Full-Service Discount vs. Full Price Realtor: Who to Hire?

Full-Service Discount vs. Full Price Realtor: Who to Hire?

How We Buy and Sell Homes is Changing

The internet, computers, and automated systems have changed the world, including how we buy and sell homes. This has led to the ever-increasing popularity of the full-service discount realtor. These realtors typically charge thousands less than traditional full-price agents but provide the same level of service as full-service agents. With the average sales price of a home in the United States now over $450,000 the savings can be huge.

In this article, we will discuss how a full-service discount realtor works vs full-price realtors so you can choose the realtor that offers the best service and value for your money.

What to Expect from a Full-Service Discount Realtor


Lower Fees

The main difference between a full-service discount realtor vs a full-price realtor is the fees they charge to sell your home. A full-price realtor typically charges the seller 6% of the sales price. If you sell your home for $450,000 the fee you would pay a full-price realtor is $27,000. Ouch!

By leveraging technology and systems a full-service discount realtor charges a much lower fee, typically around 4% of the sales price. So when you sell your house for $450,000 using a full-service discount realtor the fee you pay is only $18,000. The difference in cost is substantial. In our example, the seller saved $9,000. That is a lot of money and one of the reasons full-service discount realtors are becoming so popular.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

When you list your home with a full-service discount realtor the home is posted in the MLS in the same manner and with the same benefits as every other realtor. It is the same exact system. The difference between realtors is their experience and the effort they place in inputting all of the data about your home, the number and quality of the pictures they post, and how they describe your home. A great agent will have professional photos and tell a compelling story that makes potential buyers eager to see your home.

Pro Tip

Although the MLS is the same for all agents, how the agent inputs the information is what matters. You want to hire a realtor who writes a compelling narrative about your home that will attract buyers. How do they typically describe the homes they sell? Is it just a Breakfast Room or is it a Sunlit Breakfast Room? Is it a Soaking Tub or a Rejuvenating Soaking Tub? You want to hire someone that will sell your home, not just list it in the MLS.

Photographs and Virtual Tours

The first time a prospective buyer sees your home will be on the internet and buyers love to look at pictures. So how the home is presented, the quality of the photographs, and the access to virtual home tours are very important.

The majority of the full-service discount realtors will provide professional photography and virtual tours as part of their standard service. Surprisingly, although full-price agents charge a full 6% commission not all of them include professional photography as part of their standard service.

If you spend a few minutes on the internet looking at homes listed for sale you will see a vast difference in the quality of the photos used to display homes to would-be buyers. So whether you hire a full-service discount realtor or a full-price agent, you want to make sure they include professional photography and virtual tours. You want your agent to provide at least 25 professional photographs that highlight the best features of your home.

Advantages of using a full service discount real estate agent - Image of a Professionally staged living room

Marketing Plan

FYou are hiring someone to sell your home, not just list it. Every seller I have spoken with wants their home to be sold quickly and for the highest possible price. That is achieved with marketing. Full-service discount realtors leverage technology, systems, and social media to market and sell your home.

Experienced full-service discount realtors have a marketing plan that they have perfected over the years. A well-conceived marketing plan takes into consideration how, where, and when the home is presented to potential buyers. So when you are interviewing agents and trying to determine who to hire to sell your home, ask them how, where, and when your home will be marketed.

Pro Tip

You can have a home that is in excellent condition and priced right but if no one knows about it, it will not sell. Do some research and ask questions. With a little effort you can not only save thousands by hiring a full-service discount agent, but they will have a comprehensive marketing plan that is equal to or better than what is provided by a full-service agent.

Communication with the Sellers

Communication with the seller is a little trickier with some full-service discount realtors like Redfin and similar firms that have a departmental business model and employees. Depending on where you are in the selling cycle your point of contact will these firms can change. For example, when your home is first listed the licensed listing agent will be your point of contact. But once the home is “On the Market” you might be passed on to “Customer Service”. When you near closing you are again passed on to the “Closing Department”. The constant change can lead to miscommunication and a lack of personalized service. That is why selecting the right professional full-service discount agent is so important.

The business model of most professional full-service discount realtors is the same as regular full-service agents. Your main point of contact is the licensed realtor and their small team of professionals who are there to guide you from beginning to end. You are never passed off from one department to another and you can always reach the licensed agent with any questions or concerns. Plus, the professionals you deal with every day will not be an employee but the owners. Their reputation depends on your satisfaction so providing you with excellent service is a top priority.

Pro Tip

You want an agent who is invested in your success and will be there for you. When comparing agents, it is not only costs but the level of personalized service that you will receive that matters. You want to find the full-service agent that has the lowest fees and will provide you with the best personalized service.

Yard Signs, Lockbox, and Showing Appointment Service

It is the little things that can make selling a home easier and faster. When engaging a realtor you want to ensure they are using quality systems and services that make showing and selling the home easier for both the seller and the prospective buyer. Full-price real estate agents and full-service discount realtors will have quality yard signs, and electronic lockboxes, and will utilize a professional showing appointment service. These items are important to the sale process

– A quality yard sign lets a passerby and neighbors know your home is for sale and provides them information on how to get additional information about your home. Even in today’s social media-connected world yard signs can sell your home.

– Lockboxes are important because they make accessing your home easy. Even better are the electronic lockboxes that have built-in security features that limit who and when someone can get access to the keys. The electronic lockbox also documents who and when the keys were accessed. As a bonus, there is no more wondering if someone showed up to their scheduled showing appointment. The electronic lockbox will send out an email notice shortly after the box is opened to confirm the potential buyers kept the appointment.

– A professional showing appointment service coordinates requests and approval for showing your home to prospective buyers. These appointment service coordinators have online systems and people in call centers that make the process of showing your home easy, quick, and hassle-free. No more missed calls or lost showing opportunities. In addition, the showing service will automatically request feedback to find out what the buyers thought about the home and if they are interested in putting in an offer. This feedback is priceless as it lets you know if the home is perceived well and if the buyers believe the home is overpriced.

Pro Tip

You want to hire a realtor that has a full set of sales tools and that knows how to use each tool effectively. An agent with a premium set of sales tools will sell your home quickly and for a great price!

Full-Service Discount vs. Full Price Realtor: Who to Hire?

Competitive Advantage

When you hire a great full-service discount realtor you get the same service provided by full price real estate agents but at a lower cost which may give you a competitive edge in the market when it comes to pricing your home. This competitive advantage allows you to sell your home for a slightly lower price so your home sells quickly while your neighbor’s home down the street remains unsold.

Pro Tip

As a seller, the net amount of cash you receive at closing is what matters. By using a full-service discount realtor you can sell the home quickly by pricing it slightly below market but still end up with more money in your pocket. That is a win-win!

How to Find a Great Low-Fee Real Estate Agent

Depending on where you live you may have to do some research to find a great real estate agent that will provide premium service without the high fees. We recommend you do a Google search for “Best Full Service Discount Realtor” or “Realtors that Provide Premiums Services Without the High Fees”. With a little research and asking the right questions you will be able to find a great agent that will provide you sell your home quickly and for a great price.


The main difference between a full-service discount real estate agent and a typical full-service agent is the fees that they charge. A full-service discount realtor leverages processes and systems to provide you with premium services without the high fees. But keep in mind, regardless of the fees they charge, there are good and bad realtors. So when you are deciding on who to hire to sell your home do your homework and ask the right questions. With just a little effort you should be able to find a fantastic full-service real estate agent that will provide your excellent service for a very reasonable fee.

Mac Realty Team | Full-Service Discount vs. Full Price Realtor: Who to Hire?