Denver-based brokerage site promotes flat-rate service by publishing real estate agent commissions

DENVER – A Colorado real estate brokerage is once again publishing agent commissions on its website in an effort to promote its flat-rate fee structure.

Denver-based Trelora first started publishing the commission information in 2015 but received a cease-and-desist order from REcolorado, which provides Trelora’s listing data.

This time around, Trelora says it worked with REcolorado to make sure it’s in compliance with rules regarding use of the multiple-listing service.

That agreement means that only people who sign a non-binding, non-exclusive agreement with Trelora will be able to see the commission that sellers are offering to buyer’s agents. Since the agreement is non-binding, buyers are free to work with any agent and not just Trelora.

A spokeswoman for REcolorado said it didn’t appear Trelora was in violation of rules set forth by the National Association of Realtors, but REcolorado would be reviewing the site to be sure, a process that is standard for all brokerages that use REcolorado’s multiple-listing service.

According to Trelora, more than 55,600 properties sold in the Denver area last year, producing almost $22 billion in sales and $1.25 billion in commission paid to real estate agents.

Commission on a home sale can vary but it is often around 6 percent. On a $200,000 sale, that would mean about $12,000 split between the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent.

Instead of a percentage of the sale, Trelora charges a flat rate of $2,500 for both buyers and sellers.

“It takes no more work for an agent to help a client buy a $700,000 house than a $350,000 house. Why should homebuyers pay double the commission, just because the home is higher priced?” said Trelora CEO Joshua Hunt in a statement.

Trelora represents a segment of online real estate businesses that cater to people who are looking to save some money by foregoing the traditional agent-based model.

Zillow, Trulia and Redfin are among some of the more popular sites that have seen growth in recent years. Redfin advertises a rate of just 1 percent when you sell using one of its agents in Denver and cash back at closing when you buy.

According to Bankrate.com, sellers are even choosing to forgo agents altogether and sell their homes themselves.

Selling a home without an agent can provide thousands of dollars in savings, but homeowners should be prepared to do quite a bit more work to get their home on the market and find a buyer.

Bankrate has some good tips on its website that can help homeowners decide if selling without an agent is right for them.
 

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