Full Service Florida Realtors® vs. Florida Flat Fee MLS Sellers


Do you want to know how full service Realtors® “feel” about sellers who use a flat fee service to list in the MLS, thus bypassing the full service Realtors®?

Part One

Buyers' agents (those Realtors® that work solely for buyers) care most about earning the offered co-broke commission (typically 3%) regardless of whether the Florida property is listed full service or flat fee.

Though the agent representing the buyer always writes the sales contract (not the listing agent or flat fee company)…Most Realtors® believe that if a seller is “self-represented” (meaning flat fee MLS listed) they will receive less service than if the property was listed by a full-service agent, meaning, that the buyer's agent will have to negotiate more, since no listing agent will be representing the selling side. Naïve sellers may cost the buyer's agent extra time and effort since they are not dealing with another professional who is familiar with the process.

Truth about full-service Realtors®: 95% of full service listed properties are under-serviced by the listing agent in several ways including: (1) Not showing up for showings; (2) under-marketing the property; (3) not returning Realtors'® or buyers' calls promptly

Truth about 95% of Flat fee services: (1) Answer their phone calls in an unprofessional manner; (2) Under-service their clients/sellers; (3) Over-promise and under- deliver; (4) Hurt the reputation of legitimate flat fee MLS companies such as ADDvantage™.

Part Two

Keith Gordon, co-owner and Broker of ADDvantage™ in Florida, believes Realtors® have the following view about Florida based flat fee services:

“30% of Realtors® believe the ‘unbundling of listing services' (such as flat fee MLS) is a matter of ‘evolution’ within the Florida real estate industry.

“20% of the Realtors® don't fully understand all aspects of the real estate industry and aren't familiar with self-represented sellers.

“40% of Realtors® tolerate this ‘unbundled approach to selling real estate’ with the realization that the DOJ (Department of Justice) has made it clear to MLS boards and State Legislatures that they should NOT attempt to set laws or policies in place that would limit the public's choice on how they can engage Realtors® to sell their property.”

“10% of Realtors® belong to the ‘nasty club’ who will complain about flat fee companies and about the weather as well.”

Will Full Service Realtors® Shun My Flat Fee MLS Listing in Florida?

Some Realtors® say it is more difficult dealing directly with a self-represented seller and their associated flat fee MLS company, than it is to deal directly with another Realtor®.

Truth 1: Realtors® representing buyers are responsible for writing the sales contracts. A listing agent is not responsible for writing the sales contract. The Realtor® representing the buyer will be doing 75% of the work and the listing agent will spend 75% of their time worrying about whether the deal will close. The other 25% of the time is spent asking the buyer's agent how the closing is coming along.

Truth 2: Realtors® are real estate professionals and unrepresented Florida sellers (flat fee MLS listed) typically are at a disadvantage when dealing with offers and counter offers initiated by these Realtors®. Realtors® who are commission based should be thrilled to be matched up against the lack of contract negotiation skills of an unrepresented Florida seller, even if it does mean a little extra effort.

ADDvantage offers the following programs that include 100% contract representation:
Full Service 5/4/3 Full Service Listing (5%, 4%, or 3% at close)
ALTRU PLATINUM PRO Flat Fee Listing ($499 plus ⅞% at close ($1,500 min))

Lease Option Contracts

Realtors® are not permitted to write lease option contracts. The Florida Supreme Court has not approved a lease-option to purchase form and therefore, considers this to be “practicing law”. Only a lawyer or a non-licensed person can write a lease option to purchase contract.

Beware: Caution should be given to this area as many lease-purchase contracts end up in litigation. Typically the buyer is the one at risk.

Flat Fee MLS Sellers in Florida Should Know When to Seek Representation

The most difficult part of the MLS flat fee listing process might be dealing with offers, contracts, and inspections. In most cases the seller is self-represented, so there is either no support or very limited support from the flat fee broker.

In Florida, the most difficult part of the contract process is usually the inspection. The inspection is tricky because, an unrepresented seller (flat fee MLS listed) might take the inspection report (paid for by buyer) literally and may then be out-matched against an experienced Realtor®.

Realtors® aren't a shy group by nature and might attempt to strong-arm the un-represented seller into believing that if they don't rip off the 8 year old roof (that has only three years left on its expected useful life), re-fence the property, resurface the pool and fix all of the broken door locks, that the deal is off. They may also ask for $19,258 (says the report) as compensation.

Solution: A seasoned Florida real estate broker/agent or a real estate lawyer might be more successful negotiating for you. The more expensive the home, the more it makes sense to get some professional representation.

Selling a home in Florida may result in contract negotiations over such items such as: (i) Termites (subterranean and dry-wood); (ii) Roof; (iii) Pool and pool equipment; (iv) The “contract repair limit” in the sales contract.

For an experienced seasoned real estate professional, these issues are easily resolved because, in essence, the house is sold “as is”.

Also, be sure to check out our Flat Fee MLS vs. Full Service Agent Sales Statistics.

Speak to Keith R. Gordon (Florida ADDvantage™ Broker) for information about listing with the ADDvantage WORKS™ or ADDvantage PLUS™ programs that offer 100% full contract service: 727-942-2929 or 1-877-232-9695.


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