How to Find a Real Estate Agent


A real estate agent serves as the guide during the whole process of buying a home. He is the one responsible for making things easy for you when you decide to buy a home. Finding your perfect dream house may be quite overwhelming, most especially if you are on your own. By merely asking the help of an experienced real estate agent, he can help you narrow your home options.

Normally, you will pay the agent three percent of the equivalent price of the house. Statistically speaking, twenty percent of all the real estate agents take care of eighty percent of the whole house buying process. The majority of people consider paying their agents that particular amount, as they know that it is worth the price.

However, the most important question remains unanswered. How do you find a good real estate agent? Certainly, you may want to find someone who is worth the amount that you have paid for. A good an experienced real estate agent is someone who has extensive experience on the said field, is patient, has good professional and working ethics and knows how the real estate market works. Having recognized these important key points, there are three significant places where you can start your search.

The perfect way in finding a good agent is by asking the people that you know. Relatives, neighbors, and trusted friends might be able to help you. Ask them for some recommendations. Try to know their experiences with a particular real estate agent. Inquire whether they are satisfied and contented with the kind of service they have received. Ask them to rate that agent on a scale of one to ten. Being able to know all of this information will help you distinguish whether or not these agents are worth your money or not. Remember not to simply rely and believe on people that you barely know.

Another option is to search over the internet. In the past, you had to visit one office after the other to be able to compare their prices. Indeed, finding a good agent is a lot easier nowadays since these listings are scattered all over the web. However, you must be informed that what you see in their listing is not always what you get. It still pays to read consumer reviews and testimonials before making that tough decision.

And lastly, you can also find an agent by going through the classifieds section of your daily newspaper. Large institutions are more commonly found on classifieds rather than those who are just starting out.

Do not settle with one agent, yet. Try to compare their rates and ask them questions related to the field. Well, here is one thing that you should always pin into your mind – finding a real estate agent is not difficult, but finding a good one is much harder, but well worth your time.

By following the advices listed above, positively you will find a real estate agent that is worth the price.


Source by John Carlstrom

As a Realtor, How Do I Attract Listings?


Have you ever noticed that despite the massive number of Realtors in your area, only a hand full are making a fortune selling real estate? Regardless of who these realtors work for; GMAC, Century 21, REMax, they are extremely successful where others in their office are barely scraping by. What is the secret to their success? First and foremost, it is their approach to marketing themselves and their customers.

So what techniques do they use to attract listings? Well, while the rest of us are placing door hangers and mailing out notepads, these super sales people have perfected marketing techniques that attract motivated buyers and sellers, and motivate them to take action. An example of one of the strategies that the best seller in my city uses is as follows:

1) Specialize: Despite the policy of never turning down a listing or qualified candidate, focus on specializing on the type of property that will best suit your performance goals. For the person in my area, single family attached homes provide the greatest return on investment and are turning over the fastest. This is where she is really making her money.

2) Geographic Specialization: When a person decides to sell his/her house, they will find a realtor either through referral, recognition of a local representative, or through the yellow/white pages and internet. By focusing your promotional efforts on a specific geography, you can increase your market presence so that you are the first phone call if a target client decides to sell their property, as well as first on the list if they ask a neighbor for referral. In addition, if you specialize in a specific area, people will recognize your name and be more inclined to trust you with their listing and to negotiate their deal.

3) Grow and harvest your area of geographic specialization: Focus your marketing message on the area of geographic specialization that you have chosen. If your area has a high rate of property turnover, then you will do very well. The most successful realtor in my area papers my door with her picture every Monday afternoon. In addition, she includes a list of properties in my neighborhood that are listed or for sale. Looking at the sales price of other properties is a good motivator for me to list my own home and take advantage of the capital gains.

4) Create a continual presence: Once you have chosen the type of property to specialize in, and the neighborhoods to cultivate listings, begin promoting. As a marketing manager, I am a big fan of postcards that are sent to target clients on a weekly basis. Generally, it will take about fifteen pieces of promotion before a client will remember your name, but when they decide to list, you will be the first phone call.

The overall goal is to attract as many viable listings as possible. Regardless of who eventually buys the property, as the listing agent, you get to take advantage of the commission. By focusing your time on marketing yourself to your most promising targets, you will save time and increase your listings substantially.


Source by Barrett Niehus

Apartment Realty Advisors in Brandon Florida


Those who invest in apartments, and other multi-unit housing, can end up investing hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars. Because apartments are such a large investment, an apartment realty advisor can be used to help maximize your investment. Realty advisors keep track of apartments that are for sale all over the United States. They will help you find the right apartment to purchase at (or near) the location of your choice. They will help you get the best deal on your investment.

There are a few things that you might want to have in mind before you consult with apartment realty advisors. For example, you should have a good idea as to what area, or city, you want the apartment to be located in. You should also consider what type of apartment investments you are interested in. There are all sizes and types of apartments to invest in.

Apartment realty advisors will be able to show you a list of available apartment buildings and complexes that are for sale. As you go out to look at these apartments, you should consider a few things. Look at the location of the complex. The area of town the apartment is located in may help you understand what types of renters live in the apartment. You should ask how much the current rent is in the particular apartment you are looking at.

Once you have found an apartment that you like, you should do two things. First, have the apartment inspected. An inspector will be able to tell you of any major, or potentially major, problems that the apartment has. They will inspect the complex looking for electrical and plumbing problems, the roofs of the buildings, and the infrastructure of the buildings. Once the building is inspected, have it appraised. An appraiser will look over the property and assign it a value. This helps you to avoid overpaying for the apartment building or complex.

When you are ready to make a purchase, apartment realty advisors will consult you on getting the best deal, and getting through the paperwork and legal process of purchasing the apartment(s).

There are many loans available for those who want to purchase an apartment complex. Fixed loans, ARMs, and other types of loans are available. The length of these loans varies, but is usually between 15-30 years. An advisor will be able to help you determine what loan is best for your situation. Make them aware of how much you have to use as a down payment, and how much you can afford as a monthly payment.

If you do not find an apartment or apartment complex that you are interested in purchasing, don’t worry. Apartment realty advisors will keep track of you and of what you desire to invest in as far as apartments go. When something that meets your criteria is found, they will notify you.

Investing in apartments is a large investment. Getting help with your decisions concerning apartment investing may save you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and several headaches.


Source by Clint Hunter

The Residential Real Estate Buying Process in Austin Texas


Decide to Buy

The first step in buying a house is to try and understand what you hope to achieve. When you begin to think about buying a new house, there are many questions you should ask yourself such as: Why do I want to move? How soon do I want to move? How long do I plan on living in the home? For some people renting or putting off buying makes sense. Expect to commit to your home for 3-5 years if you want to avoid losing money on the home.

Needs Analysis

Once you decided that home ownership is right for you will want to decide a few things: What are the most important features to you in a house? How much do you want to invest in your home? Initially? Every month? Do you have lifestyle changes coming, such as adding a baby, having kids move out, or retiring? What part of town do you want to live in? What school district do you want your kids to go to school in? Once your goals are clearly defined you have your target.

Get Pre-Qualified

An important part of the home buying process is to be qualified for a loan. You should get a “pre-qualification” letter before you start actively looking for a house. Most lenders can provide this over the phone or with a simple 1-page questionnaire. This typically takes 20 minutes. Some data you should have ready is your and your spouse’s name, address, phone numbers, social security numbers, and past two years of employment, residential, bank, asset and debt information. If possible, you should try to get pre-approved for a loan which is a more serious level of commitment from a lender than a pre-qualification. To receive a loan pre-approval, all employment and credit is verified. This will mean that you are approved for a loan, subject to a final credit check and an appraisal of the subject property.

Make sure to inquire about all loans costs (origination fees, discount points, etc) and find out about closing costs. Closing costs are the fees for services, taxes or special interest charges that surround the purchase of a home. They include up front loan points, title insurance, escrow or closing day charges, document fees, prepaid interest and property taxes. Studies show that the closing costs, which can average 2 to 3 percent of a total home purchase price, are often more costly than many buyers expect. Unless, these charges are rolled into the loan, they must be paid when the home is closed. Finally, make sure your lender provides a Good Faith Estimate according to the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z). This allows you to “compare apples to apples” between different lenders.

Home Search

After you’ve found a house that you like, fits your needs, and has potential, you’ll need to prepare an offer. Determine whether or not the house is priced fairly by doing a thorough Comparative Market Analysis. Then review the seller’s disclosure and make appropriate adjustments and write your initial offer. Offers should include an earnest money check (made out to a title company), and an option money check (made out to the seller).

Some of the words in the previous paragraph may not be familiar to you. Let’s look at them:

  • Option Money – a check made out to the seller in exchange for the unrestricted right to terminate the agreement for a specified number of days. This is not found in many states.
  • Earnest Money – a check made out to a Title Company as a show of “good faith” that you are seriously intending to buy the house. The amount is usually around 1% of the home’s value.
  • Escrow Account – a special account administered by the Title Company that holds your earnest money until closing.
  • Title Company – a company that verifies the validity of a title and offers insurance to protect against problems with any liens on a property or clouds on a title. This company also conducts the closing.
  • Closing – the actual process of transferring the title of a house from the seller to the buyer (including assigning any liens to lenders for mortgages).

Inspection and Repairs

To protect your best interests, have structural and systems inspections done by qualified inspectors of your choice. Your lender will typically also require a termite and wood destroying insect (WDI) inspection. The inspection is a great opportunity to ask questions about your prospective home and learn important information about where everything is and how it works.

When the inspection reports come in, you will need to decide if the home is acceptable “as is”. If you require repairs to be made, then you will have to negotiate with the seller. At that point, you make a counter offer to the seller requesting either that the repairs be done before closing or extra money to be given to you at closing to cover repairs. The seller can either negotiate these points with us or decide to not continue to negotiate. If the seller rejects the offer and you do not want to buy the home as is, the contract falls through, the seller would be free to accept another offer, and your earnest money would be returned to you. If you come to terms an amendment to the contract will be made and we will waive our option to terminate. Then you will contact your lender to request an appraisal and start planning your move. A day before closing or on the same day, it is recommended that you walk through the house to make sure that everything is in order. This protects you from closing on a home that has been damaged in the move out process or that has been taken possession of by another party.


The exciting day is finally here! You will review the settlement statement (HUD-1) so that you can clear up any questions before closing. Possession of the home generally happens the same day that papers are signed, but sometimes a snag in the funding of the loan will cause a delay in possession. For this reason it’s best to allow an extra day (or more if we are closing on a Friday or day before a holiday) before you need to be able to move in.

After closing you should file a change of address. File an official change of address form at you local post office or online in the advance so that your mail delivery will not be interrupted. Many corporations, such as credit card companies and magazine subscriptions, take 1 or 2 months to process a change of address.

Congrats! You are now a proud homeowner!


Source by Joe Cline

Buying a Home – How to Save More Time With the Process


Buying a home doesn’t need to be a one man job. A person who wants to buy a home has the option of getting himself a realtor to make the job light and be able to find a home faster! If you don’t know, more successful realtors believe that the key to get want you want in real estate whether you are buying or selling a home is hiring a great realtor.

Agents can provide services that non-real estate agents can’t provide. They specialize about knowledge in real estate business which makes them the right group of people to ask for advices. The good news is agents are not hard to find. There are agents in almost every city. You can make a quick search in the internet to find out the list of real estate companies and real estate agents.

When hiring an agent, be sure to hire who has a good record, and I mean someone who have done many transactions and closed deals with clients. That alone shows that d he has the great qualities of a great agent. He is someone

1. Experienced

2. Professional

3. Reliable

4. Trusted

5. Has networks of people

6. Has a set of strong marketing skills

There are people who don’t want to hire an agent because they think that agent will cost them more. What they don’t know is having an agent is a great advantage. In fact, when you have a great realtor, it is like saying you found a great agent so you are half way to your home ownership! Here is the list of services they provide in behalf of you:

• Agent does the task of finding you a home to become a light task.

• Agent provides market appraisals of properties.

• Agent Negotiate the sale of properties. This is the very reason why you need an agent. They know better how to negotiate with the clients.

• Agent answers your questions and other concerns.

• Agent can help you not to have your time wasted on clients who could never qualify for your place in the first place.

• Agent could make recommendations when it comes to the home selling or buying pricing. Your agent knows better what price is right and what is not! This will save you more time, effort and money!

Finding your perfect home doesn’t have to be a challenge. Just take your time and follow these guide lines.


Source by Monte H Mohr

5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers


If you are a first time home buyer, you may want to have the right strategies to save a down payment, apply for a mortgage, and buy a house that you desire. Just like any large project, you need to get the details right for a successful home buying experience. With these steps, you can navigate the process and get a great deal. Given below are some of the tips that can help you purchase the best home. Read on to find out more.

1. Start Saving as Early as Possible

Make sure you start saving as soon as possible. This way you will have plenty of money to spend on the best house. You need money for making a down payment and meeting closing costs and move-in expenses. Generally, the down payment is 10% of the full value of the property.

2. Decide on your Budget

Find out how much you can spend on the property prior to starting your search. You can use an affordability calculator in order to set a price range on the basis of a lot of factors, such as your credit rating, down payment, and income, just to name a few.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Working with a reliable real estate agent can help you check out homes that can meet your needs. They can make it easier for you to negotiate with sellers and get the best deal possible. You may also want to get referrals from other home buyers. We suggest that you interview at least five agents and ask them for references. Make sure that the agent has at least 10 years of experience in the field.

4. Go for the Right type of House

You may want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of different types of properties based on your budget and lifestyle. Unlike a single-family home, a townhome or condominium can be a much better choice. Another great option that you may want to consider is a fixer-upper. They come with lower price tags. But you may want to set some money aside for remodeling these properties.

You may want to consider your long-term needs, especially if you are planning to expand your family. In other words, you may want to purchase a house that has additional rooms.

5. Stick to your Budget

You may not want to spend more than what you can afford. Therefore, it is not a good idea to spend more than what you can payback. This is important if you want to avoid financial stress in the future. It is better that you consider properties that are priced lower than your maximum budget.

Long story short, if you are a first-time home buyer, we suggest that you follow these steps and you will be able to buy your first home without getting into trouble. Just make sure you have set a budget and taken into consideration all the important pointers given in this article.


Source by Shalini M

Top 8 First Time Home Buyer Grants, Programs and Freebies


A survey by Harvard Business School found 78% of baby boomers and millennials want to buy a home. The catch? Most ‘think’ they can’t afford one.

In many cases, this may be true. But the research also discovered many can. It found many had an income, credit rating, and time on the job good enough to qualify for the many first time home buyer programs and grants I’ll mention in this article.

Note: For more details, Google all phrases in bold.

1. Federal Housing Administration Loan (F.H.A).

If you have a credit score of at least 580 you could qualify for a mortgage for as low as 3.5 percent of the price of the home.

F.H.A loans have helped more first time homeowners than any other type of loan.

2. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D).

H.U.D offers many first time owner grants and low interest loans, depending on the state, city or area you live in.

Note: For those who now live in public or government housing you may qualify to purchase the home, condo or apartment you now live in through the HUD Public Housing Homeownership Program

3. V. A (Veterans Administration) Loans.

If you’re an active duty service person or veteran you may quality for a no down payment low interest rate loan. The VA loan is the lowest cost mortgage on the market because you’re not required to pay for mortgage insurance.

4. The Good Neighbor Next Door Program.

This program for first time home buyers offers home for up to 50% off the retail price. To qualify you must be a teacher, police officer, fire fighter, or EMT. A $100 down payment is all that’s required.

You must commit to live in the home for at least 36 months.

5. Energy Efficient (or Green) Mortgage.

The energy efficient mortgage was created to help first time homeowners add energy efficient improvements to their home. These loans are insured through VA and FHA programs.

This mortgage let you build an energy efficient home without requiring you to make a larger down payment.

6. HomeReady HomePath Mortgage.

  1. Another popular program for first time home buyers. To quality you must take a short buyer education course. After you complete the course you’ll receive 3% toward closing cost for a mortgage loan. The down payment, 3%, is lower than the lowest FHA loan.

7. HUD Dollar Home Program.

After 180 days on the market, certain unsold HUD Properties are offered exclusively to local governmental entities for $1 for 10 Days. Local city of counties then offer these properties to residents to revitalize communities or neighborhoods.

8. USDA Home Loan Program.

This program focuses on homes in mostly rural areas, if you like or can tolerate country living this loan may be for you. This program guarantees 90% of the loan, which means there may be no down payment required and the loan is fixed. Sweet!

These are the top 7 programs available for first time home buyers. As always, like ocean waves government programs come and go. But as of this writing these programs is helping thousands of first time home buyers who thought they couldn’t afford a home realize their dream. Check them out… you could be next!

First Time Home Buyer Love and Other Freebies

1. No Penalties.

A first-time homebuyer can take out up to $10,000 in contributions from the Roth IRA to pay for the home without penalties. Check with your tax advisor for the latest rules.

2. Real Estate agent. This person can be your greatest fountain of information when looking for your first home. They know your local housing market, the advantages and disadvantages of specific homes. They can help you pick the right home to fit your personal and financial needs and much more. The best part? They’re free if you’re a buyer.

3. Pre-Approvals. Another amazing freebie is pre-approvals. They help save you time and energy. How? They let you know what price range you can afford, helping you and your agent know which houses you should be looking at.

4. First-time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC): The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit for first-time home buyers and is worth $750. The first-time home buyers’ tax credit must be claimed on an income tax form no later than one year after the home is purchased.

5. The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

This program was designed to let you withdraw funds from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) before retirement for the purpose of a first home purchase. The advantage of the HBP is that the withdrawal is completely TAX FREE.

The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan allows you to withdraw up to a maximum of $25,000. Be sure to consult your tax consultant for more details.


Source by Roy Primm

The Lowdown On Selling Your Property


Did you know that just a few improvements on your house could very well improve the value of your home And that first impressions can mean everything?

The number one thing that a possible new buyer recognizes often is the out side of one’s residence. Charm is in all probability the most important variable in selling your house. If a future customer views the exterior and doesn’t feel impressed, they probably will not even care how the inside looks. Therefore, make it appealing.

Landscaping is really a must. Continue to keep the grass mowed, cut the hedges/shrubs, and clear the walkway. If it is summer, shell out a little of dollars and plant some flowers. Flowers make absolutely everyone smile. Does the exterior require a fresh coat of paint? View your house as an outsider. Is there anything you don’t like about it? Start there. You may always take a walk within your neighborhood. See what shines about your neighbors properties and what separates theirs from yours. You can actually learn from them. Ask your buddies for their tips.

The inside is just as significant as the outside. Keep it clutter free. This is a must, even if you have to rent storage space till you sell. Continue to keep the curtains open. Make it as airy as feasible. Open your windows, and don’t forget to clean them! You quite possibly already know that paint is an economical way for you to help make your home appear its very best. Keep the colors easy and fundamental. Soft warm colors will transform a residence. When my mates complain and want new furnishings, I normally inform them to just paint the rooms. It’s like getting new furnishings. It brings life to a home, regardless of how the furnishings looks.

Do you know that the MLS listing service is considered the most dynamic tool for promoting your property? You can list via a Broker or a Discount Broker. When you list your home on the MLS, Your home is listed in your areas local MLS. Realtors scan the MLS several times every day to search for properties for their prospective clients. Your listing entails color photos and all the details about the home together with its amenities. Agents are just as encouraged to sell your home as any other property on the MLS. After your property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service, it quickly syndicates to, which happens to be the most used real-estate web-sites. The internet is tremendous. Your property will likely to be found by 1000’s.

Another effective tool is to make sure you have fantastic online pics of your house. Having quite a few great photos of the home on-line as possible could assist your showings, given that these days most of the people shop via the web just before picking out just what homes to go look at personally. Many times having no pics could get your listing skipped all together. People want to see pictures!

Did you know that another reliable tool is the Yard Sign? Displaying a FOR SALE sign is strongly encouraged for advertising your home. It indicates that you are truly serious about selling your home.

I hope you found this article beneficial. Thank you and good luck with your sale!


Source by Cody M Porter

Flat Fee Listing 101 – Know The Facts Before You List Your Florida FSBO Flat Rate In The MLS!


Who are you going to believe about how the flat fee MLS industry works?

There are four “business models” offering flat fee MLS listings in Florida:

1) National Website: They are not licensed in Florida but collect money and then refer you to a Florida discount real estate broker-who gets a portion of the fees collected. National websites are competent business enterprises that usually have a real estate broker’s license in one state but not in all states.

2) Florida part-time amateur flat fee website: There must be 70 or so of these “websites” in Florida. They are licensed real estate brokers that do flat fee listings part-time or are testing the waters to see if they can make a few bucks at flat fee.

3) Florida broker that is masquerading as flat fee: They seem like flat fee but their business model is not consumer friendly and I see their business practices as questionable. They may or do take your buyer leads from and other sources for their own agents; or possibly charge a cancellation fee as high as $500; or hold your listing hostage until you pay up ($500) by only “conditionally” withdrawing your listing from the MLS if you attempt to cancel and move to a full-service agent – your listing will be trapped in this “conditional” status until you pay the ransom of $500.

4) Florida licensed flat fee MLS broker that is established, trusted, transparent and paperless, specializes in Internet marketing and offers real customer support.
(Note: There is more than one trusted MLS flat fee firm in Florida but there are also plenty of firms that do fall into the # 2 and #3 categories above as well.)

Flat fee MLS requires more than simply inputting a listing into a local MLS…

1) Flat fee MLS sellers in Florida are 100% driven by control. They want their MLS listing correct at all times.

2) Third party websites such as, local MLS systems and IDX feeds to local real estate brokerage firms must be monitored constantly because listings do fall out of these systems. Technical glitches happen frequently.

3) Sellers make adjustments to their listing such as pictures, price, commission and their property descriptions. There are needed forms such as mold, lead-based paint and property disclosures.

4) The Florida Flat fee MLS broker is charged with the responsibility of buyer lead capture, agent showing requests, Internet marketing, trouble shooting, customer service, negotiating, editing and peace making. Flat Fee MLS brokers must be prepared to dedicate their time and energy.

Flat Fee MLS brokers must be prepared to dedicate their time and energy…

1) Taking $200 bucks and throwing a listing into the MLS as an afterthought is not what flat fee should be about. There are more moving parts that make up a “real” flat fee MLS company than one can imagine. For example: Last week, Orlando Regional MLS just took over Venice Board of Realtors. When they did this conversion, it knocked out 53 “showcased” properties from Mid-Florida Regional (Orlando area). It occurred on a Thursday evening and took the resources of the vice-president of Mid-Florida Regional and the Director of Operations and many phone calls to straighten out the major glitch.

2) Amateur or part-time flat fee MLS “website” operators might not have the resources or experience to deal with such matters.

3) The flat rate MLS broker must be prepared to back up the customer with support and market effectively on the Internet.

4) If the MLS discount broker requests that you print out forms, fill them out and fax back, this means they have put no thought or investment into on-line automation. This means listing changes, edit, status changes will all be fax this-fax that….back to caveman days.

What to look out for before you list flat fee

1) If the flat fee MLS “website” does not display the “listing agreement”, that should be a warning.

2) Carefully read the listing agreement “beginning-to-end” before you give any flat fee company money whether a National or a Florida based service.

3) Understand the process and policy about how buyer leads from and other sources get to you, the seller, if at all.

4) Realize that many calls do go to the flat fee broker. As many as 70 calls a day can come into a flat fee MLS broker. Miss one, that could be your sale.

5) Consider and verify what the hours are for the flat fee MLS service.

6) Flat fee websites that offer just one marketing option are really just a “website.” There are many marketing approaches besides just a basic MLS listing. What about marketing directly to Realtors®. For example, if a seller wishes to offer a 4% buyer’s agent commission, does the flat fee service provide a way to promote this higher than average commission? Some flat fee services do offer a Realtor eblast program which sends about 12,000 or so emails to all Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville real estate agent every 15 days. This is an effective marketing approach and Realtors do respond.

7) Flat fee sellers should think about contract representation. Contract-to-close flat fee programs help get the deal done faster. Having a seasoned real estate professional handle the contract negotiations results in a smoother transaction for the seller, as well, possibly netting a higher sale. One of the trickiest parts of negotiations is the possible- subsequent re-negotiations after the inspection. Negotiating an inspection report does mean re-roofing the house because some inspector or Realtor® says the roof is at the end of its “useful” life. There is an art to getting the buyer’s agent, the buyer and the seller on the same page. As well, there are some important nuances that do help get more Realtor® showings such as allowing the flat fee broker to schedule showings (more professional), using an Exclusive Right of Sale (not Exclusive Agency Listing Agreement) and use a professional looking metal sign.

How to flat fee list in Florida and stay out of trouble

1) Read the listing agreement.

2) Call the flat fee service and ask how they handle buyer leads.

3) Call and verify the hours of operation.

4) Ask if there any penalties or conditions if you cancel the listing.

5) Ask if the listing company will “unconditionally “withdraw your listing from the MLS if you choose to cancel and go with a full-service agent.


Source by Keith Gordon

Flat Fee MLS Listing, the Pros and Cons


  1. What is a flat fee Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing?

The MLS is an all-inclusive database shared by local Realtors. Agents can access this database to search for exactly what their buyers are looking for. This one resource provides Realtors with a significant advantage over anyone who is selling on their own. In fact, over 90% of buyers find their new homes through the MLS.

Real estate companies that offer flat fee MLS listings will input the information and pictures to the MLS for a fee which varies from between $99 and $995 depending on the level of services provided. However, a fee is typically offered to an agent who brings in a buyer. This fee can be any amount by law but is typically 2% to 2 ½% versus the 6% to 9% charged for full service listings.

  1. What is the difference between flat fee listings and full service Realtor listings?

The owner undertakes duties usually provided by a Realtor. These include taking pictures, providing promotional copy, gathering information about the property, identifying repairs and improvements that will promote the sale and increase the return on investment, deciding on the best marketable price, monitoring the market, price adjustments if and when necessary, Arraigning showings, negotiating with buyers directly, obtain legal counsel, facilitating inspections, possible renegotiating and whatever else is necessary to bring the sale to closing.

  1. What services are typically provided by flat fee brokers?

    Besides adding your listing to the regional MLS, the listing is typically syndicated to dozens of portal websites like Zillow, Trulia,,, etc. plus local real estate companies directly. Owner provided pictures that are added to the MLS and portal sites. A sign &/or lock box is usually provided.

    Some companies provide free renewal or listings that do not expire. If available in the area, companies will often provide appointment center services which provide a convenient means of scheduling showings. With higher priced listing packages more services are added.

  2. What are the downsides of flat fee listings?

    Selling by owner is a lot of work. Over half of owners who were successful report that they would not try to sell on their own again. This is because besides the work involved it may not improve the return on investment. Realtors have years of hard won experience. If they can’t typically provide their clients with a better return on their investment than the owners can themselves they would not survive in the profession. Besides the logistics that can reasonably be handled by an owner, there is a good deal of judgment required. One misstep and the deal often falls through. Inexperience, even in new licensed real estate agents, can cost thousands of dollars or the entire sale. Most brokerages provide close supervision and training for their new agents for at least the first year. The owner does not have this essential advantage. Flat fee brokers who offer remote support cannot do so with the same expertise that a Realtor that has personal knowledge of the local market and property can. Finally, beware of invoking procuring cause claims.

In spite of the work and uncertainty involved many sellers do manage to sell on their own using flat fee broker resources to maximize their housing investment greatly.

  1. How to proceed.

Contact a reputable flat fee MLS broker who you can speak with directly to answer specific questions. This brief article can only provide an overview of the process.

While for sale by owner packages vary from broker to broker here are some important considerations:

  • Broker should be experienced and knowledgeable about local market conditions to provide ready guidance and counsel.
  • Broker should be local and able to provide market data and referrals for attorneys, contractors, inspectors, etc.
  • Broker should be readily available 12/7.
  • Broker should be a direct MLS member where property is located not a portal site that remotely lists properties through affiliates.
  • An exclusive website should be included that sends independent buyers directly to the owner to save co-broke commission.
  • Appointment center showing scheduling services should be provided at no additional cost.
  • Owner should retain right to sell on their own without paying addition commission.
  • Changes or pauses to listing should be provided at no additional cost.
  • Listing should not expire until home is sold or taken off market by owner.
  • Electronic lock box and sign should be provided and delivered at no additional cost.
  • All inquires should be directed to the owner.
  • Professional quality photographic services should be available.
  • Owner supplied photos and videos should be enhanced by broker to the standards typically found on the MLS.
  • Broker should also offer full service upgrades with flat fee credited to final commission.
  1. Steps to closing
  • Engage local flat fee broker
  • Provide details and pictures
  • Approve listing on MLS and submit fee
  • Arrange showing with appointment desk
  • Negotiate offers
  • Obtain legal counsel (recommended)
  • Fulfill contact obligations. This is done with the help of the co-broker and your attorney.
  • Close with more proceeds than if you had listing full service


Source by Dennis Maier