There is a new game in town proclaiming they are changing the way real estate is done. They proclaim they are “different”, they offer “first rate service” and they do it all for a flat fee. They claim on their web-site their salaried agents are not distracted by commission checks which in turn allows them to proclaim they are protecting your equity.
Here are the truths. They are different all right, but not in a good way for the consumer and real estate market. First, their agents are not available after hours; after all they are salaried. So for the vast majority of the real estate agent community they make it difficult to work with them and their clients. Our clients are busy and have jobs and need to work in the evenings and on weekends. In addition to not being available after hours, they only are open for business on Saturdays. So after hours and on Sundays, don’t expect to get a response or expect to make progress on an offer a buyer submits. As a point of fact, they explicitly state in the MLS that they do not respond to Sunday deadlines.
I am not certain how that is first rate service when you are not available to the vast majority of the transactional market (agents and their buyer clients). Additionally, if you are not answering your phone and you are not responsive to offers that come in after hours how is that in the best interest of your sellers you represent. Sure does not seem to be efforts to protect their equity.
Next, they make claims on their web-site about what “standard” commissions are for a transaction. Commissions are not standard they are negotiated between a seller and their agent. There is no such thing as a standard commission.
As for buyers, they claim the myth is the seller pays the buyer agent’s commission. They claim the truth to be that buyer’s pay for those fees, when in fact, the myth is really the truth. The seller does pay for both their agent’s fee and the buyer’s fee.
They again make a claim that as a buyer, you are saving money by not requiring you to pay more than their flat fee for their representation as a buyer. The reality though is they use the difference to help you negotiate the price. The end result is they are pulling the property values down for the rest of the neighborhood. How is that protecting anyone’s interest. That new home sale you just purchased, it now sets a new comparable property value for all homes in the neighborhood, including your neighbor that wants to sell or wants to re-finance their mortgage.
I normally do not vent, but as a true professional who does care for my clients, their goals, as well as the long-term health of our real estate markets, I feel it is important to squash the green pigs in the city and really communicate the truth. After all our real estate markets contribute approximately 20% to our nations GDP.