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Old 03-12-2007, 03:08 PM
Location: Wake Forest, NC
842 posts, read 3,054,203 times
Reputation: 378


Sellers agents usually cost about 3% of the price of your home. That seems steep, especially on a house >$200k. Do you think the price is worth it? Currently, there are flat-fee realty services that will give you an MLS listing for $350-$750. But what are some benefits that you lose out on when you use one of these cheaper options? Has anyone had good or bad experiences with flat-fee services?
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:28 PM
Location: in & around the Triangle
583 posts, read 2,661,338 times
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I'm currently undergoing my first home sell and due to the small margin at which I can break even on the house, I selected a flat fee agent. I chose the #1 package offered by them. Based only my experience thus far, here are my thoughts so far...
The house is listed on MLS, so it shows up for buyers doing their own searching and I've done a lot of marketing myself (craig's list, etc.).
I rarely get the chance to speak with the 'agent' that was the face of the company when I signed the contract. There's a full staff beyond them, and initially they were very pushy with offers. It's basic math, they're in this to make money and go for quick sells. How else can the throw the line in about selling a house every day in the sales pitch?
I don't feel that networking amongst realtors is present, b/c they don't have offices across the state, etc. Beyond the typical web-sites (realtor.com), I don't think that they do any other advertising.
It's not as 'polished' of a company that you would get with Remax, Century 21, etc.
If we want an open house, we have to do it ourselves, and they will not attend.

That's all that I can think of right now, but if you have specific questions... ask away!
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:53 PM
Location: Apex, NC
83 posts, read 333,579 times
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First, let me state that I am a full service real estate agent that represents buyers and sellers. (just so you know...)
Selling your home using a flat-fee company can save you money. You will need to offer to the buyers agent at least 2.4%.
Most of the flat fee companies are there to assist home owners in doing a for sale by owner. Some just charge a fee to put your listing in the MLS and then you are on your own. For some this works for others it does not. For a seller, the process can be emotional - the buyers didn't offer you what you are expecting, the feedback comments are too strong and from their view point, the home inspector finds more than the seller expects, etc.
Then there is the chance that you will get more than one offer - what do you do?
What happens when you get an offer and something goes wrong before you get to closing, what do you do? How do you hold the deal together?
Real estate agents list and sell homes on a regular bases. They know the answers to these questions, how to price a home, to get homes sold and to closing with the least amount of worry to the sellers.
Good luck with your decision!
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:13 PM
1,453 posts, read 4,813,294 times
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Unless you plan to be home seven days (and nights) a week to show your home it's best to have your home listed with an agency that has a showing service. The one time you're not there to let a perspective buyer in could be the time they would've bought. And, there is a safety factor involved in opening your door to anyone who knocks and wants to "look around".
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:15 PM
3,155 posts, read 10,095,807 times
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Originally Posted by jbognar View Post
Sellers agents usually cost about 3% of the price of your home. That seems steep, especially on a house >$200k.
From a different perspective, I personally think that 3% on a house >200K isn't bad if you consider the money that the sellers agent puts into advertising. Personally, I think that 3% on a house < than 500K is an obscene number... especially if you consider that the amount spent on advertising on a 200K & 500K house are probably similar.

We're listing with an agent primarily because the agent has contacts and where we live many buyers agents will not show a home that is listed with a limited service agency. The buyer has to really want to see that house and then the realtor ususally plays up some minor issue to discourage the buyer from that house.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:26 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,382 posts, read 29,742,828 times
Reputation: 9250
As an agent, its harder on me when the home is listed with one of the flat rate companies. I have to negotiate with the seller. Sometimes the seller is VERY emotional. They don't understand alot of what is going on. I work for my buyers in that case and yet, I have to explain alot to the seller. When we get the inspection done, the seller doesn't understnad what needs to be done. I really do alot more work. I do it. Yep, I complain! But I do it because its the house that my buyers want. I will tell you that I hear alot of agents say they will not show those homes because of the extra work and extra liability. So, I'm not sure the sellers are saving too much. If the home stays on the market an extra two months and you are paying $1500 per month, thats $3,000 the seller just lost. Vicki
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:15 PM
237 posts, read 871,763 times
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Default I agree and disagree

On one hand the realitors are right, in New Jersey where i'm from agents are not going to spend time on the computer, show you houses all over town with out you signing a form called a buyers agreement. Thats so you can't see a house on your own and call the listing agent thinking obviously they won't have to split there commission they'll be more inclined to work a deal out with you, because there getting double the commission ( that's alot of money and when they say the commission doesn't matter they just want there client to be happy ...ok ...if you believe that your not very smart ). Facts: Most buyers use an agent .... Why: It does not cost them a dime to have a professional who know's the area helping you search for a house at no cost to you. Now there are 10 houses in your price range that will pay the realitor half of the 6% commission on a 250,000 house thats $7,500 and he will have to give a percentage to his broker some agents in know rent there space and keep 95% others (most realitors I know in New Jersey) get 60% that's $4,500. So 9 of the ten houses are paying $4,500 and here's your house listed with one of these discount brokers or for sale buy owner... offering in most cases 0. Do you think the agents will be knocking down your door with clients ...NOT... So there goes your demand. What happens to a price of something when there's less of a demand ... Bingo... IT DROPS... I tried to sell my home in New Jersey on my own for 1 month nothing but a bunch of bored people out for a drive on sunday came to my open house nobody was ever pre-qualified nothing but a waste of time. Listed it with a friend that is a Full Time ( not part time) Professional Agent. My house was in a very desirable area outside Princeton New Jersey. At the agents open house there had to be 50 agents or more and alot were saying they already have cleints looking for something like this ( Gee never saw them at my 4 open houses .. I wonder why... do you think 0 commission) I had 5 showings the next day and many more that week. A few offers.. the one we accepted was $345,000 $15,000 more than were trying to get on our own and could'nt they created the demand in the market and that demand is what gave us our price. . (the increased sale price covered 90% of the commission. Any comments please feel free. Robert
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:11 PM
41 posts, read 178,061 times
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I tend to think it depends on your timeline to sell the house. If you need to get rid of it right away, then it's probably worth it to use an agent because you'll save money in the long run in case it doesn't sell right away.
I've known people to have great luck just paying the MLS fee, but again, they had some time to sell.
We recently sold our townhouse FSBO. We put a sign up in the front yard in November, and closed in early February. We were really lucky because we did very little advertising, but had other homes for sale in the neighborhood, which drove traffic to ours. I can tell you that we had several buyer's agents contact us who were interested in showing the house, and we just worked out the "potential" commission prior to them bringing their buyers.
Fortunately, the individual who did end up buying from us didn't have an agent, so we saved a little money there.
If you do decide to use a listing service/FSBO route rather than an agent, just be prepared for the extra work - showing the house yourself, taking all the phone calls, etc. It is a bit stressful, but can be totally worth it if needed.
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