers: These are different than Flat Fee Brokers, wherein they are not full service. The contract is limited to “MLS entry only”, and the rest of the sale activities are undertaken directly by the seller. Flat Fee MLS listings have grown significantly in popularity recently, and Houzeo offers plans ideal for you to achieve success in selling your home yourself with Flat Fee MLS.
Discount brokers can charge either a flat fee, approximately $3,500 or more, or a smaller commission – between 1.5% and 2%. Houzeo.com has negotiated great rates with top discount brokers, and charges generally are around $295 for a Flat Fee MLS listing, which gives you all the marketing prowess of the MLS!
Almost all discount brokers will advertise your open house on the MLS for you. Houzeo.com makes it very easy to request an open house. Watch this video here to see how to request adding an open house – all online!
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