Where can I find discount buyers agents?

Asked by Itiswhatitis, Denver, CO Fri Jul 20, 2012

Is there a site that list discount buyers agents? I do not need an agent to help with my search. I will schedule showings with the listing agents and view the properties myself, but I would like an agent to assist with the contract offer and loan/inspection process. Basically, once I have found a property I want to bid on, then I would like to use a discount broker but do not want all of the services that come with contracting with a buyers agent for a set period of time. Does this exist, if so where I can I find a list of agents that work for less than 2.8%. Thanks!

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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jul 20, 2012
Perhaps you can draw a parallel to this:

"A Lawyer who represents himself, has a fool for a client."
2 votes
Actually I can't. That quote is based on the suggestion that often in the law, the client can be emotional and not act with a clear mind based on the emotions involved. I am devoid of emotion in this process and am viewing this as merely a business transaction. I am doing my research and am being very thorough. I come here for opinions and suggestions and to save myself some work, I am looking for buyers agents who take less than 2.8% and in return do less work. I guess buyers should look to redfin agents since from what I am hearing this is the only venue to find such a thing.
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
Itiswhatitis, Home Buyer, Denver, CO
Fri Jul 20, 2012
OK, as if my original question was not clear enough...

I am aware redfin offers agents that work for about 1.9% instead of 2.8%. Is there a way to find agents that take less of a commission than that. I have 0 interest and will gain no benefit from having an agent conduct a home search for me. I enjoy the search and actively take the time to do it daily and contact listing agents. ALL I WANT is someone who will assist me in putting together a contract to purchase and then if accepted, will assist the the loan/title/inspection process. I do not need a full service broker who is going to hold my hand. My financing is rock solid and I know what I want and will find it on my own, I just want someone who will help me cross the finish line once I've run the race.

So, is there a good source of discount brokers that don't request the full 2.8% and also don't provide full service buyer duties? Or should I just contact a redfin agent. Or should I go with a real estate attorney? Only concern with a real estate attorney is if my first few bids arent' accepted, contract formations can get expensive...any advice there?
2 votes
Try craigslist....there are a lot of discount brokers who will happily do what you ask for. I'm exactly in the same boat as you are, but over the last few months get the creepy feeling that the whole real estate industry is one big cabal. The agents keep out everyone who's discounting in nefarious ways.
Flag Thu Sep 12, 2013
john9999, Home Buyer, Sacramento, CA
Mon Aug 4, 2014
@ Ron Thomas and Sean M. Dougherty:

1) I find a $100k home online - call an agent, go see it, make offer, close. ($2,500 Commission).
2) I find a $1million home online - call an agent, go see it, make offer, close. ($25,000 Commission).

To suggest that there's not some kind of disconnect there is disingenuous at best, and potentially speaks volumes to ones integrity.

@ Terry Farnsworth: I would do business with you any day of the week. Great answer and great integrity.
1 vote
Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Sat Jul 28, 2012

You don't pay anything for buyer representation. Your buyers agent would be paid by the listing agent in the form of a co-op commission, for "bringing" you, a performing buyer, to the property. The list agent charges the seller generally anywhere from 4-6%, and pays the buyers agent normally 2-2.5% out of the total, keeping the remainder.

Now, if you are looking for a buyers agent who will "rebate" you back a portion after closing out of the 2-2.5% they receive.......you can simply do an internet search for something along the lines of "home buyers rebate" and you should find the info you are looking for - providing this practice is legal in CO (some states it is not).

You'll understandably get a lot of the "you get what you pay for" argument from other real estate professionals when asking this question on a real estate site. The reason is because the real estate industry would prefer to work on an "even" playing field in a perfect world, and by attracting clients by offering up to 1% "cash back" - some think this "devalues" the profession. Choose an agent you trust, has experience, and will represent your best interests - as there are great agents that offer this bonus, and horrible ones that don't. At the end of the day - also keep in mind - most agents do not really take 100% of what they make from a sale. Some pay a large portion to their brokers, some donate a portion to charities, and some rebate it back to their clients.

Hope this helps!
1 vote
Sean Dougher…, Agent, Fort Collins, CO
Fri Jul 20, 2012
So you're looking for an agent to do paperwork for you. You should just hire an attorney to do the work you want done. Here's why:

1. if you think that it will get expensive for you to keep having an attorney write offers for you that will not get accepted, then maybe you should write offers that are reasonable. If you think that any agent, whether the so-called discount broker or the "full price" agent, will keep writing ridiculous, low-ball offers, then you know even less about real estate than you sound like in your questions on this site.

2. If you find an agent who will work for less than the amount offered as a co-op fee, that agent is a fool. The remainder of the commission that the agent does not want to earn will be earned by the Listing Agent, as the Listing Agent has the contract with the Seller for the commission, not the Selling Agent.

3. If you call a Listing Agent to show you the property, then he/she has no obligation whatsoever to compensate another agent who helps you to write an offer on that home. It's called Procuring Cause, and the Listing Agent, being the Procuring Cause on the home is entitled to the commission for the Selling side of the commission as well as the Listing side of the commission. So really, the way you want to do this will only get the discount broker no commission. If you did this to me, as a Listing Agent, I would be sure that the other agent's Manager/Designated Broker know that the agent was infringing on my Procuring Cause. I would make sure that the deal would close, as I wouldn't damage the potential sale for my Seller, but I'm sure that the agent you selected would have walked away, knowing that he/she wouldn't be getting paid.

4. If you don't want the services, then tell the Selling Agent who you're working with that you don't want his/her advice. He/she will, if the person is smart, have you sign a disclosure that states that he/she tried to give you advice about the transaction and you refused to take it. It's called covering yourself. I wouldn't take on the liability of you potentially suing me (as people like you are apt to do when you make a mistake) for not giving you good advice.

5. Back to hiring yourself an attorney - why wouldn't you do this? An attorney will do, or not do, whatever you tell him/her. That's your best bet.

I wish you the best of luck in your search, but I really don't think you'll have much success. No agent wants to have a client who wants nothing better than to screw the agent out of commission that he/she works very hard for. I sure wouldn't want to deal with it. And before you get on your high horse about how selfish and greedy I am, I donate much of my time and money each year to charitable causes, but they're causes I choose, not clients who squeeze me.
1 vote
Sean says: "I just know that I am worth what I am paid."

I estimate that my buyers agent has probably done 27 hours of work on my behalf: 3 telephone calls, 12 hours touring homes, 3 hours drafting the offer (in which I found several serious typos), 3 hours inspections, 3 hours negotiating inspection results, and 3 hours in closing. Soon he will get a $10,000 in commission because of his relationship with me. Let's assume that he keeps 50% of that and that the brokerage takes 50%. That is an hourly wage of $185 per hour.

I'm sorry, but I haven't met an agent worth anywhere near that hourly-wage. Based on the education level and competency I've witnessed from real estate agents, they should be pulling in more like $50 per hour for simple residential deals. In other words, I think I should be paying agent fees of about $3,000 instead of $10,000.
Flag Sun Jul 12, 2015
You seem to think that I'm defensive? Wrong. I just know that I am worth what I am paid. I don't know why I'm even answering you, as you can't seem to get your stories straight - in one post, you're an attorney who knows more than any other brokers on Trulia, yet on another post you want our advice on homes you are finding. On a third question, you're only making $40K/year and wondering about a co-signer. You must be a great attorney, making that kind of money.

You're either just stirring up trouble here because you don't have anything better to do, or you truly believe what you're posting. Either way, you really should quit wasting our time here - some of us work for a living. In closing, I'll just say that you're just cheap, and you will get what you pay for. The good news is, you won't get it from me, and that means that you won't be able to sue me when you make a mistake and want someone to blame it on. Good luck.
Flag Sat Jul 21, 2012
How do you explain Redfin's agents that offer about 1/3 of their commission back to the buyer? There are agents in your profession that work like this and I just want to know if there are others. You get defensive because they are your competition and offer a better value to most consumers. The typical consumer will get as much out of agent A as they will out of agent Z. Why do you think that all agents deserve the same commission when some do more than others?
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Fri Jul 20, 2012
I think you can find a discount buyer's agent at Walmarts - they must sell them there!

(sorry, just wanted to inject some humor) !

With all due respect -your thinking is flawed, or at least, it is confusing to me -

You keep referencig the point that you will "view the properties" with listing agents (fyi - when I show my listing, I expect the buyer to then work with me unless they tell me ahead of time they have an agent - at which point I tell them to have their agent show them the house!)

In any event - I don't see where you're coming up with this side agreement to pay an agent.
If the property is listed - the listing agent most likely will NOT reduce their commission even if you come with your own agent who has their own special (discount?) agreement with you.

The seller already agreed to pay a set commission which will be paid to the listing company who will share it with any buyer's agent's company that is part of the transaction.......why would you pay an agent anything at all when they will be paid out of the total agreed-to listed commission?

How do you see this playing out?

How do you propose getting the listing agent to reduce what has already been written into their listing agreement?

Now, if you're looking at a fsbo - that's easy - use a real estate attonrey to write up any offer....they just won't babysit you during the home inspection, though.
I am sure there are agents out there who would work with you, and negotiate their commission, in buying a fsbo, but I don't see how you're coming out ahead with what you are trying to propose.

In any event - best wishes!
1 vote
I have not had any problem getting a showing from listing agents so far. I have explained to each one so far that I am a very willing and able buyer and not out to waste anyone's time. The ones I have met with so far have been very interested in servicing their client and understand that this will help get their property sold. If you're not willing to show a property to a prospective buyer and you are the listing agent, you are doing a great disservice to your seller in my humble opinion.

As I reference before, Redfin agents offer a portion of the commission back. I am sure they are not the only agents out there doing this. That is how I see this playing out. I am asking if any of you are aware of other agents taking less than 2.8% since that is customary and offering a portion of it back to your buyer.
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
Jo Anne Will…, Agent, Asheville, NC
Wed Apr 19, 2017
In NC, Buyer's Agents can be entirely paid by the Seller, yet represent only the interests of the Buyer. If you deal with a listing agent or another Realtor in the listing office to show the property and write the offer, you are dealing with a Dual Agent by definition. The commission can be the same; however, all of it stays within the same office and the Buyer and the Seller are both represented by the same brokerage firm. Would you like a Buyer's Agent who is not affiliated with the seller yet is paid by the seller AND helps you with the entire process of home search, market analysis research of the property value, advises you on details of the offer, helps you with home, radon, water, pest, septic inspections, etc., lender issues, all the way to closing? Who wouldn't?

Consider Asheville for your next primary or vacation home!
0 votes
UpNest, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Fri Nov 4, 2016
At UpNest, we match you with with top local agents who will offer you a rebate on your purchase. Visit http://www.upnest.com to get started today.
0 votes
Michael Kien…, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Sun Oct 2, 2016
openlistings.com will do what I believe you are asking for and rebate you 50% of the commission - ready for real estate agent trolls to hammer on this and GO!
0 votes
S, Home Buyer, Denver, CO
Wed Aug 13, 2014
Dear Itiswhatitis,

I am also very interested in the answer to your question!
Did you find someone suitable to achieve your goal?
If so, I'd be very interested in hearing how you did it!

Thanks for any advice!
0 votes
Ritchy Haynes, , Denver, CO
Wed May 15, 2013
Buyers agents in Colorado are generally paid by seller/seller's agent anyway. No sense in spending the time looking, especially in our market an agents expertise is needed!
0 votes
Kevin (720)…, , Denver County, CO
Sat Jul 28, 2012
If you are to make the biggest purchase of your lifetime why would you short change yourself in an effort to save a little bit of money. I feel confident when I know I have professionals working for me.
Best of luck to you.
0 votes
Bill Finn, Agent, Denver, CO
Thu Jul 26, 2012
The best place to find the best buyers agents in your market is Find a Pro.
Just search out the market that you are looking for and then click on Find a Pro and switch to order by Featured Agents.
This will be the list of the best realtors in your area, then you can read their profile headline to find a discount agent.
0 votes
Shirley Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Jul 24, 2012
One phrase come to my mind.... " You get what you pay for..." Many of my clients have found houses on their own and had asked me if i know about the neighborhood, the disclosures, what I think the price should be, have me look at the property and have me get a visual inspection, Etc... Then in turn I make sure their offer is competitive with everyone elses. If you want to pay someone less than they deserve, i doubt they give you the same considerations and effort as their other clients. Agents are able to negotiate and can save you thousands but it depends on how much they want to help you.
0 votes
Lisa Rowe, Agent, Castle Rock, CO
Tue Jul 24, 2012
Hi Particia,
From you question, I gather you are looking for an agent to accept less than the offered commission and perhaps take the difference and have the price lowered or put towards closing costs and pre-paids. I'm sure it depends on purchase price, but give me a call to further discuss. 303 725-7518. In this market we all need to be flexible and open to all opportunites. Of course, our legal team will be the final answer on legality.
I look forward to hearing from you!
0 votes
Patricia Sut…, Agent, Centennial, CO
Sun Jul 22, 2012
Hi Itiswhatitis, are you looking for a rebate on the commission? The commission paid out is in the listing agents agreement. Other than the MLS showing the co-op rate there is no written agreement between the seller and the buyer's agent. The amount of the commission can't be a part of the contract to buy and sell real estate. So to answer your question is, there is no such list that I am aware of. Real Estate brokers don't have a set fee, it is always negotiable. Yes the customary commission to the buyer's agent is 2.8 or 3%but it doesn't have to be. Call me if you would like more information.
Patricia, 303-931-2536
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Jul 21, 2012
Most agents have an Elite Buyer program for folks like you. Experienced buyers who need only the administrative assistance. We call these 'A-List' buyers. These agents will provide access to their advanced resources, analytics, early watch systems, and First Look services, to make your search more efficient. You, however, need to PROVE yourself to be an ELITE BUYER and not a time hole.

How do you do this? Call the agents who work in Denver Co and discuss your situation.
You would be SURPRISED how agile real estate professionals are. They, however, are running a business, not a hobby. The choice has always been and still is yours to make. If you are unwilling to demonstrate you are serious by SIMPLY picking up the phone, the reality is, you are very likely NOT qualified to fill the requirements and responsibilities of an Elite Buyer.
0 votes
Michael Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sat Jul 21, 2012
Since buyers don't pay for the services of a buyer agent, I don't see how you could ask for a discount on such a service. Effectively, you're asking an intermediary (the cooperating broker representing the buyer) to help you lower your purchase price through a rebate of commission fees.

Ok, let's say you get a broker who'd work for 1%, thus lowering your cost by maybe 1 or 2% through a rebate. Obviously, that broker now has a fraction of the incentive to negotiate the best deal since you're committed to working the deal yourself.

Now, I don't know how many homes you've bought, but I'm pretty sure most of the professionals here would agree with me that deals are usually not won or lost by 1 or 2%. If your offer isn't properly put together, you may find yourself 5-10% behind the winning bid. Similarly, if your offer is structured correctly for that neighborhood and that seller, you can gain a 5-10% price advantage.
Web Reference:  http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes
Well said, Michael.
Flag Wed Jul 25, 2012
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Fri Jul 20, 2012
you're funny- you start another thread (ask another question on trulia) asking what others think of a bunch of houses you must have seen, or plan to see!!


so, you can do it all on your own and don/t need a "full service"agent?
and.............You're willing to ask strangers for advice on houses?

Well, as you see, it was suggested that you need to find a buyer's agent.........probably a good idea!
0 votes
Marcus Neces…, Agent, Bentonville, AR
Fri Jul 20, 2012
Respectfully, I don't sell real estate in Colorado. I stand to gain nothing in giving my free advice.
0 votes
That was noted and why I stated I appreciated your comment.
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
Itiswhatitis, Home Buyer, Denver, CO
Fri Jul 20, 2012
Why do you continue to not answer the question and put forward your own agenda...

Some of us are educated and know what pitfalls to look out for. I am an attorney and know real estate law to a greater depth than you likely do. I do not specialize in the field, nor do I write up contracts, and would prefer to work with someone who does. I do not want nor do I need a full service agent. I only need someone to handle the specific tasks I have requested. Please post your advertisements elsewhere if you cannot post useful information to these forums.
0 votes
Seems the old adage is true in this case - the attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
Marcus Neces…, Agent, Bentonville, AR
Fri Jul 20, 2012
Something to consider...I showed 2 properties to my clients today that were not on the mls and weren't even for sale by owner. My network of cooperating agents and potential sellers brought my buyers two options that a discount agent would most likely not be able to bring to their clients. An aggressive agent in your area should have the ability to find you homes that have not been put on the market yet, giving you more options.

To Michael's point below, most of the time the seller pays the commission to the agent so I don't understand the need for discount agents. I'm not in your area so it may be a local issue I'm not aware of.
0 votes
Someone had deleted their post which included their contact information and was posted after you posted this. Instead of replying to them I made a general post so it looks like my above rant was directed at you. It wasn't. Sorry for the confusion.
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
I appreciate your comments, however, I am going through offbeat channels as well and contacting developers of properties I am interested in that are not on the market or were once on and taken off. I am doing the search on my own and am very thorough about it. This is something I am enjoying and don't need or want to pay someone to do it for me.


I understand your profession and I think is is valuable, however, for what I am looking for, I don't think the 10-20 hours of time an agent would spending assisting me with the contract submissions and loan process is worth $10,000-$15,000. Even the top 5% of attorneys in Denver aren't billing at that rate. I'm happy to offer someone around $4,000-$6000 to help get me to the closing table, but more than that is obscene.
Flag Fri Jul 20, 2012
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