Let’s be honest…with all of the real estate online portals, free flowing information (homes for sale, comps, values, photos, virtual tours, demographic data, school rankings, etc.) and advances in technology, the process for buying and selling houses has changed big time.
Technology has streamlined the real estate industry so much that buyers are now doing their own searches online and honing in on what houses they are interested in seeing. The old days required the real estate agent to conduct a ton of research and gather all sorts of data (crime stats, school info, demographics, comps, etc.), but those days are over, thanks to the internet and advances in technology.
If you have read any of my previous posts, you know I have used this example: in the year 2000, the average cost of a flatscreen TV was about $9,000. Today, it’s about $500. This is because technology has advanced so much, it is simply easier and way less expensive to build such a device. Same goes for the real estate industry. Selling and marketing a home has become so much easier for the real estate professional. The internet pretty much does it for you with a few clicks of a button.
IDX (Internet Data Exchange) allows for my listings to be seen on every other real estate related sites, as well as every other real estate agents’ listings. No longer are listings hard to find or private. Anyone can search for homes for sale in any state, any city, any zip code at any time. Every real estate agent’s listings are on numerous sites, not to mention Zillow, Realtor, Trulia, etc.
If buying and selling a home has never been easier and marketing a home has never been easier, how long do you think it is going to take sellers to realize that paying a “traditional” real estate commission is, well, probably not necessary? Think about it…just take an example of a $400,000 home. A traditional 6% commission is $24,000 right off the top. Add in some closing costs such as a title policy and various escrow fees, the seller is looking at handing over around $27,000 before he even thinks about what he/she owes on their mortgage. That’s a lot of money.
Simply put, it shouldn’t cost a home owner so much money to sell their home in todays’ tech-advanced world we live in. In fact, it doesn’t. There are more and more alternatives for sellers to consider when looking to sell their home. Brokerages with low, flat fee pricing are the wave of the future, as sellers are beginning to realize they are unnecessarily leaving a lot of money on the table when paying traditional real estate commissions.
I would encourage any home owner thinking of selling to search for a flat fee brokerage in your area and consider how much money you can save in the process. Don’t fall for the “If you use a discount or flat fee company, your’e on your own and you will end up losing money on the sale.” In today’s world with so much free data out there related to real estate, a seller would have to be totally clueless not to have a really good idea what their house is worth. Plus, so many of the flat fee brokerages (like mine) are full service firms anyway.
The bottom line is if you have something that a buyer wants (aka a house), you are in the driver’s seat and do not need to pay so much to sell it!
Mark Phillips of Hill Country Flat Fee Realty serves the communities of Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch, Fredericksburg, Kerrville, Comfort, Bulverde/Spring Branch and parts of San Antonio. We charge a flat listing fee and are a full service real estate firm. This saves our sellers thousands of dollars every transaction.