🤔 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.
Between real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and other fees, selling a home can cost you thousands of dollars.
Discount real estate brokers 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 real estate brokers, we considered each company’s:
- Method of agent matching
- Available services
- Service quality
- Potential for saving sellers money
- Geographic availability
- Online reviews
- Customer support
After analyzing these factors, our top pick for best discount brokerage is Clever Real Estate. Listing agents at Clever offer a pre-negotiated commission rate of 1.5%, which is one of the lowest we’ve seen. Clever is free to use and can be a good way to save money on commissions without sacrificing full service.
Top 3 Discount Real Estate Brokers
|1. Clever Real Estate||1.5% (min. $3,000)||Nationwide|
|2. Redfin||1.5% (min. fees vary)||80+ U.S. markets|
|3. Ideal Agent||2% (min. $3,000)||Nationwide|
1. Clever Real Estate
|💲 Listing Fee||1.5% (min. $3,000)|
|💰 Avg. Savings||$7,000|
|⭐️ Avg. Customer Rating||4.9/5 (2,000+ reviews)|
Clever Real Estate is our top pick among the best discount real estate brokers.
Clever offers low, pre-negotiated rates with top-rated real estate agents. Its licensed concierge team matches you with real estate agents from nationwide brokerages — like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX. You can interview as many local agents as necessary to find the right fit.
It’s completely free and there’s no obligation, so you can walk away if you don’t find a suitable match.
You’ll pay just a 1.5% listing fee instead of the traditional 3%. On a $500,000 home sale, you’d save $7,500 just by finding an agent through Clever.
And, unlike some discount brokers, Clever’s real estate agents provide all the same services and personalized support that 3% agents do.
|💲 Listing Fee||1.5% (min. fees vary)|
|💰 Avg. Savings||$5,550|
|⭐️ Avg. Customer Rating||3.9/5 (400+ reviews)|
Redfin is a Seattle-based discount brokerage that assists buyers and sellers in more than 80 U.S. markets. The company charges a 1.5% listing fee, but this rate falls to just 1% for customers who sell and buy with Redfin.
Redfin differs from traditional real estate brokers because it uses a team-based model instead of connecting you with a single, dedicated listing agent. You’ll work with multiple agents over the selling process.
For some, this approach may be more efficient than working with a single real estate agent — but it can get confusing. We recommend working with a discount broker that connects you with a dedicated listing agent, especially if it’s your first time selling a home.
3. Ideal Agent
|💲 Listing Fee||2% ($3,000 min.)|
|💰 Avg. Savings||$3,750|
|⭐️ Avg. Customer Rating||4.9/5 (2,700+ reviews)|
Ideal Agent is similar to Clever Real Estate because it offers discounted realtor fees with traditional real estate agents. The brokerage is available nationwide and is highly rated across popular online review websites. However, Ideal Agent offers a 2% listing fee, which is higher than Clever’s rate.
Ideal Agent’s real estate agents are experienced and carefully vetted to ensure high-quality service. But the discount brokerage connects you with only one real estate agent, whereas Clever lets you interview multiple qualified agents.
Additional Discount Real Estate Brokers
|1 Percent Lists||1% (min. fees vary)||FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, RI, SC, TN|
|Trelora||1% (min. $3,000)||AZ, CA, CO, GA, MO, NC, SC, WA|
|Redefy||$3,500 or 1% ($500 due up front)||CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA|
|Assist-2-Sell||$2,995–8,995||Nationwide (select markets)|
|Help-U-Sell||$2,950–7,950||AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, ID, MI, MN, MO, NV, NC, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, WA|
|Homie||$3,500||AZ, CO, ID, NV, UT|
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|
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.
» Return to: Top 3 Discount Real Estate Brokerages
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 a traditional real estate agent.
🤝 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 Real Estate 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: Talk to an Expert
Saving on realtor fees doesn’t have to mean sacrificing service. If you’re weighing your options for buying or selling a house, Clever can help!
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.