Why You Should Choose Freestone?
It's a Sweet time to be a Seller
Timing is everything. And you are selling your home at a time when technology is drastically changing the real estate world. It is now faster, easier, and less expensive to buy and sell real estate (and more so everyday)...and Freestone is playing a big part.
Freestone Realty is disrupting the real estate sales world by combining the “Traditional” commissions based model with the “For Sale by Owner” model so that you can take full advantage of the benefits of technology, but not lose out on the professional services you want and need when selling your home. We give customers the freedom to choose how they sell their home and provide the service they deserve.
How does a “Traditional” commissions-model look?
It's simple. Traditional agencies are commissions-based. When the traditional broker sells your property, they take a 5-7% commission at closing. Without a doubt this can be a great way to sell your home. If an agent does it right, they will be investing a lot of time and money to get your property sold. Some properties are complex to sell, and an agent has to be skilled in order to best sell your home. For all that effort, 5-7% can be a bargain.
But there is an Ugly side...
Unfortunately, the traditional method of selling your home CAN be a nightmare. An agent can make big promises, get you to sign a contract, and then not follow through on their commitments. They can put little time, money, and/or effort into your listing and yet collect the same commission if your home sells.
We know all about terrible agents, because we've been their unhappy clients.
And if the home doesn’t sell, oh well. No real loss for the agent. They just pick up their sign and go on with their lives.
To a terrible agent the term professional photos consists of taking pictures of your home with an iPhone and not even bothering to wait for the person mowing your grass to get out of the way (yeah, that happened).
And yes, the agent did make it the featured photograph for the listing. A multi-million dollar listing! And no, the property did not sell!
With a terrible agent, the term negotiating consists of your agent trying to convince you the 50% of listing price offer you received is the best offer you will ever get! Why? Because the first offer is usually the best. Even though just weeks before this the agent was telling you how easy it would be to sell at the listed price. Now they have completely changed their tune and passionately work against you in order to get their commission (yes, we’re having flashbacks).
It’s common for listing agents to find ways to never even show up to your property. They send an assistant to install the yard sign. The photographer comes out and takes the pictures with little to no direction from the listing agent. And a lock box with a key is attached to your door so other agents and their buyers can tour the home without the listing agent.
Sadly, bad experiences are not uncommon. A listing agent can do little to no work and if your house sells they still get a commission. To put that in perspective, on the sale of a $300,000 house, the listing agent receiving a commission of 6% (average commission) would get $18,000. The listing agent would generally keep $9,000 and give $9,000 to the buyer’s agent. It is quite painful to pay someone $9,000 and feel like they did little to earn it.
The “No Commission” Mission
Many sellers would rather not take a chance leaving it all up to an agent. Frankly, they would rather do it themselves and save a lot of money. These are the “For Sale by Owner” sellers. Owners that decide to put their own “For Sale” yard sign up, show the home to buyers, and make a deal without paying a single penny in commissions.
Everyone has seen one of these “For Sale” signs at some point. They tend to be a store bought “For Sale by Owner” sign with the owner contact details filled out using a sharpie. Depending on the handwriting you may or may not be able to make sense of any of the information.
Ironically (and comically), the seller often gets tons of calls from listing agents trying to convince the seller to list the property with a broker. In fact, there are hundreds of YouTube videos trying to teach agents how to cold-call the suffering “For Sale By Owner” people and convince them to list their home with an agent.
What about the average buyer? After all, the whole point is to advertise the home to buyers. So what does the average buyer think when all they can see about a home is a handwritten “For Sale by Owner” yard sign?
The average buyer (not the sophisticated buyer who is looking for a steal) will likely question the credibility of the seller and hesitate to call them. They will ask themselves questions such as: Is this a serious seller? Why don’t they have an agent? Why can’t I read about it on the Internet? I don’t feel comfortable, should I call a buyer’s agent and ask for advice?
And when a buyer calls a Buyer’s agent about a privately listed “For sale by Owner” property, exactly what incentive does the agent have in recommending the client to pursue the property? Financially… none. They have no incentive to show the property to their clients, because the home is “For Sale by Owner” and the seller is not offering to pay a commission. Instead, the agent will show a professionally listed property down the street where the seller will pay a commission. Don’t let that happen to you.
3 Keys to selling your house like a professional
Start with the most obvious. Get a good sign. The individual selling a $300,000 house with a $2 «For Sale by Owner» yard-sign has a problem: they don't look professional or knowledgeable! Put up a beautiful sign that clearly displays information to potential buyers and you will immediately look like a serious seller.
Get Listed on the World Wide Web. A yard sign works great to let people know a property is for sale. But yard signs are not enough. You need to get the property in front of the right audience.
Fortunately, technology allows us to quickly and efficiently show buyers searching for a home that yours is available. Over 90% of homebuyers start their search for a home on the web. As a serious seller you want and need to be considered during Step 1 of the buying process. So you need to have your home listed online.
Have buyer's agents working for you, not against you. If you are not offering buyer's agents a commission in the purchase of your home, they just have no incentive to direct buyers your way. Over 80% of real estate transactions involve a real estate agent. Go ahead and list it yourself, but leave the door open for a buyer's agent to bring you a buyer by getting the property listed on the local MLS. Paying a 3% buyer's commission still saves you a ton of money compared to the normal 6% commission.
And if you find your own buyer, great! You won't need to pay a commission to anyone.
Critical move to sell your property, so Take Note
If you remember anything from this article, make it this. Offering zero commissions, not even a 2-3% buyer's agent commission, is going to substantially limit your selling options. In America, over 80% of real estate transactions involve at least 1 licensed real estate professional. Want the professional involved? Then you will need to provide an agent with an incentive to work for you (commission!!!).
A home is a large purchase and buyers often want the security and comfort found in a professional agent. Unless you're selling a dollhouse (or you just don't care when it sells) then offer at least a little commission to the buyer's agent. And yes, we can help you do this with ease.
This is where the Game-Changers come in
At Freestone, you will be a serious home seller no matter what package you choose.
Even with our $279 low priced flat-fee Standard MLS package your property will be:
Your listing will be prominently displayed on the Freestone website for buyers to quickly and easily view your listing. Each of the Freestone plans comes with the support of a licensed real estate professional. That's right, even our Standard MLS plan ($279) provides access to a real estate professional at an hourly rate when needed.
Can't figure out the best process for accepting an offer? Not sure about something and want to talk to a professional? No problem. We are here for you.
Why do we do this? Because at Freestone we are not an «I told you so» company, we are the «How can I help you?» company. Our #1 goal is to help you sell your home, and therefore every customer has access to our broker services.
The problem with most FSBO websites is they are simply middlemen. They take your information, charge you hundreds of dollars and then pass you onto a local agent (some cooperating agent looking for extra work). This local agent is there to fill out the paperwork and get your property loaded onto the local MLS.
The middlemen (the site you paid) are not real estate professionals, just Internet marketing gurus posing as such. If something comes up during the sell of your home and you need the help of a licensed professional, whom can you call? You probably won’t get much help from one of those middleman websites.
Freestone is different. We are a licensed and insured real estate brokerage. We are not the middlemen. We offer clients an agency where OUR goals are centered on helping clients achieve THEIR goals; selling their property and having the services they desire.
If you want to sell your home on your own and save money on commissions, then go for it. But do it like a professional and go with Freestone. Each of our paid plans comes with 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with our service in the first 20 days, we will give you a complete refund and end your contract.
Compare all of the plans and let’s find the one right for you.