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Flat Fee Commissions for Sellers
Hi, I’m Chuck Marunde. I’m the founder of iRealty Virtual Brokers, and I’d like to tell you about a new flat fee real estate business, and why I created this service for homeowners.
First, traditional real estate bricks and mortar brokerages charge way way too much in commissions. Sellers who list with a traditional broker are not getting their money’s worth, at least not for the massive commissions they pay their brokers. Most people already know that.
Second, traditional real estate brokers over-promise and under-deliver. They under-deliver in the areas of marketing, negotiating expertise, contracts and legal issues, due diligence issues, financing issues, dealing with contingencies and objections by buyers, and numerous issues that rear their ugly heads prior to closing. Having been a real estate lawyer and a broker, I’m often surprised at the stunning lack of knowledge of listing brokers. That lack of knowledge and inexperience can cost a seller a lot of money and stress.
Third, traditional real estate brokers don’t do much more than put a listing in the MLS and wait until it sells. I know that because that’s the number one complaint from home sellers I’ve been hearing for decades. It’s an old complaint, but still valid today.
Fourth, the entire world of marketing and advertising has dramatically changed over the last decade, and the traditional bricks and mortar brokerage is no longer relevant. The world of selling a home is now high tech and streamline and low cost. You should not have to pay for all the traditional overhead and office space and outdated advertising methods of a listing brokerage.
This flat fee real estate commission is truly unique, and I’ll explain exactly why.
The traditional bricks and mortar brokerage model has been charging a large real estate commission forever. I started in real estate sales when I was 21 in the mid-1970s, and commissions haven’t changed. They were 5% to 6% to 7% in various markets, and they still are today for single family homes.
Back then when a homeowner listed and sold his home, he paid a typical commission of 6% or $6,000. If there was a listing agent and an agent representing the buyer, each got $3,000.
Today, even though prices have shot up many times, the commission is still the same. A homeowner who lists and sells a home today for $800,000 pays a commission of $48,000. Yes, I did say $48,000. Even if the commission is 5% in your market, that’s still $40,000.
That’s a lot of money, especially in a hot market when all the listing agent has to do is input your listing information into the MLS and sit back and wait. Many homes in a hot market, like the one we’ve just been through, were selling in days or even hours.
In my market I watched some for-sale-by-owners get posted on Zillow and sell quickly. I sold some of those FSBOs quickly to my own buyers for a fraction of the traditional commission. By the time we got to closing everyone was happy, including me.
In a hot hot market, a seller doesn’t need a traditional listing broker. In fact, you don’t need a traditional bricks and mortar brokerage in any kind of market. The world has changed, and the brokers no longer hold the keys to the castle. We have something called the Internet, and for those who master Internet marketing and powerful tools like SEO or search engine optimization, blogs, videos, and online books, as I have, you can reach buyers for your home no matter where they live.
Here’s a dirty little secret the industry doesn’t want you to know. Buyers now find their homes on the Internet themselves, meaning that listing agents are no longer the reason buyers can find your home. Today buyers typically find a home they want to look at online, and then they call a real estate broker. You can save tens of thousands of dollars by just having buyers call you direct.
But you’re not alone. I will equip you to do everything you need to do, and I will be your advisor in the background.
If your home is in the State of Washington and within the NWMLS market area, you may qualify to have your home listed with us. What do we do for you and how much is the flat fee commission?
Here’s a list of what we bring to the table for you:
- Your listing will be placed in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers the largest markets in Washington State.
- Your photos, taken by you or a photographer you hire, will be added to the listing.
- If you like, you can create a non-branded video or drone video, or you can hire a professional to do that, and those will be added to the listing.
- You’ll install your own “For Sale” Sign, if you want one, and you might not.
- I do not provide you with a lockbox, and I don’t recommend one anyway.
- You’ll negotiate your price and terms with your buyer yourself.
- Buyers will contact you directly, and you’ll make arrangements to show your home.
- All of the forms from the NWMLS (over 100) will be available for you and your buyer.
- Your listing will be syndicated to Zillow and other sites.
- Your listing will appear on tens of thousands of public MLS sites of other real estate brokers who are members of the NWMLS.
- You also have full access to one of the most experienced professional real estate brokers in the country, and he will guide you in every aspect of your listing presentation, photos, videos, marketing, negotiating, and dealing with buyers.
- The quality and level of knowledge and experience Chuck Marunde brings to you in this process, from listing to closing, far exceeds what you can get from the vast majority of listing brokers around the State of Washington for a full 6% listing fee.
- Learn more about my background and credentials at WAstateFlatFee.com.
- Chuck’s expertise, professionalism and all his knowledge of marketing, negotiating, drafting unambiguous contracts and addendums, due diligence, dealing with home inspection issues and other contingencies, handling appraisal issues, and much more, are all part of what Chuck brings to the table for you. These are above and beyond even for a 6% listing broker, let alone a flat fee broker.
- While it may be obvious, it needs to be said that Chuck also helps you avoid legal nightmares and liabilities that most Realtors are ill-equipped to avoid, let alone even discuss with clients. And there’s a similar concept to follow here. Many brokers kill transactions or make a mess of the negotiations or the home inspection, or the many other traps for the inexperienced, and Chuck does not make those mistakes. It’s bad enough paying a monstrous traditional real estate commission, but when your own broker or the buyer’s broker is unprofessional or incompetent, it’s worse.
If your home is an $800,000 home, this flat fee listing service doesn’t cost you $40,000 or $48,000. I recently submitted an offer on a $1.5 million listing. Someone outbid my buyer, but if it sold for listed price, the commission was $75,000. Wow! This flat fee service is only $5,000. Chuck’s flat fee of $5,000 is incredibly reasonable considering all that he brings to the table for you.
If you’re wondering how you can get all this for $5,000 and save tens of thousands of dollars in commissions, here’s the simple answer. Chuck’s business model is not the expensive high overhead model of the traditional bricks and mortar. That model is dying a slow and painful death. I’ve eliminated as much as 85% of all those unnecessary costs, which means you don’t have to pay for them.
I also do my own content creation, my own websites, my own video filming and editing, my own tech maintenance of all my sites, and I write and publish all my books myself. I do not hire inexperienced secretaries or assistants and delegate the work you hire me to do to them. I have one phone number, and I’m the one who answers it. I’m not the traditional bricks and mortar trying to make money on volume listings with massive commissions. This is why I call my brokerage iRealty Virtual Brokers.
I’ve eliminated most of the overhead of the traditional brokerage, and by designing a high tech business that maximizes my own professional knowledge and experience, I can give you more than many listing brokers for less—actually a flat fee of $5,000.
To keep the commission this low, I delegate a few important tasks to you, but honestly even under a traditional listing you end up doing some of these yourself in one way or another.
What are these tasks you’ll have to do to save tens of thousands of dollars?
Those tasks include the following: a.) you’ll fill out a detailed property information sheet for the NWMLS, b.) you’ll be responsible for arranging showings when buyers contact you directly, c.) while the NWMLS will syndicate your listing, you will be responsible for any additional advertising you may choose to do to promote your property, d.) if a broker who represents a buyer contacts you to show your property, that will be your responsibility, including whether and how much you agree to pay that buyer’s broker. You can tell that broker you will pay him 1% or 2.5% or nothing, or you can tell him he will have to collect his buyer’s fee directly from his own client. That will be up to you. I can advise you on all these matters.
If you’d like to get started with listing, you can text me at 360-775-5424, and I’ll call you as soon as I am free, and of course, you can learn more and fill out an application online at WAstateFlatFee.com.
I’m looking forward to meeting you and helping you save a ton of money while still getting your home sold for the highest possible price in the least amount of time.
Application to Retain Chuck Marunde as Your Buyer’s Agent
The 24 Secrets to Buying a Country Home
Are there really secrets to buying a country home? Yes, there are, at least many which buyers do not know. We are very excited to announce Chuck Marunde’s latest book written and narrated specifically for buyers moving to the country from the city, and of course, Chuck practices in the country known as the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle and particularly in Sequim, Washington. This book is packed full of solid and reliable information that all buyers would love to know before they buy a country home, and now you can take advantage of four decades of real estate experience and 20 years of real estate law experience with this book written by Chuck Marunde, J.D. Chuck is a buyer’s agent, and buyers from around the country have been taking advantage of his massive Internet resources for years, including his many books about buying real estate.
You can learn more about this book on Amazon, and you can download the ebook version or listen to the audio version. Both links are available through Amazon at 24 Secrets to Buying a Country Home.
If you’re planning to visit Sequim soon and looking at your country home online, be sure to book your appointment with Chuck Marunde long in advance to be sure he’ll be available.
The Sequim Real Estate Blog
The Sequim Real Estate Blog, aka SequimBlog.com or Sequim-Real-Estate-Blog.com, is the largest real estate blog on the entire Olympic Peninsula for buyers. Over 2,200 articles have been written on very specific subjects that buyers wanted addressed over the past dozen years. Actually, since the author has been in Sequim going back 25 years and practiced real estate law for 20 years, retiring in Sequim, these articles address questions that buyers have been asking for over two decades.
But there’s so much more to this Sequim real estate blog. Here’s a video that will show you the amazing resources available through this blog’s home page. You’re going to love these resources, because they are a lifetime of real estate knowledge and experience given to buyers like you absolutely free. How cool is that?
We hope you enjoy the Sequim Real Estate Blog.
How Do I Sell My Home?
How do I sell my home is a question being ask by many homeowners today. The world has changed dramatically over the past decade, and technologies and the Internet have revolutionized the real estate industry. You’ll need a few things to sell your home, and I wouldn’t compromise on these if you want to get the highest price for your home. You’ll only get that if you effectively market to the most qualified buyers. So let’s answer the question, “How do I sell my home?”
You’ll need a real estate professional who is honest, has integrity, is knowledgeable and experienced, and is an expert with modern Internet marketing. He also needs the right tools. What kinds of tools does he need to connect with highly qualified buyers for a home like yours?
An outstanding professional digital camera with the best lenses, the best lighting equipment, and the know how to use it. He also needs the best photo editing software. He needs a 3-dimensional virtual tour camera with nine lenses and the servers and software to host these interactive tours. Buyers absolutely love these online interactive virtual tours.
For especially gorgeous homes, especially homes with water views or beachfront or mountain views, an aerial drone video is essential. So your real estate broker needs all the video equipment to do that. Our broker at iRealty Virtual Brokers is registered as a drone pilot with the FAA, and he is the only local Realtor registered to use drones.
And then what you need to reach the largest number of qualified buyers is a massive Internet marketing system, meaning thousands of articles, thousands of photos and videos, too. These resources must be optimized for the search engines so buyers can find them. [See the largest local Sequim Real Estate Blog.]
There is only one local real estate brokerage with all these resources and all this expertise–iRealty Virtual Brokers. We do what traditional brokers do to effectively market listings, but we do so much more, it is almost overwhelming. Call us for an in-home presentation. By the way, if you want an online peek at what we do, you can watch our video right now:
How to Select a Real Estate Agent
When it’s time to select a real estate agent, do you know exactly how to do that? I’ve heard many reasons that explain why people select a real estate agent the way they do. Here are some of the most common reasons:
“I hired the first agent I talked to. Yea, I called a phone number off a sign, and some agent answered the phone, and that’s who I hired.”
“I was searching the MLS, and I saw an agent’s photo in the right margin on Zillow. They returned my call, and I hired her.”
“I got a call from a FSBO ad I ran on Craigslist, and it was an agent who wanted to list my home, so I listed my home with him.”
“My brother’s wife’s brother is a real estate agent, so I hired him.”
Select a Real Estate Intelligently
Notice what is missing in how each of these people decided to select a real estate agent. Not one did any due diligence on their agent before their hired them. They did not use relevant interview questions. They just hired any Tom, Jane, or Susan.
If you were going to invest $300,000 with an investment adviser, you wouldn’t just hire the first guy you called and give him your life savings. Neither should you trust any Tom, Jane, or Susan with your life savings when you buy a house. When it’s time to select a real estate agent, you have some research to do.
I want to share some steps you can take to make sure you do hire the right agent, but first I think you deserve to know my credentials for being qualified to share this information. I started in real estate 40 years ago, and I practiced real estate law for 20 years. In between I served as a JAG in the USAF for four years. I retired from law practice in 2005, and I built the largest virtual brokerage of any individual agent in the Northwest outside of Seattle.
I’ve written thousands of articles to help buyers. I’ve built an online marketing system to help buyers find their perfect home. I’ve written many real estate books for buyers, one for sellers, and one for Realtors. I definitely know what to look for in a Realtor. I wish all buyers and all sellers knew, but since they do not, my effort to help includes articles like this one.
Select a Real Estate Agent with Interview Checklist
You can download a copy of my Real Estate Agent Interview Checklist. It includes 22 questions to ask your prospective agent. The questions will get you thinking about the kinds of issues you want covered in your agent.
Why pay so much attention to how you select a real estate agent? Lawyers make a living off of other people’s mistakes and by suing Realtors. The last thing you need when you buy a home is a major legal nightmare. But even if you don’t get into litigation, if you hire an inexperienced agent, you could overpay for a home, and I’ve seen that. A buyer paid $825,000 for a home that was only worth $650,000. I personally watched that happen, although I did not represent either the buyer or seller. There was nothing I could legally or ethically do to save the buyer.
An inexperienced agent may not keep you out of trouble during the due diligence. There are many inspections, and there are many traps for the unwary. There are addendums, and special legal phrases you may need to protect yourself. I cannot overemphasize the importance of hiring the right agent.
Winter in Sequim
Winter in Sequim is sometimes overcast, sometimes rainy, rarely is there snow, but one thing we can say about winter in Sequim that is a blessing is that we don’t get these horrendous blizzards on the east coast, or the floods or the tornadoes or hurricanes. We are lucky. Yesterday as I looked out my back deck, I was looking at green fields and mountains, and it was so warm in my house, I had to leave the door to the back deck open for a while.
Winter in Sequim
Temperatures yesterday were in the mid fifties. The sun was out. It was gorgeous. This is winter in Sequim. Not bad. New York is shut down because of a massive snow storm. Washington D.C. is too. From a Sequim perspective, it seems like New York has nightmare weather every winter to various degrees of severity.
Winter in Sequim and Looking at Homes
Even though it is this is winter in Sequim, we still have many buyers arriving to look at homes, and they are buying. It’s been an unusually busy November, December, and January.