Want to save money selling your home? A quick internet search might have popped up ads for a “flat-fee realtor.” These realtors and brokerages are trying to meet the needs of home sellers who want to save on the standard listing agent’s 3% commission.
While you’ll still pay a fee, you can budget for it and keep more of the profit from your sale. But what do you get for that fee?
What is a flat-fee realtor?
A flat-fee realtor will list your home on the multiple listing service or MLS. The listing will then show up in realtor searches and be syndicated to websites such as Zillow and realtor.com. The entry will be called an “entry only” listing to meaning buyer’s agents can’t contact the flat-fee realtor for more information.
The fees charged by a flat-fee realtor vary depending on the services they offer. Basic fees typically range from $300 to $400, but if you want more services, fees can go over $1,000.
What’s included with a flat-fee realtor’s services?
All that you’ll receive for the fee is input into the MLS. You’ll have to arrange for professional photography of your home and write up the listing.
When choosing a flat-fee realtor, make sure that their fee includes unlimited listing revisions. If you decide to drop your price or forget to mention the new kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to make changes. Also, pick a local company so that your home will display in local MLS search results.
Some flat-fee realtor companies offer technology to help you manage showings, offers, and paperwork if you pay slightly more. Even though you’re probably using a flat-fee realtor to save money, it might be worth it to pay slightly more to have more tools at your disposal.
What does a seller do when using a flat-fee realtor?
When you use a flat-fee realtor, you’re essentially setting up a “for sale by owner” transaction. Your contact information will be displayed in the listing, and buyer’s agents will contact you directly. You’ll be responsible for arranging showings, negotiating the sale, collecting escrow payments, and managing closing paperwork.
Some flat-fee realtors offer upgraded services to handle paperwork, which can be quite complex for first-time home sellers. At that point, however, you could be better off choosing a discount realtor to help you sell your home.
What are the pros of using a flat-fee realtor?
If you’re selling a house by owner, it’s the only way to have it listed in the MLS. It will give you increased exposure to potential buyers. But keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay the buyer’s agent their 2-3% realtor commission.
What are the cons of using a flat-fee realtor?
While the flat-fee realtor’s primary responsibility is to list your house on the MLS, you will still have to stay in contact with them. They must update the MLS when your home has an offer or has sold. If the service you choose doesn’t provide quality ongoing customer service, you could deal with hassles.
You’re selling the house by yourself and will still have to take care of minor updates, staging, and marketing your home. Given the importance of the paperwork involved in a closing, you might have to hire a lawyer to review the transaction. And you’ll have to locate a title service and closing company on your own.
It’s only natural to want to save money when you’re selling your home, but a flat-fee realtor may not be your best choice.
Clever Partner Agents offer home sellers full services for a lower commission of $3,000 or up to 1% of homes over $350,000.
They’ll write up the listing, arrange for showings, and draw on their local knowledge to market your home, and find buyers. If you’re interested in learning more about Clever Partner Agents, reach out to get in touch today.