Her specific claims are easy to answer, and are as follows.
1. Housepad "does no work".
Response: This is a common claim by traditional agents who don't want to offer flat fee MLS listings. Our sellers contract with us to perform specific brokerage functions, subject to state minimum service standards. In Renee's town our standard service rate is currently $199. What's your's Renee? 17,000 + sellers have to date listed with us, and they apparently think we have some value.
2. "Realtors are the ones who are in fact doing all the work."
Response: Our sellers agree to manage the sale for the areas where they have not hired us to do so. Therefore a buyers agent has no more work than normal. In the unusual case where a seller is not cooperating, there normally is a solution once it is reported to us.
3. We are hired to list properties on MLS because our sellers want to offer a commission to the brokerage community to encourage agents to bring their buyers.
4. We offer selling programs where we are compensated either at settlement or on an up front basis.
5. Many of our sellers get signs at Home Depot or Lowes. Currently we offer a sign for $5.
6. In Pennsylvania our agency relationship is a transaction licensee. That means we are a neutral party but still owe duties to sellers as required by the state of Pennsylvania. Our sellers always have the option to switch to seller agency (seller representation).
7. Some of our sellers don't want lockboxes, others already bought them elsewhere, and yes, they have the option to order lockboxes from us.
8. "Housepad could care less if the home owner sells..." Wrongo. Note our pay at settlement option, where we would only get paid if it sells. Note also that we have been doing this since 2003, and wouldn't have 49% more business than at the 2007 market peak if our sellers didn't have a great success rate.
CANCELLATION: Seller may cancel this contract at any time, under the following
conditions. 1) Seller cancellation request must be in writing with all Sellers' signatures. 2) Seller
may not cancel this Contract when an offer has been presented and the Seller has not replied in
writing to the party making the offer. 3) Seller may not cancel this Contract if the Property is
under contract (Sales Agreement). Seller must first reject any offers and/or be released from a
Sales Agreement before the listing is canceled. The intent of this Paragraph is to prevent claims
from cooperating brokers for a due commission not being paid. If Seller requires Broker's
signature and/or letterhead confirming cancelation, Seller agrees to pay a $25 processing fee.
If youâ€™re retired, driven and savvy, and you underprice your property, you might be able to pull this off. You essentially become a one-time real estate agent. As a real estate agent, you are legally, financially, and administratively responsible to sell your property.
>Agents, not buyers, sell properties â€“ we have the properties, the â€œbrick and mortarâ€, experience, mortgage lenders, have a realistic pulse on the market and will tell buyers whether or not that smell in the basement is from 40 years of mildew or just an old towel in the corner. Unless the buyerâ€™s an investor â€“ theyâ€™re not going to trust you know what youâ€™re talking about. When an agent sees Housepad as the listing broker we know we're going to be in for trouble - because we're dealing not with the company - but with a homeowner - who hasn't had one credit hour of education â€“ and thinks what we do is easy and straight forward. Weâ€™re not motivated to show a house that thereâ€™s not a professional on the other side of the transaction to help make it happen.
>Show the property â€“ and Iâ€™m not going to try to scare you with those classic tales â€“ use your common sense â€“ youâ€™re exposing yourself and your property to strangers â€“ your address is out, literally over the entire globe â€“ I recently learned to advise my sellers to remove all medicines (whoâ€™d have thought?): evidently prescription drugs are the new addiction of choice.
>Make sure you donâ€™t get sued â€“ and if you havenâ€™t take the agency course on ethics, discrimination, disclosure, lead paint, property condition â€“ you knowâ€¦. All that stuff that makes attorneys mandatory in the state of New York â€¦. Learn it - because you may not sell your house - you may lose it to a lawsuit.
> Negotiate the sale â€“ all the terms â€“ all the financing â€“ FHA changes their rules, oh, every couple of months â€“ they just changed the terms recently â€“ so keep up.
>Price the property â€“ thatâ€™s another item Housepad refuses to assist you with â€“ Sales training always advises never to own the price of a property â€“ but I tell people what I think â€“ simply put â€“ if youâ€™re doing this alone â€“ price it aggressively - be deadly honest with the condition and location. Or youâ€™ll waste 6 months of hot marketing time.
Oh â€“ another thing â€“ itâ€™s almost impossible to get out of a HOUSEPAD listing â€“ if you hate your local agent â€“ normally theyâ€™ll just let you fire them â€“ I tell people up front â€“ it youâ€™re not happy with the job Iâ€™m doing â€“ weâ€™ll part ways â€“ not a problem.
To some â€“ this sounds like a fun challenge â€“ something to try out and learn and conquer â€“ sort of like Iâ€™m throwing down the gauntlet - showing agents that they're not needed. Again, you may be able to make this happen.
Either way I wish you the best of luck!
1. Meredith Kurz of Re/Max points to the fact that the traffic counts on Remax.com and Realtor.com are higher than Housepad.com. She does not understand that people do not list with Housepad to get on Housepad.com, they list with us to get listed on the MLS and Realtor.com. Remax.com also publishes the public version of the MLS in most zip codes. A zip code can be queried to Remax.com to see if other brokers' listings appear after Re/Max listing results from the MLS.
2. Meredith makes two false statements in saying that "typically Housepad demand(s) a one year listing" and that when a seller cancels with Housepad they are obligated to pay Housepad a commission. Not so. With our pay upfront program (most popular - $289), the listing contracts run up to 6 months. We do not receive a commission, and there is no charge to cancel the listing. Our listing contracts are available for viewing on our website.
3. Anna Bronco implies that Housepad sellers must negotiate directly. Our sellers may certainly do this if they prefer, but they also have the option available to hire an attorney to negotiate on their behalf, or pay us to do so. Whichever option they choose, we have yet to see a case where the total cost came out more than a traditional full service broker's commission.
4. Carol Bromm says that there is extra work for agents to sell a Housepad listing, and for that reason they are less likely to put our listing on the list of properties to show their client. There would only be more work for a selling agent if the seller has failed to manage their responsiblities. Therefore that objection can only be made against a particular seller who has failed to do so. In practice, buyers are the ones who normally make the list of properties to see, because agents have automatic searches for their clients set up on the MLS, which then automatically emails the client the listings matching the criteria. Beyond that, most buyers are also doing their own searches on websites that publish the public version of the MLS.
5. The success of our sellers will largely be determined by the list price and commission rate to the selling broker offered on the listing and selected by the seller. Full service brokers typically lock sellers into a contract of a certain length, which forces a seller to stick it out with the full service broker even if they are not happy, and this bumps up their success rate. Our success rate statistics are posted on ValueMLS.com. Buyers decide how much to offer based on what other choices are available to them, not the name on the real estate sign or the broker's market share. We also offer a pay at settlement program for sellers who are concerned that the house will not sell.
As a Realtor who has spent time, gas and money driving around subdivisions scouting for FSBO's for a buyer who has to live in a certain community...I welcome the help HousePads offers.
Realtors get business by offering professional representation in a real estate transaction. We maintain our business by providing excellence in customer service. Our repeat and referral clients believe that our level of service and the experience we provide to them during the transaction are well worth the money spent.
Submitting an offer for a buyer on a listing from HousePads gives me an automatic "in the door" to the homeowner. I see that as another opportunity!
never NEVER had an real estate agent sell one of my homes. I have owned over 32 homes (24 of
them were rental units - the rest my personal home, two vacation homes). No one ever addresses the
very real, very strong market of buyers who - for what ever reason - will not deal with agents.
I have sold to gay couples that were insulted by agents, a J C Penny executive that was ignored by
agents, an obese women who was shunned by an agent and the women I sold to in Kansas City, Mo.whose husband was murdered and she was on TV speaking her mind. Agents refused to work
with her and told her what they thought of her. When she saw my for rent sign she demanded I sell her the house even before she saw it. She just passed here recently, still living in the house I sold her 20 years ago.
If agents do not want to show my house because I use Housepad - they then prove how unprofessional they truly are. If you are not meeting your clients' needs but fanning your ego . . the more FSBO buyers you are creating for me. Banks qualify buyers, clients find the homes on the internet, the closing company does the paperwork, the inspectors know more than any agent does by "smell" alone and no one stops a buyer from obtaining legal advise. and don't forget title insurance. If a real estate agent does not want to make $10,000 for opening a door - really, no one can help them. I have had agents refuse to show my house because they are unable to work a 4 number combo lock - maybe that is the real problem - not enough experience and confidence on their part. The bottom line is - get the buyer what they want, don't involve your short comings and
inability to take a decent photo - really agents, put the toilet lids down, don't photograph the Christmas tree or a close up of the food in the pantry.
Agents get a bad rap - and sometimes deservedly so - but most times not -
We need to provide the public with cold hard facts because it's in their best interest - the very best of luck to you out there in Babylon - great place to grab a bite to eat!
Meredith Kurz LSA CBR CHMS EPRO
Click on the link below and then, to do a comparison, choose realtor.com and/or Remax.com or some other real estate website to get a little clue about what we're talking about here.
Seeing is believing.
THANK YOU FOR THAT. That clause caused me to lose my home, $20k of my parents money, and $40k of my life-earned cash. It was my attempt to be completely debt free and own my own home.
I WILL ONLY USE HOUSEPAD, a good closing LAWYER that I pay for to represent me, at a title company that I have researched! I suggest all homeowners and prosepective buyers do the same!
who finds the home? YOU
who sticks their hand in the pot as it slides across the table? the realtor!
oh, and if it comes to selling, [housepads part primarily] do the same thing in reverse! ...attorney at tile co,
Lets get the word out!
What a horrible experience from beginning to end.. They are so misleading and ypu cannot contact anyone to complain to after your money ispaid to them. I talked to an ingnoramous called Bob who was so unprofessional, I'm sure he had to be temp. help. My story is too long and not worth repeating save it be to protect any or all who may stumble onto this phony web site with a lot of promises and no follow-up! Please rethink outside the box before subjecting yourself to paying for their service , because what you get in return is pure frustration.Try Zillow instead. It is free and quite effective. I had 5 or 6 hits from Housepad and 1100 hits from Zillow. This is my goal , to warn all to stay clear of any transaction with this company. Let the buyer beware!!!
We enjoy reading and saving your comments. Please keep em coming!
The REALTORS at our company are Ken and Ryan Gehris. That would make your statement that we are "'non' Realtors" untrue. That being said, state laws prohibit nonlicensed individuals from practicing real estate brokerage, so an individual may be licensed by a state to practice real estate but not be a member of the National Association of REALTORS. NAR also requires that all letters in REALTORS be capitalized, as it is trademarked, though they would probably forgive us for not putting the (R) behind it due to limited formating options here.
You write "Realtors (REALTORS) are selling your customers homes." Right, that's the point of listing in the MLS. In the MLS when we mark a listing sold, the MLS collects data as to both who the listing agent and selling agent are. When we list a property, we are the listing agent. The agent who brings the buyer is the selling agent. Both get credit for the sale. MLS 101.
You object to us only allowing sellers to offer a commission in the MLS of 1 - 4%. You are right that it is not regulated or fixed by the state. That is why we also say on the same page "By law commissions are negotiable and are not fixed by any state or federal law." Every broker has the right to decline to sign a listing contract if they feel the commission rate is either too high or too low.
Of your 3% fee, how much of that do you offer to cooperating brokers in the MLS (if any)? Does that also include the "transaction fee" or "broker service fee"? How much are they running these days?
First of all, my name is spelled Porsia.
Did I hit a nerve?
I am merely answering this question which is titled agent vs. housepad.
Realtors are doing the work because "non" Realtors are not allowed to have any involvement in real estate transactions. You can check with the real estate commission if you would like. If Housepad is listing properties and selling them please let me know. Otherwise, my statement is true that Housepad doesn't do any work, Realtors do.
Housepad is not having the success that you write about. Realtors are selling your customer's homes. Housepad can't take credit for the sale if Housepad didn't sell it. Maybe I should contact the real estate commission here in Pennsylvania to ask that question. I think that telling consumers that Housepad is the one who is selling the homes is misleading. I think this falls under Article 2.
Also, on your site it says "If you want the lowest rate, our Pay-Upfront program is the way to go, and our most popular program. You can pick and choose the options you want from all the available choices. With this option you are free to set the commission rate offered in the MLS anywhere between 1% and 4%." I don't know how you can have that on your site when there is no fixed fee that sellers must pay to Realtors. A seller can offer out whatever they want. If a seller wants to offer out 1% or 85% that is up to them. You can't tell sellers that they must offer out up to 4%. It's not regulated by the State.
You asked me what my fee is. My fee to my clients is 3%. I do not take any money up front. If I sell their home, I get paid. If I don't then I don't get paid. I work for my clients. I fight for my clients and most importantly, I protect my clients. I value what I do because I am an expert in my profession. Charging someone $199 to pass on their information to someone else to put into the MLS seems like a lot of money to me. It's funny because for sale by owners don't want to pay a fee to a Realtor AFTER their home sells because they feel it's too much money and the Realtor does a lot of work however they don't mind paying an upfront fee to someone who isn't really doing anything for them..
Getting defensive just because someone challenges your model doesn't make you look so good. If your service is so valuable, why not show us instead of threatening people?
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office
Housepad charges an up front fee. Realtors do not.
Housepad charges for for sale signs. Realtors do not.
Housepad DOES NOT represent (or protect) the home owner. Realtors do.
Housepad charges for lockboxes. Realtors do not.
Housepad could care less if the home owner sells their home or not because they get paid up front. Realtors do care if the home sells because the Realtor does not get paid unless the home sells. Realtors do not charge up front fees.
I figured this would get the ball rolling.
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office ask for Renee
If it was a magnificent, all inclusive fabulous solution, we'd all be working at Housepad-ish companies. However major franchises own Long Island at this moment in time and Housepad is a grain of sand on Realty Beach.
Americans have a strong, frugal â€œI can do itâ€ attitude â€“ great when it comes to figuring out how to fix a leak under the sink, grieving your taxes or changing the oil in your car. In this economy we need to draw from our Depression Era roots and make do or do without. However, an average property in this area sells for close to Half A Million Dollars or more. I canâ€™t CONCEIVE of risking that asset on a Craigslist level transaction.
If you price your house really low â€“ which is a quick way to get rid of any house â€“ and you know absolutely everything about New York State Law â€“ like youâ€™re a lawyer and mortgage broker rolled into one â€“ you have lots of real estate agent friends â€“ and lots of time to market and show your house and negotiate as well as getting ready to move out â€“ then something like Housepadâ€™s for you.
When it comes to professional tasks - like managing my stock portfolio, or getting a heart transplant, or selling off my Number One Asset - I'm going to hire an experienced professional.
I think thereâ€™s a misconception about real estate agents weâ€™re partially responsible for â€“ we donâ€™t communicate the number of hours of ongoing education many of us earn â€“ we donâ€™t break down our investments in marketing, research, and administration to the public. The part-time, uneducated, lackadaisical agent is a relic.
Meredith C. Kurz LSA CBR CHMS EPRO
REMAX Signature Real Estate
Actually, housepad, I have found that putting deals together with unrepresented sellers is, in fact, more work than if they had their own agent that I could work through.
I've said it before: life is short, and if people want to play real estate agent, well, it won't stop the world from spinning 'round. But they're not professionals, they often do not behave in even a semi-professional manner, and the burden of keeping the transaction together is not shared by the listing broker.
Century 21 Princeton Properties
your pocket probably will be less than if you listed with a full time agent from a recognized firm.
I've attached a list of all the properties that Housepad listed for the whole year - with full addresses.
1. Out of 53 properties FIFTEEN homeowners broke off with Housepad prior to end of contract. They are STILL OBLIGATED to pay Housepad - typically Housepad demands a one year listing. This means if you hate them because they've done nothing for the first three months - you can do what's called a withdrawal/release, but you're still obligated to pay them should you sell your home for the entire length of the original contract.
2. 12 properties sold in one year for the ENTIRE SUFFOLK COUNTY - one of them is in your zipcode - that's one entire year - one house - lousy, lousy stats there. Companies like RE/MAX have sold literally thousands within the same time period.
3. 6 of the properties NEVER SOLD under Housepad - that's over 10% - so now you have 38% failure rate - impressive
4. Houses that did sell sold for less than the average percentage across Suffolk - and they were on the market for a longer period of time.
You have a ONE IN THREE CHANCE of selling our home with Housepad - and if you do sell,m it will take you longer and you'll get less money in your pocket.
You may not choose me as your agent, or REMAX as your company but in a declining market you need a larger, recognized firm because
a) they have more agents motivated to to see and sell your property,
b) their hours of operation are typically 7 days a week 9 hours a day - they have the staff to handle calls, coordinate showings, advertise more on the internet at multiple sites - and handle any legal issues that can and do arise.
The very best of luck to you!