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What is the difference between A REALTOR®, Discount Brokerage, real estate agent



When you are looking to sell or purchase a home, you can certainly list it yourself. Many people do. However, I’d like to offer some insight as to why I feel that enlisting a REALTORâ is really your best option.


Keep in mind that even with agents, there are a few things to consider.


First, is choosing one! You can go with a friend’s recommendation, you can find one online by searching your area. You can roll your finger through the phone book (yes, those do still exist!) or you can choose a discount brokerage.


While some of those options may work perfectly for you, let’s dive into one of the fastest growing options: A discount brokerage firm. Going this route will most likely save you some money, and these firms have the same access to all MLS listings that a REALTOR® does, but there are several differences between a discount broker and a REALTOR® that I’d like to discuss.


  1. You are not assigned a specific person so when you call the main number, you simply speak to whomever answers and they help you at that time.  Relying on what you say and what is on the screen when you call.  Hopefully its detailed and accurate!
  2. They have limited office hours, which means you may miss out on opportunities both as a Seller and as a Buyer.  This can greatly affect the offers you receive or submit.  The negotiations that sometimes need to happen outside of those hours to ensure you are not making decisions without full information if you had more time.  This also affects deadlines and receipt of information. 
  3. Their fees are typically ‘flat rate’, meaning there is no incentive offered to the person helping you, no impetus for them to work their hardest for you, their client.

Nobody wants to be just a number, right?


A personal relationship built over time with a REALTOR® means your desires and needs are kept at the forefront of every interaction. Selling or purchasing a home is usually the largest financial transaction of our lives. But it isn’t just a transaction, it’s an emotional decision that comes with some serious questions, concerns and criteria that we all want met!

Your home is also your largest asset, and that means you may want to consider protecting said asset every step along the way. You pay an attorney to protect you and your rights, why not hire someone to do the same with your home? When there is a fee involved, the person helping you has every reason to go above and beyond for you, to ensure the fee you’re paying is worth it. Every agent knows that 3% - 6% of any home is not a small number and therefore, most provide a multi-level service to you during the process.  Even in a hot market!  Most especially in a hot market! 


In my mind, it’s about the service itself, not the transaction and a fee. I do all the market research and provide that information to my client. I go over it all with them and make sure they understand what they are looking at. I do all the promotion of the home myself, including paying for professional photos and videos to use in the listings as well as many other marketing avenues that I pay for.  I hold open houses where the home is staged in a way that appeals to the prospective buyer, and I also review contracts with my clients in full detail. When an offer comes in, I speak with the lender to ensure that the person making the offer is truly qualified and underwritten, not simply pre-approved. I do this because I want the process to go smoothly for all parties, and because I have my client’s best interests at heart, always.  


I want to be there for my client every step of the way. I believe an educated buyer/seller is setup for success, and able to make concrete, rational decisions about their home. When you have someone walking alongside you throughout the entire process, you can talk about your concerns or desires in depth, giving you the best possible outcome! If you have any questions about these differences or real estate in the Denver area, give me a call!


Shared with permission by:

Kim Evans, SRES, CSHP
Sage Choice Group at Sellstate Realty Pros
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Member:  National Association of Realtors (NAR) and 
Denver Metro Association of REALTORS (DMAR)
Senior Real Estate Specialists Council (SRES)
Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP)
Vice President, Denver Senior Coalition - South

Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck