It appears the usual answer from full-service brokers regarding flat-fee listings are “you get what you pay for.”  However, let’s take another look.

According to a San Diego Agent:  “A flat fee company is as good as the agent you have working for you. In many cases these agents are capable and diligent and the only difference you will find in service is the fee structure. You must carefully evaluate the agent’s complete program to see whether it will work for you. Many flat fee companies have an option that lets the owner conduct showings and keep the home out of MLS for the most savings.   If you have a lot of patience, price your home attractively, and are not in a hurry to sell, this may be an option.

Ultimately, many brokers and agents who tried the discounted flat fee commission business model found they simply cannot make enough money to survive in the marketplace. That, however, does not mean that it is necessarily a bad thing for consumers.”

Most of the time a homeowner is the worst person to sell their own house and the worst person to negotiate with a buyer’s agent. They are too involved, too emotional and too inexperienced.  They can actually prevent a sale rather than explore other options to get to closing.  There can be a myriad of issues that come up that a typical homeowner has no expertise with, such as low appraisals, unusual contingencies, boundary issues, renting back to the buyers, financial/mortgage problems, not closing on time, etc.

The question I get asked frequently when I stage a house that is to be listed through For Sale By Owner, or flat-free commission sites is “what price should I list it for?”   Full-service realtors can do a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA), check out what the market has been doing lately, days on the market,  and come up with a data-driven price range.  Homeowners always think their house is special, even when presented with data-driven comparables.

This new-build was recently finished and staged.  The owner and builder asked me what listing price he should use, but he already had it listed with a flat-free broker.  I would have thought he might have checked with other newly-built homes in the subdivision, especially attending the Parade of Homes held the month before.


This kitchen has all the bells and whistles one would expect from a high-end new-build.  Beautiful back-splash, quartz counter tops, plenty of space on the island for casual eating, plus a wine/beer cooler.

Master Bedroom
Doorway to Office and Deck

One of the more unusual places to stage was this room in between the master bedroom and the outdoor deck.  The owner specifically asked for it to be staged as an office.  Normally, an office would be used by anyone living in the house, but in this case, only the occupants of the master bedroom were privy to it.  Perhaps another use for this space could be an art studio, craft room, yoga or meditation area, or a sun room full of plants.


I thought this house was very well designed for a family.  It has 3 bedrooms on the main floor and 2 lower level bedrooms.  The lower level also contains a theatre room, family room, bathroom in addition to basement storage.  You enter through the 3-car garage  into the mudroom, with the laundry room across the hall. There is a door from the master bedroom closet that directly enters the laundry room–very convenient.

Formal Dining Room

There are many reasons to use a flat-free brokerage and many reasons not to.  Because I am a realtor agent with eXp Realty, I have the ability to be flexible with my commission structure so as to meet your needs and still provide good service.  Being cloud-based means no brick and mortar buildings to pay rent on, no desk fees, no franchise fees.  I also include staging with all my listings.

It’s a win-win combination.  Call Premiere Stagers and Realty at 608-345-9396;  also visit