No Firm Experimented More With Co-op Commissions Than Trelora  

Trelora began as an outspoken anti-Realtor brokerage that also was against paying buyer’s agents a co-op commission. (The name “Trelora” was derived from a scrambling of the word “Realtor.”)  However, Trelora has made an about-face in the last couple of years and is now both a Realtor brokerage and a brokerage that offers 2.5% to 2.8% co-op commissions on its listings.

When it started as a non-Realtor brokerage in 2010, its first 96 listings all advertised a co-op commission of $2.80, an apparent play on the common co-op of 2.80%. Perhaps they wanted buyer agents to misread the co-op on the MLS and only realize later that they had worked for free. 

By April 2013, Trelora had adopted the practice of recommending to sellers a flat co-op of $3,000, although it wasn’t universal because many buyers felt their listings might not get shown if they were too miserly in their compensation offer.  I myself was paid 3% on a listing during this time because the seller told me that he wanted buyer agents to show and sell it knowing they’d earn a commission equivalent to a million-dollar listing. 

Also, during this time, one of my broker associates spoke to a Trelora agent who encouraged him to put into the listing contract that the buyer would pay 2.8% instead of $3,000, and that indeed worked for him, although I’ve been advised since then that inserting an additional provision related to broker compensation was inappropriate.

In mid-2019, Trelora created a separate Realtor firm that operated side-by-side with their original non-Realtor firm for about two years. That non-Realtor firm appears now to have been phased out. Meanwhile, the Realtor firm has listed over 500 homes and has closed 450 of them. Of its first 50 listings, 33 offered 2.8% co-ops, three offered 3% co-ops, and seven offered 2.5% co-ops. Only three of the 50 offered less than 2%. 

The 50 most recent closings reflected the same shift I reported on last week: Only 13 offered 2.8%, 34 offered 2.5%, and none offered less than 2%.

My fellow Realtors will be less surprised by the change in co-op compensation than by Trelora becoming a Realtor brokerage, given its original animus toward Realtors.