Digital Move – Save money on real estate commissions

Real Savings – Thea Tuto, a licensed realtor, started RealtyOffer in Northville last year to help buyers and sellers cut costs. // Courtesy of RealtyOffer

MyouMany factors come into play when buying or selling a home, including location, condition of the residence and its age. The formula hasn’t changed much, which struck Thea Tuto, a licensed real estate agent since 2015, as an opportunity.

Last year, she and her team launched RealtyOffer, a digitized auction platform that connects buyers and sellers to agents who have pre-negotiated commission rates. In one case, Tuto, CEO of RealtyOffer in Northville, said an agent agreed to cut his commission by 1.5%, saving the buyer $11,500 on the sale of a property. $750,000 house.

“In this situation, the buyer used the savings to help cover various closing costs, while another buyer could use the savings to add household furniture,” Tuto explains. “In another case, a client sold her house, bought another residence, and saved $2,500 on the sale (the result of a 4% commission that was used for closing costs.”

Buyers and sellers using the platform — an app is in the works — pay nothing; RealtyOffer, which has eight employees and plans to hire more, generates revenue through monthly fees paid by agents based on geographic reach. Service is available in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties. There are plans to expand the platform across Michigan this year and establish operations in two more states in 2023.

“Our goal is to be present throughout the country,” says Tuto. “Each week, traffic to our website increases the number of unique visitors, and we see a greater flow of transactions. I think the housing market will open up once COVID-19 starts to fade. We look forward to a busy spring market.

Young buyers are the biggest users of the service. “We focus on millennials because they love technology, which is why they make up the majority of those using the auction platform,” she says. “Overall, we were worried about how the platform would be received by agents and brokers, but you have to spend money to make money. We give agents the ability to bid on our platform. »

Here’s how it works: Initially, the digital service allows buyers and sellers to specify their needs through the buying or selling experience. Then, agents in the area can choose to lower their commission rate for a seller to bid, or they can help the buyer and offer a portion of their commission to be used towards the buyer’s closing costs. From there, buyers or sellers receive three offers from matching agents, and they can select the agent with the best offer.

“We’re bringing more transparency to the residential market, and that way everyone wins,” says Tuto.

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