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FLAT FEE schemes

You can fall for a FLAT FEE or FOR SALE BY OWNER scheme thinking you are saving money. You are really buying problems.

Here is a typical scheme: Send your money to someone who will put your home into an Exclusive Agency position on the local BLC/MLS. They typically provide a lower co-op broker fee for the buyer agent if any at all.

61990728They will mail you the paperwork and a cardboard or plastic yard sign and very likely illegal copies of our Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors approved forms. They will require the prospective buyer agent to call you personally for showings (many Agents will NOT make that call) and to make offers to purchase, etc., direct to you.  They plan to do nothing else.

They typically ask you what you want to establish for the asking price without regard to a Comparative Market Analysis.  Some buyer agents will actually show the property to prospects to improve their efforts at selling that buyer a homes that is priced more appropriately.   And your house sits on the market.

You are on your own for the negotiation process, the inspection process, the appraisal process, the title work process, etc.  At this point, you really do need an attorney.  If there is a sale and a closing, they do not intend to attend the closing (a license law requirement). This description violates the minimum services requirements of Indiana law. Many buyer agents will never make the call to you to show your house but they will call you when your listing expires without selling.

Our agents will never make the call as they will not be paid for handling your business and accepting the corresponding liability … that is what you have a FLAT FEE representative for … Good luck!

The same goes for the typical For Sale By Owner web site marketing program.  They collect a fee and put your property on their site hoping someone sees it and calls you direct.  Do you know ‘who’ is calling you?  Are you at all concerned about security?  After a time, many of these companies will then contact you with a ‘deal’ to have a local broker put your house into the BLC/MLS for a minimal flat fee (plus a commission to the selling broker) on an often undisclosed Exclusive Agency basis (not eligible for  Realtor.com).  Suddenly, your potential savings have disappeared and now you have the scenario as described in the Flat Fee commentary above.

There was a time that about 10% or so of properties sold were by FSBO.  That was pretty much over in 2007, 2008 with the market collapse.  Now, the numbers appear to be closer to 2%-3% and actual real estate companies handle the buyer side on about half of those.

Question 1:  Would you really prefer to have an experienced Real Estate Broker represent you and protect you from the many pitfalls of a real estate marketing and sales transaction?

Question 2:  Do you think a prospective buyer would prefer to have an experienced Real Estate Broker represent them and protect them likewise?

Question 3:  How long do you think it will take to market and sell your home on a Flat Fee or FSBO Program as compared to the BLC/MLS system?

Question 4:  How much money do you think you will actually save in the long run?

Question 5:  Do you think you might be better off if you selected a Reduced Fee Broker with multiple programs designed to really save you money while offering all of the benefits of a Full Service Realtor?

It is always your choice.  Choose wisely.  The wrong choice will cost you time and money.  Call Ken Fisher at 317-845-9511 today for a Listing Plan quote.