Talk Now, Other/Just Looking in Atlantic Coast

I want a realtor to represent me, but I want to do my own marketing. How much discount should I get?

Asked by Talk Now, Atlantic Coast Wed Oct 17, 2007

I can produce better marketing materials, and want to do this myself. I know I need a realtor to put me in MLS, and I do want a realtor to help me through understanding the steps of the sale. How do I find a realtor to work with me on my terms, and how much discount should I get?

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Your representation by a Realtor will include marketing, industry knowledge (the ins and outs of the process, title, inspections, etc.), local market knowledge (your competition and trends), probem solving abilities, contacts, negotiation skills, presentation skills, organization and follow through.

Yes, marketing is a very important component. But, really, what you are paying for is the package bundled together that make a great Realtor.

As far as marketing, are you talking about print or online. By far, buyers are on the internet in search of property. Unless you are deeply in tune to the industry, it will be easy for you to miss some of the best opportunities. If you request your Realtor to review all these potential opptys with you, the time investment for both of you may supercede that which is productive for either. Many agents have broker support that helps them with many online placements. Your agent will not be able to restructure the broker portion of the commission split, since it is under a contractual arrangement. For example, our company feeds all listings to Trulia for all of our agents. This is an automated process managed internally by staff. It would be more costly and time consuming for us to pull your lisitng from data feeds than it is to include it. And, Trulia, for example would not be availabe for you to upload directly.

I understand that your intentions are good. You want to play an active role and you have confidence in your own ability to build marketing materials. I don't doubt that you might be talented in that arena. Perhpas you could draft some descriptions for your propery that might help in the copy writing. A side note here is that I have seen several violations of fair housing laws in brohcures made by FSBOs. By working with your Realtor, you skills in graphics, marketing, or copy writing might make for a winning team.

If you were considering investing in print ads and paying these out of pocket in lieu of a reduced fee with the Broker, I would advise you to save your money on the print ads.

With absolutely not an ounce of disrespect intended, the help that you could lend on marketing represents only a minor part of the total marekting. For example, networking with other brokers is a value that cannot be replicated. The websites that must be accessed by Realtors, the review for compliance w/ fair housing.

You can certainly discuss w/ propsective Reatlors their willingness to offer any discount for your contributions to the marketing efforts. Don't be offended if the discount is somewhat minor. There is so much that a Realtor does that goes on behind the scenes. It is reasonable that you would not be aware of this.

Perhaps a Realtor might grant you a disocunt. In closing, don't pass on a great Realtor if that person is really the best for the job. Look at the big picture and what you stand to gain or lose.

Best of luck!
3 votes
Talk Now, , Atlantic Coast
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Talk Now here........I am not looking for a discount service. I have looked at numerous brochures at open houses and listings online. The quality of presentation is very poor. Pictures are out of focus and unbalanced. Descriptions often appear to have been written in 5 minutes. As a hobbyist artist and photographer, my work puts most of what I see that is created by realtors to shame.

Richard, It is a joke that so many realtors are willing to put out the material they do and call themselves professionals.

Jim, Cleaning my home is my job. Making quality marketing materials is the realtor’s job. I did not ask for a discount for cleaning. I expect to spend several hours shooting pictures and writing copy. That will save the realtor time and is worth something. If it does not save them time, it still means I am doing part of what they should have done for a full service fee.

Cindi, I have plenty of time. I have no problem leaving final approval and placement in the hands of the realtor.

Pam, I want full service and I want quality marketing.

Deborah, From your description, you do not have time to invest in producing quality marketing materials because of all the other hats you wear. This would make me think that my proposal would be well received. You made points I had not considered.

Keith, I am insulted that you call me naive or ignorant. What is more disappointing is that your colleagues gave you praise for your answer.

Pierre, See response to Deborah. You are runner up.

Michael, See response to Pam.

Denise, Most likeable

Patrick, I will blame the realtor, the market and myself if it does not sell. After reading all the responses here, I am planning on seeking a discount of $600. I will create and print all of the brochures, and do any layouts for print ads. I will give the realtor all the photos and copy on a disk.
3 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Talk Now, or forever hold your peace!
Let me ask you: I want to hire an attorney to represent me in a court of law, but I want to structure my own defense\!
Or, I am going to hire a CPA to do my tax return, but when the IRS comes a calling, I want to manage the response.
Make sense?
I want to be straight with you: If all iit took to sell a home was to put it in the MLS and print flyers and upload info to the web...anyone could "do real estate".
You are either naive or ignorant. Both could be helped with some time talking with experts (they are called Realtors) who might be able to help you understand their role (if your mind is open).

It's like asking for a ferry pilot to fly your plane....I just want someone to handle the takeofffs and landings...I'll do the flying.

Anyone can sell a house, if the price is's closing escrow that counts...and that takes experience, skill, and a desire to win.

Good luck!
2 votes
Denise Stuart, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Oct 23, 2007
Awe Thanks, I am obsessive about the flyers I use, I know what you are saying about poor quality.
Good Luck,
Denise Stuart
1 vote
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Fri Oct 19, 2007
Talk Now, I gave you a thumbs up for your question and your response.

I apologize on behalf of Keith and Richard, and I regret that you perceived that I was also being disrespectful and rude. That was not my intention. I was honestly conveying my thoughts on your question of how I would personally handle such a request.

That thought was that I would be willing to re-imburse for out of pocket expenses. I apologize for thinking out loud about cleaning and mowing. -- I have had to do a lot cleaning and mowing (or paying someone else to do it) in my career for sellers who did not care to contribute any effort at all into selling.

It is a pleasure and a privilege when a seller really wants to contribute positively to the presentation of a home.

I agree with you that many agents present some substandard marketing materials, with fuzzy pictures, bad grammar, misspelled words, and sloppy brochure layout.

I posted a few months back about the hilarious descriptions of Naughty Pine Paneling (instead of knotty pine) and "Coy Fish Ponds" (instead of Koi Fish). I did a statistical anlayisis of MLS listings and found that those two misspellings were more prevalent than the correct ones.

Just as most drivers believe that they are better than average drivers, I think most Realtors believe they are better than average copywriters. I think that my property brochures are better than the averge agent prepared brochure, and better than the "free" design service offered by my lenders and my title companies. While I can pay an artist such as yourself $99 to produce a custom brochure, that expense for producing an incrementally better brochure is not justified on median priced and lower cost homes. the $99 is better spent on postage for additional mailings of the brochure.

Your quoted $600 design fee is a level approaching what I would expect to pay a graphic artist to build marketing materials on a million dollar plus home, or a small subdivision. While your level of artistry would be impressive for a median priced home , it is a little bit like putting a $6,000 stereo system into a Toyota Camry.
1 vote
Ruthless, , 60558
Fri Oct 19, 2007
Talk Now:
Bravo on your retort to the agent responses. I had been heavily marketing my house during the rehab process with a detailed website. It kept growing and changing as the project progressed and the purpose was to get it seachable. One agent I interviewed specifically told me that I would have to shut it down and that a previous client that wanted to do his own marketing, hurt the reputation of her company. A different agent that I hired had great marketing in the presentation but when I turned the entire job over to her, the product was inferior to the presentation and had errors such as Corian counters instead of granite. After correcting the marketing and adding all of the marketing features, another agent held an open house and didn't use any of the material.

I understand the "hurting of reputation" but it works both ways. MY agent hurt the reputation of my home. I will tell you though, trying to write an excellent description and only use 300 characters and not use the word kids or family is extremely difficult. Yes, you want a Realtor who will work with you. However, I don't know that you will necessarily receive a discount because sometimes it will require more time and the agencies do have volume discounts.

Another Realtor told me that they have to be "fair" to all their clients and offer the same marketing to the $200k house as the $2mil house. One of the advantageous I have repeatedly seen when I was a FSBO verses using a Realtor is that as a FSBO I do not deal with all the red-tape BS fear that the agency and government saddle the agents with. Yes, I have laws to follow as a FSBO too, but the agencies have to CYA and error on the side of caution even if it goes against common sense.

Common sense would tell you that you should receive a discount for doing some of the agent's work. The reality might not be the same though.
Good luck,

Take a look at this post:…
I can't believe I receive 3 thumbs down for asking a question that the National Association of Realtor's and agents disagree on the use of the term "family room".
Web Reference:
1 vote
Dena Parker…, , Tennessee
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Some agents may be willing to work on a fee for services basis where you hire them to perform certain tasks. It is not the same as hiring a full service agent where they should be expert marketers among other things. So it most likely wouldn't be a discounted commission, but rather a limited list of things the Realtor is willing to do for a flat fee, leaving the rest up to you. I doubt a full service agent would charge a discounted commission and do everything except the marketing, but I'd ask about fee for services if you are comfortable enough and have the time to do much of the legwork on your own. Just make sure you are clear on what your responsibility will be because it will most likely be a lot.
Web Reference:
1 vote
Pierre Calza…, Other Pro,
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Here is a calculation to consider:

Design Worth:
Pre-Approving buyers:
Staging the home:
Gathering Local market Data for positioning:
Coordinating Showings (X2 for cancelled appointments)
Answering e-mails of prospective buyers:
Ensuring integrity of house data and various websites:
Negotiating Terms and conditions:
Coordinating inspections:
Working with attorneys: priceless (lol)
Keeping you informed every step of the transaction: truly priceless
No surprises: even more priceless
X Years of experience:
X years of Market Knowledge:
X years of buyers/investors numbers at their fingertips:
10-12% higher selling price due to broker representation:


Realtor - Design worth = Balance of commission you should pay
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Yes, get some referrals from friends and associates. If they haven't used a realtor go to your local title company and see who they represent. Often I've had clients who really like to be involved in the entire process including marketing input. This is very important to discuss up front with your realtors. When you choose a realtor, you will want to consider if you trust them, like them, and they are familiar with the area you are selling in. And finally, commissions are all negotiable. Some give full service with full price, some full price and no service, and some limited price and limited service.
Have an Amazing Experience!
Terri Vellios
Asante Real Estate
Web Reference:
1 vote
Denise Stuart, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Call me, Just kidding, I don't even kwow if you are in my area.
Marketing is something so different in all the different companies, some companies only use there own materials. I would just interview a few different agents to find out about how they feel about it and go from there. You do know that with Selling your home it only goes by the Realtor you choose on how much they put twords print advertisment. I would get referrals from someone who loved their agent and go from there.
Let the Realtor know up front so they do not try to sell you on their advertising.
Oh and have a rough draft of what you intend to do so they can see that you are on the right track.
Good Luck, hope this helps!
Denise Stuart
Coldwell Banker
Web Reference:
1 vote
Betty Byrnes, , Kokomo, IN
Mon Oct 29, 2007
Talk Now -

If you are in the Central Indiana area, I would be more than happy to talk with you about getting your house sold - on mutually agreeable terms. Producing marketing materials is a "functionary" task just like measuring rooms, putting a lock box on and putting a sign in front of your house. You want to do some of the functionary tasks - great!

You want and need a REALTOR for the "fiduciary responsibilities" - taking you from consultation to listing to closing. As an Accredited Consultant in Real Estate (ACRE) I have gone through extensive training in providing consumers choices in the services they receive and choices in how they pay for those services.

For more information about this consulting model you can visit my website at:

If you aren't in Central Indiana, you can contact me and I will refer you to an ACRE(tm) in your area.

I wish you the best,
Betty Byrnes
0 votes
Elizabeth Bu…, Agent, Englewood, FL
Fri Oct 19, 2007
You need to go to a
Real Estate Company in the area that does fabulous marketing and has a presence in the market. You can assist the agent in marketing and there should be no discount. You need the agent to protect you in all phases of representation. It is like going to Dinner and leaving before dessert. Take all pieces of the Real Estates agents knowledge.
0 votes
Richard M. J…, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Talk Now, not every Realtor is the same. Try looking for a good one you'll be proud of.
0 votes
Raquel Zapata, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Talk to them and tell them what you want. If you can agree to list your home at a $ amount that is just right. Not overpriced and your home is well kept etc...
I dont see why a Realtor would not jump for you to do the marketing. Remember if you put the agents/broker information on your marketing materials. You have to go by the rules and regulations so no one gets a fine. If your home is in Florida call me.
Good Luck!

Raquel Zapata-Gonzalez
Licensed Real Estate Consultant
Cell: 813-294-7264
Fax: 813-655-1878
0 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Hello Talk Now -

Wish you are in my area - I take pride in the pictures I take - yes, I take them, and I am the Realtor, I know my houses, and I know what are the best features of my houses, and I showcase them. I am also extremely picky about the marketing material I put out, from the fliers to single address website to MLS picture, virtual tour, etc. I can take hundreds of pictures to pick out a few to use, and I photoshop.

So, if you are around here, come and take a look at what I do. And, yes, I know a few others who give great presentation of what they do for their clients.

So, have faith, if you search a bit more, get referrals; you will find the quality, full service realtor you deserve and you won't feel bad about paying them the fee they deserve.

0 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Talk Now, I totally concur with your take on some of the marketing materials, or lack of, I've seen put out by my fellow brethren. I don't do marketing materials as this is NOT my expertise. I use a virtual tour company,, as not only do they provide a fabulous virtual tour but provide high def photos plus custom brochures all in one package. I also use Point2 agent as a site to market my properties and they in turn allow me to develop superb brochures. These are jobs for my assistant. I don't know what your list price will be but a discount of $600.00, even on a $150,000 sales price, is a 13% discount on the Listing side, assuming a 3% to the listing agent . That's a pretty hefty fee for "Marketing Materials". Now if you wish to take over ALL of the marketing and pay for it then I would be glad to sit down and chat with such a Seller.
0 votes
Pierre Calza…, Other Pro,
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Talk now - very cool. I like seeing an educated and concerned consumer. Good luck in your process! I hope you hire the right Realtor to reach a successful transaction, where everyone is smiling - as Scott Einbinder would say!
0 votes
Jan Wood, , Gallatin, TN
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Advertising a property for sale ultimately falls back on the broker/listing agent. There are strict rules in existence for advertising properties for sale. If you enter into an agreement with a listing agent to sell your home, they MUST approve any marketing materials before it is sent to print. Real estate licensees must avoid violating both Federal, State and their firm's marketing requirements. No exception to the rules...
0 votes
Richard M. J…, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Talk Now, is this a joke. Do yourself a favor and hire a local professional. If you can produce better marketing material then work with your agent to get it done. I you tell your dentist you can clean your teeth better than him? Give me a break!!!!
0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
The flyer design services that are available to me run from the price of free up to about $99.
color copies cost about $37 per hundred. - I would rebate justifiable marketing and advertising expenses paid for by my client out of their own pocket back to them at the close of escrow. I would not rebate the client for their time or labor.

I don't pay clients to clean their homes or mow their own lawns. I don't think I would pay a client for their labor contributions to getting their home sold.
0 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Sounds as if you are looking at menu marketing and at a discount. Marketing and follow up is an integral part of the process of getting your home sold. Please remember the Realtor that represents you has all the liability including the marketing of your home.
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007 you'll also negotiate your own volume discounts for marketing your home on
the various internet sites, radio, television, newpaper, print and magazines that your Realtor will use?

You'll also approve all copy, juggle muliple phone calls from all of the media sites, adjust your schedule to meet all deadlines and deliver materials to the various places on time? Will you also be fielding all of the phone calls you'll be getting (at all hours of the day and night!) for this material?

It's still our license on the line. We are still responsible for anything that goes out with our name on it. I doubt you'll have time to study up on the numerous state laws and code of ethics violations that we get fined for if there is missing or misleading information. I would most likely turn down the listing.It would ultimately be more work for me.

But...thats just me. There are a lot of agents that will work at a discount and give you what you think you want.

Good luck with your sale!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jan Wood, , Gallatin, TN
Wed Oct 17, 2007
I see you want on the Atlantic coast... that's a big area. I know a few realtors who may be able to help you on a fee basis depending on what area.
0 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2007
There are fee for service companies which would be a good fit for you. Some have a list or "menu" of items which you can pick and pay for. But you may wish to sit down with some Realtors and see what they offer in the way of "marketing". Your comments regarding producing superior marketing materials and wanting to have a Realtor work with you on "my terms" is a red flag to many. Producing better marketing materials is not the same at producing RESULTS! We all work with our clients on mutually agreed upon terms. I'm not a "yes man or a yes mame" so perhaps setting boundaries to the relaionship and defining everyone's duties will go far at your initial meeting. When you begin the whole process based on price only, you are sacraficing quality and talent. All marketplaces will pay dearly for those that get it done! Remember, in this market 95% of marketing is when you sit down and talk PRICE!! Don't for one second think superior marketing is going to get a relunctant buyer to pay more for your house.
0 votes
Mr.P, , Arizona
Wed Oct 17, 2007
Who are you going to blame if the house doesn`t sell?
How much of a discount do you want?
0 votes
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