Full-Service Agent? Or Discount Broker?

You’ve decided to sell your home. Whether it’s to upsize as your family grows, downsize as you edge toward retirement, or moving away for a new job; whatever the reason, now you have some decisions to make. Firstly, consider if your up to selling it “By Owner”, are going to use a discount broker, or hire a full-service broker/agent.


Selling it yourself can seem enticing when you just look at the commission you’ll save. A couple bucks for a sign and a newspaper ad. But how are you going to price it? Online estimates can vary widely and don’t take into account differences between properties, renovations and upgrades, or other amenities. Price too low and you’ll likely walk away with less cash in pocket than if you’d paid a full commission and the price was set properly. Price too high and prepare to wait a long time as nobody even looks at it. What will you do if you get an offer and the appraisal is way lower? Do you know all of your legal obligations to a buyer? Fail to fulfill those legal obligations and you’re setting yourself up for a lawsuit. A savvy buyer can take advantage of you if you don’t understand the 16-page contract. You also won’t be in the MLS (multiple listing service) so you’ll have very little exposure to potential buyers.


Or you can use a discount broker. As the name implies, the commission or fee you pay will likely be less than a full-service broker. The discount broker will need to cut costs somewhere. That could mean less marketing, no open houses, or not hiring a professional photographer, among other cost-cutting measures. Some will do an “MLS-only” service, where they put your property into the multiple listing service but do nothing else. You still get to deal with showing your house, deal with the contract, do your own negotiations, basically a “For sale by owner” with better exposure to potential buyers. Those buyers will likely be represented by a licensed agent who knows how to get the best deal.


A full-service broker, or agent, is just what the name implies; they provide everything you need to sell your house for the best price possible. A full-service agent will market your property and handle every detail through to closing the deal. Professional photography gives your house an impressive first impression on the MLS. A full-service agent will keep track of all contractual deadlines. They will assist with hiring any vendors needed. Most agents have working relationships with vendors who will prioritize any work requests, rather then you trying to find a vendor who may have a busy schedule. And if any issues come up (and I haven’t had a deal yet that didn’t have some unusual issue that could kill the deal if not properly dealt with), a full-service agent will handle them and keep escrow on-track with minimal or no delay in closing. Personally, I make sure I’m accessible and responsive. That means I will answer your phone call, or return a missed call promptly. I will be available to answer any questions or concerns you have. And if I don’t know the answer, I work with a multitude of very experienced agents who I can call upon and find the answer for my clients.


This article, “Full-Service Real Estate Brokers and Agents: Find Out if They Are Worth the Money”, from “The Balance” does a good job of explaining the differences.


I am a full-service agent, working at a full-service brokerage, Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors. If you’re ready to sell your house and you want an agent that will provide full service with attention to detail, call or text me at 661-430-4020


Robert Tackett, Realtor®

DRE 02093659