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Should I Hire a Flat-Fee Service or Traditional Selling Agent to Sell My Home?

By Mike in Home Selling with 0 Comments

When selling your home, you’ll probably face many expenses like home repairs and painting. However, one of the biggest expenses you’ll pay for is the real estate agent. Flat-fee services have become a popular option with sellers in San Diego who want to save money when they sell, but it’s important to understand the full story behind what you’re really getting for your money. The choice you make could affect the price you pay as well as how much you get for your home, how fast your home sells, and how easy the process is for you. Here’s what you should keep in mind before working with a flat-fee service.

An MLS Listing Isn’t Everything

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is made up of more than 700 regional databases of home listings. Agents pay dues to access and post homes to the MLS. Most real estate websites today aggregate home listings through versions of the MLS, and this is where most homebuyers find home listings. Home sellers can’t post a home directly to the MLS because it’s limited to licensed brokers and agents who are members. As a general rule, a flat-fee service will list your home on the MLS like an agent would, but this is the sum total of what you receive for your money. Your home will be given a brief description that probably isn’t exciting or accurate. There will be no follow-up with potential buyers, no marketing, and no open houses unless you host them yourself.

An Agent Markets Your Home

One of the benefits of a traditional selling agent is that the agent does the work to market your home to potential buyers. Your agent will likely have a pool of potential buyers and buyer agents who may be interested in your home. Your agent is also motivated to sell your home because, unlike a flat-fee service, agents only receive their commission when a home sells, which drives them to develop winning marketing strategies that may include traditional signage, lockboxes, open houses, online marketing, video tours, and professional photography, among other tactics. These are only a few of the services a selling agent experienced in downtown San Diego real estate for sale can offer you.

You Aren’t Left Doing All the Work

One of the dangers of working with a flat-fee service is finding yourself holding the bag. After paying up front to have your home listed on the MLS, it will be up to you to market your home, respond to potential buyers, show your home, negotiate, and more. You’ll also deal with many people who aren’t serious buyers, aren’t prequalified, and have no intention of even making an offer because you’ll have no way to screen them. If you don’t want to take frequent phone calls, market your home, and deal with the many issues associated with marketing and the sale, a flat-fee service may not be right for you.

Your Agent Negotiates on Your Behalf

You may not have much experience negotiating, but you can be sure a traditional selling agent does. Real estate agents have years of experience negotiating terms, and having an experienced negotiator on your side can pay off when it comes to the many variables of a sale, such as concessions and sales price. Your agent will always work in your best interests. Without an agent, you’ll be left dealing with the buyer’s agent, who will be protecting his or her client.

Selling your home can be a stressful experience, so if you aren’t experienced in selling real estate, it’s a good idea to hire an agent to take care of all the details for you. If you’re planning to sell your downtown San Diego condo, penthouse, or loft, reach out to the professionals at 92101 Urban Living to guide you through the process. Call one of our friendly agents today at 619-649-0368 and set up an appointment to discuss how we can help.