Flat fee broker associate, David Charlson, answers some common questions for home buyers and sellers.

Absolutely not. You can expect a full-service experience with a highly qualified and professional REALTOR® whether you are buying or selling a home.

Your listing includes: A free market analysis, an in-home consultation, professional home photography, signage and marketing materials, lockbox, appointment app, online listings (Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, etc.), legal forms, offer negotiating, e-sign, open house hosting, and more!

Real estate commissions are typically split in half between the agent that represents the buyer and the agent that represents the seller. Instead of charging the seller half of the commission split, the seller pays a flat fee of $2,500 to the listing agent at closing. This is the flat fee broker part.

You can look at the 3% as a fee to access buyers who are working with agents. In 2018, 87% of home buyers purchased through a real estate agent or broker according to the National Association of Realtors. Through the local Multiple Listing Service, DMAAR, agents can see your listing and know that they can receive a commission if they bring a buyer.

There is no upfront cost. Also, your home will be listed on the local Multiple Listing Service, DMAAR, used by the majority of agents in Des Moines. A company that does not advertise to all of these buyer’s agents is doing their client a disservice. In addition, you receive personal, one-on-one service from a licensed REALTOR®. This is characteristic of a true agent/client relationship.

One of the most important things to know when signing a contract with a for-sale-by-owner company is that they are most likely not representing you as your real estate agent. For likely the same price, you can get the full support of a licensed agent and pay nothing upfront. Another thing to keep in mind is that you may be approached by a real estate agent asking if you will pay a commission to them if they bring a buyer. If you say yes, you would have been better off listing on the MLS where the home would have been exposed to more agents working with buyers. More buyers equates to a higher selling price for you. Hire a flat fee broker instead!

Zillow puts values on homes using an AVM or automated valuation model. Sometimes it is right on track and other times it is wildly inaccurate. Here is what Zillow says about it: “Zestimates are intended as a useful starting point to help you determine an independent and unbiased assessment of what your home might be worth in today’s market. Comparing your home to recently sold properties can also help you understand what your home is worth. Additionally, your real estate agent or appraiser will physically inspect the home and take into account special features, location and market conditions.”

Yes. While it is easier to utilize the same agent for both services, it is not required. It is helpful to work with one agent who understands your end goals. This way you can work together to achieve the best results.

You could try, but you would be missing out on qualified buyers who are working with agents. You also have to be careful about what kind of information you post online as it may not be able to be erased (like your asking price). A better approach is to advertise your home directly to agents and offer a commission. For just $2,500, why not hire a listing agent and pay nothing until closing?!

According to the National Association of Realtors, 91% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home. Selling a home is not the same as selling a car, household items, etc. In a do-it-yourself culture, it is appealing to want to tackle this as another home project. Hiring an expert in real estate transactions means you don’t have to learn as you go while selling your largest asset.

A buyer’s agent is typically paid through a commission offered on a listing and not by the buyer. However, the brokerage may charge a buyer a small administrative fee on each transaction.

While a company may list your home on the local MLS for a flat fee, it is of little benefit if a competitive commission is not offered to a buyer’s agent. Remember, a REALTOR® with a qualified buyer is your friend when you’re selling a house. You will want to advertise your listing to these agents. Also, keep in mind that a company like this may not offer a full-service experience or support. These other companies may charge you upfront while Dream Street Realty does not charge anything until closing day; a top-notch flat fee broker.