Less and less people are selling their home through the FSBO (For Sale by Owner) route even though it may be the less expensive option in the homeselling world. What’s the reason? Real estate agents have a lot of experience selling homes and homes that go through the FSBO process are more difficult to sell and do not sell for as much as they could with a real estate agent’s help. If you would like your home to sell for a fair price but not have to pay an absurd amount of fees, flat-fee real estate brokerages are a popular way for homeowners to do just that!
You may never have heard of a flat fee real estate agent. A Falls Church flat fee realtor supports those who need help but are paying huge fees to a traditional real estate agent to sell their home. In this blog, we will focus on everything you need to know about discount realtors and whether or not they are a good choice for you.
What is Flat Fee Real Estate?
In the traditional real estate process, the home seller pays the listing agent and buyer’s agent fees. These fees are usually around 3-6% of the home’s asking price. Flat fee realtors are different because they list homes for a set price that will cover everything you need to sell your home, such as your listing being placed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), professional photography, open houses, online home valuations, and more. Most flat fee realtors will ask that you pay for these costs upfront rather than after the house sells, but there are some flat fee realtors out there who will allow you to pay after the house sells.
Why Do People Choose to Work With Traditional Real Estate Agents?
Some people say that real estate agents do the best for their clients when they are being paid a commission because their commission goes up the better they do for their client. However, all that really determines if a home will sell is whether or not the price is fair and how competitive the area is that you are selling in. You could hire a real estate agent with the best reputation in town but, if the home’s price is too low, it will stay on the market for a lot longer than normal.
This is why it is important to hire a real estate agent who has obtained a real estate license and who has had experience selling multiple properties in the area. Because of this experience, they have the knowledge and power to price the home correctly based on the home prices for homes similar to yours in the area. They are also valuable tools in the negotiation process and during the process of filling out and filing paperwork.
Disadvantages of Using Traditional Real Estate Agents
The main problem with the traditional real estate process is that real estate agents who earn commission are incentivized by their employer to close on a home quickly for the best cost because that is how they make their money.
For example, there are real estate agents out there who will suggest renovations of certain areas of the home like the kitchen. However, research shows that homeowners usually don’t regain their original investment which means that the home will sell for more but you will make less money. While it is a good idea to renovate parts of your home if you want to sell the home for a higher price, a traditional real estate agent might not be telling you to renovate for reasons that are beneficial for you but rather beneficial for them. If your goal isn’t to sell the home for the highest price, it is best to stick to more minor things such as roof and gutter maintenance for your home.
Other times, agents will lower the price if they are worried they will lose the sale. They can’t earn their money from the commission if the house doesn’t sell quickly. In a way, you may feel okay with this, but think of it like this. A traditional real estate agent may want to lower your home’s price by thousands of dollars but, when you do the math on how much they will lose on commission, they will only be losing a couple of hundred dollars. This shows the loopholes that some dishonest agents could take to make more money while you are actually earning less.
How Do I Find Reputable Flat Fee Realtors in My Area?
A majority of people choose the first agent they meet when they interview realtors to sell their homes. However, you should not follow this trend. It is so, so important to choose a flat fee real estate agent that is trusted, knowledgeable, and experienced to sell your home.
First, do a check of flat fee real estate agent reviews in your area. This can help you check the reputation of a real estate agent and hear directly from their current or previous clients over multiple platforms, including Facebook, Google, Yelp, and more. When you meet an agent, you should ask them questions about their relevant experience and their listing specialization. These are important because it will allow you to get to know the agent’s specialty and whether or not they are truly qualified to sell a home. If they are usually focused on buying houses and have not sold very many homes, they are probably not your best choice.
Is a Flat Fee Realtor Right For Me?
Flat fee real estate agents are a great option if you want to save money to sell your home and also sell it for a fair price. While not every traditional real estate agent is looking to make the most they can on commission, you do not have to have those worries at all when you sell your home with a flat fee realtor. Flat fee real estate services provide you with a typical retail experience where you truly pay for what you get. You should always do your homework and verify the legitimacy of any agent or brokerage you are dealing with before hiring a flat fee real estate agent.