Profile picture for dmlittle_2000

How successful is paying the one time flat fee to list with the MLS?

  • June 10 2013 - Anderson
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for sunnyview
"The last time I had buyers who bought a flat fee listing the appraisal came in over $10,000 more than the sales price.  I believe a full service agent would have gotten the seller a price closer to what the property was actually worth. "

I understand your point. Perhaps a full service agent would have gotten a higher closing price, but there are no guarantees. What is guaranteed is the seller would have paid about a $9,000 (6% sales commission) on the 2013 median house price of 152K to a full service broker. Sellers can also lose money by listing with the wrong agent or agreeing to sell at the wrong price suggested by their listing agent. There are many variables to selling beyond choosing an agent.

The only thing that hiring a full service agent guarantees a seller is their obligation to pay the sales commission, but it not a guarantee of a higher net to the seller. Sellers have to weigh their options, study their market and make the best decision about how to sell.
  • June 11 2013
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I have found that a lot of these flat fee clients will end up moving to an agent who provides full services.  The last time I had buyers who bought a flat fee listing the appraisal came in over $10,000 more than the sales price.  I believe a full service agent would have gotten the seller a price closer to what the property was actually worth.    
  • June 11 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"You could buy a stack of law books but would you represent yourself in a court of law? "

Many choose to save attorney fees by representing themselves successfully in small claims court each year. Comparing real estate services to being a lawyer or a doctor seems bit ridiculous. However, that comparison commonly appears when an owner asks about selling themselves.

You can sell successfully as an owner, but make sure you have the tools to be successful first. Selling real estate is business, you need to set the right price, have your property ready to market, get proper exposure/advertising and treat selling as a business without emotional strings.

If you feel that you can do those things as an owner, you can sell yourself. If not, interview a handful of agents and select one that will effectively market your house. As the owner, you have to choose what you feel will work the best for your situation.
  • June 11 2013
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Your success may vary. Unless you live in a condo complex or a subdivision where all the homes are the same it would be difficult to give a percentage figure of successful transactions. 
  What happens when you pay for a listing only on the MLS is you don't get any support and a great deal of the work is thrust on you.  I don't think a listing only entry is any better than a for sale by owner sign in he front yard except of course you do get some extra exposure.  There are agents out there that will not show listing only properties since they know that they will probably end up doing extra work.
  I'm not saying that if you go the listing only route that your property won't sell, any property that is priced right and lookign good will sell just that with hiring a professional agent the transaction will be smoother. 
 You could buy a stack of law books but would you represent yourself in a court of law?
  Good luck either way you go.
  • June 11 2013
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Flat fee exposure is identical to full fee exposure, and billions of dollars of properties have been sold that way around the country. There are no stats that say a flat fee seller is less successful than a high fee seller. Here is what we wrote a few years back about our experience in Washington about the claims some were making: "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. The National Association of REALTORS®, of which we are a member, is using advertising that claims that in 2005 the average home sold with the help of a REALTOR® sells for 16% more than the average home sold by an owner. It is also true that the average home sold with the help of MLS4owners.com sold for 13% MORE the average home sold by other brokerages (In 2005, according to data entered by members into the NWMLS database, on average our customers sold for $348,977 and the average of other brokerages was $309,304)."
"The NAR claim and our claim both compare apples and oranges.   Our customers' properties sell for more than other brokers' properties because they are worth more.  Homes sold with the help a REALTOR® sell for more than FSBO homes because they are worth more.  People who own more expensive homes tend to choose our service, just as people with more expensive homes are more likely to put their property in an MLS rather than going it alone.  This is just simple demographics."
"So watch out for statistical claims.  If your home is priced right for its condition and location, and given our exposure, it will sell."
  • June 11 2013
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I guess that would be determined by what "success" means. If it means getting your home sold at the price you hope for I believe there are stats out there that show it to be against your favor because of the limited exposure you will receive. Truth also be told there are those in the business that will avoid showing your property although I don't know why.

I think your biggest issue to consider is representation through the selling process and negotiations. There are extremely knowledgeable and experienced professionals that can bring you considerably more value than the few thousand dollars you are trying to save , and may ultimately get more for your property and avoid costly mistakes and conflicts.

Good luck either way .
  • June 10 2013
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