Using technology to reduce the cost of home selling, Chattanooga-based Real Estate Brokers is passing savings on to their clients through their four percent commissions program.
"Cutting the commission on single-family homes helps buyers win," officials said. "Commissions are generally paid by the seller and include a fee for both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Reducing company costs, not service, allows Real Estate Brokers to pass savings on to home sellers."
“We recognize that the process of buying and selling houses has been simplified, and the expensive infrastructure that was once required to operate a successful firm has largely disappeared,” says George Patten, owner of Real Estate Brokers.
“We can run a top-performing agency with a cell phone. And since our costs have come down, we want to pass those savings on to our selling clients. A reduced commission is often the difference between a seller just breaking even or being able to put $10,000 in the bank after closing.”
The way home buyers shop is also dramatically different, moving to online listings and the convenience of shopping from home. According to the National Association of Realtors Research Group report, Real Estate In A Digital Age, 44 percent of potential buyers looked at homes online before reaching out to a real estate agent, and just 6 percent drove through neighborhoods looking for homes.
These trends reduce the need for large numbers of expensive directional signs, flyers and direct mail. Similarly, the ability to electronically sign paperwork on offers and counteroffers greatly reduces the time it takes to coordinate the home selling process.
Sherrie Shipley listed and sold a family lake house with Real Estate Brokers. In addition to all the traditional services and marketing, her agent added drone footage to highlight the lakefront property. The reduced commission resulted in more than $17,000 in savings for Ms. Shipley.
“I had previously tried to sell it myself without success,” Ms. Shipley said. “When I learned about the 4 percent option with Real Estate Brokers, it was a no brainer. Showing it myself was a headache, and I realized people really wanted an agent to show them the house, not the owner. Our agent was always quick to respond, answered my many questions and made the process much easier for me.”
Technology also gives home sellers vast amounts of information prior to selling their home.
“When a home seller calls us, they usually already have a good idea of how much to ask for the home,” Mr. Patten said. “They can look at recent sales from the comfort of their own homes and compare their home to their neighbors’ sales. If they do need help, we can easily review the data and give them advice, instead of combing through public records. Our expertise comes into play in two essential ways. One, we recommend the best upgrades prior to listing that will make a real difference in selling the home, and two, we advise the homeowner on navigating the inspection process and making upfront repairs. That is essential to getting the best price and closing the sale quickly.”
"Real Estate Brokers continues to offer the same high level of service," officials said. "The team manages the process from start to finish – professional photography with 365-degree virtual tours, all online listings including the formal MLS listing, social media promotion, advice regarding staging and consultation on the price to list the home. The paperwork and contract process is managed in-house, as are coordinating the inspection, appraisal and contingency removal. The only real difference is that they perform all of the same functions in a home office, instead of in an expensive office complex."