California Sees Surge of Discount Brokers and Listing Services

There’s a new trend developing throughout the real estate market in California, and it has many agents and brokers up in arms. Last month we discussed a controversy which started in Denver over new listing services offering discounted flat rates up front in our article “Should You Disclose Commission Rates in Listing Contracts?”, but since then we’ve noticed a handful of similar programs starting up here in California – some offering to sell a home for as low as 1% commission. Now, many agents and brokers are wondering if this just a fad, or if the days of the standard 3% per side commission are a thing of the past.

Recently there have been a growing number of sellers who want to save some money when it comes time to sell a home, and a new wave of discount real estate listing services have emerged throughout California to service them. Mortgage professional Kevin Leonard of Temecula, CA, for example, has been partnering with numerous Brokers throughout Southern California to offer rates as low as 1% commission for both the buyer’s and seller’s side of a sale.

The group of industry professionals advertise heavily on the internet, but also try to reach everyone by using mail through the post office. The team has been gaining traction with their discount real estate agents that offer thousands of dollars in savings for homeowners who list their properties with the Realtor group.

As of now, Leonard has partnered with brokers ranging from Costa Mesa and Newport Beach down to San Diego.

While this may seem like a dream come true for those trying to sell a home, many traditional brokers still argue that their services are superior – bringing superior skills and service levels to their clients compared with discounters.

Whether or not more consumers will choose to go with these discounted brokers is still unknown, but this will certainly remain a hot topic as we move into the spring and summer – when the market typically picks up speed.

Do you believe discount brokers and listing services will change the RE game in California? What are your thoughts?