October 21, 2010
There’s been a lot of hullabaloo lately about the potential for homeowners to pay a fee to list their home rather than obtaining the full services of a real estate agent. But how realistic is it?
So first, we’ll get the fore-sale-by-owner stuff out of the way. While you can list your home on sites like these, purchasers will often automatically assume they’ll get a discount– because they know you’re not paying commission. So whether you list on MLS or on FSBO sites, you’re still going to pay.
The second option is to pay an agent full commission. This is a very expensive, but safe and hassle-free, option. They handle the whole transaction for you. Pretty straightforward.
The third option is the “listing only” fee on MLS. But that has its own problems.
According to the Financial Post:
…while you may pay as little as $109 for that listing, you can almost be sure to pay a commission of 2% to 2.5% to any agent bringing his or her customer to your door.
And it’s hard to blame ’em. I mean, they are providing you with a lead. And if the deal goes through, they probably should charge you.
The fourth option is sort analogous to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You know, “too hot, too cold, just right”. Sellers have the option of “too little, too much, just right” as well! You don’t want to get every service an agent provides for crazily high commission, but you don’t want just a listing on MLS that isn’t going to get traction.
You can pick and choose which services you’d like to obtain from and agent and negotiate lower commission fees. If you find an agent willing to negotiate commissions based on services rendered, and they are out there, then let the discussion begin! After all, they’d still rather provide you with some services rather than just listing it on MLS for $109. Maybe you think you could handle the showings, but the task of actually finding the leads is too daunting. Just ask! It’s another classic example of “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”