Frequently Asked Questions About Flat Fee Realty
At Flat Fee Realty, we understand that the many facets of selling or buying a home can be confusing, and we are here to help you. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. Of course, we would love to talk with you directly about how we can assist you in your NC real estate transactions. If you have a question that is not answered below, or are simply interested in learning more about how we can help you, please Contact Us. We appreciate your interest in our services, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Flat Fee Realty
What are the main differences between your company and traditional real estate agencies?
Unlike traditional real estate agencies, we have simplified our structure, focusing on providing the services which sellers and buyers truly need, lowering our overhead and expenses, and increasing volume. We believe that all home sellers should receive excellent service at a reasonable expense. Our fees are straightforward, with no surprises.
Your fees are much lower than those of traditional agencies-how does your company stay in business?
As mentioned above, our company has focused on eliminating unnecessary overhead and expenses, in order to make buying or selling a home a cost-effective experience for you, our client. We focus on providing the best guidance possible, and avoiding unnecessary marketing and other expenses. The use of technology assists us greatly in this process, and we are happy to be able to offer you top-quality services at a much lower price than traditional agencies.
Answers to Questions from North Carolina Sellers
How is your company different from all of the “discount brokers” I see advertised?
These national chains tout their bargain prices, but keep clients in the dark about their hidden fees. These chains also tend to use a traditional fee structure for full-service representation. We believe that all sellers should have access to excellent service at an affordable price. At Flat Fee Realty, you can be assured that you know exactly which services are included in your package, and our pricing is straightforward and honest, with no hidden or surprise fees.
Please explain the importance of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
As internet usage has become a leading factor in the real estate market, thousands of potential buyers and agents view homes for sale online before deciding which homes to view in person. If you are selling a home that is not listed on MLS, you are completely missing out on the most important way to reach thousands of potential buyers, and your home is guaranteed to stay on the market much longer.
How do your marketing plans differ from each other?
Each of our packages is customized for a specific type of seller. Our Flat Fee Marketing Plan is geared toward the experienced home seller, who is familiar with the myriad of laws, paperwork, and processes of the real estate market. This plan is for home sellers who simply need access to the Multiple Listing Service and Centralized Showing Service that only licensed real estate agents, like those at Flat Fee Realty, can provide. Lastly with our Flat Fee Plus Representation we are able to offer full-service representation for sellers who would like guidance and peace of mind throughout the home selling process. Please see our For Sellers page for more complete information on the services included in each plan.
Is the paperwork involved in selling a home really overwhelming?
While we know that many people have enjoyed success selling their homes without the use of representation, we also know that it can be a frustrating and anxiety-producing experience for those sellers who are not knowledgeable and experienced in the various North Carolina laws, regulations and processes that govern the real estate market. Therefore, we are happy to provide our Full Service Representation package. This package provides you with complete representation throughout the entire process, insuring a worry-free and enjoyable home sale experience.
Should I have my home inspected prior to putting it up for sale?
The vast majority of home sales that fall through are caused by problems with the property that are discovered only after an offer has been accepted. A pre-inspection, which costs $300-400, helps eliminate this risk, and gives you, the home seller, time to resolve any issues with the property prior to putting it on the market. Because it can eliminate so much wasted time, hassle, and disappointment for both you and the buyer, we highly recommend having an inspection on the property prior to listing.
Should I advertise in the newspaper and hold Open Houses to better market my home?
We are, of course, supportive of any additional efforts you might make to market your home. However, research and experience has shown us that Open Houses and newspaper advertising play a very small role in attracting prospective buyers. At Flat Fee Realty, we have streamlined our services to offer only those marketing efforts that are proven to attract prospective buyers and quickly close home sales.
Do you advise working with Buyer’s Agents?
Most of the potential buyers you will encounter in this process will be represented by a Buyer’s Agent. The agent receives a commission from the sale price of your home, typically between 2.4% to 3%. This is the agent’s compensation for bringing a qualified prospective buyer into contact with you. While this commission will, of course, reduce your home sale profit, it is advisable to cooperate with Buyer’s Agents, as the majority of prospective buyers will be working with one.
I am ready for Flat Fee Realty to help me list my home. What happens first?
We are thrilled that you have chosen our company to assist you in your home sale, and look forward to working with you! Please refer to our Contact Us page for complete information on how to get in touch with one of our agents. We look forward to assisting you with your home sale!
How quickly can my home be listed, and for how long can it remain on the market?
We have developed the listing process to be as smooth and easy as possible for you, the seller. We are able to e-mail documents to you in advance of our initial meeting, allowing you to review them and consider any questions at your own pace. After our initial meeting, we will list your home within 48 hours! Your home will stay on the market until it is sold.
Answers to Questions from North Carolina Buyers
What should I do to prepare for my search for a new home?
The most important first step for a prospective home buyer is to receive pre-approval for a mortgage from a bank or mortgage lender. Loan pre-approval serves a dual purpose. It helps you, the buyer, determine what you can afford and focus your home search accordingly, and it helps the seller feel more confident and favorable towards any purchase offer you might make. See this article from USA Today for some useful advice on how to improve your credit score.
Why should I work with a Buyer’s Agent?
Buyer’s Agents are deeply familiar with the local real estate market, and can invest the time and energy required to find your perfect home. Our Agents will discuss your housing needs at length with you, research available properties, and guide you through viewings of homes. Because our Agents invest so much time in our clients’ home searches, it is fair and appropriate for you, the buyer, to sign a contract with the Agent, committing to working with just that Agent throughout the process. You can withdraw from this contract at any point, of course, but our experience has shown that buyers are thrilled with the level of service and guidance our Agents can provide, and are confident you will find this relationship a rewarding experience.
How will your company help me find the perfect home?
Our Buyer’s Agents will walk you through every step of the home buying process. Our Agents are committed to helping you find the perfect home, and to guiding you throughout the entire process. Remember, this service comes at no cost to you, the buyer!
What is involved in making an offer on a home?
Rest assured that our Buyer’s Agents will guide you at each point in the negotiation process. For more information, please visit our For Buyers page.
How do I make sure the home I’m interested in is in good condition?
Flat Fee Realty strongly recommend an inspection of the property prior to purchase. For between $300-400, a certified home inspector will review the entire property, and provide you with a detailed report listing any repairs needed or other issues noted. This report then becomes a part of the negotiation process with the seller. It is also possible that other testing, such as for the presence of radon or the safety of the water supply, will be recommended. Your Buyer’s Agent will assist you by coordinating and following through with any and all recommended inspections, tests, and surveys on the property.
Will I have freedom to choose my own mortgage lender if I work with your company? Do you have preferred lenders?
Yes, you will have the freedom to choose whichever lender you feel comfortable with. As an additional service, Flat Fee Realty does have a list of lenders we have worked with and trust, available to our clients.
What is an earnest money deposit?
This is an amount of money offered by you, the buyer, at the time the purchase offer is made. This money helps to inform the seller that your offer is serious, and that you are able to follow through in the home buying process. This money is held safely in a trust account, and credited to you at closing.