Today a local new station posted a "sponsored" story (i.e. advertisement parading about as real news) about why it's a great idea to use a "Flat Fee Broker" when listing one's home. They posted "myths" about flat fee brokers.
As a Realtor with 20+ years experience, I found the story to be deeply biased and flawed. In fact, I found more than a grain of truth in all of their myths. One of the "myths" was "You Get What You Pay For". They claimed that they could give the same service for a fraction of what a traditional agent charged, and would even have an entire team of experts at the seller's disposal. Let me ask you: If you pay $500, or even $2500 commission for the listing of a house, and that's split amongst a team of professionals, just how many listings does that team have to have at one time to be able to pay all of their professional and marketing costs, let alone their house payment and groceries? I don't see how it would be physically possible to give the same level of service and be able to break even at the end of the deal.
I broke my own rule about never reading and/or commenting on news stories and tried to comment. I was very diplomatic. However, the comment was never even published. I guess the news station didn't want anyone saying anything other than "Oh yes, you should definitely use the company/service that paid us lots of money to be considered a "news" story!"
So kids, my take away here: Do not use a flat fee service to list your house unless you are an expert in 1- staging your home to make it look it's best AND to protect your personal property 2- properly pricing your home so that you're not too high or too low 3- making sure you don't have any surprise judgments or liens against your property or other blemishes on your title that would making selling impossible. 4- Knowing how to handle showings in a way that makes it convenient for others to see your house and not smothering potential buyers 5- contract negotiations 6- being familiar with real estate and title law so that you can properly understand the deal you're being offered 7- good understanding of home inspections and how to interpret/understand/negotiate any issues that come up 8- know a great title person to help with escrow.
I am not a greedy money grabber. I promise. I work my guts out for my clients and I truly believe that I earn every penny of my commission with my knowledge, expertise, emotional support and helping my clients get the most bang for their buck/money for their house.