Cold Turkey FSBO is not the answer to selling without a <span class="rlt">Realtor®</span>

Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 5:12PM

By: Keith Gordon

Have you heard this story before? …

"I am fed up with my listing agent. She doesn't do a thing and yet if someone comes along and wants to buy the house, I have to pay her 6%."

By the time the listing agreement term is up, this seller is ready to throw in the towel and go it alone as a "For Sale By Owner."

In a buyer's market such as the one we're currently in, to do so is, in my opinion, "cutting off your nose despite your face." When you shed your agent, you also lose the exposure in the MLS and in turn, national website with over 6 million visitors searching for homes every month.

There is a good reason that 85% of homes are sold by Realtors®. They have a big incentive to work at selling homes…a commission. What many non-real estate professionals don't fully understand is that when you pay a 6% commission to a listing agent, they share around ½ of that with any agent who can bring a buyer to the deal (the buyer's agent). Usually this commission is somewhere around 2-3% of the sales price. If there is no other agent involved, the listing agent gets to keep the whole commission. (In some cases this has been negotiated to be less if no buyer's agent is involved. For ex, the commission is 6% if two agents are involved and 5% if only the listing agent is involved.) View our interactive flat fee MLS savings comparison table for Florida sellers.

Most people agree that it's the buyer's agents who deserve a nice sized commission because they must work so hard, driving around the picky buyers and burning up their expensive gas day in and day out and then writing the contract…but sellers have a problem giving up another 3% or so to a listing agent who has no real control over the sale, who oftentimes does nothing more than input the listing to the MLS and whose commission is the same, regardless of the price of the home.

Many sellers are turning to flat fee MLS listings as the alternative option for getting the exposure for their property without being committed to a 6% commission. Instead, they offer only a commission to an agent who brings a ready and able buyer. Sellers can choose to offer the common 3% commission or can offer less or more, depending on their circumstances.

I have offered these types of flat fee based services for over 8 years and find it to be very effective, especially for those sellers who price just below market value. Since they are saving roughly 3%, it is easier to get to that magic price point.

With the introduction of our flat fee contract-to-close program, ADDvantage PLUS™, many sellers are able to achieve the same service (or even better) that a "full service" listing agent offers but for considerably less money. Because our programs are flat rate as opposed to percentage based, clients can get the representation they need at a fair price. (Not Available).

The next challenge for sellers is to pick the right company to list a home flat fee on the MLS. There are many differences in how these services work.

The 5 most important things to look for in a flat rate listing company:

  1. NO cancellation fees
  2. NO conditions for switching to an outside full service agent
  3. All buyer leads are directed to the seller
  4. Phones get answered during business hours (we offer 9:00am to 6:00pm, 7 days/week live support)
  5. The company adheres to the Florida Flat Fee MLS Seller's Bill of Rights (authored by ADDvantage®)

ADDvantage® meets and exceeds the above criteria. We are the flat fee MLS listing experts in Florida and as the broker of the company and Florida broker for 24+ years, I personally care about every single client we have. Our company was built on integrity and a genuine desire to give sellers the service level they deserve at a fair price. View our 4 flat fee listing programs.