A flat fee listing with iRealty Virtual Brokers is a listing in which you are only charged a one-time flat fee to have your listing in the NWMLS (Northwest MLS). You receive all the services that iRealty performs for you during the listing term, which are fully explained in further FAQs and in the full length articles on this site as well as the video(s). Do NOT confuse this flat fee listing service for the very limited services with names like, "Flat Fee MLS," or "Flat Fee FSBO Listing," or other "Flat Fee Listing" services that charge a small fee up front but tack on numerous fees for addon services, and some even charge an additional percentage at closing while others charge an extra transaction fee at closing. None of those services give you the extensive professional experience of long time real estate broker and attorney (ret.) Chuck Marunde. Not even close.
- Your listing will be placed in the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers the largest markets in Washington State.
- Your listing will be syndicated to Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, and many 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, and there are about 35,000 members.
- All of the forms from the NWMLS (over 100) will be available for you and your buyer, and iRealty not only provides guidance on selecting and completing the right forms, Chuck Marunde, J.D., Broker/Atty (Ret.) will complete all the forms for you and your buyer. This is a level of knowledge and experience you can't find at traditional brokerages, nor do you get it with discount FSBO or other listing or flat fee services.
- Buyers will contact you directly, and you'll make arrangements to show your home.
- You'll negotiate your price and terms with your buyer, but you can call on Chuck Marunde for advice as a master negotiator of hundreds of transactions over his career, and he knows every nuance in negotiating tactics.
- Your photos, taken by you or a photographer you hire, will be added to the listing. Chuck will provide guidance on the precise photo specifications. If you need a referral to a good photographer, I will be glad to provide that.
- 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.
- iRealty does not provide you with a lockbox, and Chuck doesn't recommend one anyway.
- You'll have access to one of the most experienced professional real estate brokers in the country, and he will guide you in every aspect of your home presentation, photos, videos, marketing, negotiating, and dealing with buyers.
- You'll have access to a private series of articles and podcasts Chuck created for you to help you through this entire process.
- You'll have access to over 2,000 real estate articles written by Chuck.
- You'll have access to a to a password protected area.
- You'll also have access to over 100 videos produced by Chuck.
- And you also can check out one dozen real estate books written by Chuck on Amazon.
- 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.
The flat fee is $5,000 paid when the listing agreement is signed by the home seller. It is non-refundable whether your home sells or not. What makes this business model work for a real estate brokerage like iRealty is the fact that this amount is paid up front, but that also means a seller can save literally tens of thousands of dollars in commission fees when the home sells and closes.
Can you give me an example of what the fee would be traditionally at 6% and what it would be with your service for the sale of a $725,000 home?
A 6% commission on a $725,000 home would be $43,500. iRealty's flat fee would be $5,000. Let's carry that one step further. The sale of a $1.5 million home at 5% would be a $75,000 commission. iRealty's flat fee would be $5,000. And while we're at it, let's do one more example. The sale of a $3.2 million home at 5% would be a $160,000 commission. iRealty's flat fee would be $5,000.
Your listing is valid until you sell it or for one year, whichever is first. If you still have not sold your home in one year, if we both agree to renew your contract, you can renew it on the same terms for a renewal fee of $250. At that time you may want to update photos or other information if you have done any work on the property. Clearly a home should sell within 30 to 60 days of being on the market, and certainly within 12 months. If it has not, it is likely it is substantially overpriced, or there is another serious problem that has turned away all potential buyers for a year. Of course, one potential killer of all sales, even beautiful homes, would be a major market crash. That can kill all sales no matter the price.
Yes. First, your listing in the NWMLS will be showing up on about 35,000 members' public MLS sites, so this means your listing can be seen by tens of thousands of buyers who are browsing all those broker's sites. Of course, all those 35,000 broker members have subscription side access to your listing in the NWMLS. Second, your listing is syndicated through the NWMLS to Zillow and Redfin and many other sites. iRealty also approved all our listings for publication on Reatlor.com.
Absolutely you'll get photos just like any full commission listing. The NWMLS allows 40 photos now, and you'll be responsible for taking those photos yourself, or hiring a photographer to take them. When we receive them, we post them into your NWMLS listing. You'll receive specific instructions from us on what we need for the photographs. If you need a referral to a good photographer, I'll be glad to share one with you.
Yes you can. You'll take the video yourself, or hire a videographer to do that, and then submit it to us so we can post in your NWMLS listing. Typically, your photographer will also be a videographer and perhaps an FAA registered drone pilot.
iRealty does not provide a "For Sale" sign. Part of passing on the savings of thousands of dollars in commission fees to you means you pick up some of the slack, and that includes posting your own for sale sign, if you want one. You don't have to have one, and in some cases, clients do not want one. Since buyers are using the Internet to find their homes, a sign in front of your home may be a bigger liability than a help. It certainly broadcasts to potential thieves that your home is for sale. Some thieves have been known to pretend to be agents. When you've signed a listing agreement with iRealty, you'll receive detailed instructions on what the State and NWMLS require for signage.
No, and we do not recommend one. Lockboxes can be a security risk, especially because about 35,000 NWMLS members can open these lockboxes. But you won't need one anyway, since you will be receiving direct calls from buyers who want to see your home. You'll schedule those showings yourself, and we'll provide guidance for you on exactly how to do that.
Yes. This is one of the ways you get the full benefits of having your listing in the NWMLS where it gets all the exposure all listings get, but you can save big in commissions because buyers can call you directly without a buyer's agent who wants a commission from you. We have a specific checklist for you so you will know exactly what to say and what to do throughout this process.
Chuck Marunde will teach you himself how a master negotiator works with buyers who will contact you.
iRealty provides you with all the legal documents required, and more than that, we teach you which forms you'll need and how to complete them. iRealty is blessed to have a long time experienced real estate broker who also had a 20 year career as a real estate attorney, so you'll be in good hands. Chuck also will draft the documents for you and your buyer, and Chuck will coordinate digital signatures so your agreement can be completed no matter where you and the buyers are located.
iRealty provides all the NWMLS forms required for all the inspections needed by the buyer, and we provide guidance for both parties to make sure that everything is done according to State law and that there is full disclosure and everything is on the table. In other words, iRealty requires 100% honesty by all sellers in dealing with buyers. It's the only way to do business. Chuck will also draft all the addendums and notices you'll need for your transaction.
No, you don't. Your listing in the NWMLS will include a note to broker members that there is no buyer's side commission offered by you. They will have to collect their commission directly from their own buyer. iRealty will teach you how to have these conversations. You could, of course, offer to pay the buyer's broker a fee of 1% or 2.5% or a flat fee. If a buyer's broker tells you he/she won't show it unless they get paid a 2.5% commission, for example, you can tell them good luck, because if their buyer wants your home, they will find another buyer's broker or call you directly. Brokers no longer hold the keys to the castle. With your phone number on the listing, the buyers will be calling you directly and cutting out the other "middleman" who wants a commission for doing very little, like showing the home and drafting the offer. Why pay that agent thousands of dollars just for that?
You can. But is 40 years of experience as a broker and real estate lawyer worth $5,000 when it comes to the sale of a major life investment for you? You want someone in your corner who knows how to fight for you, and who knows how to get you the highest possible price. Chuck's fee is often a fraction of what his clients make compared to his fee. FSBOs have a tendency to leave money on the table, but Chuck never leaves money on the table.
There are brokers who will put your listing in the MLS for a very small fee, like $75 to $495, but what are the limitations AND what additional fees do they charge you in addition to the flat fee? Many of these inexpensive services are similar to "For-Sale-By-Owner" services, or not much more. In other words, they are primarily a way to get your listing into the MLS system, and that is a good thing. You also typically get a nice little list of goodies in the package, but there are often hidden costs, at least hidden until you pour through the details of their packages. For example, one service has you pay $75, but you are limited to 8 photos, a 4 month listing term, you pay an additional $220 for a lockbox, and they charge an additional .5% of the sales price to review your contract on the phone and offer some limited advice.
You definitely don't get the time and professional experience of a Chuck Marunde who has been a broker and real estate lawyer going back 4 decades. Read Chuck's Resume, and you cannot ask for a more experienced and loyal broker.
If you feel a FSBO service or an inexpensive flat fee packaged service is suitable for your needs, you can find one in your market with a Google search and with phrases like, "[your location] + FSBO service" or "[your location] + For Sale By Owner Service" or "[your location] + Flat Fee Listing Service" or similar phrases.
Yes, you certainly can. Text Chuck Marunde at 360-775-5424, and tell him you're looking at this site and you have a few questions. Chuck will call you as soon as he can.
Perspective is everything for a home seller. Not knowing how the game is played, and not knowing the gimmicks that brokers use can put you at a gigantic disadvantage, not to mention cost you a small fortune in commissions. Just because a buyer's agent tells you something like, "I get 2.5% as a buyer's agent, so if that's acceptable, I'll have you sign a simple commission agreement, and I'll bring my buyers by to see your home." They might take another approach, too, which is getting you to verbally commit, and then later include the commission agreement for you to pay 2.5% with the purchase agreement.
I believe real estate commissions are way too high, unreasonably high. The real estate industry loves to get paid 6% on the sale of every home, but that doesn't mean it's fair, and that's not the way it has to be. If you list your home with iRealty, and a buyer sees the listing and calls you to view your home, that doesn't justify a big commission to the broker who gets in between you and that buyer. Most of the time that broker has done virtually nothing to earn that commission. Since buyers find the homes they want to view on the Internet by themselves, they don't need a buyer's agent to get them inside your home. They can call you and see the inside without a buyer's broker. Right?
As for drafting the offer, you don't need a buyer's broker to do that, since iRealty provides all the forms for you and your buyer. As for the offering price, does anyone think it takes a buyer's agent to come up with the price? Did you know the Realtors' Code of Ethics actually prohibits the buyer's agent from telling the buyer how much to offer? When you list your home for sale, you've already done a lot of thinking and research on its FMV (fair market value), so your listing price is a good starting point for the buyer's offering price. When the buyer tells you how much he wants to offer on the purchase agreement, you are mature and intelligent enough to know how you want to respond. If it's a full price, you can accept, unless there are multiple offers above full price, and then you probably accept the highest price, all other terms being equal. If it's less, you either accept or counteroffer. If you submit a counteroffer to the buyer, the buyer either accepts, rejects, or counters again. Is there a need for a high paid broker's agent in there anywhere? I think not.
Let's say a buyer wants to see your home, because, of course, they found it online where it was listed through the NWMLS and syndicated all over the Internet. Assume they have had a buyer's agent showing them homes, and they tell their buyer's agent they would like to see your home. That agent looks up your listing in the NWMLS and sees a note that you are not paying a buyer's commission, or that you are paying 1% or 1.5% or 2%, whatever you decide you want to offer. But if you're not paying a buyer's commission, he must get his commission from his buyer. Chuck will explain all the nuances here.
That buyer's agent is not in a very strong position to demand you pay him a substantial commission, because his client already told him they want to see your home. What's that agent going to do, tell his buyer he won't show your home to them because you won't pay him a big commission? I think not. That buyer will just call you directly and save the money, right? Or that buyer will go to another agent who will show them your home for a reasonable pay day.
Understand that the entire real estate industry is changing. The way the MLS's all over the country work is changing. The business models are changing. The effectiveness of advertising is changing. Commission structures are changing. Traditional brokerages can change with the times, or they can continue to die a slow and painful death. Those big office buildings that sellers pay for are no longer needed. A good broker who uses technology effectively can get far more done from a well equipped home office. Either way, you don't need the big expensive traditional brokerages anymore. You only need to connect with highly qualified buyers, and that's what iRealty helps you do.
Why have so many home sellers been willing to pay 5% or 6% commissions, and where are commissions likely to go in the future?
When home prices were low, like they were in the 1950s and the 1960s, the sale of a home meant a commission of maybe $2,400 total. That's based on the sale of a $40,000 home, which actually is the price I paid for my first home in Spokane, Washington in 1980, and it's based on a 6% commission. Real estate offices were all bricks and mortar with hard line telephone systems, big wooden desks, and every agent had an office or a place to work. There was a lot of overhead, but there was no other business model in those days. The Internet had not been invented, and neither had smart phones.
There was no MLS yet, and later when there was, the listings were printed on sheets of paper and in hard copy books that were published every Friday. There were no photos. So $2,400 was split equally between the listing brokerage and the buyer's brokerage. That meant each got $1,200, but that wasn't the end of the dividing. The listing brokerage split their $1,200 half to the broker/owner of the company and half to the agent who listed the property. So each got $600. The same happened on the buyer's side. The buyer's broker/owner divided the $1,200 equally with the buyer's individual agent. So the listing broker/owner had to take roughly half of his $600 to pay business and overhead expenses, and the buyer's broker/owner did the same. Each individual agent kept most of their $600, but they did have some of their own expenses, like gasoline and business cards and such.
All of that started out reasonable, and for decades no one gave that business model a second look, until home prices reached the sky, and brokers were getting paid $25,000 or $35,000 or $75,000 or as much as $400,000 on a huge luxury home. Now the same amount of work for what may be less time and effort is earning them massive commissions. Home sellers have been waking up, and saying, "Wait, hold everything! Isn't there a less expensive way to do this?" Chuck Marunde is iconoclast, and he never has been comfortable sitting in a traditional bricks and mortar. The conversations bore him to no end, and he has always been bothered by the industry's focus on commissions over the best interests of clients. iRealty's flat fee commission is not likely to be picked up quickly by other brokers. They move very slowly, like the Titanic, and they have a lot invested in their big buildings and equipment and systems.
It's not just about commissions. There's a level of competence, professionalism, honesty, integrity, and loyalty that the industry talks about, but few walk the talk. Chuck Marunde walks the talk, and yet he charges a fraction of what his colleagues charge you. Hmm.