So you want to sell your home through a Flat Fee or Discount Real Estate Broker.
Great Idea!! But which type of Discount Service should you use? The Atlanta Real Estate market has been inundated with different levels of services offered by Real Estate Brokers and Agents. Choosing the right level of Service offered by these types of Brokers may be as important as the Real Estate Company itself.
Generally speaking there are 5 types of listing services offered to sellers.
1.) National Chain type Flat Fee Listing Company which typically charges a Flat Fee to list your home. This type of listing service is generally done over the internet.
2.) National Chain type Discount Real Estate Services typically offer listing services at reduced rates over the Traditional Real Estate Model. Again a lot of this is done over the internet.
3.) Local Flat Fee Brokers (In this case Atlanta) typically charge a Flat Fee. (or a Flat Fee with a small percentage at closing.)
4.) Local Discount Real Estate Services typically offer reduced rates with perhaps some additional local market knowledge, experience and expertise thrown in.
5.) Local Full Service Real Estate Brokers provide Full Service Real Estate and probably offer the same local knowledge and experience as from item 4 above.
So which is better? Let me first start by saying HomeAtlantaGa.com offers 3 of the 5 services listed above. We are local (To Atlanta) and we offer Flat Fee, Discount and Full Service Real Estate services.
So which type of service should you choose? The answer will depend largely on your financial position, reason for selling, how much time you wish to dedicate to selling your home and/or how comfortable you feel handling a Real Estate Transaction.
Let’s start with the national chains.
In my opinion, I would never sell/list my home with a national chain, either discount or flat fee. This to me is just common sense. I want the agent/broker selling my home to be local and available.
So how do you know if an agent or brokerage firm is local? In Atlanta, The Georgia Real Estate Commission offers a free search tool. You may look up individual agent(s) or a Real Estate Brokerage firm.
Agent Look Up: https://www.grec.state.ga.us/clsweb/realestate.aspx
Brokerage Firm Look Up: https://www.grec.state.ga.us/clsweb/company.aspx
Make sure you know the Firm’s true name as some companies market their brand under a DBA (Doing Business As) name.
Now, let’s examine the remaining categories.
1.) Local Broker offering Full Service
2.) Local Broker charging a Flat Fee.
3.) Local Broker offering a Discount Listing Plan.
Full Service Brokers:
In certain circumstances Full Service Brokers are justifiable. As an example, Discount or Flat Fee Brokers may not offer Home Staging. In this case you may wish to hire a Full Service Broker. Another service which may not be offered by a Flat Fee or Discount Broker is listing/selling a home involving a Job Relocation. It really depends on the seller’s situation whether they should hire a Full Service Real Estate Company.
So what about a local flat fee listing broker?
Typically there are two types of Flat Fee Real Estate Services. One may typically charge a “set fee” to list your home while the other usually charges a “set fee” plus a “small percentage fee” of the sale price. In most instances this small percentage fee is only applicable at a successful closing of the listed property.
So what’s the difference in these two types of Flat Fee services?
Typically the “set fee” broker will list a home according to a predetermined set of standards and that’s it. Once the property is listed you’re usually on your own.
Where as a “set fee plus a percentage of sale” broker tends to offer services far superior to your “set fee” broker.
Some “Set Fee” Brokers will “assist” sellers in selected areas of service, but that word “assists” always makes me wonder.
So which is better a “set fee” or “set fee plus a percentage” listing service? My answer hands down is a “set fee plus a percentage” Broker. In fact, my independent studies have shown a “set fee plus percentage broker” closes 30% more homes (of total homes they list) over the “set fee” companies. The reason behind this is simple; you get what you pay for!
So where is the sweet spot?
We have devised a plan which incorporates some enhanced services offered by many Traditional Full Service Brokers while maintaining many of the cost savings associated with the “Flat Fee plus percentage Brokers.” Some advantages of this type of listing service include, but are not limited to, no out of pocket expenses to list/sell your home. Our plan (The Hybrid Plan) offers enhanced services over our Flat Fee Plan while saving you an average of 1.75% in commissions (Of the sales price of your home) verses the Traditional Real Estate Model.