Flat Fee versus Low Commission Real Estate Agents in North Carolina


We are sometimes asked if White Stag Realty handles flat fee real estate transactions.  Flat fee transactions require a client to pay an up front fee at the start of the transaction.  The real estate agent retains this fee, whether the home sells or not.  Some flat fee real estate brokers charge additional fees for certain services.  The key difference between a flat fee real estate transaction and a low commission real estate transaction is when and if the agent receives compensation.

In a transaction where a realtor makes a percentage-based commission, the real estate agent receives compensation only if your home sells.  If the home does not sell, the agent receives nothing.  Additionally, the real estate broker is paid only upon the completion of the transaction.

In a flat fee real estate transaction, the real estate agent receives compensation whether your home sells or not.  The real estate broker gets paid the exact same amount, even if your home does not sell.  Additionally, if your home does not sell, the real estate agent actually has far less work to do.  The realtor receives compensation before any work begins, and keeps this fee regardless of whether you are satisfied with the services provided.

For real estate transactions in North Carolina, White Stag Realty strongly discourages flat fee transactions.  We will consider a flat fee transaction in some very limited circumstances.  However, approval to handle any real estate transaction on a flat fee basis is discouraged and requires express approval from the owner of White Stag Realty.

White Stag Realty is aware that some home sellers in North Carolina are interested in pursuing flat fee transactions.  However, as a general policy, we discourage our realtors from engaging in such transactions.  The business of real estate is largely word of mouth and relies heavily on customer satisfaction.  Simply put, we need satisfied clients who will refer their friends and family to work with us.  Happy clients are good for business.

Unfortunately, many flat fee real estate transactions end in disappointment.  If you do a quick google search for flat fee real estate agents, you will find that most either have no reviews, or very few reviews.  This is often because flat fee real estate brokers receive so many negative reviews that they constantly have to delete their business profile and start from scratch.

As the owner of White Stag Realty, I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that before I entered the field of real estate, I myself used a flat fee service to sell my first home. It was not a positive experience.  However, my own disappointment in the transaction is what later inspired me to start White Stag Realty as a real estate office that offered reasonable transaction fees – but if and only if your home sells.

If you are interested in talking to one of our real estate agents about a real estate transaction in North Carolina, please call us at 980-777-4440, email us at [email protected], or visit our home page.

We look forward to working with you.