One Percent Realty Review: Saving on Real Estate Commissions

Here’s my One Percent Realty review.  My husband recently sold his Vancouver condo through One Percent Realty and I thought I would share his experience.  I also recently sold my condo and used One Percent Realty again, a few years later.

Last updated: April 2023

One Percent Realty Review

First off, I should explain that I’m not a huge fan of realtors (and neither is my husband) especially in Vancouver, because to be frank, many realtors in Vancouver are making a killing not doing very much work, and not having very much educational background or qualifications for their job.  Obviously I went into the wrong field and I am just drinking Realtor Haterade, haha.

One Percent Realty review

full service realtor COmmisions in Vancouver

What is the ‘typical’ or ‘standard’ commission for a realtor in Vancouver?

7% on the first $100,000= $7000 and 2.5% on the balance.  

This is split between the buying and selling realtor.

On a $500,000 condo you would be paying ($7000 from first $100,000 and $10,000 on 2.5% of the $400,000 balance) $17,000 in commission + 5% GST, which means $17,850.

So if you have a list and sell price of $500,000 you are not making $500,000 but instead have to take $17850 off the top, which nets $482,150 (and you have to pay for a notary/lawyer on top of that or other repairs if needed from the inspection).

As a review, the typical “buying realtor commission” charges are:

3.255% on the first $100,000 and 1.1625% on the balance

So when you are buying real estate and going around looking at properties on weekends with your realtor, it’s “free” sure, but the price is paid for by the seller.  Which means you pay for it, in a sense.

On a $500,000 condo, this equates to:

$100,000 x 3.255%= $3250 + ($400,000 x 1.1625%=$4650)= $7900

Therefore the selling realtor usually gets $9100 and the buying realtor usually gets a little less, $7900.

What is One Percent Realty?

One Percent Realty is a full service real estate listing service/ realty service without the high commissions of a typical real estate service such as Sutton, RE/MAX, or MacDonald Realty.  One Percent Realty is not available across Canada but it is available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and in the Atlantic region.

They have full service realtors that include services such as:

  • MLS listing on
  • Open houses to display your home
  • Advertising, signage and photographs for the listing
  • A market evaluation and advice on listing price
  • Showing your home to prospective buyers
  • Helping you review the offers and liaising with other realtors

Why We Chose One Percent Realty

My husband chose One Percent Realty because, well, he’s a frugal guy and doesn’t like paying for anything that he doesn’t see is of value.  He interviewed a few realtors and decided that he would go for One Percent Realty because he liked the transparency of the commission.

He even opts for value home insurance in Vancouver, like Square One Home Insurance.

I also did the same thing and I interviewed a few full fee realtors and didn’t really like what I saw.  I interviewed a few One Percent Realty realtors and also didn’t like what I saw but I would rather pay less for similar service.

How Does One Percent Realty Make Money?

Well you may be wondering why One Percent Realty is so economical, how do the realtors make money and why would they stay with this real estate brokerage?


One Percent Realtors deal with a lot of volume (they have lots of customers) for what they lack in commissions, the One Percent realtor wasn’t schmoozy or pushy and just laid what he can offer out there without much pizazz.

Of course, the low commission is the main draw of One Percent Realty:

The commission charges on One Percent Realty is a flat fee of $7900 on homes listed under $700,000.  The selling realtor gets around $3500 and the buying realtor gets $3500.  There is a $950 expense fee collected at closing (for advertising etc.).

For homes over $700,000, the price is 1% + $950.

On a $1,000,000 home (e.g. townhouse because you can’t get a house for $1,000,000 in Vancouver anymore, let’s face it) the commission charges are $10,900 + GST, compared to $29,500 for a typical realtor.

Yeah, you read that correctly.


Also, you want to make sure you review the closing costs when selling a home in British Columbia.

How Does One Percent realty Really Work?

The One Percent Realtor met with my husband and provided a detailed market analysis report on the units sold nearby and the market, including the average price per square foot in the neighbourhood.

They set a listing date, set a price, provided recommendations on how to present the condo, and arranged for a professional photographer to take pictures and list it on the website.

The One Percent Realty realtor recommended that I stage my home (there was no furniture in it) and he recommended a staging company but I found my own that was more economically priced.  I staged it with the pictures and video to put on and then after two months I didn’t want to pay the fee anymore.  Staging was definitely worth it.

He set up a few open houses and updated my husband on the amount of people who showed up and the interest on the condo.  At first it seemed quite slow but the offers started rolling in.  In total, my husband received eight offers, but not simultaneously.

Some were low ball offers, some were over asking but the selling realtor was asking for full commission (and refused to budget), some had really late closing dates, and some had no subjects.  What we were shocked at was that the realtors were asking for full commission and many refused to adjust or budge on the amount they are to receive.  My husband counter offered each time and capped the buyer commission.

Of the final offer that was accepted, the buying realtor agreed to cap the commission (the buying realtor was still getting more than the selling One Percent Realtor, which is astounding to me since the Selling Realtor did much more work- this would not be the case in a typical realtor scenario the selling realtor gets a little more commission).

For this One Percent Realty review, I will go over the pros and cons of this real estate company.

One Percent Realty Pros And COns (Pros)

  • As someone who has dealt with a typical RE/MAX realtor, I’d say the One Percent Realtor was very comparable.  The video tour wasn’t as professional as the RE/MAX realtor when I sold my house a few years ago, but the pictures, floor plan, and listing details were comparable.
  • Your listing will be on which is obviously the most important piece of it, most people are looking online anyways for real estate to purchase
  • The transparent flat fee is great, in my opinion, the One Percent Realtor worked hard for that $3500 commission and it seemed of value.
  • The process is similar to a typical full commission realtor

One Percent Realty Cons

  • Typical full fee Realtors will try to avoid or not show their client the One Percent Realty listings because they are not interested in a ‘measly’ $3500 commission, therefore your listing will get less attention
  • Therefore your listing might take longer to sell than usual when you list with One Percent realty (and this might be irrelevant if you are in a seller’s market)
  • Typical Realtors will still try to get the full commission (about 30-40% of offers, though in my husband’s case, it was 75% of offers) had a full commission request even though the selling realtor was One Percent Realty.  For example, they were asking for $4900 more on a $500,000 listing, on top of the $3000 through One Percent Realty to make $7900 in full commission.  This is kind of to be expected.
  • It’s a bit ‘no fuss’ so, less marketing, you don’t get calendars in your mail with the realtors face on it (haha or maybe this is a good thing)

One Percent Realty Review

What’s our 1% Realty review?

My husband would use One Percent Realty again if he had the opportunity to and for myself, and I sold my condo with One Percent Realty.  Although I would likely be faced with having to pay higher commissions than the flat fee of $7900 it’s still better than the alternative, paying two times that amount for similar service.  I would also likely have to be prepared that it would take longer to sell.

The analogy?

Think of MER’s and Bank “Financial Advisors” = Typical Realtors.

Think of Low MER’s “ETFs/DIY investing” = One Percent Realtors.

Just like with MER’s (Management Expense Ratios) with your investment portfolio 2.5% cut of your portfolio, there are hidden fees for the ‘full service’ and the flashy marketing, so if you are like me and don’t like paying high commissions and don’t mind basic service, go for One Percent Realty.

There we go, hope you enjoyed this One Percent Realty review.

Make sure that when you sign up for your mortgage, you think about whether you need mortgage insurance.

If you’re interested in real estate crowdfunding in Canada instead of having to deal with selling costs all the time, check out this post here.

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14 thoughts on “One Percent Realty Review: Saving on Real Estate Commissions”

  1. Dear GenY,

    We are two weeks away from (hopefully) listing our house. While we have bought and sold 3 (out of our 4 homes, my Dad was a Real Estate Broker), since we are in Rural Ontario and motivated to sell (time wise), we planned to use the agent that sold us our house 10 years ago.

    Here in Ontario, commission rates are 5% plus 5% GST so that would make $26,250 on your husbands condos. Ouch. As in BC, individuals in our location that try and sell their own home or use a lower % agent, have a hard, if not impossible time selling. We have one thing going for our property in that it is a large size (13 acres) and they’re not making anymore land and/or large properties in our municipality. Other than that, plain jane.

    Having said that, I will look into One Percent to make sure that our current strategy is the best one for us. Thank you so much for telling us about it.

    Besos Sarah.

    • @Sarah- Interesting that in Ontario the commission rate is a flat 5%. Is that 2.5% split evenly between selling realtor and buying realtor? That’s quite a bit, even more than BC! The realtors in Toronto must really be killing it. I’ms sure you’ll have no trouble selling your large property. Good luck!

      • Dear GenY,

        Yes, each take 2.5% except in the case where the agent “opens and closes” (listing and selling agent). Then they often “only” take 4%. This is not in writing because they can’t legally do it as technically, it would give their buying clients an edge over another persons buying client (if they both offered the same amount) and that’s not allowed. But if there is only one offer on the table then it’s a good deal for the buyer and/or seller (depending on who you think really pays the commission costs).

        Unfortunately, we are not in Toronto but rural Ontario and it’s not the same market at all. However, our large property definitely makes our property stand out. Thanks for the well wishes.

        Besos Sarah.

  2. I was wondering if there’s something like this in the U.S. Who wants to pay those commissions? It sure would be nice to be an established bilingual English/Chinese real estate agent in Vancouver, wouldn’t it? There are so many people who are going to get caught with their pants down when the real estate bubble in Vancouver bursts.

    • @Darren- Oh yes, the realtors who can speak Mandarin are raking it in in Vancouver, and I don’t think they even have to be very established. There was an article in the paper recently about a house on a main street (for land assembly, meaning developers can build it into a townhouse) that sold for $5 million less than 5 years ago and now is on sale for $11 million. Imagine the commissions on that! The Van RE bubble bursting would be very interesting to witness, for sure!

  3. Dear Geny,

    I had a very different experience with one percent realty just recently. The agent was a liar and intentionally or not made every mistake possible marketing the property low to sell quickly and to get her commission. She manipulated us to accept one of the first offers on day 4 and now we have great regrets.

    My biggest mistake in my whole life was trusting her despite the multiple red flags.

    You would be much better off to list your property on mls yourself for a flat fee ($69 is the lowest I believe), offer 5k for buyer’s agent and hire a lawyer for the paperwork for $1000. This is cheapest and there is no blood sucker agent hiding offers and manipulating the deal.

    • @Peter- Oh geez, that sounds awful! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m not a fan of real estate agents. The real estate agent we used didn’t pressure my husband and he basically let him guide the whole thing. He suggested a price and my husband and I wanted to increase it and he said okay. He presented offers but my husband rejected the ones he didn’t like. The realtor didn’t really ‘pressure’ him or anything like that.

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for your post. We too, have the same opinion that you have of realtors. We listed our last home with a full percent realtor who marketed the home to her existing client. She “double ended” the deal, making a lot of money in very short time. She didn’t even have to prepare a listing sheet.
    We are in the process of listing our Vancouver condo. Could you please forward the name of the realtor that your husband used. We would like to call him and interview him. Thank you.

  5. @Katherine – You can
    -hire an appraiser for $400,
    -list on mls& for $69-$200,
    -stage the property like a hotel room,
    -hire a lawyer for $600.
    That’s all you need. One percent agents make money by selling volume fast meaning selling low (which you can do yourself). I would never deal with them again.

  6. This really an interesting articles, finding a suitable realtor can be quite difficult, glad to have found this article.Looking forward to use One Percent Realty to my home this September. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. Dude, you keep adding your fake comments using different names. One percent agents make their money on selling more but quickly, so expect your home to be greatly under valued and selling low. Also expect to have regrets and feeling betrayed. Good luck!


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