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.
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.
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.