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Can You Save Money with a Discount Real Estate Agent?

two people shaking hands in front of a house

Discount real estate agents vow lower commissions than other realtors. Find out here if you can save money with a discount real estate agent in Seattle, WA.

Discount real estate agents might seem too good to be true, but they do exist. This is because all real estate commissions are negotiable. 

Keep reading to learn more about how you can save money when you sell your home by using a discount real estate agent in Seattle, WA.

How Is A Discount Real Estate Agent Different From A Traditional One?

Before we get into discount real estate agents, let’s break down how traditional real estate agents work. Traditionally, real estate brokers in Seattle will charge about six percent commission.

That commission comes out to six percent of the selling price of your house. Meaning that if you sell your home for $500,000 you would pay your real estate agent $30,000 in commission.  

Real estate commission goes directly to the listing broker, as in Seattle, real estate agents can’t directly take any money. The brokerage pays any cooperating brokers at usually a 50/50 split. Then the broker will take their cut out of the 50 percent.

Of course, this 50/50 split is from a traditional model of a big franchise. This would mean that out of that $30,000 the agent that worked with you would get $7,500. This is before they pay any license fees, office fees, insurance, taxes, associated fees, and any marketing costs they used to sell your home. 

Typically a traditional real estate agent will do the following: list your property on the MLS and other websites, make and distribute flyers, prepare your home for a value estimate, host open houses, prepare and negotiate contracts, screen agents and buyers, and coordinate the transaction through closing.  

However, there are other options in selling your home. 

Should I Use A Discount Real Estate Agent In Seattle, WA?

You can find realtors and brokerages with discounted and lowered commission rates to sell your home in Seattle. This can come in the form of either you asking for lower commission rates, or by using commission rebates. Here are some different ways you can save money with a real estate agent in Seattle.

Can I Negotiate The Real Estate Agent’s Commission? 

When using a discount real estate agent, make sure you are not compromising the attentiveness, service, and experience of the real estate agent.

So you’ll want to make sure that when you work with a discount real estate agent that you’re getting a real picture of the value of your money. A good deal on a real estate commission won’t matter if your home doesn’t get sold.

Let’s say a discount real estate agent offers you 4.5 percent commission where they keep 3 percent and give 1.5 percent to buyer agents. Chances are good buyer agents won’t waste their time on showings for a home where they’re only getting 1.5 percent commission. 

This means your property will likely get ignored and become a “pocket listing” where it will collect dust unless your agent sells it to a friend or contact that really wants your property. So if you’re looking to quickly sell your property, working with a discount real estate agent might not be worth it. 

On the other hand, if you are able to negotiate a clearly outlined list of marketing items with an agent who has experience and will work hard for you, you might discover they will give you a discount. In this case, the discount would be worth it.

You might find this agent will take one percent off their commission or give you a rebate with a fixed dollar amount. 

What About FSBO Or For Sale By Owner?

Another way to save money on a real estate agent, which is perfect if you don’t like paying commissions, is to go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route. To do this, you just go to your local hardware store, hang up some yard signs, post your house online, distribute flyers, work with a real estate attorney, screen all buyers and hope to get a deal. 

While this can be risky, this is usually the best option if you already know a close friend or family member who’s interested in buying your home. While this route might save you money, you should calculate a lower sales price as well as closing fees, and the cost of a real estate attorney.

You should also know that your buyer could have issues with the financing especially if there’s a personal relationship or the bank finds this to be a “non-arm’s length” transaction. 

When Does A Flat Fee Real Estate Service in Seattle Make Sense?

You can also save money on a real estate agent by using a Seattle flat-fee real estate service. These hybrid services come from budget brokerages and realtors that offer homeowners a fixed fee to list the property on the MLS. 

We offer a fixed fee service that isnot based on the commission from the sale price of your home. Typically this fixed fee can save clients about a median of $6005.  VerraTerra’s flat fee service is also full service for that fixed fee, without any negotiation needed on your end.

While other flat-fee real estate services in the Seattle area, might only charge you a couple of hundred to list your home on MLS and other websites, but that’s pretty much where their service ends. 

Our fixed fee service will not only list your property on major realty websites but will also take professional photos, provide signage, provide in-depth market analysis and pricing, do online advertising, and provide unlimited pre-listing consultation and client support. 

Consult With A Discount Real Estate Agent Today

Now that you know what it’s like to work with a discount real estate agent in Seattle, WA, find one that is right for you today. Remember to make sure to negotiate your real estate agent’s commission so you’re still getting what you need from your agent, while not sacrificing too much.

The best way to get a discount real estate agent without sacrificing service in Seattle is to use our flat fee service. So for more insight on real estate, be sure to check out our other articles.