DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a new game in town when it comes to buying and selling homes and traditional realtors aren’t happy about it. Customers save money, but realtors don’t like seeing commissions slashed.
Trelora’s signs have been popping up around the Denver metro area. They look like most traditional realtor “for sale” signs, but there’s nothing traditional about the Trelora business model.
“They charge less, but people need to know … you get what you pay for,” realtor Jim Smith said.
The name “Trelora” is the letters of “realtor” rearranged, and that’s exactly what the 2-year-old Denver business is doing — scrambling the way homes are bought and sold.
“We are a commission free real estate company,” Trelora founder Joshua Hunt said.
Trelora is a business based on a simple concept. There’s a $1,700 fee to sell a house and a $3,000 fee to buy a house, no matter how expensive the property is.
“We have a success story coming up in the next week of a $1.2 million home that’s only paying $4,700,” Hunt said.
A typical commission would be $67,200.
Tony Poole used Trelora to sell his Centennial home. He is a happy customer but says because of other realtors boycotting Trelora, he had to offer a higher commission to get those realtors to show his house.
“So I called Trelora and said, ‘Just give the buyer’s agent the 2.8 percent commission.’ It sold in 12 hours,” Poole said.
Realtors in town aren’t happy about their 2.8 percent commission being undercut, and they argue that discount realty groups don’t offer the personal service they do.
“You’re going to want the personal touch, you’re going to want an agent that knows the neighborhood,” realtor Stephanie Goldammer said. “You’re going to want an agent that can solve problems that come up.”
“I’ve been in every single house in Hilltop two, three, four times; I know my neighborhood,” realtor Denice Reich said.
Trelora agents argue they offer the same high quality care.
The situation is so tense realtors were reluctant to publically speak to CBS4 about their intense dislike of Trelora and the measures they go to boycott Trelora homes. They’re afraid of being taken to court.
The practice of clients outbidding one another is a seller’s dream. The idea of realtors warring with one another is not a dream but a current reality in Denver.
“This is an industry that is ripe for change,” Hunt said.
Trelora hopes to have offices all across the country in the next few years.