When selling a home in Minnesota homeowners are bombarded with options that claim to save them thousands. From FSBO listings to MLS listing services, it's important to research all your options.
Flat-fee realtors are a great option for home sellers who want to save money on realtor commission, but not all of these realtors provide the same level of service.
In addition to considering which option is the most affordable, sellers should look into what flat-fee realtors offer and if they're a good fit for the seller's unique situation. Having the best flat-fee agent for you will ensure a smoother and more profitable home sale.
Here's everything that you need to know about flat-fee realtors in Minnesota and how they can help you in your home sale.
What are flat-fee realtors?
A flat-fee realtor offers their services at a predetermined, discounted rate that is lower than the industry average of 6% commission fees. By offering lower prices and distinct services, these agents are able to compete with other realtors as the industry shifts.
While there are flat-fee realtors who are full-service real estate agents most utilize a tiered pricing model. Buyers and sellers can choose a package with services they need, instead of paying for services that they don't want.
Many flat-fee realtor pricing models set MLS listing services as the basic package. This is an ideal service for sellers who wish to list their home and handle the rest of the home sale without the help of a realtor, otherwise known as a “For Sale By Owner” sale.
Flat-Fee MLS Options in Minnesota
Without an agent, you can't list your home on your local MLS. Since this is the resource most buyer's agents use to find their client's homes, not being on the MLS can put FSBO sellers at a huge disadvantage.
Flat-fee MLS companies will list a seller's home, increasing the listing's exposure, but offer few or no other support.
Here are some flat-fee MLS options in Minnesota.
How Flat-Fee MLS Works
Flat-fee MLS services are offered by licensed real estate professionals with access to the MLS. These agents will list a home on the MLS without providing additional services to the home sellers. Sellers move forward with a FSBO listing to attract buyer's agents and save on realtor commission fees.
- Better Visibility: Homes that are listed on the MLS are seen by more prospective buyers than a home that was solely advertised locally.
- No Listing Agent Commission Costs: Once you've paid to have your home listed on the MLS, that's it. You're not responsible or paying a listing agent, although you'll still have to cover the buyer's agent commission fees.
- Few Services: Flat-fee MLS listing services are great options for experienced home sellers. However, if you are inexperienced and don't want to deal with scheduling showings, drawing up counteroffers, and negotiating, working with an experienced real estate professional is a better option.
- Less Control: Once your home is listed on the MLS, it's there until it expires, sells, or you decide to take it down. If you see that your listing has a major error it can be difficult to change once it's been put on the MLS and syndicated to sites like Zillow and Trulia.
Flat-Fee Realtor Options in Minnesota
Flat-fee realtors work for a flat-fee or set rate; some offer limited services while others are full-service agents. Here are some flat-fee realtor options in Minnesota.
Redefy is an online real estate brokerage that provides home sellers with a variety of real estate services for a flat-fee. In Minnesota, the company operates out of Duluth, St. Paul, and Minneapolis.
Pricing: $3,500 (with a $500 upfront deposit), or $2,500 all upfront
What Redefy Offers
- In-home Consultation
- Professional Photos
- MLS listing
- Help with Legal Side of the Transaction
- Aids in the Closing Process
- Yard Sign
- Low Flat-Fee: For most homeowners, Redefy's flat-fee options are much lower than a traditional listing commission.
- MLS Listing and Marketing: In addition to getting your home listed on the MLS, Redefy gets your home on major sites such as Zillow and Trulia.
- Nearly Full-Service Agents: Aside from holding an open house, Redefy agents provide the same services as a traditional agent.
- Limited Service Area: Only available in Duluth, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.
- Branded Marketing: When buyer's see your yard sign or other marketing material on your home, they'll know you listed with a flat-fee realtor. This can lead to lower offers since they know you're saving on commissions.
- Internal Agents: Redefy's agents work for the company which means you can not choose from the best agents in your area.
Xome is an online flat-fee real estate brokerage, that features its own marketplace and auction site to sell homes. The company offers sellers the opportunity to work with a real estate agent when selling their homes and require the buyers to front their own agent fees.
Pricing: $599 (As of September 2019, Xome is currently waiving its fee entirely)
What Xome Offers
- MLS Listing
- Home listed on major real estate sites.
- Full-service Real Estate Agent
- Access to Xome Concierge (support team)
- Sellers Don't Pay Buyer's Agent Commission Fees: Moving away from the traditional method, sellers pay no commission fees at all.
- Xome Agent Network: Xome partners with top local agents, no matter what brokerage they work for.
- Lower Listing Prices: To entice buyers to your home, you'll have to price it lower to make up for the fact that buyers have to pay their agent's commission.
- Single Package: There is just a single option for home sellers who work with Xome, there aren't tiered pricing models that allow sellers to choose different services.
BlueMatch is another online real estate brokerage. BlueMatch provides sellers with experienced real estate agents that work to get homes sold quickly at minimum cost to the seller.
Pricing: $995 to $2,490 depending on whether you choose to work with a dedicated agent or transaction coordinator.
What BlueMatch Offers
- Free Pricing Analysis
- MLS listing
- Professional Photography
- Yard Sign and Lock Box
- Full-Service Assistance
- MLS listing and Marketing: Advertising your home on major sites helps get it seen by more potential buyers.
- Multiple Packages: Offering more than one package allows sellers to choose which services they want in their home sale which helps them save even more.
- Full-Service Agents: A full-service agent is an invaluable asset when it comes to selling your home.
- Sellers Pay Buyer's Agent Commission: Sellers are still responsible for offering and paying the buyer's agent commission.
- Agents May Lack Experience: BlueMatch only requires its agents to have 2 years of professional experience or 20 completed home sales, other brokerages require more experience from their partner agents.
Clever Real Estate
Clever is an online platform that matches sellers with local, top real estate agents across the country. Agents are from major brokerages and offer their full services, but Clever has already pre-negotiated lower commission rates for sellers.
Pricing: $3,000 or 1% of your home's sale price if it sells for $350,000 or more
What Clever Offers
- Full-Service Top Agents
- MLS Listings
- Free Comparative Market Analysis
- Marketing Plan for Your Home
- Ability to Choose Your Agent
- Help with Showings, Negotiations, Paperwork, Closing
- Professional Photography
- Yard Sign with a National Brokerage's Branding
- Full-Service Experience: Clever Partner Agents provide all the same services and support as a traditional agent.
- Only Pay If Your Home Sells: Sellers pay no upfront costs; the flat fee only applies after the deal closes.
- Work with Top, Local Agents: Clever identifies top agents in their areas who have over five years of experience. Clever also requires Partner Agents to have a high level of client satisfaction; if an agent doesn't receive great reviews, they aren't connected with other sellers.
- Sellers pay buyer's agent commission: Clever offers competitive buyer's agent commission, to encourage buyer's agents to bring their clients to the table. However, when sellers cover buyer's agent commissions, there's no need to lower their asking price to be competitive in the market.
Which flat-fee realtor is right for you?
Choosing a flat-fee realtor can be difficult, but working with a top-notch realtor to sell your home is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the most out of your home sale. An experienced realtor will help you save money without sacrificing quality service.
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Top FAQs About Flat-Fee Realtors
What is a flat-fee commission?
A flat-fee commission is a commission model that is typically lower than the traditional 6% commission of a home sale. Flat-fee commissions can be a set fee or lower commission rate. For example, Clever Partner Agents work for a flat-fee rate of $3,000 or 1% of your home's sale price if it sells for $350,000 or more.
Do flat-fee MLS listings work?
Flat-fee MLS listings work by getting homes listed on the MLS without having to hire a traditional realtor. The MLS is only accessible to licensed real estate agents, so if you are selling a home as a FSBO seller, a flat-fee MLS listing is your only way to gain the exposure of the MLS.
For every other aspect of your home sale, you're on your own. Scheduling showings, accepting offers, closing, and everything in between is on you. If you're not prepared to take on those responsibilities, a flat-fee MLS listing will not work.
Can you get on MLS without a realtor?
You cannot list your home on the MLS without the help of a realtor. Only licensed real estate professionals are granted access to the MLS. To list your home on the MLS, you will need to work with an MLS listing service or a licensed real estate professional.
How do I list my home For Sale By Owner?
To list your home as FSBO, you'll need to do all of the things that a traditional real estate agent does to get a home sold. To start, you will need to view some comps of homes in your neighborhood to determine a competitive price for your home.
Once you've settled on a listing price and have taken photos of your home, you can work with an MLS listing service to get your home listed on major sites that buyers are looking at. There are also plenty of sites that are specifically dedicated to FSBO listings. An ad in the paper is a little outdated but can be effective in generating interest in your home.