Antitrust Efforts Against the “Real Estate Cartel”

boy hugging dog in front of big home
boy hugging dog in front of big home

real estate commissions

Is the real estate industry being stifled by “cartel” activity, happening among agents who want to maintain fat commissions and big paydays? The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an organization that focuses on consumer rights, has found that antitrust steps need to be taken to avoid the trend of higher home prices, stifled competition, and poor service for home buyers. As home prices have soared, so have real estate commissions. Many people are questioning the 6% fees that are charged for every home… wondering if real estate agents are working any more to receive the higher commissions? Not only has it gotten easier to sell a home because of the online tools that are available, but these 6% fees are standard – regardless of the real estate agent’s experience.

Class Action Lawsuit

Earlier this year, a class-action lawsuit was filed, aiming at the real estate agents who are sticking with the traditional fees. This lawsuit charges that the four largest real estate brokerages in the nation, as well as the National Association of Realtors, are conspiring to charge inflated fees. The argument is that these high commissions violate the federal antitrust laws. Several problems have arisen because of the high fees, mainly due to how buyer’s agents and seller’s agents choose to structure their fees. For example, some brokers refuse to show homes to clients who are using real estate agents that offer lower commissions. If a real estate brokerage chooses to reduce their fees, then the “cartel” steers transactions away from any agent that isn’t maintaining the traditional way of doing business in the industry.

You Don’t Have to Pay High Real Estate Commissions

The truth is that there is no reason why 6% should be charged in real estate commissions on every transaction! At DUFFY Realty, we’ve found that the digital advancements in the real estate industry have made it possible to cut overhead costs because less time is required to sell a home. As a result, we are reducing our commissions and passing those savings onto our clients. You can expect to save thousands of dollars when choosing our team over a traditional real estate brokerage. We’ve definitely had some kickback in the local industry because of other real estate brokerages who don’t like to compete against our low prices. But we’ve held our ground and focused on the needs of our clients, which is why our team is thriving. Customer service is always our highest priority, and our clients love that they can save money without sacrificing the quality of real estate services offered. If you are looking for a way to save money on your upcoming real estate transaction in Atlanta, then it’s time to talk to us at DUFFY Realty. Call to learn more about our affordable real estate fees: (678) 318-1700.
Rhonda Duffy

Rhonda Duffy

Real estate expert and consumer advocate Rhonda Duffy is documented and ranked the #1 Agent in the U.S. for resales three years in a row and #1 Agent in Georgia 12 years in a row. Rhonda is the media’s go to expert on real estate matters for her commonsense approach, consumer advocacy and work to educate the public on the rapidly changing landscape of her profession. She has been licensed in real estate for 20 years, has been a broker in seven states and is trained in staging certification.

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How Much Will You Save with a Flat Fee Real Estate Agent?

How Much Will You Save with a Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent?

Thinking about a Flat Fee Real Estate Agent because you feel overwhelmed by the amount of money that will be spent to buy a new home and move your family? Not only do you need to qualify for the financing on the property, but many other costs come up that often need to be paid out-of-pocket: a down payment, closing costs, home insurance, a moving company, new furniture, and more.  A Flat Fee real estate agent may be the answer.

As you are tallying up the anticipated expenses, the best thing that you can do is identify areas where you can reduce your spending. One of the ways that you can save thousands of dollars is by choosing a real estate agent that offers flat-fee services instead of conventional real estate fees.

Protect Your Budget and Save Money with a Flat Fee Real Estate Agent

At DUFFY Realty, we’ve been in the Atlanta real estate industry for over 16 years. During this time, our team has developed proven systems that are used to speed up the sale of a home and maximize your budget goals at the same time.

While most real estate agents charge an expensive commission rate based on the percentage of the sale, we are always looking for ways to give that money back to our clients. Traditional real estate commissions can be as high as 6%, with 3% going to each of the real estate agent on the buyer and seller sides.

In comparison, DUFFY Realty uses a low-cost system that puts money back in your pocket. Our Flat Fee Real Estate Agent commissions come in around 1% of the listing price. As a result, the average listing commission savings is $9,000. What would you do with an extra $9,000 in your pocket? That money could go towards home renovations, new furniture, a family vacation, and more.

Quality Services without Breaking the Bank

Just because our commissions are low, doesn’t mean that you will receive subpar services. The truth is that we are working hard to go the extra mile for our clients. We can keep our costs low by using modern real estate techniques that aren’t as time-intensive as past strategies. The internet has made it easier than ever to buy and sell homes. Since we have a great system in place, we can reduce the time that is spent on the transaction and pass the savings back to you.

Plus, our many years of local Flat Fee Real Estate Agent experience in the industry has helped us build a great network. When you are working with the DUFFY Realty team, many things are happening behind the scenes as we connect with other industry professionals to find you the right home for your family.

If you want to save money and have a great experience when buying or selling a home, then you need to choose the real estate team that is leading the Atlanta area: DUFFY Realty. Call today to learn more about the services that are offered and to get your Frequently Asked Questions answered. (678) 318-1700

How Much Will You Pay in Real Estate Agent Commissions?

How Much Will You Pay in Real Estate Agent Commissions?


For many years, real estate agents have been paid a commission based on the price of the home. Usually, the agents get 6% of the value of the property, split between the two agents. Even though this has been standard practice in the industry for so many years, times are changing, and there are other options available.

Here at DUFFY Realty, we have put together a proven method that helps us sell homes in record time, at a cheaper cost to our clients. Instead of charging the high rates that are standard in the industry, we are breaking the mold by keeping it at a low flat-fee cost when you are working with our team.

Commission Costs Can Add Up!

How much will be paid to the real estate agent? If your home closes at the price of $200,000, then the real estate agents will get a whopping $12,000 in commissions! The commission costs just go up from there. $18,000 in commissions will go to the agents for a $300,000 home, and the numbers continue rising for the more expensive properties.

Not only are you carrying the burden of signing on a new mortgage and paying for closing costs, inspections, and more, but you also need to work these commissions into the totals. Instead of paying these expensive costs, consider looking for an alternative method that will save you money.

Save Thousands of Dollars

Choosing a flat-fee real estate agent means that you can save thousands of dollars in real estate commissions. Imagine what you could do with that money…

  • Remodel the kitchen or bathrooms
  • Put in new flooring
  • Invest in landscaping
  • Buy new furniture
  • Take the family on a vacation
  • Buy a car for your teenager

Thousands of dollars can go a long way to support your family and upgrade your home. There is no reason why you should be paying these expensive real estate fees when cheaper alternatives are available.

DUFFY Realty: The Best Flat-Fee Real Estate Team in Atlanta

Here at DUFFY Realty, we are working hard to help our clients save money while buying the home of their dreams. We have seen the ways that the real estate industry has been transformed by technology. These changes have made it possible to reduce the time that is required to sell a home. So, we pass these savings onto our customers.

Since the real estate industry has changed, we felt like it was the right thing to adjust our practices and help our clients save money. Don’t worry; just because you are paying less, doesn’t mean that you will receive subpar service. Our team is dedicated to your success, and we have an incredible track record in the real estate industry.

Are you ready to learn more about the ways that you can save money on the purchase of your home? Talk to us at DUFFY Realty for more details about our flat-fee commissions: (678) 318-1700

How Do You Calculate Real Estate Commission Costs?

How Do You Calculate Real Estate Commission Costs?

When you buy or a sell a home, how much money are you spending on real estate commission costs? Many homeowners don’t know about all of the extra fees and costs that are involved in the real estate process. These costs can add up! By taking a proactive approach, you can manage your money more effectively and reduce the amount that you are spending.

Standard Real Estate Commissions

A standard cost for real estate commissions and fees is 6%, which means that the commissions go up with higher sale prices. Typically, the 6% is split between the two agents helping the seller and the buyer. For example, if a home sells for $250,000, then the real estate commissions will be $15,000.

But, these fees might be different depending on the real estate agent that you choose. These custom services can help you save money, especially since the real estate commission can add up! Some real estate agents charge a lower percentage of their commission. Another pay structure is to use a flat-fee structure.

Save Money with Duffy Realty of Atlanta

Here at Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we want to help you save money when you buy or sell a home. In fact, our flat-fee commission structure can save you thousands of dollars on the real estate transaction. There’s no reason for you to choose an expensive real estate agent because we are here to help.

Just because you are paying lower commission costs, doesn’t mean that you are getting a subpar service. In fact, you will see that you will receive top-notch service when working with our team. We are the leading real estate company in the Atlanta area, and we know what works in the real estate industry. We have our systems down to a science, helping us to save time… and we pass those savings onto you.

Duffy Realty only charges a flat-fee of $500 plus .0075% at closing, plus 3% if a buyer’s agent is involved. Plug in the numbers using our calculator here, and you will see how much you will save in commission costs by choosing our team.

Cheap Commission Costs and the Best Service in Atlanta

We want to be sure that you have access to the best real estate service in Atlanta. We are dedicated to the satisfaction of each customer, which means that we will go the extra mile to be sure that your home sells quickly. Right now, our listings are on the market for an average of 34 days.

Contact us to learn more about Duffy Difference, and you will see that it can be easy to sell your home when you are working with the right real estate agent. We are always here to answer your questions, and we invite you to contact our office right away: (678) 318-1700

Common Myths of Working with a Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent

Common Myths of Working with a Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent

Myths about Flat-Fee Real Estate

Flat-fee real estate agents are changing the dynamic of the real estate industry. As a result, many of the traditional real estate agents are looking for ways to discourage people from working with a flat fee real estate agent. This competition has created a dynamic where false information is being spread about the flat-fee services, and this blog post is dedicated to breaking down these myths.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, here’s what you need to know about working with a flat-fee real estate agent:

Myth: For Sale By Owner and Flat-Rate Commissions are Basically the Same

Fact: Some people mistakenly think that they will be left unrepresented in the real estate transaction if they choose a flat-fee real estate agent. Unlike a For Sale By Owner approach, where you need to handle everything on your own, a flat-fee agent will stay by your side every step of the way. We will start with the listing in the MLS, and continue working with you until everything is finished.

Myth: Buyers Don’t Like to Work with Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent

Fact: If you are selling a home, will it scare buyers away if you are working with a flat-fee real estate agent? NO! There is no reason that a buyer should be nervous about the real estate deal, because your agent offers the same full-service model that a traditional real estate agent offers. The only difference is that you are getting a better deal on the commissions that are paid to your real estate agent!

Myth: Only Use a Flat-Fee Agent if You Don’t Have Much Equity

Fact: A flat-fee real estate agent can help with any type of real estate transaction, regardless of the closing price of the property. By choosing a flat-fee agent, you can actually maximize the amount of equity that is available for you after the dust clears. The more the home is worth, the more money you will be saving!

Myth: You Get What You Pay For

Fact: Even though you are saving money, you still get access to all of the real estate services that are needed to help you buy or sell a home. We offer a full team of marketing and real estate professionals, to ensure the success of your transaction. We know how the real estate industry works, which means that we can decrease the commissions because we can minimize the amount of time that is necessary to quickly sell your home.

Here at Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we want to break down these myths about flat-fee real estate commissions. Our goal is to help you save money, and you don’t have to worry about sacrificing the quality of real estate services that you will receive. For more details about the advantages of working with a flat-fee real estate agent, we invite you to contact us today: (678) 318-1700

Will You Get the Services You Need from a Flat-Fee Real Estate Agent?

Flat Fee Real Estate Agent in Atlanta

Some people mistakenly think that there must be a “catch” if they work with a flat fee real estate agent. How can these flat fee agencies offer such low prices? Homeowners often jump to conclusions that additional fees will be added later, or the flat-fee advertised prices simply aren’t real.

Flat Fee Real Estate Agents Save You Money

But, the truth is that you can actually save thousands of dollars by choosing a flat fee structure instead of a traditional real estate agent. Here at Duffy Realty of Atlanta, our goal is to help you buy or sell your home and to maximize the amount of equity that you will have from the home. One essential step to increase your equity is for us to decrease the commission that we receive from the sale.

Most traditional real estate agents stick with a high commission percentage that they receive when the home is sold. So, they work based on the understanding that they will be paid for the work once the deal is closed. As a result, some real estate agents work on a deal for a long time before the home finally sells and they can get paid.

In comparison, a flat fee real estate agent has a specific payment structure in place. These commissions are quite a bit cheaper, because we understand that our customers shouldn’t be paying that much money for real estate services. We are completely transparent about the commission structure, so there is never doubt about how much you will be paying for our services.

Will You Sacrifice Quality of Service?

Another myth is that you will receive sub-par service from a flat-fee real estate agent. This simply isn’t true, especially when you are working with Duffy Realty of Atlanta. We understand the importance of customer service, which is why every team member will work hard to help with your real estate needs.

Our agency offers full real estate services and low commissions, and we can make this happen for several reasons. The upfront fee that is charged helps to take away the risk of a real estate agent gambling on the marketing of the home by spending out-of-pocket money to advertise the property.

Additionally, we understand that the real estate industry has changed over the years. Previously, it took a lot of work to market a home. But, now that we have the internet, it is easier and cheaper to market the listing through online platforms. Instead of sticking with traditional commission structures, we want to pass those savings onto you.

Here at Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we are committed to providing your family with high quality real estate services in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. We invite you to call our office so that you can learn more about the benefits of working with a flat-fee real estate agent. Contact us today: (678) 318-1700

That is really unfair to generalize about real estate people

Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Fri, 09/12/2008 – 4:34am.

Sure there are good and bad in every profession, but the Realtors weed out their own bad apples long before they can damage the public or at least they try most of the time. Most of the bad rap they get is because those that take listings really have no control over actually selling that house, since they rely upon other agents who do have customers to bring them to their listings. The big flaw in all this is that the agents who list are not honest about their role or the role of the other agents. If they were honest, it would lead to a trend towards discounted real estate commissions. Hasn’t because the Realtor organizations have a very strong lobby and up until recently a stranglehold on information.

All this will change in a few years as poor market conditions and technology advances weed out the old school bluehairs who can’t adapt to changing times. The shrinking market and the inevitable advance of discount brokers like Rhonda Duffy ($500 gets you everything you need to sell your house – including MLS access) will also make it more difficult for the untrained part-timers to enter the profession.

Those 2 groups – the bluehairs who think balloons on signs sell houses and the new people who still work at Delta or UPS and are “trying” real estate part-time are the ones that provide people like mudcat with all the real estate agent horror stories. Fortunately they are in the minority and are most certainly a dying breed as the real estate business morphs into something that is 100% based upon technology and empowers the next generation of home buyers and sellers to be in total control of their transaction.

Lot’s of used Lincoln and Lexus sedans will be available for sale very soon.

Full disclosure – I taught a real estate class for 15 years.

Discount Atlanta Realtor

What is a Discount Realtor?

I hope that everyone knows what a Realtor is, but in case you are not familiar, a Realtor is an agent who pays for a member designation from a club if you will of agents and brokers who are sworn to abide by a certain code of ethics. Any real estate agent and broker can be a member and most agencies encourage such.

I chose this topic of discount Atlanta realtor based on search terms that the public uses when searching to employ an agent to sell their home. But I am curious about how this term came about.

I have found that most of the public believes that a Realtor is every agent and every agent is a Realtor. Almost as if the designation of Realtor is the title given to anyone who passes their real estate license. I know the public is confused because I have asked them and I have never been asked if I am a Realtor.

But the bigger term that I find interesting is the word “discount”. What is discount? Webster’s dictionary defines it as: an amount deducted from the usual list price. Here is my point. Real estate commissions are not standard. In fact, fixed listing commissions are illegal. So, if discount means deduction from usual list price, i.e. commission price, and the term usual discount is not even legally possible, then the word discount can’t be applies in real estate.

So, I believe what the public is looking for is someone who is flexible in their commission or someone who is offering a commission plan that suits what the seller thinks the commission should be? And the only broker and their agents that would not fit in the category of discount broker or discount agent would be the broker and their agents that charges the highest commission ever heard of and paid by a client. What is that? 8, 10 or 12% listing commission. Once again, since there is no standard pricing, no one knows what that price would be. I have heard of some of those being quoted, so really anything less than those lofty prices is established as and should be considered a “discount”. So that really makes virtually every agent a discount agent.

Now, no where in Webster’s definitions of “discount” does it say that you get less service than what is provided to those who pay the highest price. Nor does it say that you get less of a product, it just says that “discount” means that you pay less than usual price.

I think that before we confuse the public anymore with words that don’t mean what we mean them to say, we had better get some new words that mean what we say.

Duffy Realty Gives Buyers $1,169,137.73 in Buyer Cash Bonuses in 2007 – Is That Legal?

As seen in The Real Estate Journey
March 28, 2007

Many agents state that giving a buyer a cash bonus after closing is not legal. What is it that they want to hold back from their buyer? Buyer Rebates or Buyer Cash Bonuses are legal in 38 states.

As stated in Realtor magazine for consumers and agents, only 12 states have said that giving a buyer part of the agent’s commission is illegal in their state. The others have said – give the money back, it is legal. The states are Kansas, Alaska, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Iowa, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Missouri, Rhode Island, West Virginia and New York. If you don’t live in one of those states, buyer rebates where an agent shares a commission with you is legal.

What we are talking about here is an agent agreeing to split or share their commission with a buyer who is the principal in the transaction. This has been done for years if your mother was the real estate agent or the agent agreed to take less of a commission to make the deal work.

At Duffy Realty of Atlanta, they share their commission up to 50% of the total commission, when a buyer helps them do what the buyer is doing anyway, which is help their agent find the home that they want to buy by driving by homes and searching the internet. “We apply this rebate to any listed home, for sale by owner or new construction. The only catch is, that the client must hire us in writing to represent them,” says Rhonda Duffy, owner and broker of Duffy Realty. “We successfully gave 323 buyers money within 5 days after closing in 2007 and ultimately saved these folks, made these folks, whatever you want to call it, $1,169,137.73 in cash. That’s a lot of whatever you want to call it!” says Duffy

“Buyers need to understand that this is their money. They are doing the work and they deserve the money. Another way to look at is that if the seller was not paying a commission, the buyer may get a better deal. The buyer is actually getting the best of both worlds with our Buyer Cash Bonus because they get the expert representation of someone who works volume while getting a check that averages $4200.00 on average. Our goal is to give every buyer in Atlanta a check after closing while supplying them the best representation that we have studied and strategized over for the last 6 years and thousands of deals,” boasts Duffy.

To learn more about your state and the laws regarding Buyer Rebates would be a smart move considering that most states have given you, the buyer, the right to get money back at closing!

The Neighbors Know Everything

Neighbors can make or break a house sale.jpg

Many buyers have a ton of questions before they can be serious about buying a home. Most sellers believe that the buyer’s agent who will bring these buyers to their home actually understands the features and benefits of the lifestyle that their home represents. Unfortunately, most of the time the buyer’s agent is new to the home as well, not prepared to answer the questions that will seal the deal. So, instead of waiting on the listing agent to play phone tag with the seller and then back and forth with the buyer’s agent and then buyer, the people who have most of the answers to the questions are the neighbors who are accessible while you are visiting the home.

Any buyer who buys a home should take the time to question the neighbors. Neighbors, in most cases will tell you everything that you need to know about the house that you are interested in, how the neighborhood works and what it has to offer. There are many questions that agents are not allowed to ask so don’t expect them to do your work for you. This is your opportunity to ask the questions that matter to you.

One time when I was working with a buyer, we found out that the basement of the house that we were looking and considering seriously had recently flooded. The owner did not state this on the Seller’s Disclosure and even though we could have pursued the house and the owner’s honesty, it turned the buyer off. They did not want to risk what else could be wrong with the home that the neighbors did not know.

Another time that stands out was when we questioned the neighbors and found that the owner before the current owner had committed suicide in the home. Whereas that does not bother many people, this buyer did not feel comfortable with the situation. This buyer was very grateful to be able to make an educated decision that the seller did not legally have to disclose, at least in Georgia.

Many buyers want to know how many kids are in the neighborhood. They envision a neighborhood like they grew up in or have seen on TV. The one way and only way that I know that you can accomplish this is to ask the neighbors point blank questions that lead you to the conclusions of what the neighborhood has to offer. And don’t forget to ask about teenagers in the neighborhood, they are babysitters, house sitters and mother’s helpers.

Duffy Realty Of Atlanta- Real Estate Power House