Brokerage Choice: Full service, Discount, FSBO, Whats right for me.

Asked by Anth James, 02116 Mon May 14, 2007

Well, I know whats right for me...but I want to know what is right for you? If you are looking to buy or sell a new home soon what are you considering? Redfin maybe? Another discount model? How about a real estate company that lets you decide and offers different levels of services? Would that be of interest to you?

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10
Trulia Roger, Home Buyer, Alameda, CA
Tue May 15, 2007
I went with an agent when I sold my place and wouldn't even dream of not using an agent next time. Assume your house sells for $200K and your agent's commission is $6K. By the time you factor in all the expertise, the negotiating acumen, the advertising costs (in the paper, etc), the time spent at open homes, the leg work, the cell phone bill, the broker's cut, the endless faxing, and the progress reports, all of which you get from a good agent, there isn't much left in the way of net profit for the agent. I have no problem paying an agent for quality services. I don't have the time or expertise to sell my own home myself. Another factor to consider is that a good, experienced, professional agent is pretty darn likely to get you 3% more than you would get by negotiating yourself, if only because FSBOing your home takes a lot of energy, and in a slow market you might just be worn down enough by too many dead-end offers and escrow failures you might just let your buyer get away with a lower price or higher concessions just to get the property sold. Your agent doesn't have that kind of emotional involvement with your property, so the odds are pretty good his or her services simply pay for themselves with a higher sale price and you get all their work for free on top of that.
2 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Thu Oct 4, 2007
Boston Broker. I agree that real estate is not easy and that's why real estate agents are not overpaid. I don't agree with your statement that online brokerages have an advantage. I don't know of a real estate brokerage that is not online these days and if there are any, they definitely would be at a disadvantage. Being online is nothing special these days and it's therefore hardly an advantage.
Web Reference:  http://www.go2kw.com
1 vote
Roberta Murp…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Mon May 14, 2007
What's right for a buyer or seller depends upon the level of service they want--especially the sellers of real estate. In that case, we offer a calibrated scale of service which seems to work fairly well. Much depends upon how aggressive the seller wants to be--and how soon they need to sell.
1 vote
California M…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Mon May 14, 2007
Great question. Schwab asked that of investors in the 70s and grew their business into a behemoth based on a discount, no-frills, no advice approach. However, as they grew, the market demanded that Schwab offer financial planning advice and they morphed into a full-service firm.
Web Reference:  http://brian-brady.com
1 vote
Eric Mabo, , Atlanta, GA
Tue Dec 18, 2007
You want to chose an agent with a strong online presence, meaning one whose website is on the first page of the search engines when people search for homes in your area. Just owning a website is nothing special nowadays. It's just like owning a brochure for your company. You need to market your online brochure - website well.
0 votes
Jeff Bowen, Agent, Chelsea, MA
Thu Oct 4, 2007
I think the online brokerages have an advantage because the business model is based off of the internet. Also, all the information that a person needs to find a home is on the net. The easy part is finding the house. The hard part is working the deal with the Attorney's, Banks, Loan Officers, Home Inspectors, Appraisers, Movers,Agents Contracts, Laws and the whole process. Real Estate is not easy and that is why Good Agents will always be needed and in demand. Agents add so much value to a transaction because they help people buy and sell on a constant basis and the average person buys 1 -2 houses in their lifetime.... What do you think?
0 votes
Anth James, , 02116
Thu Jun 28, 2007
Thanks everyone for your input. We actually just launched our Boston based real estate services that include: CHOICE! We are only doing buy side right now and we are referring all of our sell side to local full service agents. Check us out @
Web Reference:  http://anthjames.com
0 votes
Anth James, , 02116
Wed May 16, 2007
Hey Thanks Yall, all great answers. I love Trulia Voices!
Web Reference:  http://anthjames.com
0 votes
Lenore and A…, Agent, Vista, CA
Wed May 16, 2007
I think it depends on what state you live in. If you are in California you truly need someone to walk you through the minefield. The average disclosure package on a single family house is almost 150 pages. You need someone to protect you from possible litigation. If you're an attorney, go FISBO, if you think you can do it without much help go to Redfin. If you want someone who has experience working with buyers and sellers use an experienced Realtor that you have had referred to you by friends and/or family.
0 votes
Pierre Calza…, Other Pro,
Mon May 14, 2007
Well that is the ultimate question is it not? The beauty is that the consumer has choices: Full-Service, Discount, FSBO, or Menu - a la carte real estate, they are all made to suit different sellers and their needs. You only need to look at the automotive industry or even travel to draw the parallels. You can buy a Mercedes, fully loaded, pick your package or a toyota scion xB where you can even pick the shifter, radio, and floormats. In travel, agents still exist, as do high end tour companies that offer safaris. This is the beauty of america, the option of choice. So whatever model the seller wants, whatever level of service or expertise they require. They can find.
0 votes
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