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What are Discount Realtors? (And Should You Use One)

Top 3 Discount Real Estate Brokers | Additional Discount Broker Options | How Much Can I Save? | How to Choose | How It Works | Red Flags | Should I Use a Discount Realtor?

🤔 What’s a discount real estate broker?
Discount real estate brokers connect homeowners with agents who can sell their homes for a lower commission than traditional real estate professionals.
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Between real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and other fees, selling a home can cost you thousands of dollars.

Discount realtors alleviate the costs by helping you save money on commissions. Most offer built-in savings on listing fees — but these companies create savings in different ways.

Some discount brokers save you thousands on real estate agent commissions while still offering full service and matches with pre-vetted discount real estate agents. Other discount brokerages cut corners, offer limited service, charge hidden fees, or operate at a massive scale, which decreases the quality of customer service.

To identify the best discount realtors, we considered each company’s:

  • Method of agent matching
  • Available services
  • Service quality
  • Potential for saving sellers money
  • Geographic availability
  • Online reviews
  • Customer support

Read on to see our top discount broker picks and choose the best option for your situation.

Where to Find the Best Discount Real Estate Brokers

Company Home Bay Rating Listing Fee Availability
🥇 Best Overall
4.8
Exceptional
1.5% ($3,000 min. fee)
Nationwide
Learn More
At homebay.com
3.3
Average
1.5% (min. fee varies)
26 states + DC
Learn More
2.7
Fair
1.5% (min. fee varies)
12 states + DC
Learn More
2.4
Fair
1% ($5,000 min. fee)
FL, GA, TX
Learn More
2.1
Poor
1% (min. $2,500)
DC, FL, MD, NJ, PA, VA
Learn More
🥇 Best Overall

Clever Real Estate

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At homebay.com
4.8
Exceptional

Listing Fee

1.5% ($3,000 min. fee)

Availability

Nationwide

Editor’s Take

Overview

Clever Real Estate is the best option for most sellers who are looking for a low commission realtor. Clever matches you with multiple full-service agents from local brokerages, including top brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. You can interview as many agents as you’d like until you find the right fit, or you can walk away at any time. If you choose a Clever agent, you’ll pay a low 1.5% listing fee.

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Pros

  • You get matched with top-producing local agents in minutes.
  • You get a 1.5% listing fee (half the usual rate) no matter which real estate agent you choose.
  • Clever’s agent matching service is free, with no obligation to commit to any realtor.
  • Clever’s network of 19,000 agents offers great selection compared to similar services like Ideal Agent and UpNest.

Cons

  • There’s no guarantee you’ll get matched with a specific local agent or brokerage.
  • Add-ons like professional home staging and drone photography may cost extra (agents will let you know exactly what’s included during listing presentations).

Clever Real Estate offers a lower commission without sacrificing quality. Through its free service, you can find top-rated agents in your area and sell for just a 1.5% listing fee (much lower than the average realtor commission rate).

How it works: You take a short online quiz (five questions) to help Clever understand your situation and preferences. Then Clever matches you with vetted agents in your market who are a good fit. If you don’t like the agents Clever recommends, you can request more matches until you find the right fit — or simply walk away.

Why it’s great: You can use Clever to compare top-producing local realtors from major brands like Compass, Century 21, and Coldwell Banker. Each realtor in Clever’s network has agreed to offer lower commission rates, which lets you focus on choosing the best agent instead of worrying about the price. You get the same savings no matter what.

Redfin

Learn More
At homebay.com
3.3
Average

Listing Fee

1.5% (min. fee varies)

Availability

26 states + DC

Editor’s Take

Overview

Redfin is an established discount brokerage that offers solid savings compared to what most realtors charge. Its platform offers some useful tech extras, and you can potentially save more through buying and selling with Redfin.

But while Redfin gets you a lower commission and could get you a good sale outcome, it can be a risky choice if you don’t research its agents carefully. Not all of Redfin’s agents are high quality, and many are relatively inexperienced. If you’re interviewing a Redfin agent, compare them against a few other low commission real estate agents in your area to ensure you hire the most qualified agent for your budget.

Pros

  • You get a 0.5% listing fee refund if you also buy with Redfin within 12 months.
  • Redfin offers a few legit extras, like a 3D walkthrough and premium placement on Redfin’s home search tool.
  • The 1.5% listing fee offers solid savings.

Cons

  • Redfin agent quality and customer service are spotty.
  • You have limited agent selection compared to other companies.
  • Redfin’s minimum fees are very high in some markets.

Redfin is one of the more established discount brokerages. Its 1.5% listing fee offers legit savings compared to what most realtors charge. But those savings bring some potential risks.

Redfin agents typically handle three times more deals at once than the average realtor, which may explain the common customer complaints about bad service. And while Redfin has some solid agents, many others are inexperienced and just starting their real estate careers.

With only a few thousand agents nationwide, Redfin may provide only one or two options to choose from in your area. Its minimum fees also vary by market — some exceed $8,000. So depending on your location and your home’s value, you could end up paying more than the advertised 1.5%.

Prevu

Learn More
At prevu.com
2.7
Fair

Listing Fee

1.5% (min. fee varies)

Availability

12 states + DC

Editor’s Take

Overview

If you’re selling a house in one of Prevu’s markets, it’s worth a look. Like Redfin, its 1.5% listing fees are solid (although the minimum fees are higher than other brands), and the potential buyer savings are great if you qualify.

Prevu has limited agent selection and availability (12 states and Washington, DC). You’ll want to compare Prevu agents with low commission realtors from other brands to make sure the agent pool is extensive enough to find the right fit.

Pros

  • Home sellers get a 1.5% listing fee.
  • Home buyers can get up to 2% back after closing.

Cons

  • Prevu offers limited agent selection.
  • Prevu charges high minimum fees for sellers (though higher-end homes likely won’t be affected).

Prevu Real Estate is a regional discount real estate brokerage. It currently operates in select higher-end markets across the U.S. The company primarily focuses on home buyers and offers a pretty substantial commission rebate. But it also offers discounted 1.5% listing fees for home sellers.

SimpleShowing

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At simpleshowing.com
2.4
Fair

Listing Fee

1% ($5,000 min. fee)

Availability

FL, GA, TX

Editor’s Take

Overview

If you’re located in one of SimpleShowing’s markets and you find an agent you like, SimpleShowing’s commission savings can be worth it. Its 1% listing fee is one of the cheapest rates available, although the $5,000 minimum fee means you’ll only qualify for that rate if you’re selling a house worth at least $500,000. Sellers with homes below the $500,000 mark will pay more than the advertised 1%.

And while the listing fee for qualified sellers is appealing, it can come with a risk. A primary way SimpleShowing creates savings is by handling a higher volume of customers than a traditional brokerage, while using a smaller team of agents. This approach can potentially affect service quality.

Be sure to compare the agent SimpleShowing connects you with against a few others. Choosing the best agent for the job will impact your net sale proceeds more than saving 2% on commission.

Pros

  • Simpleshowing’s 1% listing fee can net you big savings.
  • The company is transparent about costs vs. services.

Cons

  • SimpleShowing has a relatively small number of agents to compare.
  • It’s available only in select cities in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
  • The $5,000 minimum fee could mean you pay more than 1%.

SimpleShowing is a full-service real estate brokerage that offers low commission for sellers in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. The company relies on technology to bring costs down, charging a 1% listing fee to sell your home. It also offers help with closing costs for buyers.

Houwzer

Learn More
At houwzer.com
2.1
Poor

Listing Fee

1% (min. $2,500)

Editor’s Take

Overview

Houwzer’s 1% listing fee is one of the lowest in the industry. It has a reasonable minimum fee of $2,500 and a maximum of $10,000. The cap on the listing fee makes Houwzer an especially good deal if you’re selling a home for $1 million or more.

But it has the same drawbacks as other discount real estate brokerages like Redfin and SimpleShowing. It has a relatively small number of agents, so you can’t be picky when choosing your realtor. And like SimpleShowing, Houwzer uses a high-volume, team-based model that can impact the quality of service you receive.

Pros

  • Houwzer’s 1% listing fee is one of the cheapest realtor commission rates in the industry.
  • You can save a lot on homes over $1 million.

Cons

  • Your options are limited if you don’t like the first agent Houwzer sends you.
  • Houwzer agents handle a high transaction volume, which creates service quality risks.

Houwzer offers low commission rates and a variety of premium home selling services, including 25 HD professional photos and a virtual home tour. However, the company has a team-based business model. This means you’ll deal with several people from Houwzer at different steps in your transaction, which increases the risk of mistakes and miscommunication.

How Much Can I Save with a Discount Real Estate Broker?

Your savings — and customer service — will vary depending on which discount real estate brokerage you choose. But in general, you can save up to 2% of the sale price.

Here’s how the math breaks down:

  • Home sellers typically pay 6% in total realtor commissions.
  • The total commission is split between the listing agent (3%) and the buyer’s agent (3%).
  • Discount real estate brokers pre-negotiate a reduced listing agent commission of 1–2%.

So how much can you save?

Home Sale Price Standard 3% Commission Discounted 1% Commission Savings
$100,000 $3,000 $1,000 $2,000
$350,000 $10,500 $3,500 $7,000
$500,000 $15,000 $5,000 $10,000
$750,000 $22,500 $7,500 $15,000
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Note: Savings only apply to listing fees. You’ll still want to offer a standard buyer’s agent commission. If you don’t offer it, buyer’s agents won’t have incentive to show your home to their clients, since they won’t earn commission from the sale.

How to Choose a Discount Real Estate Broker

Before choosing a discount real estate broker, consider these four factors: fees, available services, quality of agent matching, and track record in your local area.

💰 Fees

Discount real estate brokers offer a range of pricing structures — so you’ll want to choose one that maximizes savings while still providing all the services you want.

Most discount real estate brokers use one of three pricing structures:

  • Percentage: Percentage-based brokerages charge a discounted percentage of the total sale price — usually between 1% and 2%.
  • Flat Fee: Flat fee brokerages charge a fixed rate for selling a house, often based on the home value or included services. This structure isn’t based on the final sale price, so the brokerage may charge part of the fee up front to cover marketing and administrative costs.
  • Hybrid: This model often involves charging a flat rate up to a certain sale price and charging a percentage on homes sold for more than that amount.

Hybrid and percentage-based brokers generally provide the best selection of services for value, but luxury homeowners can often save more by working with a flat-rate real estate agent.

Clever Real Estate offers a hybrid model when you work with one of its discount real estate agents. You’ll pay a 1.5% listing fee on all homes above $200,000 and a flat $3,000 on homes below that price point. This discount can save you thousands in commissions.

✅ Available Services

If a discount real estate broker offers major savings, you need to know how they’re able to cut costs.

Unfortunately, some discount brokers simply cut corners on customer service. It’s common to encounter an online, team-based structure — which means you probably won’t get much personalized service or work with a dedicated agent.

At a minimum, a discount real estate broker should provide basic listing and marketing services, as well as easily accessible customer service when you need it. The best discount brokerages, however, will offer the same services as traditional real estate agents.

🤝 Quality of Agent Matching

Depending on the discount real estate broker you choose, you may be matched with a single listing agent, work with a team of in-house agents, or receive several options to choose from.

We always encourage home sellers to shop around with several agents and discount brokerages — you should ideally interview at least two to three agents to ensure you get the best fit.

📍 Local Experience and Track Record

The discount real estate broker you choose should be well-established in your local market.

If you have the opportunity to interview multiple agents, ask how much experience they have selling homes in your area. Also find out how many homes each agent has sold and whether they have experience selling similar homes at your price point.

How Do Discount Real Estate Brokers Work?

Discount real estate brokers provide listing services at a discounted rate, less than the 3% charged by most traditional agents. Most discount real estate companies charge sellers a flat fee or a percentage between 1% and 2.5% of the sale amount.

Some brokers connect sellers with one dedicated agent or use a team-based approach and assist clients only virtually. Other discount brokerages — like Clever Real Estate — have more comprehensive services and match homeowners with multiple local agents to interview.

Low commission realty platforms also offer varied services, which may be lower quality compared to traditional agents. With some real estate brokerages, sellers must forgo home staging, brochures, open houses, and the one-on-one attention available from dedicated agents.

The best discount real estate brokers typically offer support:

  • Using comparable home sales to set a listing price
  • Listing the home on the local multiple listing service (MLS)
  • Marketing the home
  • Scheduling open houses and individual showings
  • Negotiating a sale price
  • Drafting a contract and facilitating closing

Discount real estate brokers that offer a full range of services create savings in other ways. This may involve handling a larger volume of clients than smaller teams, focusing on more cost-effective marketing strategies, or upselling customers on in-house services like mortgage lending, title services, and insurance.

Red Flags to Consider When Comparing Discount Brokers

🚩 Up-front Fees

Real estate agents usually pay for up-front costs like marketing and listing fees out of pocket. If a discount real estate broker charges you a fee before providing services — and before selling your home — it may be a sign of low-quality services and low success rates. That said, some flat fee discount brokerages charge a portion of their fee up front to cover marketing and administrative costs.

🚩 High Minimum Fees

Discount real estate brokers that charge high minimum fees may offer lower-quality services while ultimately charging as much as you’d pay for a traditional agent. This is especially true for homes with lower market values. If a broker offers a 1% commission with a $5,000 minimum fee and you list your home for $200,000, you’ll end up paying 2.5% in seller commissions — close to the standard rate for a traditional agent.

🚩 Limited Services

Some discount real estate brokers offer limited services in exchange for lower fees. If a broker won’t list your home on the MLS, offer marketing services, or provide one-on-one support, it’s likely not worth the perceived savings. Brokers that offer services only over the phone may also be a bad fit for homeowners who want a traditional selling experience.

🚩 Buyer Rebates with Restrictions

Buyer rebates allow home buyers to receive a portion of the home purchase price as cash at closing. This type of rebate is legal in 42 states and the District of Columbia, but it may be a red flag if the arrangement comes with unreasonable restrictions. For example, some brokerages reduce available savings for buyers who look at more than five houses before making a purchase.

Next steps: Should I Use a Discount Realtor?

If you want to save money on realtor fees, using a discount real estate broker is a great option. Just be sure to ask your agent what services they offer. A full-service real estate agent should provide all the following services without charging any additional fees:

  • A comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine your home’s value
  • Pricing guidance
  • Advice on staging and photography
  • MLS listing and listing description
  • In-person support during closing
  • For-sale sign and lock box
  • Guidance during inspections, appraisals, financing, and negotiating offers

Skip the search. Connect with a top agent.

We've partnered with Clever Real Estate! Clever will match you with top real estate agents from your area who offer full service for pre-negotiated, low rates. You'll pay just 1.5% in listing fees — which means you'd save $6,000 on a $400,000 home sale!

Recommended Reading

FAQ

What is the best discount real estate broker?

We recommend Clever Real Estate. Clever offers some of the best savings, while still matching you with top-rated real estate agents who offer full service. Other top discount real estate brokers include Redfin and Ideal Agent. Read our full rankings here.

How much can you save with a discount real estate broker?

Discount real estate brokers offer a range of pricing models and fees, but in general, you can expect to save 1–2% of your home’s sale price. Find out which company offers the best savings and customer service.

What is a discount broker?

A discount broker is a real estate company that offers a low commission rate to home sellers. Discount brokers are frequently agent matching services that connect buyers and sellers with discount real estate agents.

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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