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Fee for Service Real Estate - How it Works

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What is Fee For Service Real Estate?:

Simply, fee for service real estate offers the consumer choices of the services they want in buying or selling real estate.

A brokerage practicing this business model will take apart the standard bundle of services, and make them available to the consumer individually or in mini-bundles or packages. Normally, these services would be priced individually at flat rates or quoted prices.

Seller Side Examples of Fee For Service:

A seller might want to reduce their costs for listing their property by performing some of the tasks involved. These could include:

  • Taking their own property photos
  • Running their own marketing campaigns
  • Showing the home themselves
  • Almost any of the many tasks and activities associated with a listing and taking the seller from contract to closing could be broken out and offered in this a-la-carte fashion.

    Buyer Side Examples of Fee for Service:

    There are fewer opportunities for this business model with buyers, however, some brokerages offer the ability to the buyer to:

  • Locate and view properties without assistance (see buyer rebates)
  • Handle some of the closing coordination activities
  • Though there are fewer ways to employ fee for service with buyers, it is a viable business strategy.

    Consumer Choice is Good - Risk is Not:

    A real estate brokerage that wishes to employ this business model should place safeguards that will assure they aren't taking on risk by allowing their customer to perform tasks without the knowledge to handle them properly. We're the experts, and if it gets to court later, the judge might not give the brokerage the benefit of the doubt if the consumer has been damaged.

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