Are you one of those sellers who prefer to keep tight control over the sales process of your home? Then, instead of hiring a full-time realtor, you would have opted for the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) method of sale. However, a lack of experience in the sales process, especially the legal aspects, can land you in hot water. The good news is, you needn’t give up on the FSBO idea. Instead, you can hire a flat fee real estate agent who will guide you in the legal aspects of the business while you retain control of the sales process. Read on to find out more about this innovative method of real estate sales that is fast gaining popularity with sellers listing on for sale by owner websites.
What is flat fee real estate?
It’s a well-known fact that hiring a traditional real estate agent to sell your house is an expensive proposition. They usually charge about 3% of the final sales price as commission. A typical home in North Carolina is valued at around $300,000 (middle price tier). Therefore, you will need to pay around $9000 in commission to your real estate agent alone, not to say anything about the buyer’s agent who will also be demanding a similar commission from you. Now, instead of paying this hefty commission, you can employ a flat fee real estate agent who will demand a sum that is much less than this commission, as compensation. The main difference between a traditional agent and a flat fee agent is that the latter’s fee is predetermined, and not dependent upon the final price of your home. Another important difference is that a traditional agent will carry out all the tasks associated with the sale of your home. But a flat fee agent will only list your property on the local MLS. You can ask your flat fee agent to carry out somef other services as well but most of them will require additional payment.
What is MLS and why list your property?
MLS or Multiple Listing Service is a database that contains all information related to properties for sale like square footage, age of the property, HOA, etc. When you list your property on the local MLS, it becomes available to a large pool of potential buyers. These include people searching for new homes, online real estate companies like Zillow and Realtor.com as well as other real estate agents. This means that the chances of you making a quick and profitable sale increase. This is why it has become a kind of norm to list your property on the local MLS as the first step in putting up your house for sale. Now, the only catch is that only licensed real estate agents can list a property on the MLS. Flat fee MLS North Carolina companies will help you list your property for a fixed charge ranging anywhere from as low as $99 to $1000.
Why choose flat fee MLS?
Listing Service: Since only licensed real estate agents can list a property on MLS, FSBO sellers can make use of flat fee MLS realtors to list their property. You will need to provide some basic information regarding your house like the square footage of every room (approximate), HOA, residential property disclosure, lead-based paint disclosure, etc.
Additional Services: Many flat fee MLS companies in North Carolina offer several additional services for no extra cost. These might include scheduling open houses, professional photographs, scheduling showings to potential buyers, etc. You might also get services like marketing assistance and listing price advice for a little extra.
Advance Budget Plan: Since flat fee realtors charge a fixed amount that is predetermined before the sale, and is not dependent upon the final sales price, you can easily determine your expenses and have a solid budget plan in place before the sale of your property.
Reduced Expenses: As we have already seen, flat fee realtors demand only a fraction of the fee charged by traditional real estate agents. And, reduced expenses mean increased profit to you, the seller.
What to look for in flat fee MLS companies?
Access to local MLS: You need to ensure that the flat fee MLS company that you chose has access to the MLS in your locality. After all, listing your property in some other county’s MLS is not going to increase the chances of a sale for you. This is why many people prefer to work with local flat fee MLS companies as opposed to national companies which may not have access to your local MLS.
Listing period: There is a period for every property listed on the MLS. Most companies offer packages that come with a period usually ranging from 6 months to a couple of years. You need to ensure that the company and the package that you choose offers enough time for you to sell your house.
Free additional services: Most flat fee MLS companies offer several services in addition to listing your property, for no extra cost. You need to ensure that the company you choose offers those additional services that you need help with as an FSBO seller.
Customer feedback: Finally, before choosing a flat fee real estate company, you need to find out the feedback given to their services by former customers. For instance, it will be quite easy to find out if a particular company is customer-oriented and responsive to your calls, or if they simply let you go to voicemail.
Which are the top flat fee MLS companies in North Carolina?
Houzeo is one of America’s top flat fee platforms and Houzeo reviews will give you an accurate idea about the quality of flat fee MLS companies in North Carolina. Here is a compilation of the top flat fee MLS companies in North Carolina along with their most-talked-of feature, based on Houzeo reviews.
- Houzeo – cutting-edge technology and a la carte services
- Carolina Realty Solutions – option to extend the listing period to 2 years for no extra cost
- Clickit Realty – available throughout NC and provides comparative market analysis
- List with freedom – best for experienced sellers
- United Broker LTD – offers one of the cheapest basic packages