Columbus, Ohio-based brokerage Vernon Road says it’s out to change the way real estate is done, charging buyers and sellers $85 an hour instead of a percentage-based commission.

When Vernon Road represents sellers, the homeowners will pay a 3 percent commission to the buyer’s agent and about $2,125 to Vernon Road for 25 hours of work, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The higher priced the home, the more savings sellers reap. Buyers represented by Vernon Road can get what amounts to a commission rebate.

The brokerage collects some of its fees upfront, which aren’t refunded even if there’s no sale. Critics might argue that the brokerage has little incentive to sell the home, the Dispatch’s Jim Weiker notes. Broker Sean French responds that agents are fooling themselves if they think they, rather than the market, are the determining factor in how long it takes a home to sell. Source:

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