If you want to get a group of Realtors® buzzing like a nest of angry hornets just say the word “discount” and see what happens. For the most part real estate agents are self employed business owners, even if they are associated with a large national brokerage they have the flexibility to determine what they will charge for their services. So when I see an agent touting their commission and fees as a “discount” I wonder two things; are they desperate for business and what won’t they do for you when you hire them to list and sell your home.
If you call an agent who has advertised their services as “discount” you need to determine what they think they are discounting from. Usually the answer will be from some imaginary commission rate that they think is standard. There is no standard commission rate. The law is very clear that brokerages can not conspire to set rates. An individual agent can determine what they consider fair business rates for their services but they can not tell the agent next door what rate they can set. So if an agent tells you the standard commission rate is “x” and mine is “y” then they aren’t giving it to you straight.
The second part of the question is if the agent is “discounting” their fees then is there something they are dropping from their services to get your home SOLD. What services have they decided aren’t important to offer? Is it accessibility to answer your questions, regular updates to the MLS, maximum pictures on line, internet exposure on multiple sites, color brochures, negotiating in your best interest or something else?
There are plenty of agents who offer a great array of services for their clients and who never use the word “discount” to describe them. They have thought through all of the components that make up the selling experience and have designed services and pricing that reflects the value that works for their business. These agents aren’t trying to lure you in with by plastering the word “discount” on every street corner.
Every homeowner has the option to choose the agent and the services that work for them. So don’t let the word “discount” be what drives you to pick an agent. Make sure that they listen to you and present a plan that is tailored to your needs. If they are shooting from the hip to get your business and jump at the chance to “discount” their fees to get your business, then how hard will they work to get your house SOLD? Call me and I will show you how to avoid getting stung by the “discount.”