What is a Flat Fee Realtor?

What is a Flat Fee Realtor?

When you begin house hunting, you’ll quickly discover that real estate agents come in all shapes and sizes. While some show homes for a fee, others charge a percentage of the sales price on completion. 

But there’s also a third category of agent: one who charges a flat fee for their services. So how do you know if that kind of realtor is right for you? Or maybe you have friends who recently moved to another city, or somewhere they’ve always wanted to live. 

Maybe they mentioned wanting to find an agent who works on commission, has no minimum fee, and only takes their standard commission rate once the property sells? If so, then let them know about these great Realtors who won’t rip them off in any way – they are called “Flat Fee Real Estate Agents”.

What is a flat fee realtor?

A flat fee realtor, also known as a discount real estate broker, charges a set fee for their services regardless of the outcome of their efforts on your behalf. Typically, flat fee agents will charge anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to broker a single home sale, while those brokering a purchase of real estate will usually charge between $2,000 and $5,000. 

Some agents are willing to negotiate a flat fee on a case-by-case basis, making it possible for the fee to be either higher or lower than the figures above. The flat fee is paid when the agent signs a contract with you and the fee is due at the time the contract is signed. 

It is not due upon the successful sale of a property. In fact, it is paid whether or not the property sells. But if the property doesn’t sell, the agent is not obligated to try to sell it again.

Flat Fee Realtor

Why use a flat fee Realtor?

There are several reasons why someone might be best served by hiring a flat fee realtor. The first and most obvious one is that a person may not be able to afford to pay a higher commission on a successful sale of a home. 

So, a flat fee agent can be a great option for someone with a limited budget. Another reason to use a flat fee realtor is if you’re not in a rush to sell your home. Remember, if you go with a commission-based realtor, you are not only hiring a real estate agent to find a buyer for your home. 

You are also hiring someone who will attempt to line up a buyer for your home on your behalf and close the sale, which means the entire process can sometimes take a long time. If you’re in a rush to sell your home with a commission-based agent, you may end up paying more just to speed up the process. 

If you go with a flat fee agent, you won’t have to worry about paying any additional fees just to speed up the process.

Who should use a flat fee Realtor?

Anyone who can’t afford to pay a higher commission or who is in a rush to sell his or her home should use a flat fee agent. Anyone who is in a financial bind and can’t afford to pay a higher commission may want to consider a flat fee agent. 

The same goes for people who need to sell their homes and move on quickly.

Who should not use a flat fee Realtor?

Anyone who has the money to pay a higher commission and/or who isn’t in a rush to sell their home should steer clear of a flat fee agent. 

Anyone who can afford to pay a higher commission should use a commission-based agent instead. Or is in a rush to sell their home should use a commission-based agent.

home sold

Final Words: Are Flat Fee Real Estate Agents Worth It?

Flat fee realtors are not “worth it” if you only care about saving money. But, if you want to get your house sold – as quickly and easily as possible – a flat fee realtor is your best option. There is no arguing that when it comes to real estate, time is money. 

The earlier you sell your home, the more money you will make on the sale. And because a flat fee agent is paid upfront, you don’t have to worry about paying them more if you sell your home quickly. 

On the other hand, if you have to wait a long time to sell your home with a commission-based agent, you will end up paying more in the long run.

Is Zillow Worth it for Realtors?

Is Zillow Worth It

Is Zillow Worth It

Real estate can be a very lucrative business to be in. Realtors who are able to get clients and close deals are the most successful. First, you need leads in order to get clients who will work exclusively with you so you can close those deals. To get leads, a Realtor has two choices. You need to establish branding through website marketing efforts and search engine optimization (SEO.) Or you can pay one of the big companies to help you get leads.

Zillow and its Advantages

Zillow is one of the largest companies that help real estate agents get leads. Over the years they have become more and more popular and well known. They have acquired other lead generating websites such as trulia.com, hotpads.com and StreetEasy.com. They have a program called Zillow Premier Agent which helps Realtors capture leads. They have an app to help you manage those leads and turn them into closed sales. They provide access to training and resources for their premier agents.


The main disadvantage is that it’s very costly. The leads are also not guaranteed to turn into closed deals. You purchase leads by zip code. The cost varies due to quite a few factors. The cost is determined by how large the zip code is, how many homes are in the zip code, how desirable the zip code is and so on. The cost also varies with how much of a percentage of leads you want from that zip code. For example, if you want approximately 25% of the buyer leads in a not-so-desired zip code, you will pay approximately $500 per month for the leads. Another example is if you want approximately 60% of the buyer leads in a more popular and growing zip code, you will pay over $1000 per month for these leads. You are competing with other agents for the leads as well.

Rental Leads

Another program the company has is its rental leads program. If you are listing a rental property and want leads, it costs approximately two dollars per day. The cost starts the day you list a rental property and goes until the day you close it. Even when you mark it pending in the multiple listing service, and have a signed lease with a security deposit, they are still charging you the two dollars a day. At this point, you might not really want the leads anymore. They do have a second rental program where you pay ten dollars a week for the rental listing, and you can stop paying for the leads whenever you get a signed lease and security deposit. There is more work on your part for this program. More work takes more time, and time is money.

Invest in Yourself

There is a cost-benefit to Realtors who invest in themselves. If you pay a one-time fee to set up your own website and a small monthly fee for a company to host it, you’ll end up paying less overall. You will have your very own website to market wherever you want. There are many ways you can market your own website for free. You will get one hundred percent of the leads.

In the long run, it’s better to invest in your own real estate business than pay another company to generate leads for you. It’s ultimately not worth the cost per lead. You are better off building your own brand through your own website marketing and SEO efforts.

How to Rank Your Real Estate Website on Google

real estate seo

How to Get a Top 10 Ranking For Your Real Estate Website Using SEO Techniques by the Pros

The goal of all real estate webmasters are to be seen by their clients on Search Engines. Digital marketing agencies that specialize in real estate seo use a variety of different Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to achieve their goal. Getting your real estate website listed on Google, Yahoo or MSN is a challenge as the better your website is optimized for Search Engines, the more attention it will receive from potential visitors.

To achieve the goal of course means that the visitors will turn into customers, bringing you income and success.

Effective Web Optimization Techniques

There are a variety of precise techniques that you can use to optimize your site to achieve a top 10 ranking for your real estate site on Google, Yahoo or MSN. Among the techniques that you can use, includes content optimization, image optimization, inbound linking and a detailed keyword analysis.

Content Optimization

Content on your website is perhaps one of the most important factors to get a higher Search Engine ranking. Your website must provide relevant and keyword rich content that includes the keywords that you want to appear in the Search Engine results.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your should only focus on writing the content for your readers – not for the search engine. Keywords are important but your content should be easily readable by people, not search engine friendly.


Images are another important factor to include in your website or blog. If you want to have a top 10 Search Engine ranking there is again not enough room in your website for all of your images. It is a good idea to have a keyword image and alt tag that contains the keyword you are optimizing for.

Optimize IDX Listings

Just about every real estate website has listings from other brokers displayed. This is generally done by acquiring an IDX feed from your local MLS. Your local multiple listing service can provide a RETS feed containing all of the active listings. At this point, many Realtor owned MLSs also provide sold listings in their IDX feeds – many at an additional cost.

Optimizing how listings are displayed on your real estate website provides a better user experience as well as can assist in your SEO efforts.

Here are some of the basics for tweaking how listings are displayed.

  • Use a reputable IDX provider that is very fast
  • Display most listings on a subdomain – this leverages advanced CDNs and hosting for faster listing display
  • Set automated meta titles and descriptions for listing detail pages – Most IDX providers let you use short-codes to customize these settings
  • Dont put too many property listings on one page – this slows down the page load
  • On property detail pages – link to other “similar listings”

Inbound Links

Inbound links are the direct links to your real estate website. This means that you need to be careful when you are requesting links from other websites. Always make sure that the link is going to be relevant to real estate, mortgage financing, insurance and other real estate based sites. Be careful of submitting your site to thousands of websites. The best way of going about this is by seeking out websites with a high page rank. Ranking of a website will definitely improve with the help of these links.

Reciprocal Links

As with keywords, reciprocal links also help with the ranking of your website. When we talk about reciprocal links it means that you reciprocate a link from your website to another website. This increases the organic rankings of both websites and will help you get more targeted traffic.

As will all inbound links – make sure that these are from other real estate relevant websites that have authority and traffic themselves.

Forum Links

There are thousand of real estate forums on Facebook and other sites. First, you will want to participate in discussions with others. Through this you can offer informational content to the readers of the forum and will eventually be allowed to add your link in your signature.

You should only participate in relevant real estate forums and also since forums now have strict guidelines for members, emailing and participating in unrelated forums or spamming will only encourage the administrators to delete your signature.

Blogging and blog comments

Real Estate Blogs and blog comments are also great ways to increase links and traffic to your Realtor website. It is smart to post comments in blogs and linked threads in order to improve your reputation. You should post comments that are useful and insightful to the blog’s readers.

If you are a new blogger then, you should create a blog that you can post information on. If you specialize in luxury condos, than it should be easy to write a blog on the topic. Make sure that you create links to your website in some of your posts. There are tons of relevant articles that can be written on real estate from the buyers perspective, sellers perspective and investors prospective.

real estate seo
ranking your real estate website on Google

Remember that you participate in blogs and discussions in order to make yourself known and become known as an expert in real estate in your market area or niche. If you can post quality blogs about your niche, then you will surely not only contribute to the growth of the blog but also get the financial rewards from advertising on the blog.

The most important thing that you must remember when you are participating in a discussion is to include the link of your website in your signature. It is not only your responsibility to include the link of your website in the discussion but also you have to ensure that you do not spam the discussion. Remember that you have to maintain a good relationship with the blog owner to make this work.

Submit your real estate website

You can also submit your website to various online directories. There are many real estate directories to submit your site to. Of course, you cannot directly submit your website to any search engine; you have to use the submitters that are available online. That is why you need to find out and make use of those submitters that are more advanced and genuine.

Remember that the basic idea behind all these techniques is to have your website read and indexed by the search engines. If you have your website read and indexed then you will be able to make sure that your website will have a place in the first page of every search engine result.

Tips for Holding an Open House During Coronavirus Epidemic

open houses during coronavirus

Tips for Protecting People Against the Coronavirus During an Open House

Amid the Coronavirus epidemic across the globe, now is a good time to go over some of the best ways to protect people from illness. In some areas, residential real estate has seen a slight slow down, in others we have actually seen increased activity. The commercial real estate market looks a little more bleak. Luxury condos and luxury single family properties have been doing extremely well as people are hunkering down.

Even without the recent outbreak, flu season and the common cold give us all reason to follow some important hygiene and illness spreading tips. We talk about the most common things homeowners, flippers, and property agents can do to protect everyone during high-risk periods in this post.

Wipe down common surfaces with disinfectants

Business Insider tells readers that one of the best ways to reduce germs and minimize the transfer of bacteria is with regular cleaning. Wiping down door handles, door facings, windows, counters, light switches, garage doors, toilet handles, sinks, and other common surfaces people touch during an open house is critical to disinfect the property. Everything from the front gate to the attic pull cord should be on the list. Remember to wipe down cabinet pulls, refrigerator doors, and kitchen counters and islands.

open houses during coronavirus

Writing a note of every spot to cover ahead of cleaning will ensure no one forgets the necessary items before guests visit. By disinfecting all these surfaces, the people who visit will stay healthier, and so will the person showing the house. Cleaning the space after the guests leave will ensure everyone else who works in the house following the showing will remain safer too.

Put hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes near entrances

Experts cannot say enough about how important it is to provide gel sanitizer for guests and workers as hand hygiene is extreemly important. People need a sanitizer with a 60 percent or higher concentration of alcohol for the solution to be effective at killing germs. Anyone who enters the property should use the alcohol gel upon entering and leaving for the best results.

Extend open house hours to encourage smaller groups

To provide ample time for people to see the property, it might be a good idea to schedule personal trips through the house or lengthen showing hours. While the long hours gives more time for workers to experience exposure to illnesses, it will allow the agent or homeowner to spread out visitors.

For example, if a large group of people shows up at the same time, the shower can ask people to go in a few at a time to help people keep distance between each other. The rest of the group can talk in the yard if the weather is nice. A standby station in the garage or porch might be another idea.

Greet guests with hands behind the back to discourage handshakes

While we typically thrust our hands forward to greet others, now is not the time to continue this practice. Everyone will be understanding if homeowners are leery of shaking hands. One way to avoid accidental touching is by putting hands out of sight by placing them in pockets or behind the back. A person can still be professional and inviting without touching guests.

Place several boxes of tissues throughout the house

Encouraging people to cover their coughs and sneezes is still excellent practice. If people have a steady supply of tissues handy, then they are likely to follow these hygiene tips. Using boxes with bright colors and placing the tissues on work surfaces, entry tables, and near lights will keep them visible. A big box in each bathroom is always a great recommendation.

Bonus tip: Do not be afraid to ask someone visibly ill to leave quickly

If someone shows up to the open house sick, then they should be courteous and leave. If they do not want to exit quickly, then it may be wise to have a stash of masks on hand. Open house personnel can offer a mask or ask the person to come back when the public is not visiting. The most important thing is to make sure to address the person.

If the property agent sees someone coughing, sneezing, or experiencing virus symptoms like trouble breathing, then saying something is better than possibly exposing the entire group to a dangerous illness.

Be careful when hiring local contractors to prepare your home for sale. Make sure to ask any contractor performing any job what is their process for dealing with Coronavirus.

National Public Radio tells listeners to prepare for the Coronavirus instead of waiting for it to happen. Since the spread of this illness is so much faster than the flu, following good hygiene practices and preparing for open house guests is the best way to keep everyone safe when work must continue. Another important tip is to remind people to avoid touching their faces while at work or during the open house. The virus will get into the body faster through any opening like the eyes, nose, and mouth with physical contact.

Getting Your Real Estate License Online? Pros & Cons?

Getting Your Real Estate License Online? Pros and Cons.

A career in real estate can be a rewarding choice for many reasons. Most people either take classes online while working a full-time job, or they fit part-time classes into a busy schedule. How do you know which method will work best? We talk about the perks and downfalls of both methods below.

Getting Your Real Estate License Online? Pros and Cons.

Disadvantages of Taking Classes at a School

Besides transportation, it requires dedication to a formal schedule to go to a traditional real estate school to prepare for the real estate license exam. Depending on which site a person needs to go to for certain classes, it could take a lot of time for traveling. The length of each class may get in the way of family outings or previous work commitments. The cost of in-person classes is usually more expensive than online courses because of the cost of maintaining the building and utilities.

Drawbacks of Computer Courses for Realty Education

Taking classes online can be tedious and tough to stick too unless the person has dedication and self-motivation. It can be tempting to skip a class or forget to talk to team members when working on group projects. Too little interaction with others in the field can be detrimental unless the person has excellent computer and communication skills. It can also cause delays in completing courses and getting licenses.

Advantages of In-Person Real Estate Courses

Fast answers to questions is a big perk attending real estate school in person. Motivation to do the work in a timely manner is another big reason people like to attend real estate licensing classes instead of taking them online. Teachers can more easily adapt to a particular learning style to make it easier to grasp the material when in front of a person instead of a computer screen.

Online Pros

Taking classes online means no need to dress up, brush hair, or sit in traffic. There is no reason to ask for time off work or spend extra money commuting to class. If you want to take a break, then it is no problem to go to the restroom, grab a snack or tend to a sick child. The flexibility is a huge benefit of taking online courses. Some people can finish classes faster online because each course gives the student a certain number of credit hours for completion. These hours go towards the state requirements to get a real estate license.

Why a Real Estate Education is an Excellent Career Choice

Getting a Real estate license gives a person more flexibility in life and work. He or she can set listings and showings according to his or her schedule. The money a person can make is huge with commissions and sales rates. Plus, real estate sales is an excellent choice for a local person who understands the community and how the market works in the area.

You can get your real estate license online. Is this the best method? The answer depends on the schedule, cost, and dedication of each person. Some courses may only take eight hours in person with the right teacher. The key is to write a pros and cons list for yourself and the situation you are in deciding which method may work best.


why you need a realtor

Super-Searchers: What Realtors Do

Everyone has looked at their surroundings at one time or another and wished to change something. Sometimes it is a something small – like replacing a door, and other times it is a something big – like replacing an entire house. So then what about someone new to real estate, or completely baffled by it?  Most people are only involved in a handful of real estate transactions in their lifetime, they can be confusing.



We all know that working with a Realtor is important…but Why?

The first question a buyer or seller should be asking is what could a Realtor possible do for them. This answer varies due to state laws, agencies policies, and what they’re looking for. Yet there are several key jobs no homeowner can overlook.


Eyes & Ears


They are Super-Searchers. Most homeowners think this is something they can do alone, but are they prepared to literally give up hours of their day to drive in endless circles looking for signs on lawns? Or those same hours digging through listings after posting on the internet?

It can take a trained Realtor up to a full week and more to find even one of the listings that best match their clients. Homeowners simply don’t have enough time, and on average their search will take 3 times as long.


Fact Machines


Realtors don’t just look at a few houses, make a list, and call it good. They do their homework! A Realtor will dig into a client’s preferences and find the exact thing that they are personally looking for. Even beyond what that client already thinks they know they want.

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They’ll get to know the family, their needs, why they want a change, from there they’ll find not only listings that match, but dig into those listings as well. They learn history, building materials, inspections dates, land disputes, laws, and so much more. Without this instruction, a client could be walking right into a turf war… or worse.




The process for buying a home is daunting on more than one level. Not only does the money have to line up, and the purchase has to be perfect, but yourself or child must be ready for the changes ahead. Normally this is not an issue, but a Realtor can make it less of one.

By getting to know the family in advance the Realtor already has a grip on what they need to move smoothly. They protect from fraud, dangerous deals, Give emotional support for first timers, and advice that can save money, a lot of it. If you are selling your home, experienced Realtors can provide a ton of tips that they have gained over the years to ensure your home sells fast and for top dollar. 







That is a question for the individual. Still, Realtors are trained on real estate in more ways than just in looking for the perfect fit. In order to get a license they literally have to go to school so they study the very best ways to get the job done, and in fact, often invent new ways.

They are the ones that create the system, making it smoother and smoother from year to year. This is why they are so much faster, why they are so protective of their clients, and why they are able to get so much dirt. They went into the field because they enjoy it. They buy a home, then they sell a home all for their clients. It gives them a sense of purpose and increases their skill set level as well as their reputation.


In the end, the decision rests with the homeowner buying or selling, and there is a reason that the piece of advice, ‘Get a Realtor‘ is so common. It’s sage, realistic, valuable, and after several decades still really works. From the outside, they can look unimpressive, but those professionals single-handily create communities every day.