About Lowe's Flat Fee
What makes Lowe's Flat Fee different?
When you hire us, you get all the same services that you would with a traditional agent (who would ordinarily receive 3% of the closing costs). The only difference is, you only pay a flat fee of $2,992 (you pay Lowe's an additional $1,000 for every $100,000 in home value above $399,000). Just that fact alone saves you thousands of dollars in fees (click here for our calculator
). We are dedicated to proving that we are Idaho's Real Estate Savings experts, while earning the highest customer satisfaction ratings!
You mean there's no benefit to listing with a traditional high-commission broker?
That's right. Your listing will end up in the same MLS, no matter if you were to market it via a traditional real estate agent charging you higher commissions.
So, Lowe's Flat Fee is a full service real estate agent?
Yes, we are! You get complete representation by a licensed agent throughout the entire real estate transaction process. We’ll list your home on the local MLS, provide an in-home consultation, comparative market analysis (CMA) of your home, yard signs, showing service, lock box for showings, home staging advice and contract negotiations. We are with you through the entire process.
What don’t we get with Lowe's Flat Fee?
We typically don't hold open houses on our listings, nor do we print flyers (the web has helped make these marketing channels a thing of the past). Other than these two items, Lowe's Flat Fee does everything a full service brokerage does.
How long has Lowe's Flat Fee been in business?
We've been selling homes since 1994, and we've been steadily growing ever since.
How can you charge less than other firms?
It takes much less time for an agent to assist in a transaction today than it did in the past. Technology improvements (especially the internet) have made real estate agents more efficient today than they were 10 years ago, and significantly more so than 20 years ago. Despite these facts, real estate agents have not changed their pricing models. Most agents charge the same fees today that they did 20 years ago.
Are there any hidden fees or charges?
No. There are no hidden fees or charges. We do not get paid unless your house sells.
How do we get the ball rolling?
What is your success rate?
Very good! In reviewing the history, our sold rates equal the market as a whole. As with all home sales, the proper pricing of your home is critical.
Do we owe you any more fees at closing?
No, there are no additional fees due my office.
About Flat Fee Realty
How does your $2,992 flat fee work?
When selling your home, you incur three expenses:
* The listing agent (typically around 3% of the price of a home)
* The buyer’s agent
* Title fees.
We save you money by charging a $2,992 flat fee instead of a listing commission (you pay Lowe's an additional $1,000 for every $100,000 in home value above $399,000). You, as the home seller, would still be responsible for paying the buyer’s agent and title fees.
What is a "Listing Agent" and a "Buyer’s Agent"?
The Listing Agent is the agent who lists your home for sale in the MLS. A "Buyer's Agent" (or "Selling Agent") is the agent who actually sells your home and/or property.
What about the buyer's agent fee?
You select how much to offer. However, we recommend a offering a buyer’s agent fee of between 2.5 and 3%; otherwise, you're de-incentivizing agents from showing your home.
What if I find my own buyer? Do I still have to pay a selling commission?
No. If you find a buyer for your home without an agent's assistance, there is no commission to pay. Please note that the listing commission is still payable, and we would be happy to assist you with the transaction.
What is the title fee?
This pays for the title company's services. It's their job is to ensure you actually own your home and stop anyone else from claiming rights to it.
How do I get started with Lowe's Flat Fee?
Is the flat fee all we pay you to list?
Why doesn't everyone list their property with a flat fee?
Lack of awareness I think is the biggest issue. People do not realize that flat fee service is available. Also, some sellers are not confident in selling themselves, but with my Realtor assist program I take that fear away as I am available to answer those questions and review/prepare all the contracts. It really is a great money saving option.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
What is “MLS” or Multiple Listing Service?
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) displays the vast majority of real estate listings which are for sale by real estate brokers and their agents in a specific area. All types of real estate property can be listed, including homes, condominiums, commercial property, lots, acreage and even rentals. There are over a thousand individual MLSs across the country. They are also independent of each other, which means a real estate agent in Idaho can’t see a listings in the Chicago MLS. Some national websites, like Realtor.com, aggregate listings from all these MLSs; however, some information (like commissions offered to agents and owner contact information) is only displayed on the local MLS.
Is the MLS the best way to sell my home?
Yes. Statistics show that homes listed on the MLS sell faster. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports homes listed on the MLS result in a higher net price to sellers than those sold by the owner directly. About 85% of home buyers use a agent to help them locate a property. When a possible buyer contacts an agent about a home purchase, the agent will likely search the MLS for homes matching the buyers’ desires, wants and needs. Naturally, statistics show that homes listed on the MLS sell faster.
Why do I need a real estate agent to list a home on MLS?
Only a licensed real estate broker (who belongs to the MLS and pays the MLS dues and fees) can list a property. Real estate brokers are also responsible for the accuracy of the listing, and keeping it current.
Is an MLS listing by Lowe's Flat Fee MLS any different than one posted by a traditional real estate broker?
No. You get the same MLS listing in the same local MLS for a one-time low Flat Fee, instead of having to pay a commission.
Once my paperwork is received, how long before my home is listed in the MLS?
Depending on the time of day, listings are usually entered into the MLS within 48 hours of everything being received from you.
Will agents show and sell my home if it’s not listed on the MLS?
It's unlikely. The MLS Listing Agreement specifies the agent's commission; without this agreement, agents will bypass FSBO (For Sale By Owner) homes because they are working with buyers and have no written agreement to be compensated. If the seller has not agreed in writing to pay a commission to a Buyer’s Agent, the buyer could cut the agent right out of the deal and negotiate directly with the seller.
How does information about my house get on the MLS?
We will have you complete the MLS Data Sheet, which will supply potential buyers with the information they need to see if your home meets their buying criteria. The MLS Data Sheet fields cannot be customized. However, you can write a description highlighting your home’s special features.
How long will it take for my MLS listing to appear on the public internet sites?
The MLS sends listing information at different times to the different public internet sites. Once your listing is entered into the MLS system, it appears instantly to REALTORS® and their buyers.
Will my listing look the same as other listings?
Yes. It will be identical to the listings of competing real estate companies, showing all photos and all listing information, including the commission offered to an agent who successfully sells the home, and instructions for showing the home.
Can I make changes to my MLS listing?
Yes. Contact us by email with the changes.
How long will my property be listed on the MLS for the flat fee?
Even though most homes are sold within a couple of months of listing (or sooner), the listing is good for six months. List renewals are rarely needed.
Will my phone number be on the MLS?
Yes, your phone number will be displayed to agents in the MLS. Agents are asked to contact you to arrange for showings and with any requests for additional information. MLS regulations do not permit your phone number or other contact info to be displayed in public access portions of the MLS.
Can I personally list my property on the MLS without a REALTOR®?
No, the MLS is available only to Realtor members of the MLS. That is why our program is such a value to you. You gain access to MLS at a low, low cost while gaining all the exposure.
Is there a national MLS system?
I wish there were, or at least a state-wide MLS. There are at least 12 different systems in Idaho, ranging from large Regional areas, to small single county systems, and systems based out of state. Of those 12 systems, I belong to 4 which covers about 90% of Idaho’s population.
Marketing Your Home
Aren't larger real estate companies better able to sell my home?
No. There is no empirical evidence that larger firms sell quicker just because they have more staff.
How do you market your listings?
The National Association of Realtors estimates that over 92% of homebuyers search for their home online. That's why all of our listings are listed on the MLS, which is used by agents nationwide and can be found on various websites, including Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. This ensures your home enjoys the best possible visibillity. We also market homes through online and offline mediums. Finally, you have the option to place a sign in your front yard. These methods constitute about 99% of all home sales in the US.
Will other real estate agents show my property if I list with Lowe's Flat Fee?
Yes, definitely! Our listings are regularly shown by agents from other firms. If a property meets an agent's buyer's crtieria, then they'll likely want to show them the property in the hopes of getting paid (a buyer's agent does not get paid unless their client finds a home they want to buy). Agents also have an obligation to protect the best interests of their client and to put the client's interests above their own, so if the buyer likes the property, then they have an obligation to show it to their client.
Who will agents call for showings?
Although you have several options, the most common way is for the listing broker to indicate showing instructions on the MLS. For example, it can say "Call owner direct to arrange for a showing" and list your name and contact phone number.
How long should my property be on the market?
If your home is priced right, in a good location and shows well, it should sell quickly. This is because with Lowe's Flat Fee, we market your home on MLS, REALTOR.com® and other marketing channels, ensuring we draw maximum attention to your home.
Do you offer a money-back guarantee if I'm not satisfied after my home is listed, or if I cancel my listing to go with another agent?
Buying A Home
Lock Boxes, Signs and Photos
What kind of lock box should I use?
A Supra Electronic Lockbox is included with this program. It will provide you with the highest degree of security and convenience.
Who takes the pictures?
We will take photos under this program, but note that we are not professional photograhers. So, you are still welcome to hire a photographer or take them yourself. If you choose the latter, we recommend that you choose up to 20 good images and save them to a folder, them email them to us. We will then enter them into the MLS. When selecting your photos, keep in mind that this is your first (and best) impression to potential buyers. Make sure your photos are recent and in-season. Photos taken with a wide angle lens tend to look better. The main photo must be the exterior of your home. Other photos may include front and back yard, kitchen, living, dining, family and bedrooms, and any views from your property.
How will I get offers?
The Idaho Real Estate Commission requires that offers be submitted through my office, which I am required to review for the required elements of a contract in Idaho. In practice the way that normally works is, the agent will email the offer to me, after a quick review I email it on to you. To counter the process is reversed.
Please note that I am only reviewing the offer for legal elements, and not providing counsel or answering questions about the offer or suggestions for your counter offer. I do offer that service under my optional Realtor assist program. Which has proven extremely helpful for may sellers, in both increasing the offer acceptance rate and ensuring nothing is missed on the offer.
Can I cancel my listing at anytime and list with another agent?
Yes, you pay an upfront, non-refundable fee to list your home on the MLS. If you decide you want to go a different direction, you just need notify us.
I have a For Sale By Owner sign, should I use the Realtor’s sign?
We will install our yard sign. A "For Sale By Owner" sign tends to scare off many agents, invites lower-priced offers and is prohibited by most MLS regulations.
Who handles the paperwork?
The buyer’s agent or buyer will fill out the purchase & sale agreement, then the seller will review and either accept or counter. I review the written offers and counter offers for only the legal requirements of an contract in Idaho. Under my optional program I review all the offers and prepare the counter offers for you. Additional addenda, including the inspection addendum will also be submitted by the buyer and/or buyer’s agent to seller for response. An title/escrow company will generally handle the closing.
Are you involved in negotiations?
Yes, we provide negotiation assistance, including estimated net sheets, updated market analysis and suggested counter offer. We can also conduct a review of buyer's qualifications and perform lender follow up.
Are you involved in the closing process?
Yes. We provide closing coordination with appraisal, title and escrow companies for timely closing. We also review closing documents to ensure compliance with accepted contract.
How can I get my contract reviewed?
We will help with that.