Discount Realtors vs. Traditional Realtors
More than 90% of all homes in Utah are sold using the Realtor's Multiple Listing Service or MLS. This is because when you list your home on the MLS, you now have potentially hundreds of agents trying to sell your home. To get your home listed on the MLS, you have to hire a Realtor who is a member of your local MLS. You can either hire a traditional Realtor and pay them 6% of your purchase price, or you can hire a discount or flat fee realtor and pay a low flat fee no matter what your selling price. Utah Home Central is a hybrid of the two. Let us explain.
Traditional 6% Service
A traditional 6% agency normally has agents that offer a full service listing, and offers all the tools and expertise to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. The downside is you pay a full 6% commission, which is a lot of money.
When your house sells, your Realtor will normally offer 3%, or half the commission you are paying them, and offer it to any cooperating agency that brings you a buyer. If a buyer comes along who doesn't have an agent, the listing agency will then take the whole 6%, because that's what you agreed to pay them. They almost always offer the buyer's realtor 3% and your Realtor takes the difference, but not always. That's where you need to be careful if you hire a traditional realtor. If he or she does not offer the buyer's Realtor at least 2.5% -3% (especially in a buyers market), your chances of selling your house just dropped dramatically. Always demand they offer at least 2.5% - 3%, unless of course you're not willing to pay them that much.
Most traditional Realtors will help you price your home. They will take and manage all the appointments. They will list your house on the MLS and put a sign in your yard. They will advertise your home on the internet. Some still advertise in a newspaper or a magazine, but these types of advertising are no longer very effective since most everyone uses the internet to search for homes these days. Most importantly, they will help you with all the contracts and help negotiate terms that are in your best interest. These are the normal services that all traditional 6% realtor offers.
Utah Flat Fee Realtors
Typical Flat Fee Agencies are NOT full service. They offer to put your house on the market for a small flat fee; normally around $200 - $500. Other than that, you are on your own. Be careful if they tell you they are full service, because at that price, it's almost impossible to be full service. To learn more about why, read our page on The Five Critical Mistakes Homeowners Make That Costs Them Thousands of Dollars. It goes into more detail about why this is so.
Because the listing agent is charging so little for the listing, be prepared to take your own photos, price your home, manage your own appointments, perform your own followup, negotiate your own deals, fill out your own contracts, etc. Also, it's important to remember you are only saving the listing commission, you will still need to pay a buyer's agent a commission.
Because you don't get the same care and expertise from most flat fee companies vs. traditional 6% agencies, your chances of successfully selling your house significantly diminish and can be a very frustrating experience, and if you're not careful, you may just end up netting less out of the deal than had you hired a full service agency. To learn more about this, watch our video on the dangers of using a limited service agency.
Utah Home Central - Hybrid Service
Utah Home Central offers a hybrid of these two types of services. We offer all the same services of a traditional 6% real estate brokerage, but we do it for a flat fee. This way, whether you are experienced or inexperienced, you can feel confident selling your home and still save a very large commission.
Flat Fee listing companies charge a very low fee. The only way they can stay in business is by listing as many homes as possible. Because they list such large volumes of homes, they hardly have the manpower to give any one of their listings much attention.
In an effort to ensure Utah Home Central is able to give it's customers the care and expertise needed to sell their home, but still save them money over traditional 6% real estate firms, Utah Home Central has created a flat fee pricing structure that is a bit higher than other flat fee listing companies, but dramatically lower than traditional. This way we can still offer our customers excellent service and still save them thousands of dollars at the same time. Click here to review our pricing.