NetStarHomes looks to disrupt the Bay Area brokerage community

Brokerage avoids listing homes on MLS
  • Home buyers and sellers are taking a more self-service approach.
  • Brokerage only has three agents.
  • Watkins thinks brokerages charge consumers for a number of unnecessary services.

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Greg Watkins thinks real estate agents today don't do enough for consumers and that the traditional brokerage model needs to be disrupted. Watkins is the founder of NetStarHomes, a Contra Costa County-based, three-agent brokerage that is working for sub-3 percent commissions. Specifically, the brokerage sells homes priced below $1 million for three percent commission. The brokerage charges a 2.5 percent commission for homes listed above $1 million. Avoidance of MLS, unnecessary services NetStarHomes is able to charge lower commissions because it doesn't use the MLS when listing homes and only provides specific brokerage services that are chosen by the consumer. "Ninety-eight percent of buyers and sellers go to Trulia, Zillow and," Watkins said, adding these are the only sites where NetStar lists homes. "They're the de-facto MLS of the nation," he continued, explaining that by not listing homes via an MLS his brokerage is able to charge commissions that are...