Home Selling in 08540>Question Details

Sondi, Home Seller in 08540

We are considering listing our home with a flat fee MLS service. Specifically, mls2u.com. Any experiences,?

Asked by Sondi, 08540 Mon Mar 16, 2009

good or bad, with them?

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Answers

37
Thanks for catching Keith's inaccuracy Victor. Keith, MLS is only trademarked in Canada. In the US the term is a free for all. We also disclaim clearly on the site that we are not an MLS. Keith, when you make assertions about illegalities and reporting people, keep the code of ethics in mind at http://www.realtor.org/MemPolWeb.nsf/pages/Code. There are numerous references to the term "misleading". For example Keith you were misleading when you said use of the term MLS is illegal. Even in Canada, it's a civil violation; not criminal.

Victor, regarding your opinion of the term “stretched too thin”, there are six large flat fee brokerages in the United States. All of them have a broker with multiple state licenses. The other large companies are all referral companies that farm out the work. As a result of licensing agencies conversing through their membership in ARELLO, most states have similar laws. There certainly are differences but nothing that one broker cannot absorb. A number of states have reciprocity with no examination or education required; the broker is still responsible for knowing the local laws. However, NJ where I am from is one of the most restrictive states in not establishing reciprocity agreements. Many states with reciprocity agreements require one to live and work in the host state. As such, most of my licenses were acquired through examination and many through schooling as well. Those 14 licenses comprise only a small portion of my education and licensure in related practices. Thanks for your concern but I am a good judge of when I am stretched too thin .

In NJ and WI the licensee must visit the house however, to assert that it's necessary remains to be seen. Our sale to expiration ratio is no worse than the mean for the MLS's we have studied. Specifically we sell houses just as successfully as the average firm. Our market share is increasing each year even in bad times. Tony, you mention Steve Murray of Lore Magazine. Lore is a magazine owned by Real Trends; a publisher that caters to Realtors®. Isn’t it only right to quote a mainstream publication? A better source to quote might be Consumer Reports. In fact Consumer Reports did a piece a few months back and the results might surprise you; they don’t surprise me at all. Then of course there is the 60 minutes piece a couple years back.

To all, remember the code of ethics. It requires Realtors to paint a truthful picture; not one of opinion and innuendo geared at self preservation in an attempt to resist evolution.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 25, 2009
As the principal of mls2u.com, I will provide some insight about our firm. We will be 9 years old on June 1st 2009. We have not just listed but sold thousands of houses. We are licensed in 16 states and currently operating in 14 states. mls2u.com is one of 40± websites in the Continental Real Estate Group, Inc. family of websites. To the Realtor who could not find our signs, that is because our properties have Continental Real Estate Group, Inc. signs.

For every person who doubts that flat fee MLS works, we get a client who was listed with a large name broker for 6-12 months and did not sell. Price (VALUE) sells a home. If the home is a good value it sells and if overpriced it does not. Most brokers today through IDX, Realtor.com, Listhub, etc. feed homes to a vast array of websites. So the exposure nonsense touted by many brokers (that they do more marketing and get greater exposure) is just that--NONSENSE. Our clients are a variety of occupations but the largest single trade practiced by our clients is that of "real estate licensee". We list more homes of Realtors (not that all licensees are Realtor members of NAR but many are) than any other trade. This is because their own brokers won't cut them a deal on the sale of their own residence so they flock to us. That says they know our service works and their brokers cut their own staff no more courtesy than a stranger.

We try to deliver consumers a range of services offered in a shopping cart format. If a client wants full service we offer it but we don't force them to take it. Everything is à la carte; lockboxes, open house postings, and virtual tours. Our clients have total control over what they want to order.

An analogy might be that we will sell someone a Chevy with roll up windows, AM radio and no air-conditioning and most Realtors only want to sell a Cadillac with all the bells and whistles. All too many times that Cadillac isn't even a Cadillac. It's a Chevy dressed up to look like a Cadillac. This refers to the full service agent that lists the home and then walks away from the listing but still charges high fees. It's ok to do less if you charge less. It's not ok to charge more and do less.

Imagine if your doctor said you can't just have a checkup. You must get a full physical. Imagine if your accountant said he would not prepare your returns without doing your quarterly filings and payroll. Imagine if your landscaper said he won't cut the grass without also fertilizing. That is what a traditional Realtor does to clients. They tie their hands, deny them choices and force unwanted services upon them. mls2u.com aims to change that aspect of real estate.

Derek Eisenberg
Broker/Owner
Continental Real Estate Group, Inc.
Web Reference: http://www.mls2u.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 9, 2009
Sondi,

I've don't quite understand why full service reatlors are so adverse to flat fee (although I must admit it took me some time to see the benefits). As a buyers agent, I'd rather have a FSBO property listed on the MLS inventory and the internet providing me with an opportunity to sell their property than to (1) drive around looking for FSBO's to meet my client's needs or worse (2) have a client that I've worked with for months tell me "oh, sorry, I settled on a FSBO."

On another note, I spoke with a very seasoned Weichert agent this week who said he loves working with flat fee sellers as once he completes the process of bringing them the buyer, he often finds himself working with the sellers to place them in their new home. Imagine that, a lead that MUST buy within 6 weeks. Now I say that's a great source for new business!

With all the negativity today, staying positive is the key to good business.

Love and Peace,
Francesca
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 3, 2009
Hello Sampson...

I hope you found your answer in all of the responses and I hope you were able to make a decision. If you are on the fence call me.. I'd be happy to answer your questions the best I can.

I found this GREAT video I want you to see... (i just like it) The link is below under the Web References Section

Rockinblu:
Thank you for your welcome. I hope the reason you liked my response is that I am telling the Truth as I see it. I believe people speak in 2 frequencies... What they MEAN and what they SAY. I hope to mean what I say and to make sure I speak (and write) as I see it. I also try to be fair and honest. I think most people are that way, most of the time.

Regarding my "unabashedly self promotion..."
Maybe I will not do that so much... I thought it was a good opportunity to promote :-)
Sondi... Make the best decision for you and your family. These are hard times, no one has money to waste and we must limit our risk the best way we can. If you list with a flat fee company just know what you are getting... If you sign for 6 months and realize it is not working in 3 cancel the contract and hire a full service professional. Just know that in NJ we have about 54000 agents, and about 87% of them are part-time. Less than 10% (7.8%) did 95%+/- of all the business. In Mercer County we have about 2200 agents, more than 1200 did NOT have 1 transaction last year.

Hire someone who is full time and has a track record of putting deals together.

Bye for now... Take Care All!

Jerel Washington, 2008 Circle of Excellence Sales Award Winner
Keller Williams Realty - Princeton
100 Canal Pointe Blvd
Cell: 609-933-9044
Office: 609-987-8889 x234
W: http://www.JerelWashington.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 31, 2009
Government has nothing to do with, flat fee brokers are Realtors to in many cases these guys already own full service brokerages and do this as another income stream from the people that aren't yet ready for that service so they make money on the people willing to pay money up front for a 6 month listing term.

Bottom line, these guys are Realtors to so they cannot be "banned" from the mls. I don't care if they use it, they're just shooting themselves in the foot in the long term. If they really wanted to save home sellers money and in the process create a real monopoly they would not have sided with other Realtors that fight the banking industry to prevent them from being able to sell real estate without a license or oversight.

There are many rights and liberties Realtors fight for to protect the general public to save their rights, money and neighborhoods which they are never even aware of and our own personal dollars are being spent to contribute to these important legislative issues and courtroom battles saving the public from paying more taxes, transfer fees, etc.

See for yourself, just google "NJ realtor legislative issues"

Also check out the education courses available to NJ Realtors and note all the legislative meetings on the calendars. Realtors work hard to protect buyer and home owner rights.

Note on the NJAR home page how we are fighting to restore the NJ Property Tax Deduction http://www.njar.com/

Calendar http://www.njar.com/education/calendar.php
NJAR is the voice of NJ Real Estate according to NJ Cooperator http://njcooperator.com/articles/264/1/The-New-Jersey-Associ…
http://newjersey.realestaterama.com/author/njar
New Short Sales Rules http://www.frsonline.com/Legupdates/NewJerseyLegAlert07_26_04.pdf
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 31, 2009
Sondi,

While the link below is not exactly an answer to your question, it still may be of some interest to you. Good luck.

http://www.trulia.com/blog/rockinblu/2008/08/thinking_about_…
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
Hello,
I used http://WWW.MLS2U.COM and I like to share some of my experiences with you and tell you WHY I WOULD NOT USE THEM AT ALL UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET FRUSTRATED AND RIPPED OFF!!!. The beginning when you want your business they answer their phones promptly and talk to you to get your money. Actually let me rephrase that; this company I believe is only run by 1 Derek Eisenberg or maybe 2 the most; so they are not really a big company and don't have customer service reps on hand. After you sign up with them; when you try to call them their computer system phone service recognizes that you already customer and they never pick up the phone on you. I even tried to Block my number but somehow their phone service recognizes your number and you cannot get a hold of live person. Then out of curiosity I used someone else's number pretending that I may be new customer and the 1 man show guy Derek Eisenberg answers the phone!!!! How ridiculous is that????!!!
When you become a customer and sign all those papers and contract that is only to THEIR ADVANTAGE; they have you on the hook. THESE GUYS FOR EVERY LITTLE THING THEY CHARGE YOU AND NOT COOPERATIVE AT ALL. FOR EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE THEY HAVE A FEE WHICH YOU REALIZE LATER.
YOU MAY THING AT THE BEGINNING THAT YOU ARE GETTING A GREAT SERVICE AND GOOD DEAL WITH http://WWW.MLS2U.COM AND DEALING WITH IT'S OWNER DEREK EISENBERG BUT TRUST ME WITHIN THE FIRST COUPLE OF MONTHS YOU WILL END OF PAYING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS MORE THAT YOU THOUGHT INITIALLY GETTING A GOOD DEAL AND WORST OF ALL CRAPPY RUDE ATTITUDE AND SERVICE.
I ALREADY MADE A MISTAKE BY NOT DOING MY HOMEWORK AND SEARCHING OTHER FLAT RATE SERVICES; SO MY LOSS YOUR ADVANTAGE STAY AWAY FROM THEM http://WWW.MLS2U.COM AND DEREK EISENGBERG AND CHOOSE A DIFFERENT COMPANY!!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
In my opinion, in life you generally get what you pay for. Flat fee services generally have "up front" non-refundable fees. Conventional real estate firms are not paid unless they perform and you close. Many flat fee service firms will not help you price your home, negotiate on your behalf, etc. Most consumers do not want to deal with the Seller directly - they prefer to use a real estate agent. If I show a flat fee listing I know from the get go that I will be doing the lions share of the work; something with an already heavy work load is hard to do. All real estate commissions in New Jersey are negotiable. I think you are better off with a conventional firm at a competitive fee.

Best of Luck,

Karen Evertsen
Realtor-Associate
THE CONDO QUEEN
RE/MAX Greater Princeton
Princeton, NJ 08540
Office: 609-951-8600
Cell: 609-658-8934 < best way to reach me
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
No experiences but overall I would say flat fee mls brokers are a good thing. They are trying to help you save the commission so that is a good thing. My advice:

Make sure the broker is local and that when you call you actually can get a broker on the phone. Don't go for services like forsalebyowner.com because they are middle men and will not help you directly. They will put you on hold. Here's some advice. If you get put on hold, try another company.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 7, 2010
To add to Derek's comment:
To all, remember the code of ethics. It requires Realtors to paint a truthful picture; not one of opinion and innuendo geared at self preservation in an attempt to resist evolution.

Here is a May, 2009 revision to Standard of Practice 15-2.

At their meeting Saturday, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Board of Directors affirmed REALTORS® obligation under the Code of Ethics to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors and their companies—including passing a new Standard of Practice that compels REALTOR® to remove or clarify misleading comments posted on their blogs.

4 Professional Standards Changes

1.) Members have obligation to correct misleading statements. Standard of Practice 15-2 was amended and a new Standard of Practice was approved to strengthen members’ obligations to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors, including in the use of social media tools.

The new amendment includes the duty “to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading.”

Translation? Say you publish a blog and someone else posts a false or misleading comment about a fellow REALTOR® on the blog. When you become aware of it, under this new standard, it’s your duty to remove the post or publish a clarification.

The directors also approved a change to the NAR Bylaws, imposing the same duties on associations and MLSs as those imposed on members to not make false or misleading statements against competitors, competitors’ business practices, or competitors’ companies.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 4, 2009
Umm.... I am lightened up! There are only about a hundred other remarks here on the topic and I wasn't directing my comments at anyone in particular or referencing anyone's comments. I just made a comment not to do this again.... Just read all the angles have been covered.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
I like and I hate Flat Fee MLS Service companies for the following reasons:
1 - They are very competitive to my business. - I hate that.
2 - They have a place for people who want to "TRY-Out" or "TEST" the market. - I like that
3 - They do not provide Full Service - This is a myth as many of them have a menu of services which you can choose - I like that
4 - The menu usually and rapidly grows to mirror the cost of a Near Full Listing - I don't like that
5 - You (The customer) usually pay up front (by usually I mean all the time). Since there is less risk to the Flat Fee Company they can provide you with fixed cost services. You pay for what you can afford.. I like and I hate this:

In my opinion, this type of service is mis-leading to the consumer. There are techniques that work, and there are techniques that do not work depending on your market, type of property, condition of property, price range of your property and the buyers who will see it.

When I market a property I stay proactive and adjust my marketing to market conditions, modifying what needs to be modified on a continual basis and my results are incredible. I'm sure when you pay for a flat fee service, you get what is outlined and not much more if any...

If what you paid for is not working then what do you do? Pay for more?

Wouldn't it be easier to pay for service only when it works? if your home does NOT sell, the traditional Realtor / real estate agent will have to eat the cost and some of that cost is shared by the Broker.

A Flat Fee company has ZERO Risk.. (I love that)... That risk is transferred to the Seller.

If you have all the facts, I highly recommend interviewing a Flat Fee Company, then Interview ME :-) The difference could be your home selling or not or selling faster or not. I believe once you have ALL the facts of what works and what doesn't and what your risk is vs what the agent or companies risk is you can make the best decision for you and your family. Take Care.. Call me... I'd love to earn your business

Jerel Washington
Keller Williams Realty - Princeton
100 Canal Pointe Blvd, Ste #120
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-987-8889 x234
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
Never heard of them before!

Keith, it's not illegal to have MLS as part of a URL its an abbreviation for a general term with no copywrite.
If you have a source that shows something to the contrary, post it here. Who were you going to report it to anyway? MLS means Multiple Listing Service

Sondi, some things to consider:
Who is the listing agency? Usually flat fee services will pay a local Realtor to just place the property in the mls at any price the seller picks out of thin air and hopes it sells. Pricing can be even more important than marketing, this is evident when a home is over priced and sits.....

I've seen on this company's site, it looks like one broker spends a lot of time getting licensed in several states personally. This is an example of spreading yourself a little too thin to start a nationwide flat fee listing service like the larger ones but going about it the wrong way. Imagine one person getting licensed in every state and getting a membership into every mls in each state? I'll give him an A for ambition, but how can he keep the laws, rules and mls's straight?

A listing agent should visit the house, discus seller motivation and needs for moving and subsequently tour the home go back to the office to run comps and then present you with a competitive market analysis to assist you with the pricing of the home, an extremely important part of the process.

Paying in advance to list a property in 6 month increments is an option but you'll also need someone to actively market your home that HAS an interest in seeing the home sells, that someone will have to be "You"

Short of learning how to become a Realtor and marketing expert from A-Z explaining why in any clarity or detail in the space provided covering every reason would be impossible without making it easy to be dismissed as a greedy Realtor just wanting to make another sale (which isn't a bad thing in this case).

If you have marketing knowledge, willing to do open houses be available at all times for showings (morning, day and night) and spend additional money on print advertising, flyer's and optimization of your web ads so they actually capture an audience and if you have access to all the local real estate agencies and agents fax and email address to proactively market your new listing in their faces then go for it.

How much control will you have over ad copy content?
I'd question the marketing plan, it left scratching my head....

The first link I clicked was NBC New York City which takes you here
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/around_town/real_estate/
Can you show me any listings here?
Can you tell me who will go here to search for a home?
Who would look here for a home and any statistics on how many people?
How many buyers did they get from advertising properties or their agency here?

All to commonly agencies, flat fee and fsbo services alike put together these ridiculous marketing plan schemes that won't help sell your home.

I've seen many brokerage firms throwing money to build company brand awareness and include that in a marketing plan for sellers. There is a difference between advertising and marketing and which will directly benefit selling your home is another story, especially when it's just a mls listing service. At least a conventional broker will generate a call or two to an office where agents will work with buyers and can direct them to your see your home.

The real estate industry should evaluate just how marketing dollars are spent and measure effectiveness.
I don't see the value here even IF they really advertise on this site, I didn't see any of their ads or properties there. I'm not going to examine all their advertising claims but that one already begins to draw a picture for me.

I'm sure you can find praise and nightmare stories so you'll have to decide how much work, effort, time and money you'd like to directly contribute to this process.

Keep in mind, your first price reduction is usually going to be more than the amount of money you would have saved by not using a professional. So how much is your time worth?

FYI: The fee you pay an agent AFTER selling your home is usually a tax deductible expense as a cost incurred while selling your home.

If you need any fsbo tips then ask me or any agent here and you should be able to get answer no strings attached. This is done with hopes that if you should decide to use a Realtor along the line that you'll reward the agent showing the most value to you.

That's at least how I roll... No pressure from this broker...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 25, 2009
Sondi,

As with a traditional real estate company, it is advisable that you interview 3 or more flat fee agencies as each provides a different level of marketing/services.

Note that a number of reputable Real Estate agents refer their clients to us when appropriate.

Also, many Real Estate agents list their personal homes and investment properties using flat fee.

Good luck!

Francesca
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 18, 2009
You have many good opinions here. Ask the company what MLS feeds are included, each MLS is different. Prepare your marketing plan and stick to it. You'll be the only one marketing this property!

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
Sondi,

I recently left a brand name broker as a to producing agent to join a flat fee MLS service due to their outstanding results and recognizing that in today's economy this business model would continue to grow and produce results ( see PatrizioRE.com ).

If you would like to chat about flat fee services, please do not hestiate to contact me direct. Since Princeton is not within my selling area, this conversation would not be a sales pitch, but rather an information session .

Sincerely,
Francesca Patrizio, Realtor, ePro
732.606.2931 (DIRECT/CELL)
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2009
No personal experiences. I would say you pay a flat fee, even if you don't sell your home...
You only pay a real agent if the home sells...
Good luck without decision and contact me if you have any further questions
Ken
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
Hello I am the broker for flatfeeisland.com and do flat fee mls listings in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. This is a good company and I do business with them all the time.



As for the conversation here. The FTC backs flat fee brokers because you cannot fix prices it is against the law to do so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
I tried the MLS listing company. I'll let you know if it sells.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
I used the MLS listing company. Maybe I'll come back and comment when my house sells.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
So you agree with me about being stretched to thin when being licensed in areas not in your primary service area just referring them out to another company or do you still take the listing

I cant believe you suggested consumer reports has more accurate real estate data than Real Trends which only caters specifically to the real estate industry. I think you're picking and choosing which data best suits your agenda.

I know of the 60 minutes episode you spoke of, it's posted on several flat fee realtor sites but featured a company called Redfin which offers a lot on their website and allows people to do most of the information hunting themselves and searching themselves and then shows homes for a fee and when the buyer purchases something, any fees charged in advance are deducted from the commission. It wasn't about listings

Anyway, I digress. I too am an NJ Broker and a full service real estate company as I'm sure the owners of mls2u.com has one as well. I usually find brokers owning flat fee agencies and fsbo sites also have their regular full service agencies which they often try and push clients toward but if they don't want then they catch the cheaper seller with their flat fee model as a backup. This also works if the client comes thru the full service agency doors but doesn't want to pay the fees is directed toward the backup. I don't know about your particular company because I never heard of it before but from my experience and research of different business models and in evaluating competitors this is what I have learned.

It is a smart move for brokers not to lose any business and still "save face" in the real estate world at large. lol... To each his own, there are many business models and I don't knock any of them trying to remain above the rhetoric.

Let's face it, real estate is a business and flat fee, full service, variable rate, whatever your business model you're in it to make money and hopefully want to provide the best service possible to your clients within your means and budget. I've seen good flat fee services and ones that outright suck but more often than not come across many unhappy customers with gripes of one sort or another and my first thought like many is you get what you pay for.

That thought of course is true to a certain point and certainly applies to agencies operating with low budgets and those on the other end of the spectrum can be over paying, especially if they are not reinvesting into their marketing and then again into what marketing? Self promotion or advertising of listings.

Real Estate industry can be a complicated web to navigate through and unfortunately can't offer much useful advise to sellers trying to navigate it. #1 because agents are not suppose to talk bad about the competition or face ethics violations and #2 there are way too many companies out there running different business models and schemes to be able to speak intelligently on the topic.

One thing is for sure, this doesn't prevent low fee agencies from bashing their competition and visa versa.
Every niche has it's following and no agent or agency can expect to win the loyalty and support of every potential client. All we can and should be doing is pointing out and highlighting the services we offer, and truthfully without stretching the truth or exaggerating and disclose our fee. That's it....

As far as the clients are concerned one thing I can say is to also speak with your agent to see how well they know their business, how long they've been doing it, full time, part time? What areas of real estate your specialize, FYI "Everything" isn't a specialty! Maybe there are agents in the office that specialize in this and that and together the office specializes in everything but any agent telling you they know it all is a fool so run!

Personally Flat Fee isn't our business model I prefer to offer full service at a no haggle low 4.5% listing fee for single family regular home sales, multi-family and estate sales 5%, short sales and commercial realty transactions 6%, business sales, industrial properties and land sales 8% .These are competitive rates and are the lowest fees I've found anyone able to charge, still make money, offer great service and marketing and be fair to everyone all around but that's the business model my company has chosen. I'm sure flat fee will still knock us for one reason or another and higher charging agents will knock us with the regular talking points of you get what you pay for and other misleading comments of the sort.

In reality most companies leave it up to the agent to do most of the property marketing with the agency itself doing the basics so unless the agent themselves is pulling cash out of pocket to do a lot of marketing which usually isn't the case, the adage that you don't get what you pay for isn't always true

Victor Kaminski
Broker of Record
Jersey Brokers
732-650-9911 x302
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 8, 2010
It's been over a year, but I thought I would update you all on what we ended up doing.

We didn't put the house on the market last year, after all. We did put it up this spring, in mid-April. We used the mls2u.com site I referenced in my initial post. We paid $500 to get on the internet, plus $100 for the rent of an electronic lockbox, plus some small change for yard signs (Open House).

We hosted our own open house, which was well-attended. We had several interested parties, and one of them made an offer two days later. They had been referred to our home by a local Realtor, who saw the listing on MLS and saw we were hosting an open house, and told them to come look at it.

After a bit of back & forth with offers & counter-offers, we signed contracts. It was at a fair price, I think., pretty much market value, based on my observation of houses in our area that are about the same size. They were first time homebuyers, so got that additional $8000 for being in contract by the end of April.

We just closed today. It went pretty smoothly. We are using a full service broker to purchase our new home, in another state, but we'd definitely use a flat fee broker again as sellers. It was a bit more work on our end, but worth it, for the money we saved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
I know they are realtors... Read My Post.... I define them in an unflattering way.... Flat Fee MLS should in my opinion not be allowed. The FSBOS and everyone else have the whole Internet. Realtor in my opinion should guard the MLS and not allow Flat fee realtors. Unfortunately, the government sees it differently. I think it is just a matter of the NAR not really backing realtors and realtors selling out for the flat fee. But what do I know I am just an auditor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 31, 2009
Sampson flat fee brokerages are realtors in many cases as well, so nobody can or is trying to prevent them from being in business just for running their business in a different way.

They are just offering different levels and amounts of services for different prices. No broker would try and stop them from doing business, the mere suggestion that anybody would try is ridiculous. These guys usually end up shooting themselves in the foot by not watching their books properly and usually end up finding themselves in the red ink. These business models are usually unsustainable and eventually die anyway. Look what happened to (YHD) Your Home Direct, then it sold and became, YHD Foxtons and then Foxtons and then they got to be the biggest of these types of brokerage models. They even raised their rates and addon service fees and it still wasn't enough to sustain the business model when trying to offer as close as they could something resembling a full service brokerage but eventually went out of business as well. In the end they were collecting more than flat fee services and still could not make it.

If I knew I wouldn't get sued for doing it, I can rattle off names of companies all over the USA and what they do or don't do for how much and their tricks and gimmicks used to get more $$$ out of you and how they get away with selling cheap services. Not that anyone wanting to use them would listen to me anyway.

I encourage people to use these reduced fee / service brokers because if they don't sell by chance then when these sellers get to me, they are usually easier to deal with after doing through all the bs and I end up looking like the hero in the end, heck I end up looking that way if I bring a buyer once they see the level of service they get from their own brokers. It's a joke and I just go with the flow and play the game.

BTW. Please use the flat fee broker as the buyer, waste their gas and see how well they treat you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 31, 2009
I have used flat fee and full service agents. I did research it at length in the past and find that those who say you do not need a realtor point out that they do what realtors do, put it all over the net. Then why do these Flat fee realtors use MLS. If it is so valuable I think Realtors Should Stand UP AND fight the powers that be and the self promoting reps like mis2u from being allowed to use Board Of Realtors MLS. MLS and Realtor Boards Should Say NO TO FLAT FEE BROKER LEACHES. With that I saved 2k selling with a flat fee broker but I sold it to someone on Craigslist. Flat Fee Brokers are just that Here is some money pimp out your real estate license and make a quick buck. And FSBOS who can deal with those hard heads. When I sell I use Flat fee when I buy I use a realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
Victor,

How about lightening up a bit. Jerel's post was his own opinion of flat fee services, and a lot of self promotion that's done on this site all the time. My follow up post to his was only a welcome, and my next was a correction to..........oh yeah, Ken's. I see what you mean. lol
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
This is a round robin loaded question, this has all been asked and answered before and now the answers and arguments are being repeated. Just look down at previous posts for all the answers you need.

If you want to use a flat fee service, go ahead, good luck and if you should not be able to sell that way after spending a ton of cash up front contact a professional that would be glad to help once your frustrated and ready to cooperate with an agent but good luck selling it on your own.

It's a rough market out there!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
"But you still need to pay a buyer's agent upwards of 3% to show your home."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not completely accurate. I know from personal experience that there are unrepresented buyers out there that shop FSBO houses. Maybe because of some perceived value thing, since agents post quite regularly that represented houses sell for 16% more. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
Hello. Great question.
You will probably pay around $500 up front to put your home on the MLS. That's OK.
But you still need to pay a buyer's agent upwards of 3% to show your home.
And you are out the $500 up front...
I would go with a full service agent.
Ken
A Realtor you can trust.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
Hey Jerel,

Pretty cool post. Even though it's unabashedly self promotional, for some reason I still kind of liked it. We will probably be at odds from time to time because I try to help FSBOs whenever they come on this site asking about it (see my earlier post on this thread), but for now welcome, and a TU from me. .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 30, 2009
There are many excellent responses here. There is a place and time for a flat fee company. Depending on your market, this may not be the right time for it. An experienced Realtor that understands the current market conditions will be able to give sound advice and recommend to you what it will actually take to get your home sold. Like everything each Realtor and company is different. Decide if you have enough information to put your home on the market with a flat fee company at the right price and have the skill to negotiate a contract in your favor along with follow through to the closing. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 24, 2009
What we know from our past studies of housing consumers is that they look to real estate professionals to provide advice and counsel; to establish trust and to communicate with them in the manner of their own choosing. Repeated studies over six years showed these characteristics to be the most highly rated by consumers--trust, communication and relationships--little of which can be successfully built through a Web site. Housing consumers clearly want both excellent access to information and a relationship with a trusted real estate professional.

Those who thought the Internet would replace sales professionals have clearly misread the attitudes of housing consumers. Don’t buy into defeatist attitudes about whether consumers still want to use real estate professionals. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.
By Steve Murray Lore Mag
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 24, 2009
Hi! Sondi,

If you don't mind, could you share the detais of your property with me?

Like the location, how many bedrooms, baths, price etc?

My email id is kaushal.sampat@americas.bnpparibas.com.

I am an individual buyer. No broker involved.

Pls. let me know what you think.

Thanks & regards,
Kaushal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009
Sondi,
I suggest you research the history of Foxtons, yhd etc from other than we (their competitors) I have never heard of mls2u.com nor have I ever seen a sign of theirs. When foxtons went bust there were many many unhappy clients whose properties were in limbo. Remember you will be signing a contract having to do with what is most likely the greatest investment you have.
I dont shop around for the cheapest doctors lawyers or other professionals, I get the best and then try to get them to give me a fair price for their service. After all there is a reason they are recognised as the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 17, 2009
Sondi
You can judge based on the responses from those who have used the service.

For me, I monitor the results achieved by three different classes of brokers
Full Service
Limited Service
MLS Entry Only Brokers

The executive summary is this:
For the last two years, each quarter I monitor the results. The last eight quarters have yielded very similar results:
Homes sold by MLS Entry only broker and Limited Service Brokers are a very small percentage of sales. in my MLS, that amounted to 12 listings compared to 866 Full Service.
Twelve listings is such a small number, it's hard to get an accurate feel for their results.
Actually, a total of 37 listings were taken, 25 failed to sell. So that means you have a one in three chance of selling. Do you like those odds?
Full Service sales expired 50 percent of the time. That means you have a50/50 chance of selling.

When they do sell, they sell on average for 96% of asking price.
Full service sold for 99.4% of asking price.
So after you pay the buyer's broker their share, how much are you really saving? You are probably not saving anything,

When they sell they take longer to sell.

So, if you don't really need to move, have money to burn, and have time to kill...go ahead.

BTW, it is illegal to have MLS as part of their URL. I'll report them for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I second that for the most part.
In terms of the relationships, there is no agent representing you , the seller, or negotiating for you.

The buyer's agent knows that the experience is similar to working on a for sale by owner listing..........too much involved in managing both sides ...........this is the wrong market for that.

This is a tough market & quite an unprecedented one....with changes setting in quickly & without warning.

I really prefer working with not only a realistic seller & buyer, but most certainly a smart & knowledgeable agent on the other side.
Choose to be represented & find yourself a good realtor.

That is if you are really looking to sell your home.
If you're just testing the market, go ahead & try the MLS flat fee option.
Web Reference: http://www.SoldByshalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2009
Two thoughts for flat fee service:

Here in Texas we shy away from many flat fees for violates State laws on several of these agencies leaves us agents speak direct with seller, who knows nothing (no offense) does not know how to handle contracts. Majority of time when I see these listings we shy away not wanting to show.

Vs. my group we are Dallas flat fee service hold open houses, speak with agents, and etc. seller is not involved till contracts are presented.

You might want to confirm service offered.

Lynn911
~ National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Lecturer regarding Credit Repair, Mortgage Loan Officer
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2009
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