Today, when money is so tight, more and more home sellers are looking for a way to save, especially by reducing or eliminating agent commissions. To that end, some sellers are choosing the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) option (though this isn’t recommended for first-time sellers) while others are using a flat fee real estate agent. This latter option, though, isn’t something a lot of people know about. So here’s an examination of the pros and cons of using a flat fee real estate agent in Los Angeles.
Overview of Flat Fee Real Estate Agent
As we mentioned, increasingly more home sellers are wanting to get out from under the typical 6% agent commission. And one way they are doing this is with a flat fee agent. But what exactly is that?
As the name suggests, flat fee agents charge a flat (set) fee for their services rather than a commission based on a percentage of the purchase price – a fee that ranges from 3% to 6%, but usually around 6%. Although you don’t get as many services as with a traditional real estate agent, there are still several pros to using a flat fee real estate agent in Los Angeles.
Pros of Using a Flat Fee Real Estate Agent in Los Angeles
Using a flat fee real estate agent in Los Angeles means that you’ll pay less. “The number one reason home sellers choose a flat-fee real estate service is that it can be significantly less expensive,” and they still get access to the MLS.
Another advantage of using a flat fee real estate agent in Los Angeles is that you aren’t locked in and can move on if you want. “When you sign on with a full-service real estate agent,” industry insiders explain, “you agree to certain terms and conditions. You are locked into an agreement until your home sells, or you or your agent determines the relationship is no longer in your best interests. With a flat-fee broker, however, once you pay the fee, you are free to go whenever you want. If you go the pay-per-day route, you will likely be committed to paying only for the current month.”
PAYMENT FOR WHAT YOU NEED
With a traditional real estate agent, you are paying for a whole suite of comprehensive services. But you may not want or need all those services. When you use a flat fee agent, though, you won’t be paying a bunch of money for services you don’t need.
“With a flat-rate broker, however, you may be able to choose the services on which you need assistance and which you believe you can tackle yourself. In this way, you are tailoring the services to your needs and not paying for things you may not want, such as an open house.”
You will also have more control over the whole selling process. “From pricing your home and scheduling showings to determining if you want an open house and negotiating a deal and inspections, when you sell your home on your own or with limited agent support, you make up your own rules.”
Cons of Using a Flat Fee Real Estate Agent in Los Angeles
There are really only two cons, but they are big ones.
What can be a pro is also a major con when you use flat fee real estate agent. And that is the fact that, although saving money, you get far fewer services. Basically, all you get for your fee is an MLS listing.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it depends on your selling circumstances and goals.
“Are you familiar with the old saying, you get what you pay for? When it comes to selling a house, that phrase can sometimes hold true. Such is the case in working with a flat-fee broker. You’ll pay quite a bit less than you would if you worked with a traditional agent, and you’ll also get fewer services. So is it a good value? That simply depends on your goals, and the amount of work you’re willing to put in on your own.”
Using a flat fee real estate agent in Los Angeles also means that you’ll have to do a lot more work. You will have to handle all the pricing, marketing, showing, negotiating, and closing tasks that a traditional agent would typically take care of for you.
And you’ll have the work of deciding whether a flat fee agent is right for you. If you want to and have the ability to handle all those tasks in the selling process, then a flat fee agent may be right for you Still, you have to carefully weigh all the pros and cons, and decide which is the best course.
Don’t Shortchange Yourself
Is using a flat fee real estate agent in Los Angeles right for you? The answer to that question is, of course, “It depends.” Do you and can you do most of the selling on your own, or would the expertise and services a traditional agent be a better fit for your needs? Don’t make the wrong call. Contact us today by sending us a message or giving us a call at (866) 593 7012.