Full Service Realtor or Discount Brokerage?  - Who Makes You More Money?

Full Service Realtor or Discount Brokerage? - Who Makes You More Money?

  • Dan Schuenke
  • 02/9/21

The real estate industry is constantly changing with more agents, brokerages and recently big tech companies trying to get their own piece of the pie. We call them "disruptors," and in many cases those businesses are built based on volume sales and discounts, and not their service. They disrupt the industry while the market is hot, but when the market turns, they quickly fizzle out. This blog post is meant for seller's who are doing their homework and exploring their options between a full service realtor and one of the discount brokers.

When we meet with owners interested in selling, we always look forward to discussing commissions but more importantly explaining the differences in services we provide. We can with 100% certainty anticipate this one question…


How Much Do You Charge For Commission?

Our answer is always the same. "We charge the industry standard however we offer above standard service"

Sellers then bring up discount brokers and how they are "full service" and charge "1%" We stop them to say this:

You're about to sell what's probably your largest asset. Do you really want an agent who will discount the commission from the get-go because that's the only way they can compete with us? If lowering commission on the selling side is the most important factor for you, we can refer you to several agents who will happily put your home up on the MLS for a flat fee. There are countless agents who would give their right arm to make a quick buck and sell your house. Be sure to read their fine print however, that 1% list fee comes with a catch... The real question is, do you want to list your home for 1% and sell it for 10% less, or do you want to list if for 2.5-3% and possibly sell it for 10% more?"


Choose An Agent You Will Work Best With, Not The One Who Will Do It For The Lowest Commission

Choosing the right agent is extremely important and you're probably reading this because you're doing your research to explore all of your options. After all, you're going to pay them a lot of money, and in order to come out ahead, you should be smart and do your research. In the end, it will prove to be a good investment.

Your focus should be on who will do the best job, not percentages. 

Furthermore, don't focus solely on an agent's reputation. There are a lot of great agents out there that are relatively unknown, while there are well known, top producing agents who may just treat you like another number. Ultimately, you want to work with someone you trust and someone who will get the job done. When you interview different agents, ask them the following question:

How many of your listings in the last 5 years did not sell?

If they can’t immediately answer you, that means quite a few…

Our answer… Zero, We've sold 100% of our listings

Sure, issues do arise in almost every transaction as we do not have a crystal ball, but if you're solely focused on percentages and being told exactly what you want to hear, then you'll likely come out on the losing end and leave money on the table. 

Your home is your largest asset and should be treated that way. There is a lot of money that can be made or lost and it's important to work with an expert who cares, and wants to do the best job they can for you. You should want to work with the best! If you need lasik eye surgery, would you go to the surgeon with multiple 1 star reviews? Sure you may see 20/20 afterwards, but you may also go blind! Want to roll the dice?

We've been to countless listing appointments where sellers tell us they've been offered lower commissions by other agents. 

Each time this happens, we stand our ground and tell them: "Roll the dice and list your home with the discount broker, at the price they agree to because they just want the listing, and in three months after you fire them, give us a call to discuss the next steps."


Bottom Line

Your home deserves special attention and expertise. If you won't go to the 1 star surgeon, why would you list your most valuable asset with a discount broker? 

Forget about negotiating commission and focus on who will do the best job for you. You will come out ahead in the long run. 

We run our business differently than many of these "distributors". We won't always tell you what you want to hear, but we will tell you the truth. We won't just nod our heads and agree to everything you say just to get the listing, because we know if you don't list it with us this time, you'll likely be calling us the next time around. 

We tell our clients straight up: If you want someone to discount their commission, we aren't the agents for you, but if you want a team of full service agents who will make you a hell of a lot of money, then lets work together. 

Forget about discounts. Work with an expert who cares about YOUR bottom line. Someone who will be present for the showings, the inspections, the appraisal, etc. Find someone who puts in the extra effort to prepare your home for showings, properly stage, photograph and market your home. Finally, work with someone who adds value and is willing to have a difficult conversation about commissions, because you know they will do the same when negotiating with the buyer's agent to get you the best price possible. That's what we do! 

Don't work with someone for half the commission because we promise you, you don't want to work with this person. However if you do, we have the number of the 1 star surgeon. They'll be happy to practice their technique on you! 

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