Sellers of properties throughout the State of Colorado have looked for brokerage alternatives in selling their homes, and Colorado Springs homeowners are no different. With the high number of military related jobs at Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and other local installations, coupled with mobile working professionals at companies like Agilent Technologies, HP and Boeing, Colorado Springs tends to be a very active real estate market with homes being bought and sold more frequently than national averages. Without years and years of appreciation for most sellers, steep brokerage commissions are impossible to hide. Upon deciding to sell their homes, many sellers think that there only option is to avoid agents altogether and sell FSBO or For Sale By Owner. The reality is that there are many options out there, and perhaps the best option is a flat fee listing on the MLS. If you interview a number of agents, chances are that most of them will quote you one number, perhaps six percent, but it could be higher or lower. If that listing agent sells the home directly to a buyer or if the listing agent just cooperates with a buyers agent and that buyers agent sells the home, the commission rate is often the same. Most listings are sold by buyers agents, but even if there is not one involved, there is often no savings to the seller.
With a flat fee MLS listing, the listing agent agrees to list the property for a small flat fee, perhaps a few hundred dollars. The seller agrees to show the property and handle negotiations with the agent as a middleman. If a buyers agent sells the property, only the buyers agent is paid and this is typically around 3% of the sales price (although it is sometimes more and sometimes less). If a buyers agent is involved, no commission is paid. Either way, the listing agent is not paid at closing. Some flat fee MLS brokers will agree to handle additional work for an additional fee at closing, often less than 1%. However, most sellers simply handle it themselves and enjoy the savings.
Looking beyond commission savings, the real benefit to Colorado Springs homeowners of the MLS is exposure. Buyers and buyers agents can view the data through MLS feeds and numerous Internet websites. Relying on a for sale sign to get the word out is never enough, especially considering that many of the buyers of Colorado Springs properties are coming from out-of-area if not out-of-state. Colorado Springs’ MLS (called the Pikes Peak MLS) not only covers Colorado Springs, but neighboring areas like Woodland Park, Falcon, Black Forest and others). Whether the area is rural, urban or suburban, and the property is a single family home, lot, large tract of land, condominium or other property type, sellers are embracing the flat fee MLS listing programs as an optimal mix of commission savings and maximum marketing exposure. Experts expect that the percentage of sellers selling in this fashion will increase dramatically in the next few years.
Donald Plunkett is the President of Congress Realty, a flat fee listing company which serves Colorado and several other states. More info: http://www.congressrealty.com