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Hybrid real estate brokerage vs traditional broker

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  • Hybrid real estate brokerage vs traditional broker

    Hi all, I'm a 4th year medical student on my second career. We have a rental property with significant equity and our tenant is moving out this month due to a military deployment. We're strongly considering selling the property and using the proceeds to eliminate my student loans and supplement our savings/investments during residency.

    Does anyone have any experience selling a home with one of the hybrid real estate brokerages (ie, Redfin) or another fixed fee broker as opposed to a traditional broker? On the other hand, does anyone feel strongly about using a traditional broker? I'm already going to be paying a significant amount of taxes on the sale and would like to minimize the amount I pay for brokerage services.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    The answer to this questions depends on several things.

    How good are you at marketing your own property?  Do you have time to show it?  Do you have great photography skills to create a top quality listing?  Do you have the market knowledge to list at the right price?

    What is the market like in your area?  Some areas do better when you use a traditional broker, some are fine using one of the discount services.  Is the market where you are hot or cold?

    You can always interview 2 or 3 traditional brokers for free to see their presentation of a comparative market analysis, to consider their services, to learn about marketing in your market, ask the tough questions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your property, what you will get for your money through them, and you can also interview the discount brokers to hear their sales spiel.  Ask both types of agents why you should use them over the other type, ask them for referrals from recent customers, do your due diligence.

    Bottom line, the correct answer to your question depends on your local market.  Real estate practices and strategies tend to be very local and very different in different areas.


    • #3
      For clarification, I know the market well as I bought the property new at the bottom of the housing bust, used it as my primary residence for a few years, and have been self-managing it as a rental for the better part of this decade. It's a townhouse is in a hot seller's market with comps over the last 6 months selling within 3-5 days. If it doesn't sell right away, it's not a huge deal as I have enough cash flow to cover expenses and have several potential month-to-month tenants already lined up. In other words, marketing is not something I'm concerned about, hence the reason I'm considering a hybrid broker.

      Also, FYI, many of the hybrid brokers (ie, Redfin) offer professional photos as well as video walkthroughs at no extra charge. Even if those services weren't included, my wife is a photographer so I have that covered.

      Has anyone used one of these companies in the past? I've used traditional brokers previously, but, in full disclosure, am leaning towards using a company like Redfin. I'd like to hear a personal experience of someone on this forum rather than a random reviewer on the internet.


      • #4

        For clarification, I know the market well as I bought the property new at the bottom of the housing bust
        Click to expand...

        For even further clarification, chances are you got lucky on the bottom. ;-)


        I've never used any of the services that you mentioned but there is a lot of unnecessary spending/costs during a real estate transaction so it'll probably be worth your time to minimize those.


        • #5

          For even further clarification, chances are you got lucky on the bottom.
          Click to expand...

          100% agree. Definitely was lucky and am not implying that my knowledge was what lead to my initial position. I know what things are worth right now based on my recent experience and that of family members in the local market but have no idea what it will look like in 6 months. Hence, another reason I'm keen on capturing my profits now.


          • #6
            In a hot market with rapid sales, I think you are wise to use a discount realtor.  The townhomes sound like they are selling themselves.

            Personally, I have been mostly a buy and hold real estate investor.  Our last real estate sale was handled by a full service broker, but it was a high end home in a market where all the buyers were using full service brokers.  The discount brokers and their listings in that particular market are somewhat blackballed by the traditional realtors.  So again, this decision is market dependent.


            • #7
              If the market is as hot as you say, why not just FSBO?