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Another discount broker pushes in to Florida real estate market

Bernard Polselli has sold more than a few houses during his life, and when it came time to list his place in Palm Beach Gardens, he decided not to use a traditional agent. Instead, he sold the house through Home Bay, a new entrant to Florida’s real estate market that’s drumming up business by charging sellers a flat fee of $2,500.  Reflecting ongoing pressure on real estate commissions, Polselli says he often has used traditional brokers in the past – only to wonder what value they provided.

“Not once did the listing broker ever bring anybody to the house as a buyer. So why should I pay 3 percent of the 6 percent commission to the listing broker?” Polselli asks. “I’m going to pay someone almost $12,000 just to put the house on the MLS?”

Polselli sold his house at the Evergrene development through Home Bay. The $395,000 sale closed in December.

Paying 3 percent to a listing agent would have cost nearly $12,000; Home Bay charged him $2,500.

Polselli says he was pleased with Home Bay and was not concerned that his listing agent worked from an office in Tampa and never saw his home.

“They gave me all the services of a normal listing broker,” Polselli says.

While Home Bay discounts the cost of the selling side of the transaction, it encourages sellers to offer a commission of 2.5 percent to 3 percent to a buyers agent.

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