Say NO to full real estate commissions, YES to unbundled services & fees

The comment below was posted on the leading real estate technology web site earlier today in response to an article entitled, Just say ‘no’ to commission-cutting Part 1: Why agents are worth full commission

Bernice,

I respect your perspective and fellow real estate professionals who choose to provide full services for a full fee. But wouldn’t you agree that the internet has been unbundling real services for more than a decade, and buyers and sellers can benefit from the “best of breed” services without paying a full commission?

So, why not encourage individual sellers to do their own math? If they (1) can do some of the work themselves, (2) pay to use self-service tools online, and (3) hire fee-for-service real estate consultants on an hourly fee to do other tasks, some may conclude that will “translate into more dollars at closing” than hiring with a full fee agent.

What some agents offer as a “premium marketing package” can easily be unbundled and individual components are already available “a la carte” for penny-pinching consumers who want to save money:

  • Pricing within the call capture industry is very competitive – base monthly costs are comparable to cable television bills in our market. No reason to pay a full commission for this benefit.
  • If the goal is to “publishing your listings on as many Web sites as possible,” why should full fee sellers be content to syndicate content to 30 sites via Post2Agent.com when a FSBO friendly site like Fizber.com syndicates listings to 80 sites for a flat fee (about the cost of two print newspaper ads in our market)?
  • Video can be an attention getting upgrade, but is not essential. Still, prices at the best real estate video solution providers start under $1,000 and syndication via TubeMogul.com appears to be FREE.
  • Yes, OBEO.com’s StyleDesigner is magic and sellers can turn a liability turned into an asset by giving buyers the opportunity to do their own virtual “makeover.” But that upgrade cost less than most entrees at upscale restaurants in our market.
  • The ever expanding menu of money-saving real estate tools makes tracking an important tool for do-it-yourselfers to assess cost effectiveness. Value-conscious sellers can use tracking tools to (1) decide when they need to purchase more tools or services from a real estate consultant, (2) when to change their price, and finally, (3) when they can save more money be working with a full service, full fee agent.

So doesn’t it make sense for real estate consumers to consider unbundled service providers before concluding they can save money money by paying a full commission, particularly when some listing entry only and fee-for-service real estate business models offer service or money-back guarantees, too?

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