Changes in the real estate market in the last decade or so in terms of technology and buyers' access to listings have benefited both buyers and sellers.
In the past, real estate agents had a great deal of control over which houses were shown to potential buyers. As only agents had access to the MLS, they could choose to only show their own listings or listings from other agents in their brokerage. However, as a result of industry changes, that is no longer the case. While the MLS still requires an agent to list your home on their service, buyers can now view the MLS listings without using a traditional agent. Likewise, sellers are no longer obligated to use traditional agents to list and market their homes with services such as HomeLister entering the field.
The Impact on Buyers:
Now buyers can view the MLS inventory in real time without a traditional agent using sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, which pull directly from the MLS. Because of this, agents now have less of an influence over which homes get viewed.
Here's how a typical home search happens today:
Most potential buyers will start their search online using public realtor websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, or Trulia, which pull directly from the local MLS.
They can search by price range, number of bedrooms, city, zip code or any other parameters.
Price and photo appeal also help buyers decide if they want to see a home. That's why professional photography is so important to your listing.
When a buyer sees a home they like online, the buyer calls a realtor or the owner directly to gain access to the house for the showing.
How Seller Commission Comes Into Play:
Through this stage of the process, a modern agent acts more like a mediator than an influencer. That said, agents do have some control at the showing itself.
If the buyer's agent sees that the seller is offering a low commission relative to the other homes viewed, they may downplay your home. For this reason, we encourage sellers to offer a standard buyer's agent commission between 2.5% - 4%. You don't want to miss out on the opportunity to connect with as many potential buyers as possible. In the end, you decide whether your want to accept an offer from a buyer with or without an agent.
A Shift for Sellers:
With tons of money savings to be had, many sellers are opting not to use a traditional brokerage to list and market their home. Sellers are using services like HomeLister to save tons of money on commission. Rather than pay both seller and buyer agents fees, HomeLister offers a flat rate and takes no commission. Acting as your listing agent to list your property on your local MLS, HomeLister offers all the tools of a traditional agent and have been them easier and readily available to use.