Choosing whether or not to use a discount broker

You can make an informed decision about working with a discount brokerage agent by researching company websites, searching for consumer reviews, and learning about your local market conditions.


Understand the market you're in.

In a hot real estate marketwhere homes sell quickly, you may not need all of the marketing and extras that a real estate agent typically provides to sell your home.

If you are selling in a buyer's market, where homeowners compete for buyers, you may feel more at ease working with an agent who has fewer current clients and more time and resources to devote to your listing.


Locate a brokerage that serves your area.

Discount brokerages serve specific geographic areas, so look for one in your area. Even large national brokerages may be new to your area, so finding one with a track record of working with homes similar to yours in your area may make you feel more at ease as a seller.

You can search for terms like "discount real estate broker," "discount real estate agent," or "flat-fee real estate agent," as well as your location, depending on what you're looking for. Furthermore, many brokerage websites will list the territories in which they work or allow you to enter your ZIP code to find agents near you. 


Rates and payment structures should be compared.

When comparing potential brokers, compare their fees to the standard 5-6 % commission. If they charge a flat rate, think about what this means for the value of your home. For example, 5% of a $250,000 house equates to $12,500 in commission fees, half of which goes to the buyer's real estate agent. To deliver real savings in this scenario, the flat rate would have to be less than the $6,250 that would normally go to a listing agent.

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