As you may know, the average commission for a traditional real estate agent is around 5% to 7% of a home’s sales price. However, in recent years these commission rates have started to decline as newer real estate models emerge. The most popular of these models is discount brokerages.
If you live in the Atlanta or metro Atlanta area, you’ve probably heard of DUFFY Realty via its popular radio ads or through word-of-mouth. This local discount brokerage is a popular option for buyers and sellers looking to save some extra money. Established in 2002, the company has a good track record and positive reputation among buyers and sellers alike.
Of course, research is key to any good real estate transaction. While DUFFY Realty certainly offers many great benefits to its customers, there are also some things to consider before using their services. Let’s deep dive into this discount brokerage and evaluate its pros and cons.
What is Duffy Realty?
DUFFY Realty is a real estate brokerage available to buyers and sellers in the Atlanta and metro Atlanta area. As Atlanta’s first discount brokerage, Duffy is well-known for its low commission and flat fee listing services.
DUFFY works with a variety of property types and helps both buyers and sellers of all experience levels with their real estate transactions. The brokerage prides itself in its profit and protection strategies. This includes a 1.5% incentive for and a 1% listing price for sellers, among many legal protective services.
Unlike most big-name brokerages like Century 21 or Keller Williams, DUFFY Realty is a discount brokerage. Instead of charging the standard full commission, they will work for less and charge a 1% or flat fee. Buyers and sellers may have to do more work themselves in terms of research and planning but will get rewarded in savings for their efforts.
Savings for Home Sellers and Buyers
As advertised, DUFFY Realty home sellers receive a 1% listing commission instead of the typical 6% they would spend with traditional real estate agents. This saves its sellers thousands of dollars in commission upon the sale of their home.
For buyers, DUFFY splits half of their selling commission with you. However, this is under the condition that the buyer will do much of the home searching themselves. In compensation for doing a portion of the realtor’s work, DUFFY rewards buyers with a 1.5% buyer incentive to be used however they please.
What Area’s does Duffy Realty Serve?
Based out of Alpharetta, GA, DUFFY Realty serves intown Atlanta and the surrounding metro Atlanta cities. While their services and local knowledge might be beneficial to those looking to buy or sell in those areas, those outside their service market, in other states, or relocating in or out of other states are out of luck.
How does Duffy Realty Work?
For home sellers, DUFFY offers strategic marketing plans to get more buyers into homes. This is done by allowing sellers to give an incentive to the buyer and buyer’s agent instead of them overpaying the listing agent.
The brokerage uses the same MLS(s), lockboxes, and showing system as other agents in Atlanta. A few marketing strategies and software processes are what set them apart from others in the area. In addition to listing services, DUFFY also has its own Negotiation and Legal Compliance™ Department to keep sellers safe in their transactions.
With DUFFY Realty, the buying process is made easy. All buyers need to do is find the homes they want to visit/view and contact DUFFY to set up a home showing. A DUFFY agent will then contact the seller’s realtor to set up a showing and meet the buyer at the property for their appointment.
From there, sellers can fill out a form that contains the offer they are willing to make and submit then submit it to DUFFY. The remainder of the legal processing and negotiations are handled primarily by DUFFY with input from the buyer. By putting much of the work in themselves, buyers are rewarded with a nice 1.5% incentive upon buying their home.
Who Should Use Duffy Real Estate?
Discount brokerages like DUFFY offer several benefits to its customers. However, this is dependent on the customers’ needs, position, and location.
DUFFY Realty is worth considering if….
· You already know what you are looking for in a home
· You are looking to buy or sell a home in the Atlanta area
· You have specific homes already in mind that you want to tour
· You are of willing to share the real estate work with your agent
You may want to avoid DUFFY Realty if….
· You are looking a more hands-on realtor experience
· You don’t know what kind of home you are looking for
· You are not buying or selling a home in the Atlanta area
· You are not experienced in with buying and selling homes
The Downsides of Duffy
The biggest downside of DUFFY Realty is the lack of agent support. While DUFFY handles the legal side of the transaction, the remainder of the grunt work falls on the buyer or seller. While this is typically expected of most discount brokerages, it is still a downside overall. Even though their business model reduces the need for human interaction, that doesn’t mean it isn’t appreciated when needed.
Of course, DUFFY’s agents are available to answer general questions. Other than that, you are likely on your own for most other parts of the buying and selling process. If you are a first-time buyer/seller or someone who would prefer hands-on guidance throughout the process, it may be beneficial to investigate other brokerages.
The residential real estate industry has been gradually making the shift online thanks to online MLS listing sites. In fact, discount brokerages like Duffy wouldn’t be able to offer the savings they do if these listings weren’t available online. However, consumers today are more tech savvy than ever. While DUFFY has made buying and selling a home easier, many of their services are not as up to speed with today’s technology.
For example, to book showings buyers must directly reach out to DUFFY via email or phone call to set an appointment. Other discount brokerages, like SimpleShowing, allow buyers to search listings AND book showings directly from their website without having to chase down an agent to set up an appointment.
Another concern is DUFFY’s communication and customer service. One common complaint found in several reviews is the inconsistencies in communication between agents, brokerage preferred partners, and customers.
Many customers complained about communication issues when it came to photographers, as well as trying to contact agents regarding specific questions. Their sales process follows a set pattern of pre-written emails containing helpful yet general information. Acquiring additional or more specific details requires reaching out directly which, according to many, may or may not get the timely response.
Alternatives to DUFFY Realty
While DUFFY Realty has a lot of good things to offer, it isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a discount brokerage that offers a more convenient yet personal approach, consider using SimpleShowing. Like DUFFY, SimpleShowing offers a reduced listing fee and buyer refund in return for the buyer or seller doing a portion of the research themselves. Sellers are charged a low 1% listing fee and buyers are credited with a buyer refund of half of their agent’s commission!
Where SimpleShowing differs is in their modern technology. As a tech-powered brokerage, SimpleShowing utilizes technology to price homes right the first time, communicate effectively, and give you and your agent control with a data-filled portal that is connected to several local MLS sites. Through our website, buyers can search homes and book home showings all in one place - no agent assistance required! We also offer an easy-to-use mobile app where users can book showings anywhere at any time.
In addition to serving the Atlanta and metro Atlanta area, SimpleShowing also serves several Florida metro areas including Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. We recently expanded our real estate services to Dallas, Texas last year. Our top-rated real estate agents are trusted advisers with local expertise trained to find the right home for you. Our dedicated agents are well-known for going above and beyond to provide quality customer service and support every step of the way. Not many discount brokerages can say that!
Want to know more about what our customers think about us? Read our Zillow reviews here!
Buying and selling a home is a huge commitment. Whether you choose a traditional realtor or a discount brokerage, do your research to make sure you are making the best choice for you.
DUFFY Realty is a solid choice with a strong local history and comparable savings to other discount brokerages in the area. However, if you are looking to work with a discount brokerage that offers transparency, technology-savvy convenience, and additional realtor guidance, contact SimpleShowing. Our team will quickly connect you with one of our local real estate agents to get you started on your buying or selling journey.