Flat Fee Brokerage vs Full Service - You Get What You Pay For!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Heart Realty Group, Inc.. IL-471.002355

In today's DIY environment everyone wants to save money and homeselling is not left out of the picture.  Despite the low level of success many sellers still think that they can "sell" their home better than licensed real estate professionals. 


After all they watch reality real estate shows on HGTV which makes it seem so easy....open the door, tell the buyers to go through the house...while realtor/agent stays outside....and buyers come out and either want to put in a contract or go on to the next house.   Even this small sample is not real life - buyer' agents rarely allow their buyers to go through a house without them being right next to them - seller's expect this and demand this.  What happens when the buyer has a question?  Do they shout for the agent who is outside to come in and answer?  If the houes is occupied....how does the agent make sure that the buyer's are not picking up momentos...of thier trip....you get the idea why agents stay with the buyers throughout the showing.


As a brief example - today I am setting up showings for this weekend for a buyer.  One of the showings is a regular full service brokerage.  I call the listing agent, give him the time and date and he will contact the seller to approve the time and date.  It took the agent less than 30 minutes to get back and confirm the time.  Another showing has a flat fee brokerage which asks that we call the "owner/seller" to set up the showing.  I called over an hour ago and still have not had that appointment confirmed. 


The seller is probably at work and may not have access or the ability to return personal phone calls.  Perhaps they have to check with their spouse?  Whatever the reason, the showing is still not confirmed and I have to wait to complete the schedule.


If the seller has to be at home to "show" the house because that is what the flat fee brokerage has told them they should do - they have already set a bad tone for the showing.  Buyer's hate having the "seller/owner" at the house while its being shown to them.  It's uncomfortable for the buyer, the buyer's agent and it could be uncomfortable for the seller if they over hear a buyer making comments about any of their choices in decor, etc.  Seller's will tell buyers too much information that will give buyers more leverage in negotiating an offer....my wife and I are getting a divorce...I have to be out by this date...I am retiring...going to nursing home....moving to be closer to kids....I need to move because I can no longer afford the payment, etc.   Thank you, Thank you, Mr. Seller....you have just lost another few thousand dollars because after all "your the best person to showcase" your home!


Full price brokerages emphasize to their seller's not to be at showings unless their is a medical reason they have to be and even then we tell them to make themselves as scarce as possible.  I have had buyers walk so quickly through a house when seller's are present that you think you are running a marathon!


There are a myriad of reasons why people choose and think that they are saving money by listing with a flat fee brokerage or a For Sale by Owner site.  Unfortunately, in their attempts to save money they end up being on the market longer, getting more low ball offers and even when they get an offer unable to get that offer to the closing table because they decide to "save" money by using a low cost attorney or cutting corners in many other ways in detriment to the sale of the home.


It's true that your home will be listed in many of the same websites as "regular" listings but a saavy buyer's agent will be able to tell if they listing is a Flat Fee or FSBO listing and will take that into account on the offer.   After all you are "saving" on part of the commission....or so the logic goes.


So how much is your time worth?  How many more months can you continue to carry the mortgage payment on your home while your neighbors have sold their homes months eariler?  How many showings have you missed because the agents can't wait until you come back home to return a phone call or on lunch or another break to confirm their request?   How much money are you really saving since you have to set up showings, make sure the buyers are able to afford your home, etc. etc.

With only an 8% success rate....are you really the best person to sell your home?


Posted by

Evelyn Santiago

Managing Broker/Owner - 630-251-0059

Heart Realty Group, Inc.

We are Passionate About Real Estate!


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Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

It's a penny-wise, pound foolish proposition Evelyn.  People THINK they're saving money by selling a home themselves or going with a deep discount brokerage, but statistics show that they actually lose money by doing so. And as you mentioned, seller's don't factor in their own time and how much that is worth to them.  Good post and best wishes to you.

Oct 12, 2016 02:59 AM #1
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

"With only an 8% success rate....are you really the best person to sell your home?" Nuff said Evelyn! Great post for anyone contemplating the sale of their house on their own. Illustrates very well the value we bring to our clients!

Oct 12, 2016 10:52 AM #2
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Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc.

Passionate About Real Estate & Our Clients!
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