A quaint home waiting to be sold

It’s no secret that selling a home involves paying a commission to a real estate broker. However, many homeowners may not be aware of the existence of discount real estate brokers. These are brokerages and agents who offer lower fees for their services. 

The popularity of such “discount” brokerages has been on the rise across the country. However, their levels of service can vary widely. It is important to understand the differences between traditional and discount real estate brokers. And you should know the pros and cons of using them before making a decision on who to work with. 

Here, we’ll delve into the topic of whether using a discount real estate broker is a good option for you. We’ll take a look at what factors homeowners should consider when making this decision.

Understanding discount real estate brokers

A discount broker is a real estate professional who charges a lower fee for selling a property compared to traditional brokers. There are various types of discount real estate brokerages. Some offer a lower percentage, such as a 1% listing fee instead of the typical 3%. Others charge a flat fee for selling a property regardless of its value. 

In the past, discount listing agents provided limited services. They may have only listed the property in the MLS and had the buyer’s agent contact the owner directly. This would lead to longer market times, and less negotiating power.

However, modern discount real estate brokers offer full real estate services at a competitive commission rate. This results in significant cost savings for home sellers. 

Today’s discount real estate brokers offer an alternative to traditional brokers. This allows home sellers to save money while receiving the same level of expertise and service.

A discount Realtor showing a home to potential buyers

The benefits of discount real estate brokers in a buyer’s market

Currently, the real estate market is shifting to a buyer’s market versus a seller’s market. As such, more home sellers are looking for ways to sell their home and keep more of their equity. 

In times of slow real estate markets, commission compression often occurs when market forces drive down real estate commissions. Discount real estate brokers, offering full services at a discounted rate, are taking an even larger market share of listings. 

Some home sellers may see these companies as more beneficial in a strong seller’s market. However, they can be even more effective in a buyer’s market. 

Advantages of using a discount real estate broker

Using a discount real estate broker has many advantages, with the most obvious being cost savings. Compared to the traditional commission of 6%, discount brokers charge as little as 1% of the sale price. This can save you thousands of dollars in commission fees. 

Additionally, discount brokers often have expertise in local markets and can provide valuable advice on pricing and marketing strategies. This can help you get more money for your house in a shorter amount of time.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a full-service discount real estate brokerage is the ability to price and negotiate more effectively. By saving money on commission fees, you can use that savings to make your home more attractive to buyers. 

For example, you could price your home more aggressively, offer a buyer’s agent bonus to increase activity, and have more negotiating power. You could also offer closing cost assistance, mortgage rate buydowns, or salvage a deal that might have gone awry during inspections. 

By keeping more of your equity, you have more flexibility to make your home stand out in a competitive market.

What services are included with 1 Percent Lists?

1 Percent Lists is a full-service real estate brokerage that provides the same real estate services as other Realtors. When you list your home with 1 Percent Lists, we’ll handle your entire transaction. 

Paperwork, professional photos, contract negotiations, appraisals, inspections, managing showings, sign in the yard, and MLS lockbox on the door. A full range of services for only 1% of the home’s sale price!

How can discount brokerage make money?

Discount real estate agents use technology to create efficiency and reduce costs. For example, electronic lockboxes and signatures, along with online forms, have streamlined the process of buying and selling a home. 

Discount brokers are able to pass these savings onto the home seller. By charging a lower commission rate and providing full service, these brokers can make a profit while offering a better value.

What about “limited listing services”?

Limited listing services are available, but they typically require the home seller to handle the transaction themselves. Some of these services offer an “a la carte” menu of services for an additional fee. However, they may not be transparent about these costs. 

Unless you are experienced and knowledgeable in your local real estate market, doing it yourself is likely to cost you money. One small mistake can easily negate the savings from a limited listing service.

What is the best of both worlds?

Ideally, you want a knowledgeable, full-service real estate agent who charges a lower fee. This would be a “discount real estate broker” who provides full service, but at a more reasonable price. 

In general, these agents are doing more deals and are more efficient. This means your outcome will likely be better, especially when your bottom line is concerned. 

So what’s missing with a full-service, lower fee real estate brokerage?

The trade-off for a lower rate may be the lack of some personal touches that a higher fee agent provides. The recipe book or card on your birthday that you may receive from a full-priced agent might not show up. However, a busy and efficient discount Realtor can still provide a great value and a better outcome for your bottom line. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s more important. Is it the extra personal touches or the value and efficiency provided by a discount broker?

A great discount Realtor outside of a home with a for sale sign

Why a great Realtor might choose to charge less

Why do some great realtors charge less? Simply put, they prefer to focus on what they love – completing real estate transactions. They avoid the tasks they dislike. Activities like cold calling and buying dead-end leads. 

By working with more listings rather than buyers, they can operate a business model that allows them to list more homes. They keep themselves busy with what they enjoy. Even if it means charging a slightly lower commission. 

These realtors value their clients’ experiences and opinions, as they know that satisfied customers are likely to refer them to future business. After all, who doesn’t love saving money and sharing the good news with friends and family?

Questions to ask before choosing a brokerage as a seller

Selling your home can be an overwhelming process, especially when it comes to finding the right brokerage to work with. Here are some questions you should be asking before choosing a specific brokerage to make sure you have found the perfect fit for your needs:

  • Are there any hidden or upfront fees? Inquire about any hidden or upfront fees and additional costs at closing. Some full-service, lower-fee brokerages charge an upfront fee, which should be reasonable.
  • What is your actual savings? Ask the brokerage about the amount you could save, based on a suggested list price, versus 6% by using their services.
  • How many deals have they done in your area? It’s crucial to ask about the number of deals the brokerage has done in the past year, particularly in your area. Accurately pricing your home is the most critical job of an agent, and if they cannot do that, they are either wasting your time or costing you money.
  • Do you love the agent but feel they may not have enough experience? If you are in love with the agent but feel they do not have enough experience, ask if they have someone from their office, such as another top producer or their managing broker, that they can co-list your home with.

One more thing to look out for

When looking for a discount real estate broker, it’s important to find a local company. In today’s market, a clever real estate trick is that of online referral services. 

Many of the companies seen on TV or found quickly online are not local real estate brokers. They’re lead-generating middlemen who increase costs for local brokers and ultimately for the home seller. 

It’s crucial to search for a local company that offers the desired services at a discounted rate.


Choosing a real estate brokerage to sell your home isn’t always an easy task. But by asking the right questions and doing your due diligence, you can find the perfect fit for your needs. It’s important to ensure that the brokerage you choose is local and transparent about their fees. They should have experience and a proven track record of success in your area.

While traditional higher fee brokerages may seem like the safer choice, discount real estate brokerages like 1 Percent Lists can offer the best of both worlds. A lower commission rate while still providing full-service assistance with your home sale. This means that you can potentially save thousands of dollars while still receiving the expertise and support you need to sell your home quickly and at a fair price.

The decision of which real estate brokerage to choose is yours. But by doing your research and considering your options carefully, you can ensure that you find the right fit for your unique needs and goals. With the help of a trusted and experienced real estate professional, you can navigate the complex process of selling your home with confidence and ease.