When selling a home in Maryland, many homeowners want to save money on commissions. One way to do this is by selling to a Maryland cash home buyer. Another way is to list with a discount real estate broker or a flat-rate fee service.

In this article, we review the top three discount real estate brokerage companies currently servicing the state of Maryland. We’ll also review the difference between discount brokers and flat-rate listing services so you can better determine a better fit for your needs.

Disclaimer: This blog post and website provides general information on Maryland real estate. Maryland Estates, LLC, doing business as Creo Home Buyers, and its authors are not liable for the accuracy or use of this information; consult with a trusted real estate professional or attorney for guidance regarding your unique selling situation.

What is a Discount Real Estate Broker?

As a home seller that’s a valid question and one you should ask before you sell your house. 

In a typical real estate transaction the seller pays 6% of the sale price in real estate agent commissions. These commissions go to the real estate agent for the buyer and the seller. The seller and buyer agents each receive around 3% of the purchase price in commission fees. The home buyer usually doesn’t pay realtor commissions. Lucky them…

Discount real estate brokers take less than the average 3% agent commission. About a 1.5%-2% commission is average for a discount listing fee agent. So while a discount listing fee broker still gets paid a commission based on the final sale price of the home, it’s just a lower commission. 

Let’s do some quick math to determine your potential savings. We promise to keep it simple!

Let’s say your home in Maryland sells for $200,000. At 6% for a typical full service agent you’ll pay $12,000 in commissions. While listing with a discounted agent at 4.5% you will pay $9,000 in commissions, i.e. several thousand dollars less.

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Difference Between Discount and Flat-Rate

With a flat-rate broker, you pay a one-time listing fee, not a commission. You can pay a pre-determined price to a flat-rate broker to list your home on the MLS.

Flat-Rating Listing Services

In this case, you will be handling the sale of the home yourself. Also known as FSBO or For Sale By Owner, which can be an alternative to using real estate agents. That’s why it’s called a flat fee MLS listing. You are really just paying to have your home listed on the MLS to get it in front of more buyers than you could without that exposure.

Flat-fee MLS companies are an option for homeowners who aren’t afraid to do all of the work themselves – without a real estate agent on their side. However, selling your house on the MLS is not a requirement. If you already have a buyer lined up you could skip listing altogether and sell to them directly.

Some flat-rate brokers offer assistance throughout the sale process. But beware, many of them tend to offer different tiers so you only get the services you pay for. Sometimes they will only provide services if you formally request and pay additional for them.

Flat-Rate Listing Fees

And some even charge a small percentage fee at closing. This is on top of the initial flat-rate listing fee. By the end, you may end up paying the 3% of the sale anyway, if not more, for doing more work than simply hiring a regularly priced full service agent.  

You will see that some websites group discount and flat-rate brokers together. We prefer to make a distinction. There are some similarities for sure, but we like to view them as separate real estate companies as they typically offer different benefits to homeowners.

3 Top Discount Real Estate Brokers in MD

Redfin

We think Redfin is one of the top choices. And for good reason. You know what you are signing up for. They provide a great site for you to list and sell your home. 

Redfin has been in the business for two decades. In 2023 alone they helped with the purchase and sale of over 60,000 homes in the US. That number is expected to continue to rise in 2024 and beyond. Redfin has tons of experience and there are plenty of testimonials out there to back that up. This makes them one of the best discount real estate brokers on the market. 

They advertise that you are able to work with top local real estate agents in Maryland. All while paying a lower commission rate, compared to the average real estate commission. Meaning you get to sell your home for less

Added Bonus

Are you planning on selling a home and buying new one within a year? In this case, working with Redfin can be a huge asset, particularly when listed on the local MLS. You can actually get the commission fee down to 1% in those situations. 

Not to mention they’ll connect you with a local agent that has valuable market insights. 

With Redfin, you pay just a 1.5% listing fee commission. Redfin agents are actually salaried but can receive bonuses.

Potential Downsides

When you work with Redfin you are assigned an agent and that’s the agent you will have to work with. Some sellers are turned off by this. And there are reports of people not satisfied with the agent they were assigned. It can feel like the luck of the draw.

Redfin can also be known to have a high minimum fee depending on your market.

Our Experience

We’ve spoken to Maryland sellers who’ve used Redfin’s discount service. The feedback has been both positive and negative.

For a basic Maryland home sale, the discounted service can be a great way to save money. However, if you are dealing with a short-sale or an otherwise complicated sale, you’d be better off hiring a traditional full-service agent.

We’ve received reports of homeowners feeling like their assigned Redfin agent wasn’t putting in as much effort for those more difficult transactions which caused further complications. So, be wary before hiring them if you face a more challenging home sale.

Mr. Lister Realty 

Mr. Lister Realty is a one-stop shop realtor for those looking to sell their home in MD. With a wide range of real estate services, they offer several different plans to fit the seller’s needs. 

From MLS listing to traditional agent services. Even offering assistance for those looking to purchase a home. So they’re here to help buyers and sellers. 

They can also simply list the house for you to sell FSBO (For Sale By Owner). Being the flat fee MLS option, this is the most affordable, but you also get the least amount of help.

Full agent services are also available through Mr. Lister Realty and at a discounted price. There is a one-time charge of $999 and a 1% fee due at closing. That means as long as your home sells for more than $50,000 you will be saving money. At least when compared to a typical 3% Maryland agent commission. 

Like many discount brokers, Mr. Lister Realty offers many add-on services. And you should factor that into your overall pricing. If there is a service you need, chances are there is a real estate company that provides it. It just might cost you a bit more. To be fair Mr. Lister is very clear with their pricing so getting an accurate total cost estimate should not be difficult. 

Houwzer

Houwzer has been around since 2015 and is one of the top discount real estate brokerages serving Maryland. They got their start in Pennsylvania and have moved on to service the Mid-Atlantic area, including Maryland.

So, what does Houwzer offer? 

Houwzer offers a complete experience at a reduced cost to the seller. With Houwzer you pay a 1% agent commission at the close, making it a clever real estate choice. No money upfront and you don’t pay anything if your home doesn’t sell. 

Houwzer helps sell over 100 homes a year so they aren’t as big as a company like Redfin. But they market themselves against Redfin, pointing out some key differences.

  • Their commission rate is lower than Redfin’s, which can save sellers more money. They claim to save their sellers an average of $12,000. 
  • They also state they have more modern technology than Redfin which streamlines the process for the sellers and Houwzer’s agents. 

But like Redfin, some sellers feel like they don’t get personalized service. You don’t get to pick your listing agent. Therefore, you might not get all the guidance typically required when selling a house in Maryland. 

Bonus Broker: Netrealtynow.com

Netrealtynow.com is another discount realtor and flat-rate listing fee service based in the Mid-Atlantic region, servicing property sellers in Maryland. They have been in this business since 2009.

They have three plans that a MD home seller can choose from. The first two are variations on the flat-fee MLS listing service, while the third is a full-service listing. These listing options are available in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. So those looking to sell homes in Baltimore are also covered. 

Net Realty Now charges a 1-2% commission for their full-service listings. They also offer even further discounts if they can find a buyer for the home that doesn’t have an agent yet. This emphasizes their roles as a discount realtor in MD. 

They can list the home online on the MLS and market it on social media. The service also includes professional photography and virtual tours. As well as lockbox assistance and showing scheduling. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Broker

This is not a time to forget about your due diligence when selling property with a discount Maryland brokerage. You need to do your homework on these companies, including researching full-service real estate brokers in Maryland and alternative ways to sell

Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing a discount brokerage: 

  • Fees and commission rates – the commission rate might be low but keep an eye out for hidden fees. They will add up.
  • Services provided – saving money listing your home isn’t the hard part. Make sure you are getting all the services you need. 
  • Reputation and customer reviews – this is the best way to get an idea of what the company is all about. 
  • Experience and expertise in the Maryland real estate market – you want someone who knows how to get the job done in your market.

Benefits of using a discount real estate brokerage

What do you get with a reduced agent fee?

Access to the best discount real estate brokers in the market. Plus: 

  • Cost savings – this one is really the whole point. The idea is that you will be saving some money.
  • Faster sale process – one of the main pillars of discount brokerage is a streamlined process. This means a faster sale for the seller. 
  • Insights and resources – many companies offer advice and data to help you sell your home faster and for more money.

Final Thoughts on MD Discount Brokers

We want to encourage you to explore your property selling options. When you want to sell a house, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to choosing between hiring a conventional realtor or a discount broker in Maryland.

If you decide to go the discount brokerage route, you’ll want to find the best broker to fit your home selling needs. Compare top choices and go with your gut and level of comfort in handling real estate transactions. 

There is money you can save with a discount realtor. A lower listing fee is nice but keep the level of service in mind as well. If you are inexperienced in home sales or have a difficult house-selling situation, consider hiring a traditional real estate agent in Maryland.

See if Your Home Qualifies to Sell for Cash

If you want to skip listing fees or working with agents in Maryland because you’d still like to save money on commissions (because who wouldn’t) you can see if your home qualifies for our cash offer program.

We provide fast and free cash home offers to Maryland sellers. If our offer works for you, great! If not, we’ll look into other property-selling options to get your house sold as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Get your free, no-obligation offer started today by simply filling in the form below!

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