Sellers always want to save money on the sale of their house. I get it. This is one of the largest assets most of us buy and sell. Getting the right price may allow you to get to a larger home or a home in a more desirable location.
Sellers may be trying to get their children into better school districts. Additionally, those downsizing may want to move to warmer climates or use the funds to buy a smaller home with cash. Here is where sellers decide to look at Flat Fee Brokers.
Why pay a large amount of money to get a house sold if they don’t have to. Good point!! But….. (there is always a but) You need to do your due diligence and understand what services you will receive from a discount broker compared to a full-service brokerage.
- #1 Is There A Difference in Service With A Flat Fee Broker?
- #2 Is there a Difference in the Experience of An Agent
- #3 What do I get for the Money I Pay
- #4 Will A Flat Fee Broker Hold Open Houses
- #5 How Will My House Appear on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
- #6 How will A Flat Fee Broker Market My Home
- #7 How Can A Flat Fee Real Estate Company Charge Less
- #8 Are There Other Fees Besides Real Estate Commissions?
- #9 Will A Flat Fee Company Do a Home Inspection
- #10 Do I have to Disclose Things About The Property to A Flat Fee Company
- #11 Will I get feedback from Real Estate Agents who Show my House
- #12 Do I have to be Home When The House is Shown
- #13 Phoenix Homes on the Market in the last 7 days
- $250,000 – $350,000
#1 Is There A Difference in Service With A Flat Fee Broker?
There are different business models for discount brokerages, even the name can be confusing. Also, these may be referred to as Flat Fee brokerages. Typically, real estates fees (which are negotiable) are a percentage of the sale price. A flat fee brokerage is just that. They charge a flat fee to list a property, regardless of the sale price. This sounds like a great idea!
However, what do you receive for this flat fee? Again, business models vary, but typically a seller can expect to have their property listed in the local multiple listing systems (MLS). They may or may not take photographs. In addition, they may or may not use a professional photographer.
Will they offer help on home staging? Also, can they provide referrals for you for services to get your home ready to sell? This can include a handyman, painter, plumber, landscaper, house cleaner, etc.
Some flat fee brokerages require the seller to receive and negotiate offers on the property with the buyer’s agent. Will the flat fee broker actually see the property or list it sight unseen? How well will they understand property features to write a compelling, factual and informative property description?
Imagine you are selling your home without a background in real estate or negotiating. The seller will need to negotiate with a real estate professional who negotiates contracts every day! Will you be passed from one person to another? What are their priorities? Do you need to net the most money from the sale or is the timing of the sale more important to you?
#2 Is there a Difference in the Experience of An Agent
Ask any agent about their real estate experience. If they are new, do they have the support of a mentor or someone with a vested interest in their success? Is this an agent working with high volume, such a company that throws out many low ball offers, waiting for something to stick? Are you just one piece of the monthly volume or do they really care if you sell top dollar?
#3 What do I get for the Money I Pay
Again, ask for a detailed marketing plan. Will they only do the basics of putting up a sign? Are professional pictures used along with quality marketing materials? We know that according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that over 90% of buyers use the internet for home searches.
How will this company market your home using social media? Do they syndicate your home to other websites to maximize exposure of your home? Will they schedule your home on a local real estate agent tour?
#4 Will A Flat Fee Broker Hold Open Houses
Most companies referred to as “limited service” brokerages do not do open houses. They offer limited services. They may enter your listing in the Multiple Listing Service. Placing the house in the MLS system may be all the marketing that is done for you.
#5 How Will My House Appear on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Sellers need to consider how their house may appear in the MLS. Most MLS boards in the country syndicate listings, including the public remarks. The Public remarks contain the information on the property, ie “waterfront lot with pool and amazing outdoor entrainment area”. The pictures are picked up and go to Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and hundreds of other websites.
If the public remarks are not compelling, and the pictures do not present the house in the best light, you will have little interest in the property.
Experienced real estate agents strategically provide a write up on the property. Also, multiple, well take pictures can make a buyer want to know more about your home.
Additionally, is the information in the MLS listing correct? If you have a golf course lot, does a buyer understand this? Do you have a great updated kitchen? Does the listing write up convey this to a buyer?
A few years ago I represented a buyer on a property that had been in the MLS for over a year! The write up was terrible and there were only 5 pictures, and they were only small thumbnail sized pictures. I was required to negotiate directly with the seller.
Needless to say, my buyer got a great deal! The seller was happy because he “saved money”. Yes, he “saved” commission money. However, had this property been photographed, marketed and negotiated properly, he would have netted more money on the sale.
If all that was necessary to sell a house what to place it in MLS, why do we average 20% of listings becoming canceled or expired every month? It the MLS was all that was needed, we would have no expired listings!
#6 How will A Flat Fee Broker Market My Home
Sellers should ask how much money a limited service company will spend to market their house? If you are a “limited service” brokerage, you probably don’t spend money marketing. Some sellers think that all that is needed is to place the house in MLS. Unfortunately, these sellers don’t understand what else full services brokerages do to attract buyers to a property.
#7 How Can A Flat Fee Real Estate Company Charge Less
We have all heard the phrase – You Get What You Pay For – this is true in the real estate industry. To get the maximum amount of money in the least amount of time, a house needs to be marketed correctly. Additionally, the house needs to be staged correctly.
The pricing needs to be correct as well. If a limited service brokerage gets paid to put your house in the MLS system, their work is done. This is how they charge less, they do less. Additionally, you need to ask yourself, will they care if your house sells? Again, they have been paid up front. Traditional real estate agents only get paid when your house sells, and that is at the end of the process?
#8 Are There Other Fees Besides Real Estate Commissions?
In addition to a real estate commission, sellers need to understand there will be other costs besides real estate commissions. There are fees for a title company, a buyer’s title insurance policy, if there is a Home Owner Association (HOA), there may be fees for the seller to provide the buyer the rules of the HOA. Other costs include county recording fees or fees to send your loan pay off to your lender.
#9 Will A Flat Fee Company Do a Home Inspection
Many real estate agents recommend their sellers get a home inspection before the house goes on the market. This inspection allows the seller to make repairs that would typically show up on an inspection report.
Additionally, sellers are often not aware of broken roof tiles or mortar caps that show up on the report. Also, sellers may not go into their attic often and may not be aware of attic issues that may surface.
Sellers should know of any issues a buyer may find in an inspection report. Buyers can ask a seller to make repairs. However, a buyer can immediately cancel a contract due to too many repair issues.
Also, having an early inspection allows the seller to get estimates for repairs and negotiate the best price without the pressure of a repair request deadline.
#10 Do I have to Disclose Things About The Property to A Flat Fee Company
In Arizona, state law requires sellers to disclose material facts about their property. This disclosure is required whether a seller sells the property themselves (FSBO) or with a real estate company. State law requires buyers have information that could influence their decision to buy a property. Also, buyers need to know anything that could influence the price they would offer for a property.
#11 Will I get feedback from Real Estate Agents who Show my House
Full-service agents will typically call showing agents for feedback on a property. Often, a survey is automatically generated when an agent uses the real estate agents secure lockbox. Most flat fee companies do not spend the time and manpower to gather information and share the information with the seller.
Sellers may find it difficult to know why the house isn’t selling after several showings. Is it price, condition, location or staging? It may be difficult for sellers to make decisions on pricing changes.
#12 Do I have to be Home When The House is Shown
This is a question for your flat fee listing agent. What type of lockbox on the house, if any? Will it be a contractor lockbox with a 4 digit code or a secure Suplockboxbox that tracks the name of the real estate agent who accessed the key along with the date and time? Will my home remain secure?
Today sellers have choices. Most sellers want to set the most money from their sale in the least amount of time, However, there are sellers who will opt for the convenience of getting a house sold quickly. Sellers need to understand the differences in the various options. If getting the most money for a house is important that a full service broke could be the right answer. Do your homework and ask questions to understand your options.
#13 Phoenix Homes on the Market in the last 7 days
$250,000 – $350,000
Contact the Shirley Coomer Group at Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living
or Text: 602-770-0643 for more Real Estate information.