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02 Oct Emerging Fee-For-Service Option To Traditional Model

Consumers who don’t want to pay a commission but still want the services of a real estate professional when they sell their home have turned to brokerage models offering fee-for-service. Fee-for-service models can offer one service such as a listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or bundled services that would also include a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), a marketing plan and negotiation of contracts. The seller with a flat fee or an hourly rate for the service selected compensates the brokerage. Extensive real estate information is available to home sellers on the Internet. Technology driven consumers now look to real estate agents to provide technical pieces of the transaction. Fees range for a MLS listing: $250-$750, prepare CMA: $100-$250, negotiate contract $500-1,000.

Fast term. Disclosure statement (s): A seller must provide a disclosure of lead based paint and/or lead based paint hazards. Some states also require the seller to complete a residential real property disclosure report. Available at office supply stores or local board of Realtor(R) offices.

Fast fact. Most Important Reason for Selling Home Without Using a REALTOR®: Did not want to pay commission fee; 46% Sold it to a friend, neighbor or relative; 25% Buyers contacted seller directly; 10% Did not want to deal with an agent; 8% Agent was unable to sell home; 4% Seller has own real estate license; 4% Other; 3% Source: 2003 Profile of Buyers & Sellers, National Association of REALTORS®.

Fast tip. Do the math if you are considering a fee-for-service broker. If your home sells for $100,000 and your commission is 5% or $5,000 and the comparable full menu price of fee-for-services is $3,000 is the difference worth it to you? Real savings are realized in fee-for-service above the $200,000 price level.

Real estate help desk. Dear Mark: After interviewing three agents we decided to go with a fee-for-service only broker. We didn’t realize how much time we had to commit to scheduling appointments, showing our house and returning agent calls, and delivering property disclosures. To be competitive in the market we still have to pay the buyer’s brokerage the standard 2% commission. Help! Pearl, Phoenix, Arizona

Dear Pearl: Brokers who are full service or fee-for-service don’t guarantee the sale of a listing. You experienced the day-to-day process of managing a listing. Next time if you want a fee-for-service broker choose one that can convert your fee-for-service into a full service listing. Bite the bullet if you need to sell and re-list with a full service brokerage. Retain an attorney to review your current fee-for-service agreement.



Mark Nash

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