Weighing the Cost of a Discount Broker vs. Traditional Real Estate Negotiator

When it comes time to sell your home, choosing the right agent is a huge decision that will help the entire process fall into place. Once you settle on an agent, they will set you up with a strategy and timeline to get all of your ducks in a row. From the piles of paperwork to pricing your home and a set negotiation strategy, it is your real estate agent who guides the process and makes sure things run smoothly and as you expect.

Profits are vital to a sale, so you have to spend your money wisely when choosing an agent. But is a discount real estate broker worth the price? Let’s break down the facts.

How Discount Agents Work

Most discount brokerages work with a flat-fee real estate model. You pay one discounted price whether or not your home sells, and receive real estate services from an agent employed by the brokerage. One of the biggest risks you take with a discount agent is the fact that cheaper often equates to just plain cheap. And when it comes to selling your greatest asset, that’s not a risk you want to take.

It’s important to keep in mind there’s a reason these discount agents make less – they’re either under-qualified or they don’t plan to give your home sale the time it needs in order to reap big benefits. Email responses will potentially come in slower, their expertise may be limited, and there’s a good possibility that you will have to pick up more of the responsibilities yourself. An agent who will get you top dollar and provide top-notch service is one that might cost a bit more.

Why Discount Brokerages are Failing

When you pay a discount, you get – or don’t get – what you pay for. Some flat-fee brokers don’t do any marketing for listings once they post your home live online. And more often than not, you’re on your own when it comes to scheduling showings, inspections, completing paperwork, and other time-consuming leg work during the process. When time is money, it pays to work with a true professional.

Purplebricks is just one example of a flat-fee brokerage that couldn’t keep up with the industry. In 2019, the company withdrew from the U.S. market after only two years. Without a strong established local presence, they were unable to deliver profitable results for their clients and shareholders.

The Facts About Your Agent’s Commission Fee

First of all, it’s important to understand that the commission fee for a traditional real estate agent is 100% negotiable. If you’re feeling uneasy about paying too high of a commission, talk it through with several agents and be open and honest about your needs. There is always room to negotiate a fee that everyone is comfortable with. For more details on how it works, check out our post on the eye-opening truth about real estate agent commissions.

Professional Real Estate Negotiators

The biggest financial benefit of choosing a professional real estate agent is their negotiation skills. There are literally hundreds of different negotiations that are a part of just one home sale. Everyone thinks about the price, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, your agent will be going to bat for you on a timeline, inspections, home warranty, closing costs, backup offers, repairs and more.

Getting top dollar for your home doesn’t just mean picking the right listing price. It includes making necessary repairs so you don’t get undercut on buyer offers, and getting your house sold quickly if you need the profits of your sale to purchase your next home. A real estate agent with a powerful skill set and experience dealing with complex contracts, finance, and negotiations, will eliminate the stress of selling and secure the highest profit possible for your home.

Why work with First Team?

When you work with a First Team agent, you get the expertise and knowledge of a company that has a proven track record of success in the Southern California market. Every First Team agent goes through two-weeks of hands-on training as soon as they join to learn contract negotiations, marketing, and the suite of company provided tools designed to help sell homes for top dollar.

With a collaborative and sharing focused company atmosphere, when you work with one First Team agent, you get the support and expertise of our entire network of 2,000+ local real estate professionals, Family of Companies, and support staff. Backed by First Team, a robust luxury real estate division, and a suite of industry-proven tools, our agents have more time to focus on their clients and make their needs top priority. Armed with local market knowledge since our founding in 1976, we’ve been #1 in Southern California for the past 18 years in a row1 because our clients know we get the job done well.

[1] Top Broker Report published January 2020 based on data available from 7/1/2001-12/31/2019, ALL CRMLS, All Brokers. As reported by CRMLS participating associations/boards of REALTORS® in California.

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