I wish I COULD say yes, but I'd never be able to pay the bills that way. Probably 3-4 sellers/buyers out of 20 would seek services that way.
Redfin is a completely different business model. The "agents" are actually employees of Redfin and get paid when they do something, like attend a home inspection or hold an open house or write an offer. If more buyers and sellers were willing to do that, it'd be great. (But Ridfin just laid off a bunch of people last year, so it makes me wonder if it's putting food on the table for those agents.)
But the reality is that most people don't want pay as they go. I work with clients for months at a time, I can do dozens of showings, open houses, offers, etc and if they decide not to buy or sell, I don't make a cent. It's a huge risk on our part. The decent payoff at the end is what makes it all worth it. (Sometimes.)
Trust me, 80% of agents would LOVE to be paid for the services they provide, instead of getting screwed over all of the time. Just like a home inspector gets paid for the inspection, whether or not the buyer ultimately buys the house.
But iIt's not US holding things up - it's all of your peers who don't want to take the risk of paying for services that might not result in a sale. They want us to take all of the risk and only get paid if the house sells or they buy something. It has nothing to do with "full service" vs. "limited service."
How many buyers would be willing to pay for all of the time we spend showing them houses, attending inspections, our time going back and forth on phone calls and all? How do you charge for knowledge and expertise? Filling out the offer paperwork maybe takes 1-2 hours, but HOW that paperwork gets filled out takes knowledge and experience - that is hard to price.
Anyhow, there are fee-for-service companies in Milwaukee. Assist-to-Sell has been around for years. But more people go to traditional brokers, because they don't like taking the risk and paying as they go. Otherwise, why hasn't Assist-to-Sell taken over the real estate market? Why don't more people use all of the limited service and MLS-only companies in the area?
The only way for change:
1. Buyers have to pay for their own services as rendered and lenders would have to allow them to roll the costs into the closing.
2. Sellers have to be willing to pay-as-they-go, as services are rendered and pay premium prices for more experienced agents and superior service.
3. The state would have to limit agent liability. If we take a client, we have HUGE liability to protect them. If a client says "I just want a sign, MLS and web exposure," agents would have to be protected from those clients from suing us because we didn't jump in and protect their interests, while they were trying to save money, by not choosing to buy the "negotiating" package.
I see this all of the time with FSBOs. They don't want to hire an agent, but as soon as I become involved with my buyer client, they expect me to start helping THEM. And often I have to jump in, because I see them making huge mistakes that could affect my actual client, the buyers. That is a HUGE liability for me and I'm not even getting paid for it by the person I'm helping! So, what do we do when a seller hires us to take pictures, but we get there and see a horribly staged and overpriced house? They didn't hire us to stage and price, so, what is our obligation then? And we don't really care if the house sells, because we get paid for our services we actually got hired for. There was a reason why the "success fee" system got started - clients wanted agents to have a vested interest in the house actually SELLING.
If buyers and sellers were flocking in droves to fee-for-service companies and demanding that kind of service over traditional brokerage, causing traditional brokerages to lose market share, the system would change REALLY fast. Not only that, the less competent agents would get weeded out, consumers would be less capricious with agent's time (only SERIOUS buyers and sellers) allowing agents to handle more transactions. But MOST consumers don't want the alternative to the current structure.
I know a broker who offers both kinds of services to clients, fee-for-service and success fee by commission. He says the fee-for-services would cost the client FAR less, but people OVERWHELMINGLY chose the success fee, because it was less risk to them and didn't cost them anything upfront. Consequently, most of his income is from commissions, not fee-for-service.
Like I said, I would LOVE to get paid for what I actually do and not do a lot of work that I'm often not compensated for at all. Most agents HATE the way things work now, too. Sometimes I wish commissions would be outlawed and we were all forced to charge for services and consumers had to actually pay us for our work - it's the only way I can see it happening!
But it's not NAR keeping the status quo, it's your fellow consumers!