In the last article we covered some alternatives to multiple listing system, listing your website online and putting up a sign are ways to gain attention but unfortunately an entry on the listing service is almost a requirement in order to have a good chance of selling your home. It’s probably best to go the half step and get a flat-fee broker, who will charge a nominal fee to get your site listed. In addition to the fact that the site gets a lot of traffic, buyers’ agents know that you’re willing to play ball and that they’ll get their commission if they bring you a buyer. There are a few things you need to watch for when choosing an flat-fee broker. It might seem like a headache but these are just provisions to avoid getting taken advantage of:
1. Open Listing or an Exclusive Agency Listing with a cancellation clause
The former contract can be rescinded at any time. The cancellation clause ensures that you can get out of the agreement whenever you want. Both simply guarantee that you don’t have to pay a commission.
2. A guarantee that the broker will forward all inquiries to you
On the system it’ll be the brokers contact information on the listing, some brokers will offer to show the home and try to capture the buyer’s commission for themselves, which could cost you money in the end.
3. Posting on the proper multiple listing system
You need to make sure you’re getting on the service for your country and region, if it’s in the wrong area you’ll obviously get very few interested parties.
4. The right lockbox
There is a special lockbox containing keys to the home, you see them hanging on doorknobs and they’re called SUPRA electronic lockboxes, many flat-fee brokers don’t have them, and technically you need to rent them from the listing broker – you need to rent one from someone else because licensed agents have special keys for these boxes and if you have a normal box from the hardware store you will have to give out the combination, without being able to verify whether or not the person on the phone is an agent or not.
5. Ability to make changes to your listing
You should be able to make 5 changes to your listing without having to pay a fee.
6. Listing on secondary service sites
On third party websites there is also a lot of traffic an ensure your listing will appear on there as well.
7. A CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)
The agent should be able to offer you a CMA which will help in arriving at a reasonable asking price.
8. Ability to post multiple photos
Posting multiple photos on the official website is expensive, but multiple photos on secondary sites should be possible, and the broker should be willing to do this.
Often it’s best to work with a flat-fee broker who comes recommended, read reviews online and use common sense when judging the seriousness of their services, but now you know what to look for and what to insist on before signing the agreement.