Discount brokers are real estate agents who work for less than standard listing commission, usually between 1–1.5%. Some discount brokers charge an equivalent flat fee.
The average listing commission in Illinois is 2.68%, and just a few percentage points less can mean thousands in savings when selling a home.
As the recent boom in home prices slows, finding ways to save on the cost of selling your home — like hiring a discount broker — can help you make more from your sale.
Always do your research before choosing a discount broker. Some provide the same services as a traditional broker, while others cut costs by reducing services in ways that can put you at risk.
We researched discount real estate brokers in Chicago and ranked our top choices so you know where to begin your search. Read on to see our picks for the best major discount brokers, the top local brokerage, and the top choice for people who want to sell without a realtor in Chicago.
Quick tips for choosing a discount real estate broker
- Decide what is most important to you. If your priority is to save money above all else, consider a flat fee MLS service like Mentor Listing Realty. If you need the help of an experienced local agent, choose a company like Clever Real Estate.
- Calculate your specific savings. We’ve estimated savings based on assumed home values, but you use your home’s value to determine exactly how much you’ll save.
- Note the differences between national and local agents. Large nationwide brokers have more name recognition, but are they the best choice to sell your home? Local brokers often have more knowledge and insights.
- Choose a company only after careful research. When looking at a broker, see if it has sold any homes like yours recently. Read as many reviews as possible, looking for themes about how responsive and easy to work with the brokers are.
- Consider your home’s uniqueness. If you have a standard home with a common floor plan, find a broker with good reviews and a reasonable fee. But if your home is more like the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oak Park, hire an agent who knows how to market your home’s best features.
Best discount real estate brokers in San Diego
|Best…||Brand||Avg. savings||Avg. rating|
|Overall||Clever Real Estate||$7,375||4.9/5 (1,995)|
|Local||Prello Realty||$7,605||4.5/5 (54)|
|Limited-service||Mentor Listing||$11,700||4.4/5 (22)|
Best major discount brands in Chicago
Clever Real EstateLEARN MORE
- Listing fee: 1%
- Avg savings: $7,375
- Avg rating: 4.9/5
Clever is a free, nationwide service that matches you with top agents from well-known brokerages like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX. You’ll get full service for a listing fee of $3,000 (or 1% if your home sells for more than $350,000).
Clever is our top pick because it’s a fast and free way to find a top-rated, full-service agent for less. Clever pre-negotiates discounts for you so you can save thousands.
Clever’s concierge service will match you with the right agent who fits your needs, not just the next agent on a list or someone from an out-of-town team. Best of all, there’s no catch: you’ll get the same service you would with any other traditional agent for only 1% commission.
Clever has a 4.9/5 on Trustpilot across 1,995 reviews. Customer reviews mention how fast and easy Clever’s agent-matching process is while praising the quality of the agents.
Clever offers low commission rates with top agents in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
- Listing fee: 1.5% (min. fees vary)
- Avg savings: $5,550
- Avg rating: 3.7/5
Redfin offers a 1.5% listing commission — or as low as 1% if you also buy a home using a Redfin agent.
While Redfin offers another way to save on commission, it’s our number two pick because it comes with some tradeoffs. For example, Redfin’s agents manage about three times as many clients as its competitors, meaning your agent might have less time for your questions and concerns.
Redfin has plenty of positive reviews, with a 3.7/5 rating across 301 reviews. In reviews, customers talk about Redfin’s knowledgeable and responsive agents.
Redfin is available in over 100 markets across the U.S.
Looking for more options? Check out the top 10 low-commission real estate brokerages in 2022.
Best local discount real estate broker in Chicago
- Listing fee: 1% + $395
- Avg savings: $7,605
- Avg rating: 4.5/5
Prello Realty provides full-service listing representation for a $395 upfront fee and 1% of the contract price at closing. The services include marketing, pricing assistance, appointment scheduling, and personal coaching throughout the selling process.
Prello Realty has been representing sellers and buyers in the Chicagoland area for over 20 years. The broker has been listed as a Top Producer by the Chicago Association of Realtors for the past 14 years.
While the $395 upfront fee is an extra expense that many brokerages don’t have, we still recommend Prello Realty based on its past results and positive customer reviews.
Several customers in their reviews mention how quickly Prello agents responded to their questions. Other customers appreciated how quickly their home sold.
Prello Realty serves clients throughout the Chicagoland area
Want to work with a local agent, but hate to miss out on savings? Our friends at Clever Real Estate can get you both. They partner with top local agents in Illinois from trusted brokerages like RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, and Keller Williams. You’ll get local support from a traditional real estate agent for just 1%.
Best limited-service real estate broker in Chicago
- Listing fee: $299
- Avg savings: $11,700
- Avg rating: 4.4/5
Mentor Listing’s $299 fee includes six months on the MLS. It’s $99 to renew for an additional six months. You can include up to 25 photos and update the listing as often as you like.
The $299 MLS listing package has just about everything you need to list on the MLS and sell FSBO. Many other flat fee MLS companies force you to upgrade to a more expensive package to have 25 photos and unlimited changes, but Mentor’s one-size-fits-all package includes these options.
The company has mostly positive reviews, with many of them mentioning how broker/owner Brian Waters is happy to answer questions and guide you through the MLS listing process.
Mentor Listing serves Indiana and Illinois.
Selling without a realtor is more complicated than it may sound. If you’re thinking about selling by owner in Chicago, read these resources first:
How we chose
Real Estate Witch evaluated more than 50 national and local discount real estate brokers and found our top picks based on average savings, clarity of costs and terms, and how customers rated each company’s service.
To narrow down our lists, we first disqualified companies that:
- Did not have an active website
- Did not have any customer reviews on the most common review sites
- Did not clearly disclose their commission rates or terms
Then, we ranked companies based on the following factors:
- Average savings. We established savings based on what consumers would pay across four typical home values — $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $750,000 — and compared those rates to a standard 3% listing agent commission.
- Customer reviews. We aggregated reviews from third-party websites including Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trustpilot, Zillow, and Better Business Bureau. We ranked companies based on their review score, as well as the number of reviews.
Note: Pricing data, locations, and other data points are current as of when this article was last updated.
Who are the best discount realtors in Chicago?
Clever Real Estate is the best discount realtor in Chicago, followed by Redfin and local company Prello Realty. Mentor Listing has a great reputation as a flat fee MLS company for those who want to sell without a realtor. Learn more about choosing a discount real estate broker in Chicago.
What’s the best flat fee MLS company in Chicago?
Mentor Listing is the best flat fee MLS company in Chicago for its straightforward $299 one-size-fits-all package. It includes a six-month listing on the MLS with up to 25 photos, and you can update the listing as often as you like. See our top 5 flat fee MLS companies in Chicago!