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If you have sold a property in the past, you are probably all too aware of the 5-6% you will have to pay in commission. Standard practice is that the seller pays the real estate commission of both the listing agent and buyer’s agent. Some agents will lower their commission fees, particularly if they are representing both the buyer and seller, but typically you can expect to pay a nice slice to your realtor for their time and effort in securing your purchase/sale.  

A flat-fee, sometimes referred to as a flat-rate or linear rate, is a one-off charge for their realtor services, regardless of usage. This is opposed to a pricing structure that varies depending on areas and quantities of services used. 
 

What is the difference between a flat-fee realtor and a traditional agent?

it is important to note that not all flat-fee realtors provide the same services that a traditional agent charges. This is because they may feel that the flat-fee they are offering only covers the most basic services. For example, some will simply list your property on the MLS on your behalf, but will offer little more in way of support. Others may offer advice on marketing, pricing, inspections, photographing and more – which are much closer to the services offered by traditional realtors. 

While, typically agents will significantly reduce what they are prepared to provide when they agree to a flat-fee for their work there are some that are able to offer a much fuller repertoire of services thanks to modern, digital processes that help them to streamline their work. In doing so, conventional tasks may be able to be performed much more quickly, and this is what enables these realtors to offer comprehensive services at a reduced cost.

Since what you will get for your money can vary so substantially, it is absolutely crucial that you check what services your realtor is prepared to include in your package and that you get these listed in your contract before you sign on the dotted line. 
 

Could using a flat-rate realtor save me money?

Obviously, the answer to this question depends on the rate that your chosen realtor wishes to charge. You will need to compare this to the amount that you would need to pay based on the usual commission percentage. For example, if you are selling a $300,000 home with a 5% commission split 50/50 with the buying broker, your realtor could earn $7,500. However, if you can find a good realtor that is prepared to offer their services for a flat fee of $5,000 you could save yourself a nice chunk of money. However, it is important to take value for money into account too. Obviously, if the flat fee only includes only the most basic services and you will need to pay out for additional marketing, photography etc, then the $5,000 may not represent a cost saving at all by the time you have paid for the other aspects of the transaction. 
 

A full-service flat-fee realtor can provide everything that you need to achieve top dollar for your property with a fully comprehensive package that covers every aspect that is essential for a successful real estate transaction. To find out more about our own flat-fee realtor service, please do not hesitate to contact and get in touch with us. We look forward to helping you get the most from your Texas home sale.

October 17, 2018