Is Discount Real Estate Brokers For Real?
When most people think about real estate, the first thing that comes to their minds is dollar signs.
And usually not just one. Several. And it’s just not the actual land or structures that cause the
dollar signs to start flashing, it’s the usual 6 percent real estate commission that goes along with
hiring a legitimate real estate agent. But does it have to be that way? Are there cheaper ways to
buy and sell real estate that can be trusted?
Well, it really depends on how much you know about the real estate game. There are hundreds of
companies out there, many of them based on the Internet, that offer discounted real estate
services, but they only do part of the job. But can they save you money? Without a doubt. Most
of the online real estate companies only charge a few hundred dollars for their services, while the
usual six percent charged by a full service real estate broker can stretch into the thousands of
In Texas recently, major real estate companies have begun to play hardball. The Federal Trade
Commission charged a local realtors board with not playing fair with their competition, so
clearly, major real estate companies see these cheaper alternatives as a threat. Not to be outdone,
there are similar realtor boards in other states, such as Utah, Michigan and Colorado that have
done the same thing. They are expecting a review by the FTC sooner rather than later.
The big difference between the way that things have always been done (through a realtor) and
the way things are done now is all about availability of information. Many online sites that offer
discount house or property listings don’t assist you outright in trying to figure out what points are
or try to figure how much your closing costs are going to be, but they do provide the groundwork
for how to figure all that out for yourself. They have primers detailing dirty tricks the bank might
pull. They have FAQs about the basics of dealing in real estate. Essentially, they have all the
information that a real estate agent is going to tell you on their sites so they don’t have to charge
The ongoing battle between online and “legitimate” full-service realtors is something that is
going to be around for a long time. As long as there are self-motivated people who believe that
they can do it themselves, online realtors will continue to thrive. The big question to ask yourself
is how much do you know about the real estate business and how much responsibility are you
willing to take on.