For first-timers, it's a really good question – why should you use flat fee real estate listing services?
For experienced people who aren't on their first rodeo, the benefits are obvious, but so are the limitations.
What it comes down to, in a nutshell, is that if you put in some work, you can save many thousands of dollars on commissions! You can also learn more about how real estate works, and stay more engaged in the selling process.
The Traditional Way
In the old days, the real estate agent did everything. He or she would list your property, show your property, haggle with buyers’ agents, handle legal paperwork and work you slowly toward the settlement table.
People often complained about the commissions that real estate agents took – for example, 6% of a $200,000 property is $12,000 – not bad for a day’s work! – but people realized that there are a number of key steps involved in handling a real estate process, so many of them were okay with paying a lot to get it done.
The New Way
You can still hand your keys over to a real estate agent and get full-service real estate sales with a 6% or 3% commission, depending on the specific scenario, but you can also choose to use a flat fee MLS listing service for several hundred dollars, and then do the rest of the work yourself. That means meeting buyers who want to take a look at the property. It also means having a handle on the paperwork that you do as you move through the process including the seller disclosure, lending documentation and more.
At the end of the day, a flat fee listing scenario can be similar to a “for sale by owner” scenario, where there is an agent involved in just parts of the sale process instead of the whole thing from head to tail.
Many people are attracted to the flat fee MLS listing option because they don't want to give up $10,000 or $15,000 in commission fees. But there's another reason to reduce the agent’s role and take on more of the work yourself.
This can be expressed in two ways – first, you’re learning more about how the process works, instead of sitting back and letting other people do it for you. It's like digging into your plumbing instead of calling someone to fix the toilet every time. You save money.
Also, you retain more control of the process. You don't have to worry about picking the wrong real estate agent and having somebody who's incompetent handling potential buyers. You're doing more of it yourself, so you're able to impact the process directly in a more profound way.
There's a lot more to explain about this process, so take a look at our website for in-depth resources on how to pursue flat fee MLS listing services. You might work harder, but the rewards will be obvious at the end of your journey.