Buyers and sellers are always looking for ways to save money on their home transactions. and realtor commissions are one expense that can quickly add up to thousands of dollars spent. That sum of money is significant and a big reason why many consider whether it is actually worth it to hire a full-service realtor over a discount realtor.

Your choice to work with a full-service versus a discount realtor depends on many factors. Both types of realtors differ in the services they provide and offer their own unique benefits depending on your situation. Let’s go over the differences between the two so that you can choose the realtor that is right for you.

What is a Full-Service Realtor?

A full-service realtor is pretty self explanatory and just what you would expect. They handle the entire home buying and/or selling process from start to finish. From listing the property to marketing it to handling closing, a full-service realtor will be there to guide their clients through every step of the transaction. Whatever assistance their client needs, a full-service realtor will be there to offer their support.

Full-service realtors are easy to come by as there are many widely recognized full-services brokerages across the county. These include Keller Williams, Century 21, RE/Max and Berkshire Hathaway to name a few.

What services does a full-service Realtor provide?

A full-service realtor provides a full range of services for buyers and sellers. Here are some of the most common you will find when working with a full-service realtor.

For Buyers:

  • Notify buyers of any current, new, or upcoming listings they may be interested in.
  • Identify any potential problem areas within homes buyers are interested in.
  • Set up appointments to take buyers for private showings of potential homes.
  • Research property values to ensure buyers are making the right offer.
  • Negotiate on the buyers behalf with the buyer's best interests in mind.
  • Assist buyers in securing  home financing and provide advice on legal options.
  • Provide buyers with recommendations for home appraisal, home inspection and contracting services if needed.

For Sellers:

  • Provide a comparative market analysis to help determine a good listing price.
  • Give sellers advice on how to stage their home to attract potential buyers.
  • Hire a professional photographer to take high-quality listing photos.
  • Advertise the property on the local multiple listing service (MLS) and other home buying sites.
  • Organize and manage all open houses for the property.
  • Negotiate offers with potential buyers on the sellers behalf.
  • Assist with all paperwork to ensure the seller avoids legal liabilities.

How much does a full-service realtor cost?

With a full-service realtor, buyers and sellers should expect to pay full-service commission prices. In the standard full-commision model, costs tend to be around 2.5-3% for both the buyer and seller agents, or 5-6% in total. While this percentage may seem small, that percentage of the total selling price can be quite expensive depending on the home.

When to choose a full-service realtor?

There is a reason why so many buyers and sellers stick to the traditional, full-service realtor despite the higher commission. If you do not have the time or are unfamiliar with real estate transactions, hiring a full-service agent is a great way to get the guidance you need. Having them at your side will provide you  peace of mind knowing your transaction is in good hands.

Buyers and sellers who want to ensure that their transaction goes smoothly and timely without having to be involved themsleves may also want to consider a full-service realtor. Full-service realtors are known for being prompt and efficient with their services. This means the transaction will be handled with the utmost care and likely be completed quicker

What is a Discount Realtor

Discount realtors or low-commission realtors are not really all that different from a full-service realtor other than the discounted cost. Most discount realtors still offer a range of services to their clients that are similar (if not exact). However ,depending on the brokerage, the amount of services may be slightly less. Other brokerages may instead cut back the extent of their services or their level of involvement. This is what keeps the fees lower for their clients.

How much does a discount realtor cost?

The biggest difference between full-service realtors is the reduced commision fees. This is also by far the biggest appeal. Discount realtors don’t follow the traditional 6% commission model that full-service realtors do. Instead, discount realtors will either the reduce commission or charge a fixed fee. These costs vary based on the discount brokerage, the local market, and the services that they provide.

What services does a full-service realtor provide?

Most discount realtors offer the same or similar services as a full-service realtor. The services they offer depend on the brokerage, as well as their clients level of need. For example, some discount realtors may not be as involved in helping their buyers search for properties. Others may cut back in marketing efforts, staging advise, or professional photography.

While buyers and sellers may have to do more of that work themselves, they will benefit from their efforts with discounted commission. As long as you are prepared to potentially take on some of the work, working with a full-service realtor can be a worthwhile decision.

When to choose a discount realtor?

If you are budget conscious and looking to save on your next real estate transaction, then a discount realtor is the perfect option for you! Most discount realtors will be able to offer you the full range of services for half the price of a traditional full-service realtor.

Discount realtors are also a great choice for those investing in real estate, familiar with the real estate world, and have the time to take on some of the responsibilities if necessary. Many investors wanting to make the most profit from their transaction opt to work with discount agents for the savings.

Before hiring a discount realtor, be sure to ask them what services they provide and whether they offer full or limited services. If you are new to or not familiar with real estate transactions, try to find a discount realtor that offers as many services and as much guidance as possible.

Buy or Sell Smart SimpleShowing

SimpleShowing has a unique pricing model that offers low commission/reduced listing fee for sellers and a refund for buyers -- all while still providing full service to our clients. For sellers, SimpleShowing charges $0 up front and a 1% listing fee at closing.

Seller services include:

  • Free home valuation
  • Listing on the MLS and 50+ real estate sites
  • An open house
  • Professional listing photos
  • Digital marketing of your listing
  • Dedicated real estate agent
  • Contract and negotiation support

Please note: This fee does not include Buyer’s Agent commission which is typically 2-3% of the purchase price.

For buyers, SimpleShowing charges $0 and rewards buyers with a commission refund of up to 50% at closing (half of the typical 3% commission, or 1.5% of the purchase price). This buyer refund is either written as a check to the buyer at closing or it is used to reduce the buyer’s closing costs.

Buyer services include:

  • Up to a 50% commission refund (1.5% of the purchase price)
  • Dedicated real estate agent
  • No fees or obligations
  • Instant online, tour scheduling of any home
  • Help with inspections, repairs and more
  • Contract and negotiation support


Which realtor type is right for you depends on your situation and what level of service you expect to have. If working with a discount or low-commission realtor sounds the the savings savvy option you are looking for contact us today to connect with one of our experienced agents and find out how you can save big on your home sale or purchase!