The National Association of Realtors (NAR) in conjunction with the Swanepoel/T3 Group authored the DANGER Report (2015) that identifies multiple threats that will impact the real estate industry. The report reveals the thinking of 70 industry leaders and over 7,500 brokers and agents from across the country. The following is an excerpt from the report that highlights a significant threat to commissioned real estate agents and a great opportunity for home sellers and buyers.
A2- Commissions Spiral Downwards
A variety of powerful forces will exert significant downward pressure on real estate commissions.
Scale 1 – 5 (1= 10% chance, 5= 100% chance)
Index: 87.5 out of 100 (Critical concern for the Real Estate Industry)
“Home buyers might not always want to use a
real estate agent, but most think they have to.
What happens if their perspective changes?”
Consumers are definitely becoming more motivated to find an alternate solution, and a growing new generation of brokers and agents are exploring a legion of new business models and pricing models that will most likely become commonplace……….
The continued rise in home prices has facilitated the elevation of real estate earnings based on commissions.Those earnings have not gone unnoticed by consumers, who are responding by placing increased pressure on real estate agents to reduce their commission rates. As a result, many fear a gradual downward slide or a realignment of fees as charged in other countries in the world.
WORLD REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE FEES
According to a report by the International Real Estate Review, real estate brokerage fees around the world are:
United Kingdom…………….. 1 – 2%
Singapore………………………. 1.5 – 2%
Netherlands…………………… 1.5 – 2%
Australia……………………….. 2 – 3%
and in the United States 5-6%
Real estate home sellers and buyers are saving thousands of dollars by paying direct or not paying a % commission to a real estate agent. Fixed fee compensation or alternative models are consumer preferred. Save money don’t pay a real estate commission.
Read the full report online at http://www.dangerreport.com/
The Home Buying Process
- Get Personal Finances in Order
- check credit score
- prepare and organize financial profile or PFS- Income and Expenses/Assets and Liabilities
- Meet with a Lender
- Interview mortgage brokers, credit unions and banks
- Determine how much home you can afford
- Get Pre-approved
- Start a Home Search Online
- Create a list of home expectations and needs
- Visit Zillow.com
- Visit Realtor.com
- Request a showing appointment with the listing agent-visit home and neighborhood
- Identify a Real Estate Attorney
- Review loan materials
- Review contracts
- Make an Offer
- Home Inspection
- Sign Purchase and Sale agreement
- Confirm Mortgage Commitment
- Final Walk Through
- Home Closing- formal signing of closing documents
- Move In
- In 2015 a commissioned real estate buyer agent is neither required nor desired by a buyer to purchase a home.
- Don’t have a buyer agent, many home sellers will discount the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) list price- money they would have otherwise paid to the buyer agent. Buy Direct and Save.
It’s nearly impossible to identify a survey that suggests a major concern for a home buyer is finding the right buyer agent. This result either presupposes all buyer agents are equal or, more to the point, a buyer agent is not a necessity. Before the internet, a buyer agent was needed because the buyer agent controlled all the home listing information and it was the only way a home buyer could learn about a property for sale. However, in 2015, Zillow.com, Realtor.com and other online companies have diluted the need of the buyer agent by making home listing information available to the general public, at no cost.
If you are in the market to buy a home follow the above home buying steps and pay below the MLS list price.
By nature many home improvements are personal. That is why we can say, “This is my home.” However there is a balance between making your home personally comfortable and realizing one day you will sell your home.
Not all home improvement projects are equal. Certain projects add 100%+ value to your home- like adding additional livable square footage; while other home improvements may not be worth the expense of doing the project and the big bugaboo are those projects that will actually make your home sell for less.
The following is a short list of these projects, major and minor, that will devalue your home:
If you live in a 3 bedroom home never swallow the second or third bedroom to create a larger Master bedroom, this is a very costly mistake. A lower bedroom count is a true impediment for a home seller. Home buyers are more concerned about the total number of bedrooms a home offers and then the size of each room.
Have you ever heard a real estate agent say the home is complete with no garage? Probably not because a garage completes a home. Most homeowners (especially in the suburbs) have a car and want to secure their car indoors either in an attached or detached garage. The idea of commandeering garage space and converting it to livable space is foolhardy and not cost-effective. If you want to enlarge a home’s useable area consider finishing a basement or build additional square footage from scratch.
Never paint Betty Boop or a rich dark color on a wall or wall paper a room. The easiest way to add accent to a room is to hang it- either a picture or a sculpture. Be aware- whatever you do to decorate a room make sure it can be easily undone before you sell.
Your home is your castle today, but tomorrow it will be somebody else’s. Create, design and decorate a balanced home. It will be easier to sell.
Make your home buying process enjoyable and memorable. If you are a serious home buyer then you’ve already contacted a home lender. For most home buyers preparing to obtain a mortgage is not a challenge and the process is made even easier with a good lender.
To start, use the below infographic as a guideline as to what to expect and your responsibilities.
Every home buyer should have a personalized Buyer Action Team.The most important members of your Buyer Action Team are the home lender and the real estate attorney. If you are looking for a home in Carlisle, Ma; Concord, MA; Westford, MA or Chelmsford, MA call your home lender today or visit 2Way Realty’s Buyer Action Team page for a referral. (http://2wayrealty.com/buyer-action-team.html).
Update on Mortage Rates: As of August 21, 2015 (Friday), a 30 year fixed mortgage is 4.008% APR and a 15 year mortgage is 3.444% APR.
Good Luck and Good Buy.
Sure you have a little commute if you work in the City of Boston but living in the suburbs like Westford, MA, Chelmsford, MA or Littleton, MA you get so much more home for your money and a parking space. That’s right a parking space. Did you ever think your attached 2 car garage meant so much?
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, today, could you imagine paying $1 million for 50 square feet called a parking space. That’s about 4x the cost of an average single family home in the United States.
If you are reading this blog while on the train going to work or coming home from work, pat yourself on the back then read the below article for a good laugh.
CLICK HERE or click on the below picture. You will be glad you did.
Recently we are noticing many more home buyers that are not represented by a real estate agent. In fact, 90% of home buyers are identifying properties without an agent on Zillow and Trulia. Use this to your advantage.
If you are unrepresented and are interested in this home 2Way Realty will pay you $2,000 at closing. 2Way Realty will also facilitate all your buyer needs including organizing your Buyer Action Team. Your personalized Buyer Action Team represents all the real estate professionals that will make your home purchase seamless and more efficient. The team members include a home lender, a real estate attorney and a home inspector. In the alternative if you are already working with a real estate agent we will pay your agent the agreed MLS co-broke commission.
CLICK HERE or the below picture to learn more about this home for sale in Chelmsford, MA.
Many home buyers in Carlisle, MA, Chelmsford, MA, Concord, MA, and Westford, MA are curious to learn more about the upcoming (October 3rd) mortgage lending changes proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Tila-Respa Integrated Disclosure rule or (TRID) is an effort to introduce more transparency and streamline the mortgage process for the benefit of the home buyer. It simplifies and consolidates loan disclosures and changes the timing of the mortgage process.
All Home Buyers CLICK HERE or the below picture to learn everything you need to know about successfully applying for a mortgage.
This booklet is a toolkit and provides guidance on how to obtain a mortgage and what to expect. It’s organized into 3 helpful topic areas:
I. Choosing the Right Mortgage
II. Your Closing
III. Congratulations you are a new homeowner
This a very exciting time for you and your family. If you have further questions please contact your lender or choose a lender from our Buyer Action Team.
Only a true friend (that’s also a real estate agent) will tell a home buyer the truth, it’s not necessary to pay a real estate % commission. A principled buyer agent will agree to work for a fixed or flat fee payment. Paying a fixed or flat fee (not a % commission) makes better economic sense for the home buyer. Did you know when using a real estate buyer agent that charges a % commission, the more money you pay to buy a home, the more money your buyer agent makes? That’s a definite conflict of the buyer’s interest. You are paying for representation that makes more money if you spend more money. Huh? But that’s the truth. Subsequently, unethical buyer agents steer home buyers away from homes not offering a satisfactory real estate commission.
Home buyers care about buying; home sellers care about selling and seedy real estate agents care about the commission.
It’s possible a home buyer doesn’t need a real estate buyer agent at all. The internet and platforms like Zillow have made all home listings public facing. A home buyer can search and find acceptable properties on their own, without a buyer agent. What a home buyer does need is a home lender and real estate attorney to review contracts and documents.
If you are buying a home this summer or fall and you elect to use a real estate buyer agent make sure you only pay a fixed or flat fee. Don’t give your hard earned money away to a cunning % commissioned real estate agent.
There is a compelling story evolving in real estate sales that meritoriously mirrors the recent proposed consumer protection efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPD).
In 2015, the advancement of technology and the influence of Zillow’s public facing listing platform has unlocked the control of the real estate agent and helped to devolve power to the consumer. Real estate sellers and buyers are frustrated that their consumer needs are not being addressed and the cost to transact real estate is too high. Many home sellers and buyers are challenging and questioning the traditional commission based sales model and asking WHY?
- REAL ESTATE AGENTS OPERATE in a VACUUM
The traditional commission based sales model is seeded in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is a restricted website for real estate brokers and agents only. It is also referred to as the broker’s network- an exclusive membership club for real estate agents to advertise and share commissions. Using the MLS, a commissioned listing agent will post a home for sale in hopes that a buyer agent will collaborate. Collaboration means posting and sharing a commission that is split between listing and buyer agent.
The listed commission determines how quickly a home will sell. The greater the commission the greater the chance a buyer agent will cooperate and show the home to their buyer. By design the home buyer has no knowledge of the commission offered to the buyer agent through the MLS. Both the home buyer and home seller are harmed by a lack of transparency and unethical real estate agents that conduct business purely in the vacuum of the MLS.
- REAL ESTATE AGENTS LACK TRANSPARENCY
The traditional commission based sales model is not structured to be transparent. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. The home seller and buyer are the most important participants in a real estate transaction, but often times are not consulted until after the listing agent and buyer agent have forged a deal using MLS.
If you are a home seller be certain your listing agent employs a sales and marketing system that meets your approval and all your expectations are acknowledged.
If you are buying a home make sure your buyer agent (if you choose to use one) shows you every home listing, not just the listings that pays the most co-broke commission.
- REAL ESTATE AGENTS MAY VIOLATE the LAW & ETHICS
It’s truly amazing the number of buyer agents that ignorantly or knowingly violate (break) laws aimed at protecting the consumer by not showing a home buyer a home listing. The reluctance of a buyer agent not to show a home is generally because the MLS home listing does not offer adequate compensation to the buyer agent. Consequently, the buyer agent is steering home buyers away from properties for their own personal financial gain and putting their needs in advance of the buyer to whom they serve.
This type of deception by the buyer agent frustrates the reputation of all real estate professionals. It’s a sobering breach of the Realtor’s Code of Ethics, a serious violation of Mass General Law 93A (Regulation of Business Practices for Consumers Protection), and potentially an abuse of ANTITRUST regulations.
- REAL ESTATE AGENTS MLS is NOT CONSUMER FRIENDLY
In practice, a real estate commission/fee should echo free market considerations – consumers receiving the highest desired service at a competitive price. The reality is the MLS and the traditional commission based sales model fails the consumer and purely benefits the sales agent. Characteristically a real estate agent aggressively champions the traditional commission based sales model at the expense of the consumer by claiming:
“This is the rate every firm charges”
“I’d like to lower the commission, but no one else in the MLS will show your house unless the commission is X%”
“Before you decide to list with XYZ Realty you should know that because they are “discount” agents, members of the association won’t show their listings.”
The three above agent statements violate federal antitrust laws and state laws meant to protect the consumer. A free market is an economic system in which prices and wages are determined by unrestricted competition between businesses and consumers.
THE REAL ESTATE SOLUTION
- If you are selling a home only work with a full service, fixed fee real estate agent.
- If you are a buying a home use a fixed fee real estate agent and have a real estate attorney review all the documents/contracts.
I’m truly amazed at the number of real estate agents that knowingly or ignorantly violate (break) laws aimed at protecting the consumer by not showing a home buyer a requested property.
This type of deception by the Buyer Agent frustrates the reputation of all real estate professionals. It’s a sobering breach of the Realtor’s Code of Ethics, a serious violation of Mass General Law 93A (Regulation of Business Practices for Consumers Protection), and potentially an abuse of ANTITRUST regulations.
The reluctance of a Buyer Agent not to show a home is generally because the home listing does not offer adequate compensation to the Buyer Agent. Translation the home sale is not putting enough money into the Buyer Agent’s pocket. Therefore the Buyer Agent is steering home buyers away from properties for their own personal financial gain. Consequently, the Buyer Agent is putting his/her needs in advance of the buyer to whom they serve.
For example, a real estate broker friend shared with me the following account. She recently listed a property in her Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and offered $2,500 to a Buyer Agent. She received two phone calls that were most reflective. The first phone call went accordingly once she filtered out the superlatives: “Good luck selling that house, no Buyer Agent will show it for that little co-broke amount.” The second phone call was a little different. The Buyer Agent agreed to show the home but not because her buyer may be interested (she would make sure they weren’t) but because in her words, “she wanted to waste the sellers time by removing them from their home so she could show it to a buyer that she would make certain would never be interested (just like the seller wasted her time by offering such a small co-broke amount).”
This type of damaging behavior is always for the betterment of the real estate Buyer Agent at the detriment of the home buyer that simply wants to be a home.
Take Control of your home buying process. Don’t be deceived by a greedy Buyer Agent. Think twice before committing to a greedy Buyer Agent.