Just recently, I was called by a couple who has been attempting to sell their own home. They hired a broker who agreed to list the house in the MLS for a flat fee. It may have been $250, it may have been $400….the bottom line is that it’s a significant cost savings to the home owner compared to paying a commission when selling. Long story short, it didn’t work out so well for them.
What You Need to Know About Flat Fee Home Selling
Your home is put in the MLS and syndicated to Realtor.com. That’s typically the extent of the marketing. No Facebook posts, no syndication to Zillow or Trulia or the other real estate websites, no broker open house, no color flyers, no postcards to the neighbors. If you want any of these services, it’s up to you to perform them yourself.
No negotiation on your behalf
When hiring a flat fee agent of this type, you are not given any assistance with negotiating an offer. I see these deals in the MLS and the instructions are to call the owner for showings and to submit offers and send a copy of the executed contract to the listing agent when the deal is done. There is no advocacy for you, no counsel on the market or pricing, no information on the pros and cons of the terms of a contract. Essentially, you are on your own.
No photos or room measurements
Unless you are prepared to hire a professional photographer or have a really good camera of your own, the photographs for your home will not be of the quality that today’s buyers are beginning to expect. Considering that the internet is the first showing of a house, it’s up to you to make it as appealing as possible. And be aware that miscalculating your square footage can result in an appraised value that is quite different than what you thought it would be.
Other agents don’t like dealing directly with homeowners
Let’s be honest. There’s a reason most people hire agents. We list and sell homes and negotiate contracts, repairs, and contingencies every single day. If there is a choice between dealing with another real estate professional or dealing directly with a home seller, most agents will choose their peers.
Does this mean that it can’t be done?
Absolutely not. We just don’t recommend it if you are serious about selling your home quickly and as pain-free as possible.