A discount real estate broker is a company or agent that offers built-in commission savings for home sellers. Most traditional realtors charge listing fees between 2.5-3%. Some of these brands will literally cut that price tag in half, saving you tens of thousands of dollars come closing time.
Our Research Team spent hundreds of hours researching discount brokers and similar services to identify which ones deliver the best overall value to sellers — and which ones offset their low rates in risky ways that could cost you money in the long run.
Bottom line: Should you use a discount broker?
Yes, most home sellers should consider using a discount real estate broker. Top brands like Clever Real Estate offer big savings while still providing excellent customer service. All the discount brokers we recommend provide a similar experience to working with a traditional realtor, which makes them a great option for most people.
That said, some discount brands aren't worth considering. Avoid companies that offer fewer services — and less hands-on support — than traditional realtors. These "limited-service" brands often advertise cheap rates, but you'll encounter risky service trade-offs that limit your actual savings.
Top discount real estate brokers in 2022
1.5% (min. $3,000)
1.5% (min. fees vary)
Nationwide (select markets)
1% (min. fees vary)
FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, RI, SC, TN
1% (min. $5,000)
FL, GA, TX
FL, MD, NJ, PA, VA, DC
1.5% (min. fees vary)
CA, CT, MA, NY, PA
The top discount real estate brands in 2022 are Clever, Redfin, and 1 Percent Lists. These companies are our top picks because they offer solid savings without major service trade-offs. You'll receive all the same services that you'd receive from a traditional realtor, including listing support, marketing, and negotiations.
Other discount real estate brokerages may advertise bigger savings in your area, but they also come with risky drawbacks such as a lack of in-person agent support.
💲 Listing Fee
1.5% (min. $3,000 fee)
💰 Avg. Savings
⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
4.9/5 (1,995 reviews)
Clever is a quick, easy, and free way to find a top-rated local agent. And, unlike many similar companies, Clever pre-negotiates big discounts on your behalf, so you can save thousands without sacrificing on service.
- Clever offers a free, nationwide agent-matching service that partners with full-service local agents from conventional brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX.
- You get multiple agent matches so you can interview, compare marketing plans, and choose the best fit.
- Clever pre-negotiates low rates on your behalf — you get full service for a 1.5% listing fee
- If you buy with Clever, you can qualify for cash back after closing!
- You may not get matched with an agent from your preferred real estate brokerage.
- Agents may not provide premium services like drone photography and professional home staging.
Clever has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, based on 1,844 reviews.
Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates with top agents in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
Clever Real Estate offers the best combination of savings and service for most home sellers. Clever's licensed Concierge Team will connect you with handpicked, local agents from top brokerages like Century 21 and RE/MAX, and sellers pay a pre-negotiated discounted 1.5% listing fee.
With Clever, sellers receive an identical experience to working with a traditional realtor — at a fraction of the price. Try Clever for free with no obligation. Interview multiple agents until you find the right fit, or walk away at any time.
💲 Listing Fee
1.5% (min. fees vary)
💰 Avg. Savings
⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
3.7/5 (301 reviews)
Redfin offers real savings and is a proven brand. But sellers could compromise on service — especially agent experience and availability.
- If you buy and sell with Redfin, you'll get a 0.5% listing fee refund.
- Redfin gives its listings premium placement in its popular home search app.
- If finding the right agent is a top priority, you'll have limited options — Redfin only has a few agents in each of its markets.
- Redfin agents handle more customers at once than the average realtor, so they may not be able to provide as much personalized service.
Redfin has a 3.7 out of 5 rating (301 reviews) across popular review sites like Google and Yelp.
Redfin is available in 80+ U.S. markets (see all locations).
In addition to its popular home search website, Redfin is also a discount brokerage that offers reduced listing fees of 1.5% to home sellers. While it's not the cheapest discount broker, Redfin does provide pretty solid savings. Be sure to note its minimum fees, which vary by market and can be hefty (up to $8,500). Depending on your home's value, you could end up paying a higher effective rate than the advertised 1.5%.
Redfin agents typically work with more customers at once than traditional realtors, so you might not get quite as much hands-on support from your agent. This won't be a problem for most people, but it may not be the best fit if you're a first-time seller or have a more complex selling situation.
» MORE: Read the full Redfin review
3. 1 Percent Lists
1 Percent Lists
💲 Listing fee
1% (min. fees vary)
💰 Avg. Savings
⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
4.9/5.0 (671 reviews)
1 Percent Lists is one of the better discount real estate brokers available in the Southeast, but other companies provide better hands-on service for the same price.
- 1 Percent Lists offers one of the lowest listing fees on the market at 1%.
- Sellers will receive comparable service to a traditional realtor.
- Limited agent selection may mean you have to work with an agent who isn't a good fit.
- Agents handle more customers than traditional realtors, so you may not get as much one-on-one support.
1 Percent Lists has a 4.9 out of 5 rating (671 reviews) across popular review sites like Google, Trustpilot, and Zillow.
1 Percent Lists is available in the following areas: FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, RI, SC, TN.
While it's not our top pick, 1 Percent Lists is a solid choice for home sellers in the Southeast. Sellers who work with this discount brokerage will pay a 1% listing fee and receive most of the same services that traditional realtors offer.
Like Redfin agents, 1 Percent Lists agents work with more customers at once than traditional agents. The brokerage also cuts costs by eliminating old-fashioned marketing methods, such as open houses or print advertising. For most sellers, this won't affect your overall experience, but if open houses are important to you, you should look into a different discount company.
Other regional full-service companies
Depending on where you're located, you may also have access to agents from other regional discount brokerages. SimpleShowing, Houwzer, and Prevu all offer good overall value to their customers, but many of the other local options don't.
No matter where you're selling, we always recommend interviewing a few local agents before making a decision. Selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you'll ever make. Talking to a few agents from different brokerages lets you compare your options and find the realtor who best fits your needs.
Other full-service discount brokerages
1% (min. $3,000)
AZ, CA, CO, GA, MO, NC, SC, WA
$3,500 or 1% ($500 due up front)
CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Nationwide (select markets)
AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, ID, MI, MN, MO, NV, NC, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, WA
2.5% ($9,000 min. fee)
AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MD, NV, NJ, OR, PA, TX, WA, DC
AZ, CO, ID, NV, UT
These discount real estate brokerages also provide the same basic services as traditional realtors, but the overall customer experience comes with far more potential trade-offs — specifically a lack of personalized support.
Agents with these brokerages tend to juggle way more customers than a typical realtor, limiting the amount of time and attention they can devote to your sale. Trelora agents, for example, work with up to 20x as many clients as traditional realtors. This increases the risk of miscommunications and costly mistakes during the sales process.
Our top picks offer more hands-on support at the same (or lower!) rates than these companies, making them a better choice for most sellers.
Watch out for 'limited-service' discount real estate brokerages
If you're searching for discount brokerages near you, you'll likely come across some companies that advertise themselves as full service even though they offer much less overall value. These "limited-service" brokerages tend to advertise similar rates to our top full-service picks, but the savings come at the expense of essential services like in-person listing appointments or dedicated agent support.
Door.com, for example, is a discount broker in Texas that handles the entire sales process remotely. You'll pay a similar listing fee to other discount brokers, but your agent won't provide any in-person support, and you'll likely be responsible for tasks a traditional realtor would typically handle, like hosting your own open house.
We don't recommend working with a limited-service discount brokerage. If you're comfortable selling DIY, you could avoid paying a seller's agent altogether by listing your house "for sale by owner" (FSBO) with a flat-fee MLS listing service.
But, if you want to save on commission without sacrificing hands-on service and support from a dedicated local agent, we recommend working with a discount company that provides a customer experience on par with a traditional brokerage.
How much can you save by selling with a discount broker?
On average, home sellers save about $7,000 in listing fees by working with a discount broker compared with what they would pay a traditional agent or brokerage. Your actual savings will vary depending on your home price, the fee structure of the company you work with, and the average commission rate in your area.ⓘ
You'll save more at higher price points
Your home's price will be the biggest determining factor in your savings. In general, the higher your home's value, the bigger your potential savings will be.
This is because most traditional realtors charge a percentage of your home price as a commission. Since you'd pay a higher commission on more expensive homes, you stand to save more money by working with a discount brand.
Discount real estate broker pricing models
Your real estate commission is a percentage of the final sale price of your home.
Redfin's 1.5% listing fee
Your real estate commission is a set fee, no matter the final sale price of your home.
Houwzer's flat $5,000 fee
You'll pay a flat fee at lower price points and a percentage-based commission at higher price points.
REX's 2.5% fee with a $9,000 minimum
There are three main types of discount broker pricing structures: percentage, flat fee, and hybrid. Most sellers will save more with a percentage-based company. Flat-fee companies often provide big savings at higher price points, but they don't offer great value at most other price points.
Percentage listing fees provide the best overall savings
Like traditional realtors, many discount brokers charge a commission that is a percentage of the final sale price of your home.
Redfin's 1.5% listing fee is a good example. The dollar amount of your commission goes up at higher price points — but your savings also increase.
Redfin listing fee
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
Flat listing fees may be a good choice at higher price points
Some discount brokers use a flat-fee model, meaning you'll pay a set fee no matter the final sale price of your home.
For example, Houwzer charges a flat $5,000 rate to all its sellers. For a seller with a $750,000 home, a flat fee offers huge potential listing fee savings. But if your home is worth less than that, you'll find a much better deal with a company that charges percentage-based rates, like Redfin or Clever.
Houwzer listing fee
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
Hybrid models don't provide great overall value
Hybrid brokers charge a percentage-based commission, but have high minimum fees that create a flat rate model at lower price points.ⓘ
For example, REX Real Estate charges a 2.5% commission with a $9,000 minimum fee. This creates an extremely high effective rate at lower price points, with below average savings at higher price points. Sellers will find a better deal with a percentage or flat-fee brokerage.
REX listing fee
*Compared to a 3% listing fee.
How much can buyers save with a discount real estate broker?
Buyers can save on their home purchase by going with a discount real estate broker that offers a home buyer rebate.
Also called a commission rebate, these funds typically come in the form of a closing credit or cash back after the purchase. Rebate rates and cash back amounts vary by company, location, and home value.
Commission rebates can net you significant savings. However, qualifying for a buyer rebate can be difficult, and many companies that advertise huge rebates have costly service trade-offs or high minimum fees that limit your actual savings.
If you're considering going with a brokerage that offers a home buyer rebate, make sure to choose a broker that provides hands-on service and support — not just the highest dollar amount.
How do discount real estate brokers work?
Most discount real estate brokers' primary focus is offering low rates for home sellers. Many offer built-in commission savings in the range of 20-30% compared to listing with a traditional realtor or brokerage.
To understand how these savings work, you first need a quick crash course in realtor commissions.
📚 Real estate commissions 101
According to one study, an agent in the United States as of 2020 has a median income of $42,246, though the top ten percent earned up to $64,198. This income is generated primarily through commission fees.
In a conventional real estate transaction, the seller covers the commission fee — or more accurately, it’s taken out of the seller’s proceeds from the sale at closing.
The total commission rate — 5.45%, on average — actually consists of two separate fees for each of the agents involved in the sale:
- The listing fee goes to the listing agent for helping the seller market and sell the home
- The buyer’s agent fee goes to the buyer’s agent for bringing their client to purchase the home
The total commission is typically split down the middle between these two agents — so in this example, each would net approximately 2.7%.
Traditional commission breakdown
Buyer’s agent fee
Most discount real estate brokers offer savings on the listing fee side of this equation. For example, a discount broker might offer a 1.5% listing fee instead of the typical 2.5% or 3% commission, lowering the total commission to roughly 4-4.5%.
Discount commission breakdown
Discounted listing fee
Buyer’s agent fee
Note: Expect to pay the full 2.5-3% buyer’s agent fee
Most discount brokerages (and traditional agents, for that matter) will recommend you always offer the full buyer’s agent fee. Rates vary by market, but 2.5-3% is typical nationwide. Negotiating realtor commission fees with the seller's agent is possible, but don't expect to negotiate with the buyer's agent.
Why is offering a full buyer’s agent commission so important?
Because it incentivizes other agents to show your home to their clients. And considering roughly 90% of buyers work with agents, this is your best opportunity for finding a qualified buyer quickly and getting the best price for your home.
How can discount real estate brokers charge lower fees?
Some discount brokerages have come up with service models and pricing structures that create real value for their customers.
Clever, for example, creates savings by solving a big problem for traditional agents — generating a steady volume of business.
Even the best realtors spend a TON of money on marketing. But, with Clever, they can meet new customers with zero upfront cost. Your agent can pass the savings on to you by charging a fraction of their typical commission fee.
Other discount services try to reinvent the traditional brokerage experience. Instead of matching you with realtors at conventional brokerages, companies like Redfin and Houwzer hire their own agents.
In order to offer reduced rates and remain profitable, these discount brokers must find ways to operate more efficiently than a traditional brokerage. Every company does this a little differently, but most involve some combination of the following:
- Finding less expensive ways to attract new customers
- Handling a higher volume of customers with a smaller team
- Upselling existing customers on other in-house services (loan, title, insurance) to make more money per customer
Unsurprisingly, some approaches are more successful than others. When considering a discount brokerage, it’s important that you understand how the company is creating the savings — and what kind of risks that might create for you as a seller.
⚠️ 5 common disadvantages of discount real estate brokerages
Unfortunately, some discount real estate brokerages mislead consumers via smoke-and-mirrors tactics like hidden fees, underplaying the tradeoffs or risks, and so on.
1. Fees by another name
Some companies will lure you in with cheap or free services, but it’s a bait and switch — the fee still comes, but in some other form.
🚨 Example → Some Help-U-Sell and Assist-2-Sell offices advertise extremely cheap fees — but you'll need to upgrade to a more expensive package to receive full service from a licensed agent.
2. Upfront fees
Sellers typically only pay an agent if and when their home actually sells — but a few discount brokers charge nonrefundable fees up front.
🚨 Example → Redefy charges a $500 nonrefundable fee when you sign your listing agreement. If they fail to sell your home, they still take your money.
3. Minimum fees
Many discount brokers advertise low listing fee percentages — but most set (and often hide) minimums to ensure they don’t take a loss when listing less expensive homes.
🚨 Example → Redfin advertises a 1.5% listing fee — but each market has a minimum fee, which can be as high as $8,500. If your home sells for less than a certain amount, you’ll end up paying more than the advertised rate.
4. Buyer’s agent commission
Some discount brokers hide the fact that you’ll still likely want to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission to incentivize agents to show your home.
🚨 Example → REX advertises a 2.5% total commission, but that doesn’t include a buyer’s agent fee. If REX fails to sell your home via its advertised methods, it may recommend offering a buyer’s agent fee as well, resulting in a total rate closer to 5% or more.
5. Cancellation fees
A handful of discount brokerages stipulate you must list with them for a specific period of time. If you terminate early, you may have to pay a hefty cancellation fee. Always read your listing agreement carefully before signing!
🚨 Example → Some REX customers noted the company told them they’d have to pay a hefty fee if they terminated their contract in less than 90 days — even if REX failed to generate any interest in their home.
Full-service vs. discount real estate brokers
Aside from the commission savings, most of the other differences between discount and traditional real estate brokers are potential disadvantages for you, the home seller.
👎 Potential disadvantages of selling with a discount brokerage
Discount brokerages typically offer less hands-on service and support
Most discount real estate brokers look to handle more customers per agent, relative to a conventional brokerage, to make up for their discounted rates.
The problem is that when a single agent is handling 3-4x more customers than the average realtor, it’s obviously going to limit their ability to provide that same level of attention and support.
Many discount real estate brokers employ a team-based approach — as opposed to the 1:1 service model of a traditional realtor — and handle many aspects of the sale remotely, via online dashboards and mobile apps.
⚠️ Beware of limited-service brokers posing as full-service brokers
Some discount brokerages — like Door.com — don’t offer any in-person or dedicated support. Your entire sale is handled by a remote team, online or over the phone — i.e., your agent will offer advice on pricing, staging, disclosures, negotiations, etc. without ever actually seeing your property.
Whether a hands-off customer service style works for you is largely a question of your personal preferences and needs, as well as how effective the specific company’s technology and approach actually are.
But regardless, you’re getting less hands-on, expert support, which is a tradeoff no matter how you slice it.
Fewer agents to choose from — and agent experience is mixed
Most discount real estate brokerages — including the largest, Redfin — only have a handful of agents to choose from in each market they operate in. Additionally, you don’t always have control over who you work with and could easily get handed off to a recently licensed newbie.
📢 Always prioritize the best agent over the lowest price
While you might want to find that lowest-possible rate, finding the right agent with the right type of experience is far more important. In addition to finding a good personality fit, you want an agent who has lots of experience selling homes in your specific price range and neighborhood.
When a broker only has one or two agents in your area, your chances of checking all of those boxes are slim. Getting paired with an agent with little experience — or the wrong type of experience — could end up costing you far more than you save.
Salaried agents may have less direct incentive to go above and beyond
Most agents at discount brokerages are full- or part-time, in-house employees who earn a salary, not a commission.
Traditional realtors typically work solely on commission. They get paid ONLY if and when the sale goes through. This makes them highly motivated to help you sell quickly and for the highest price possible. Salaried discount agents are getting paid whether your home sells or not.
Some companies do offer bonuses and competitive pay — and some agents working for discount brokerages do go above and beyond for their clients. But compared to a traditional realtor, there’s simply less direct incentive to hustle hard and get you the best deal possible.
In other words, it’s just another potential risk worth factoring into your decision-making process.
Discount brokers with bad reputations are a major liability to your sale
Discount real estate brokerages are disrupting long-standing pricing norms, which is having a direct impact on traditional agents’ income.
Unsurprisingly, many traditional agents don’t have a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings about discount brokerages. However, this negative sentiment could be a serious impediment to selling your house quickly and for a great price.
Traditional agents in some markets have gone on record saying they would actively steer their clients away from discount brokerage listings.
While these brands’ ultimate goal may be to lower costs for consumers, which is great, they’re also ruffling a lot of feathers in the process. Remember that your goal is to sell your home as quickly and profitably as possible.
In other words, commend these companies for their cost-cutting crusades. But you might want to think twice before listing with a highly stigmatized brand — at least for the time being.
🔎 Always compare multiple options to find the best fit and value
Some of these differences are clear disadvantages, whereas others really depend on personal factors like your customer service preferences or experience level.
It’s also worth noting that every discount real estate brokerage is different. Each company presents its own unique combination of risks and advantages.
For this reason, if you’re considering hiring a discount real estate brokerage — or any agent, for that matter — always shop around and compare multiple options to be sure you’re getting the best possible value and fit for your specific needs.
Top FAQs about discount real estate brokerages
A discount real estate broker is a company or agent that offers built-in, reduced commission fees for home sellers. There are two primary types of discount brokers. Full-service discount brokers offer a similar range of services as traditional realtors, while limited-service brokers offer cheap rates along with reduced services or a fee-for-service pricing option. Most sellers should go with a full-service discount broker, because they'll receive solid savings without any of the service trade-offs.
Discount real estate brokers usually create savings by limiting overhead or working with more customers at once than traditional agents. The best discount brokers charge low rates while still providing a similar (or the same!) level of service and support as a traditional agent. However, some limited-service brokers charge cheap rates that force them to cut out important services like in-person support.
Most realtors from traditional brokerages, such as Century 21 or RE/MAX, are full-service brokers. Discount brokers generally perform the same services as full-service brokers, but they charge reduced rates. While some discount brokers provide a similar level of service and support as full-service brokers, other discount brands come with risky service trade-offs such as a lack of in-person support. Learn more about the best discount brokers near you.
The best discount real estate companies include Clever Real Estate, Redfin, and Houwzer. Each of these services delivers legit commission savings while also providing service and support that's generally on par with a traditional realtor.
Discount real estate brokerages may or may not be worth it, depending on your estimated home price, their listing fees, and the level of service the company provides. The top discount agents offer huge savings with minimal (or no!) tradeoffs — others overpromise and underdeliver. Always evaluate low commission brokers on a case-by-case basis to compare rates, service quality, and pound-for-pound value. A great place to start is to check out our rankings of the best low commission real estate brokers.
Every discount real estate brokerage has unique pros and cons, but common disadvantages include lackluster agent support, hidden fees, and reduced service. That said, the top full-service brokers generally do an excellent job of matching the traditional agent experience despite charging much lower rates.
If you're looking for a real estate brokerage that offers discounted rates, Clever Real Estate and Redfin are available nationwide. Depending on where you live, there may be a regional or local discount real estate broker in your area. Make sure to go with a company that offers full service and in-person support throughout your home sale, including setting a listing price, marketing your home, and helping with negotiations and paperwork. Find a discount real estate broker near you in this complete guide!
More ways to get discounted realtor fees
Work with a company that negotiates discounted rates for you
As the name suggests, agent-matching services are companies that connect you with highly rated agents in your area. Because the agents pay these companies a few for sending them a new customer, these services are typically 100% free.
Some of these services, like Clever, also negotiate lower rates on your behalf. The best agent-matching services offer similar (if not better) savings as discount brokers with fewer inherent risks.
Try to negotiate a discounted commission yourself
Negotiating a discounted commission rate with a traditional realtor on your own is absolutely possible — but it won’t necessarily be easy. You don’t have much leverage as an individual seller. And many agents will be unwilling or unable to drop their rates for you.
There are some circumstances, however, that could improve your chances of talking your agent down. Check out our guide to learn how much you can expect to save and get some tips on how to negotiate like a pro
Sell your house for sale by owner (FSBO)
The most obvious way to save on real estate agent commissions is to avoid them entirely by listing FSBO — that is, on your own without a real estate agent. Of course, this usually is easier said than done. Most FSBO sellers end up selling for less than homes listed with an agent.
The lower sale price often negates any commission savings gained via the FSBO listing — and that’s assuming you even manage to get the home sold (x% of FSBO sellers ultimately fail and end up listing with an agent). That said, selling FSBO is obviously possible — and if you pull it off, you could save a ton. Check out our comprehensive FSBO guide to learn more.
Average listing fee and commission rates are based on what a company charges at four common price points: $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $750,000. Savings are based on a standard 3% listing fee with a traditional brokerage.
Our ranking and editorial position drew on hundreds of hours of research by Clever's discount broker review team. We took numerous factors into account, but weighted most heavily each company's:
Fees and pricing
This article is reviewed and updated periodically to ensure you have the most up-to-date information to choose the best real estate brokerage. All pricing data and ranking information is based on companies' advertised rates when this article was last updated.