How To Save Money When Hiring A Real Estate Agent.

February 3, 2021

Real Estate Agent Compensation Is Broken.

How can a real estate agent offer unbiased advice or objective counsel when paid by commission? The reality is, he can not. Regardless of the agent’s high moral and ethical character, being paid by a commission at closing makes them biased. This bias is an unspoken truth and is accepted by many agents and brokers as business as usual. Of course, you know this bias is a conflict of interest; I know it is; the industry knows it is but, no one is doing anything about it. Why? I think Upton Sinclair may have said it best when he said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” My point is, no one wants to “understand” the problem commission bias creates, let alone address the conflict because people are making too much money off it. If you want to learn about saving money when selling your home, do not ask a real estate agent.

Saving Money.

We know that for most Americans, the home represents the bulk of their family’s savings. As Nashville’s most trusted flat fee full-service Realtor, we believe in helping homeowners keep more of their hard-earned equity. All too often, homeowners lose tens of thousands of dollars to expensive agent commissions, not knowing they could save money. Protecting our client’s equity has become a passion and is why we have spent years developing our unique approach to selling your home. Our proven track record saves homeowners on average $15,500 in real estate commissions. Since we started our flat fee full-service promotion in 2019, we have saved Nashville homeowners $593,368.00.

You Have Options When Compensating Your Agent.

Nashville homeowners are demanding alternatives to paying a traditional 6% real estate commission. This demand has fueled a technological revolution inside the real estate industry. The Nashville real estate market is being disrupted by Realtors who are innovating and meeting homeowners’ needs. This new digital age has resulted in agents competing more aggressively for your listing. Local Nashville, real estate agents, offer everything from the prevailing market compensation of 6% at closing to an upfront flat fee of $999.00. If you are ready to sell your home now or just thinking about it, you must do your homework. Knowing your options can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Can You Get A Great Agent For A Great Price?

Traditional real estate brokerages tell you that you have no choice but to pay 6% if you want a great agent. I am telling you that is not true. You can get a great agent, a full bundle of marketing, and the fiduciary representation you need from a highly trusted, experienced professional for a flat fee of $999.00. With years of experience, after hundreds of closings and hundreds of satisfied clients, our extraordinary approach not only saves you tens of thousands of dollars but also gives you peace of mind that your sale closed correctly. No matter which agent you choose, you must be an informed consumer when hiring a real estate agent. Below are a few things you need to know and some questions you need to ask.

What is a Flat Fee Real Estate Agent?

A flat fee real estate agent is a person who is licensed to buy, sell, exchange or lease real property for others and charges a flat fee or fixed rate for those services. The fee does not change regardless of the sale price of your home. Flat fee agents are an alternative to the traditional agent who takes a large commission based on your home’s sale price at closing. Many flat fee agents are also members of America’s largest real estate trade organization, the National Association of Realtors. As National Association of Realtor members, these agents are also called Flat Fee Realtors®.

Hire A Full-Time Professional Agent.

Almost anyone can get a real estate license in Tennessee. For many, it is their perfect side hustle. To become a licensed real estate agent, you only need a G.E.D., take a 70-hour course and pass a proctored 70 question exam. To act on behalf of someone else as their agent in the single largest financial decision most people will ever make in their entire life, you only need two weeks of education and pass a 70 question exam. Just for comparison, you need 1,500 (Fifteen Hundred) hours of classroom time to become a barber. You need 600 hours to be a manicurist. Unlike other fiduciary professionals such as C.P.A’s, Financial Advisors, Doctors, or Attorneys, becoming a licensed real estate agent is not as academically rigorous. The ease by which one can become a real estate agent and the ability to make a lot of money has filled the rank and file with part-time, unethical, immoral so-called “professionals. Be sure you are working with a full-time agent. You do not want your largest financial transaction being someone else’s side hustle.

Most Agents Are Independent Contractors.

Regardless if your agent is with a large international brokerage or a small home town agency, your agent is most likely an independent contractor. The independent contractor classification with the Internal Revenue Services gives real estate agents and brokers benefits and is the driving force behind this prevailing industry practice. As independent contractors, most real estate agents have sole control over their business functions including, when, where, and how they perform their service. Most agents are indeed under the direct supervision of a Managing Broker; however, that does not change the fact they are still independent contractors. The independent control agents have over their business is why you can have two different service experiences with agents from the same brokerage.

Is Your Agent a Full-Service Agent?

Due to common law, statutory law, regulations, and I.R.S. treatment, the real estate industry has not defined what a “full-service” agent does. It does not matter if your agent is compensated at closing or charges an upfront flat fee. How the agent gets paid is in no way reflective of the services they offer. The industry has left defining the services they provide up to the individual agents. For this reason, it is critical to your success to ask your agent precisely what services they do or do not offer. You will find that agents are not commodities. Different agents in the same brokerage may provide different levels of service and, just as important, charge different commissions or fees.

Is Your Agent A Member Of The M.L.S.?

The Multiple Listing Service or M.L.S. is a marketing organization where real estate professionals share their listings. Agent members are responsible for putting their homeowner’s critical data into the M.L.S. You can find data like listing status, asking price, square footage, bedroom count, and much more. Because the M.L.S. is member-driven and data submitted is scrubbed, regulated, controlled, and overseen, it is often the single most reliable authority on available property in your area. Homeowners benefit from working with an agent who is a member of their local M.L.S. because their properties are exposed to a larger market than they would be without the M.L.S.

Do Your Homework.

The past five years have seen dramatic changes to the real estate industry. Homeowners who want to save money must do their homework. We recommend interviewing no less than three different agents from three different brokerages. This way, you can get a relatively good idea of your home’s value and what services you can expect from agents in your market. Being an informed seller is how you not only get the most for your home in the shortest amount of time but, it is also about saving as much as you can. It is your money, why not keep more of it?