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NAR reports big growth in flat fee real estate

By Guy Social

Annual NAR report shows sellers are skipping the agent and opting for flat fee solutions.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more and more people are choosing to sell their homes on their own or with discounted agent services. The number of homes being sold with a flat-fee-mls listing rather than a traditional agent listing grew 30% in 2012. These homes represented 12% of all existing home sales (up from 10% in 2011).

The growth in flat-fee listings is coming from both for sale by owner sellers who need more exposure for their homes as well as sellers who use agents but want to save on commissions.

Selling your home by owner is not a new concept but it seems that more people are adopting the practice. Companies like Owners.com are making it easy for home sellers to not only get listed on their local MLS* but also display their homes across a variety of high profile websites such as Realtor.com®, Zillow®, Yahoo! Homes and Craigslist. This ensures maximum exposure to the home buying audience which reduces the amount of time it takes to sell. Most importantly, sellers can save a great deal of money. The usual commission (up to 6% of the home sale price) stays in the seller’s pocket. On average, Owners.com customers save over $9,500.

Home buyers can also benefit from this trend. If a home seller is going to be saving the big commission, they may be willing to negotiate further on the home price. Any trend that benefits both buyers and sellers can further spur growth in 2013.

*The MLS is a database of homes for sale. Agents use the MLS to find homes for buyers that they represent. Listing a home on the MLS notifies all local brokers that your home is for sale. Buyers not using an agent also search for homes on MLS websites such as Realtor.com and local versions.
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