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I will be relocating with my family from Boston to the SF Peninsula for a new job at Google (Mountain View campus) in late August. We want to BUY (not rent) a home in Palo Alto or Los Altos. Our budget is $1.5MM to $3MM. We haven’t chosen a Realtor yet to handle the transaction.

Since my wife and I are using the power of the Internet to find our future home, the question is does it make since to use a Discount broker/agent to handle the transaction saving us significant money?

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It all depends on how active you will be in the transaction and in finding your home. Typically, real estate agents agree to allow for a discount or rebate of their commissions if the buyer is going to do the work which an agent has done in the past.

The historical prices of setting commissions directly correlate into the work performed. Higher sale prices, higher commissions also come with higher costs of acquiring new business, maintaining relationships and memberships in order to bring clients maximum return, etc.

If you’re looking for a discount broker, it’s likely that you are a DIY kind of person. You can visit open houses on your own and just need an agent to do some of the scheduling and help with negotiation/paperwork. If you need a full service agent who will hunt off market properties, etc. you may find the value in paying an agency what they might deserve for their hard work. Keep in mind, in most cases, the seller typically always pays the buyers agents commission.

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