What is a Full-Service Real Estate Brokerage?


If you’re ready to sell your home, a real estate professional is an absolutely crucial piece of the equation. But there are options for you to consider in terms of the exact type of real estate service you want to employ; namely, whether or not to work with a full-service real estate team.

What exactly is a full-service real estate brokerage, and is this the route to take when listing your home for sale? Before you make that decision, it’s important to understand what exactly this is, and how it differs from discount brokers.

What Are Full-Service Brokerages?

As the name suggests, a full-service brokerage is one that offers all necessary services required to successfully sell a property. These firms will tackle everything from taking the listing, to handling all of the necessary marketing efforts, and even dealing with the legal paperwork to follow.

All services – as well and the agents’ time – are included in the one flat-rate commission that the brokerage charges. Rarely does a full-service brokerage charge for additional services; rather, they’re all included under the umbrella of the quoted commission rate.

Real estate brokerages such as Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Century 21 are all examples of full-service firms that typically charge one rate that covers all associated listing tasks. The commissions associated with such services are typically on the higher end of the fee scale in terms of what real estate brokers charge; mostly 5% to 6%.

That said, clients never have to worry about any extra charges being tacked on for additional services, and they can be confident that all the necessary tasks will be taken care of under one roof to ensure a successful transaction. While different firms have their own specific strategies to get homes sold for their seller clients, the commission rate that full-service brokerages charge includes all of their services.

Essentially, a full-service brokerage offers clients the benefit of having a skilled real estate agent, marketing experts, and office managers that are widely available to answer any questions or take calls from interested buyers. Many of these brokerages even have their own in-house home stagers and escrow companies to make the process that much more convenient for their clients. At the end of the day, these brokerages basically bundle their services and charge one rate for them.


How Do Full-Service Brokerages Differ From Discount Brokers?

Unlike full-service brokers, discount brokers typically offer reduced commission rates for their services, often between 3% to 4.5%. This is precisely what attracts many sellers who may be looking to save some money for the sale of their homes. In exchange for a lower fee, clients often receive fewer services compared to what a full-service brokerage offers.

Certain discount brokerages offer various marketing packages for clients to choose from, some more limited than others. Other brokers allow clients to pick and choose which services they want to pay for, such as newspaper ads or advertising on street signs, which are typically rather expensive.

Full-Service Vs. Discount Brokerages: Which One Should You Choose?

There are certainly many discount brokers out there who are very skilled at what they do and provide their clients with great services. On the other hand, they may also be very limited in their marketing reach to reflect the reduced prices that they charge, which can make it tougher to find the right buyer within a reasonable amount of time.

Full-service brokerages provide all the services you could possibly require to realize a successful sale, albeit at a higher price tag. Having access to various experts in the real estate industry under one umbrella can make the process of selling much more efficient and even more successful.

Selling your home is a big deal. As such, your decision on which real estate brokerage will represent you should be made only after careful consideration of all of your options.