Sell Homes For A Flat Fee
Freedom to choose how much you save.
Be at ease with more expert guidance from beginning to end.
How Does It Work?
Flat Fee Programs
Seller controlled process. Max savings.
Best for experienced sellers that need minimal agent guidance.
- MLS Listing
- Listing on hundreds of major real estate websites
- Up to 5 photos
- Unlimited listing changes
- Open house posting
- Buyer leads forwarding
- 6 months listing
- Everything in Level 1
- Up to 25 photos
- Printable marketing material
- E-sign forms
- Yard sign
- 6 months listing
- Everything in Level 2
- Professional photography
- All necessary forms guidance
- No cancellation fee
- Contract review & advice
- Up to 12 months listing
- Everything in Level 3
- Professional photography
- Professional showing scheduling
- Lockbox installation
- Listing accuracy check
- Pricing consultation & CMA
- Initial payment $499
- Up to 12 months listing
Full Service Programs
Agent guided. Less hassle. More savings.
- Everything in Flat Fee Program
- Listing strategy consultation
- Respond to all inquiries
- Live agent support
- HUD review
- Guidance through closing
- Closing coordination
- Initial payment $599
- Everything in Silver Program
- On-site consultation
- Professionally hosted open house
- Inspection assistance
- Floor plan
- Showing feedback solicitation
- Initial payment $699
- Everything in Gold Program
- 3D virtual tour
- 2 Open Houses
- Complicated showing scheduling
- CMA ongoing update
- Bi-weekly status review
- Initial payment $799
How do I get started?
1 Pick a program you like from the above, follow the “Read More” link and place the order.
2 Once we receive your order, we will send you detailed guidance to gather information and prepare documents.
3 Once we receive everything, we will get your house listed within 24 hours. Then prepare for showings and offers!
4 Depending on your choice, we’ll assist with different stages of the transaction, until your house is sold.
To Help You Decide
We prepared a Pros and Cons list comparing our services to traditional realtors
Need we say more?
Our listing agreement empowers you to save additional commissions if you are able to find a buyer by yourself without any real estate agent’s help.
You can choose as much, or as little, realtor service as you like. We respect your decision. We promise absolutely no badgering, no sales pitch, no disguised counselling telling you “what’s best for you”.
With our flat fee services, you don’t have to factor in the huge transaction cost when calculating your bottom line. You now have the freedom to adjust your listing price so that it is much more appealing to buyers than your competition.
We will place your property on the MLS, which is the gold standard of the industry. We also make sure your listing appear in front of millions of audience through hundreds of major real estate websites.
You call the shots, we carry it out within 24 hours.
From listing your home on the MLS, to advise you on pricing strategies, to negotiate the best deal for you, we are here to help you every step of the way. You don’t need to be super experienced to choose our service, nor do you need to face tough situations alone. We are not like other flat fee providers that provide only a limited scope of services. We basically provide all the services a traditional realtor would provide, except at a low, fixed price.
No more paper shuffling. We employ the latest doc-sharing and e-signature technologies to make life easier.
If you need us any time, we can be reached via e-mail, text, phone call, and online chatting.
We won’t pile on complicated jargon just to show that we are knowledgeable. Nor we will hide behind inexplicable laws or procedures. The home selling process is stressful, but it doesn’t need to be confusing. You as the consumer deserve to be in the know.
At the very least, you need to have a smart phone or a computer. Some of our process need you to follow the software prompts or download an app. Most communications will be online.
Because of our extremely low-cost model, we can’t sustain if we act like traditional realtors – no charge up-front, but charge you an exorbitant fee at closing. Flat Fee program payment is non-refundable because of our substantial manpower and time invested before a listing.
Our low cost does not allow our agents to be at every showing of your property. We put up lockbox and make sure buyers are accompanied by licensed realtors who are bound by the same laws and regulations as us, so you don’t need to worry about vandalism or theft. If you are uncomfortable with this arrangement, then all showings will have to be coordinated by you.
If there are tenants in the property, seller would have to work out an agreement with the tenants.
Although from our experience, we have found that lockbox showings of vacant properties (lived-in or not) are easier to get offers, we understand different sellers have different preference, and will honor your choice.
It is a given for all listings, with traditional realtors or us. Once you decided to sell, the first thing to do is to get the property in shape. If not complete upgrading or renovating, at least cleaning and de-cluttering. During our listing appointment, we will walk the property, take pictures, figure out its selling points. It’s best to have the property in stage-ready situation.
If desired, staging service will greatly enhance the visual appeal of the property. If you choose our Premium Plan, we will arrange a staging consultant for you.
Traditional realtors charge 5-6% of your home price as their commission. Flat Fee MLS listing provides the essential services for a fixed, low fee. The price will be determined by the amount of services you choose.
The most basic flat fee listing service just submit your home’s listing to the MLS, so it’s promulgated through the web like all the other properties. Advanced packages including showing assistance, marketing strategies, closing coordination, etc.
1. Save a huge amount of money;
2. Have the freedom to choose only the services you need;
3. Potential of savings up to 6% if you could sell by yourself;
4. Take full advantage of the MLS and market your property in a professional way;
5. Lower cost could make your property more appealing compared to competitors.
1. Homeowners will do more work during the selling process, e.g. showing homes, get photographers, etc. depending on what level of services they choose;
2. Services are “as ordered”, so there won’t be much hand-holding;
3. Flat fee realtors usually charge an upfront fee.
Flat fee realtors market your property just like any other property for sale. Your listing is marketed all across the web to professional standards. Buyers would not tell a difference. On the contrary, For Sale By Owner listings only have limited website exposure, does not appear professional, and incur different treatment from realtors and buyers. Plus, the cost to list your home FSBO is almost the same with flat fee realtors.
Not surprisingly, many home sellers are new to the process. If you are not comfortable with the bare-bones flat fee realtor service packages, we provide Full Service Programs. They are still flat fee, but provides significantly more guidance and hand-holding. You still get to save by avoiding paying the 6% commission.
We will list your home on the MLS, which is the industry’s golden standard. Not only will all real estate agents be able to see your listing, it will also show in virtually all major real estate websites, including but not limited to: Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com, RE/MAX, Century 21, Movoto, Juwai, HomeFinder, HomeSnap, RealtyTrac, Housesforsale, Coldwell Banker, BHHS, Keller Williams, @properties, Ziprealty, etc.
After we receive your order, we will reach out to you within 24 hours to give you detailed instructions to gather relevant information and sign our contract. After we have all the information, we will submit your listing to the MLS within 24 hours.
One thing we need to point out, is that different websites have vastly different speed of updating information. Some will show your listing within the hour, some will take days to reflect the changes.
- Pick out a package above, or contact us to get a customized quote.
- We will contact you to gather information about the property and prepare the paperwork.
- Meanwhile, you should get the property in shape for sale: de-cluttered, cleaned, and if possible, staged.
- Arrange professional photography.
- We could help you with the pricing strategy if you so choose.
- We will submit your listing to the MLS and hundreds other major real estate websites.
- Set up a showing method.
- Prepare for open houses, if desired.
- Periodic cleaning and maintenance of the property.
- Periodic price adjustment is necessary.
- We present all offers to you.
- Offer negotiation.
- Attorney contract review and title work.
- Buyer financing arrangement.
- Inspection and appraisal.
- Repairs and re-inspection.
- Final walk through.
- Prepare for closing.
- Closing day.
Say you go to your doctor for a checkup. Just because you have 10 times the money as the next guy, is it fair to charge you 10 times the price for the same service? From my own experience as a buyer, seller and realtor, I believe it is outdated to charge a 6% commission for a realtor’s service. Selling a $1000K house does not take 10 times the effort of selling a $100K house. The essential services that realtors provide are fairly consistent from one sale to another.
There’s no denying that some sellers expect white-glove concierge services from their realtors. In some cases, realtors do a ton of work to get the house sold. Then it is absolutely fair for them to get a higher compensation.
But what about sellers that don’t need that much hand-holding? What about sellers that can handle a lot of the work during the selling process, and would like to save on realtor commission?
That’s where we come in.
We clearly define the essential services that realtors provide during the home-selling process. Based on seller’s choice of different levels of services, there is a flat, low fee. That’s it. We don’t charge based on the price of the home. We could save sellers up to 3% of realtor commission. And we also give sellers more freedom. If sellers could find buyers themselves, the saving would be 6%.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the realtor charging 10 times my price do the work 10 times better! That’s a pretty sly marketing line to coax the consumers to pay more, under the impression that they are getting better service. If you think about it, there is no support to back up the argument. It’s just a flat statement.
The real estate brokerage industry has some inherent flaws. First, the industry has a relatively low barrier to entry; second, there is no transparent, universal standard to judge the quality of a realtor. The result of these two is that there are people of different educational levels, different motivation, different worldviews and different technology awareness, all broadcasting themselves as “your local expert” or “best choice” or “real estate guru”.
On the other hand, consumers rarely have a way to objectively compare realtors, like the way they can compare cereals or electronics. Most consumers deal with only one realtor in many years. And due to the uniqueness of every transaction, it’s hard to compare apples to oranges. Say you worked with a realtor for a while but started to dislike her style. Most of us wouldn’t change realtors since it’s too much hassle. So the market forces driving improvement through competition is not working well here. And it’s the quandary that consumers face today.
How are we different? We provide full service at low cost. We give you the choice of lower fees if you so choose. We eliminate the “fluff” and provide you with real value. We have brought the realtor business down to a transparent, efficient, standardized and low margin business.
Back to this statement of realtor fee v.s. service quality. We reckon that different consumers have different preferences, one man’s good realtor could annoy the other man like hell. And that’s fine. No one could be liked by everyone. But there are concrete standards that are universally accepted, like professional skills, knowledge base, care for the consumer, efficiency, and integrity. We have things that we don’t do. But if we do it, we must do it to the highest standard.
“Limited service” is partially true. But it is based on customer decision. If you don’t want or need us to hover around, why should we squeeze ourselves in and charge you for it? We believe in this day and age, if a consumer is able and willing to do some work since everything could be found online, he deserves to be compensated.
To summarize, we provide full service at low price; limited service is only based on customer decision; low service quality is absolutely, categorically false.
Selling a home involves many parties. The buyers will have their agent. Unless we are also representing the buyers, we would advise a percentage-based commission for the buyer’s agent to avoid the risk of de-motivation, since traditionally they would expect such commission.
Expect to see all or some of the following charges in your settlement statement:
- Attorney fees
- Title settlement fee
- Recording fee
- Transfer tax
- Pro-rata property tax
- Loan payoff fee
- Wire fee
- Courier fee
- Buyer’s credit, if any
There are other charges that are not reflected in the settlement statement, but that you should be aware.
- Electricity, Water, Gas, Scavenger fees to closing day
- Hazard insurance
- Postal change service
- Moving fee
- HOA, if any
The bottom line is, all fees are eclipsed by realtor fees. With our flat fee service, you can expect to keep most of your hard earned equity.
The short answer is “no”, but please hear me out.
Never believe it when a realtor claims that he can sell homes faster or can guarantee a sale. I bet you he can not provide the backup for that argument: what’s his comparison group? what’s the criteria for the group selection? how could he know what without him, the sales price will be lower? or the sale will not happen? In fact, you see these marketing lines everywhere, which is a funny oxymoron – 99% claims to be better than average.
There is no denying that the effectiveness of a realtor can sometimes make a difference. For example, quick communication might save a potential buyer from moving on, due diligence will weed out unqualified buyers, skillful negotiation could slightly increase the final price, etc. But above all, it is the market force at play. In a hot market, everything sells faster and for more money. In a slow market, even some very famous realtors can’t sell a perfectly good house. So we believe it is not only foolish, but irresponsible, to make such a claim.
The abundance of information online has made the current real estate market almost friction-less (like what we learned in college about the perfect market). When your home is online, relevant buyers will find it and consider it, the right buyer will make an offer. Therefore, we believe presenting the right information online is paramount. On top of that, we will use all the tips and tricks to help you get the best offer possible. But we will never make such a claim.
If the listing is cancelled before listed on the MLS, we will provide full refund.
If the listing is already live on the MLS, Flat Fee programs are non-refundable. There are many costs related to bring each transaction live on the MLS, e.g. MLS charges, staff hours, market research, office dues, etc. Therefore, this part is non-refundable.
For Full Service programs, if we’ve worked on a transaction for a while and the seller decides to cancel, it will depend on the substance of our work. We will give a case-by-case estimate.
Because of the high commission charged by traditional realtors (5-6%), many homeowners will consider selling their homes by themselves, resorting to “For Sale By Owner”, or FSBO channels.
In reality, unless you are a really experienced investor, or you are an agent or attorney yourself, it is really hard to succeed, and the process could be excruciating. Based on market survey, only 11% of FSBO homeowners succeeded in selling their homes.
Then why is Realex Realtor’s flat fee program better than FSBO?
- Websites: we will submit your listing to the MLS and hundreds other major real estate websites, covering over 95% of people searching for homes. FSBO websites only feature the listings on their own websites or one or two other websites, missing out on tons of opportunities.
- Presentation: FSBO listings usually appear really unprofessional, missing out important information with amateurish photos. Some websites will specifically mark out these listings so people know that these sellers do not have any representation. From experience, many agents are reluctant to show FSBO houses, or would try to manipulate and defraud sellers since they know there’s no professionals defending them. But if you list with us, your listing will appear as professional as all the other listings with realtor representations. Not only will your potential number of buyers increase, you will not be treated any differently.
- Range of services: FSBO websites do not offer more services after posting your listing to their website. So everything afterwards, showing homes, negotiating contracts, filling out paperwork, conducting inspection, liaise with attorney, etc. you are on your own. But with Realex Realtor, no matter how low the fee is, we still offer contract negotiation service, protecting your interest in key places. You also have the freedom to choose more services as you go during the transaction, and we are always ready to assist.
- Savings: In FSBO deals, if a buyer’s agent brings a buyer, you still have to pay the agent a commission. The same goes with Realex Realtor’s flat fee services. And if you are able to find a buyer all by yourself, without any agent’s involvement, you don’t have to pay any more commission, saving as much as 6%, the same as what FSBO sellers trying to achieve.
Most of the listing changes are free after the listing goes live. But there are some items that require a small processing fee.
Changes of listing information, description, photos, and prices are all free.
Posting of owner hosted open house is free.
Changing buyer agent’s commission requires re-work of all documentation and cancel and re-list the listing; therefore, a $100 processing fee will be charged.
Cancellation of listing prior to expiration date under Flat Fee Level 1 and Level 2 requires a $30 processing fee. Pre-mature cancellation under other programs is free.
Extension of listing period for every three additional months would require $100 for the Flat Fee programs, and $300 for the Full Service programs.
- We formulated this model after a lot of research, practice and experimentation. We have standardized and quantified the core services, adopting the latest technology to improve efficiency and cut cost.
- We are an independent brokerage. We are not part of any big franchise (like RE/MAX, Century 21, @properties, KW etc.). As a result, we are not burdened with humungous ad costs and layers of administrative expenses. Our savings are passed on to our clients.
- We are willing to be the change we wish to see in the world.
When we represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, we will make sure to protect each party’s interest. As with any other transactions, we will conduct market analysis, provide consultations, answer any questions of our clients. All confidential information will be held strictly confidential. We will never provide false or misleading information, leaning towards one party or the other, just to push for a closing. So you can rest assured that each party gets the professional service they deserve.
If you have browsed our webpages, you would find out that we do provide rebates for buyers, average over 1%. So if your buyer chooses to work with us to buy your property, we are in actuality enhancing the buyer’s purchasing power. As a result, we are benefiting both parties.
Listing description is only provided under Full Service programs. We will use our experience and tips and tricks, to market the house in its best light according to each case’s unique characteristics and market situation.
Flat Fee program clients would have to write their own listing description.
Pricing a home is probably the most important step in the selling process.
If you have not chosen our pricing consultation service, we have some recommendations here.
First, look in your neighborhood and see how similar houses are selling. Choose houses that are as close to your own as possible in terms of age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, acreage, and school district, etc. Only look at houses that are recently sold, like within 6 or 3 months. Don’t go too far back as those histories are not relevant any more. Then you would have a rough idea of the average market price. We would recommend pricing your home around the market value. Don’t price it too high.
Of course, every owner thinks their own house is the best. It is the struggle faced by many. But look from the buyer’s eyes. It is a really objective process. Your house is only one of the many competing for their attention. If your home is priced too high, it will reduce the number of people that actually want to see your home, which means less probability of a sale. It usually drags on the selling process unnecessarily long, and push down the eventual price.
Sellers conducting showings is the basis that we could provide the low, flat fee service. There are several points we would recommend sellers to follow:
First and foremost is safety. When a buyer’s agent schedules a showing with you, make sure to ask for the agent’s name and company information, so you can verify online. At the same time, secure all the valuable belongings at home. If necessary, install camera or smart lock.
Then during the showing, don’t hover around the buyer, don’t try to constantly sell the property. Let them take their time to make their own decisions.
Convenience is the next thing we need to emphasize. If possible, answer all calls to schedule showings, even if it’s really short notice. You never know which one will end up being your buyer.
For our seller clients that placed the order, we will send you a copy of detailed showing guidance.
It is really a personal choice. We can only speak from experience. If your house is presented in its best light, there would be more people that want to personally visit your house after seeing the pictures, thereby increasing the probability of selling. On the other hand, if the photos appear too amateurish, your home could very well be screened out by the buyers at first glance.
Of course, even with professional photography and all kinds of touch-ups and virtual staging, if your home’s actual condition doesn’t match the advertisement, buyers would not move forward after the showing. But when the photos are already bad and buyers still want to see it personally, it means they are highly interested already and a sale is more possible.
After all, over 95% of buyers start their buying journey by browsing house pictures online. So it does matter if you can catch their attention at this stage. But possibility is still just possibility, not certainty.
Before you do the open house, please notify us at least 2 days prior so we can post it to the MLS, ensuring people searching for open houses will see yours.
To conduct an open house, we have some advises. The first is safety. If you have personal belongings in the home, make sure to secure them. Require everybody visiting to sign in at the door. Secondly, you have to make sure the home is in a good, clean condition when you open it to the public. Also, make sure to give visitors the freedom to roam around the house at their own pace. Don’t hover around and keep selling, as that is a big turn down. You can, however, ask for their feedback at the end.
And if you are able to get a buyer that way, someone calling you directly and buying the house without any agent’s help, you don’t have to pay any further realtor commissions.
A reminder though, if you want to put up a sign in your yard, try to avoid the “For Sale By Owner” sign. Because the sign would cause some agents and buyers to look at the home from a different angle and potentially harm your negotiation. You can simply put a For Sale sign. Or, if you have chosen to use our yard sign, you can hang a rider to the sign with your numbers written on it.
Whether you are buying or selling real estate, an attorney is vital to the transaction. Under normal circumstances, the process should be smooth, an attorney could provide you guidance and avoid pitfalls. If there is a complication, and that frequently happens, an attorney is hugely helpful in protecting your rights. Most attorneys charge a flat fee for real estate transactions as well. So it is like an insurance well worth its value.
But first, we need to clarify one point, “finding a buyer by yourself” means there is no involvement of a realtor in any way. Your buyer directly reached out to you, without any ties to a buyer’s realtor. If there is a buyer’s agent, this doesn’t apply.
If you find a buyer without any realtor and signed a contract, you need to notify us within 24 hours of the contract. This is because MLS rule requires that the status of the real estate listed should be correctly registered as soon as possible. If there is a delay, MLS would impose a fine of $250, which would be the responsibility of the seller.
Also, before you close, you will receive notification of the closing date and a copy of Closing Disclosure or HUD-1 settlement statement. Please forward this information to us before closing as well.
No matter what you hear from other realtors, the core service in any residential real estate transaction remains pretty much the same from one transaction to the next. From many years of experience, we were able to research, quantify, and standardize each step adapting to the calling of the Internet Age. That’s how our flat fee selling programs and rebate for buyers programs came to be.
We have found that many sellers are familiar with the real estate transaction process and only needs a little help. However, in the current market these services are hard to find. We really want to give our clients max savings and best value, so we changed ourselves to be the change that we want to see in the world, even when the whole industry is still entrenched in the century-old commission model.
So if every competent realtor does the same job, what differentiates us from the others?
First and foremost, we hold ourselves to the highest integrity and professional standards. Our central focus is to protect the best interest of our clients. In many cases, we have helped sellers avoid potential pitfalls. We never push our sellers to accept low offers. Many times we helped sellers obtain multiple offers. And more times we’ve pushed for even higher prices when our clients are already satisfied.
Of course, we strive to keep improving ourselves in terms of knowledge and professional skills, and keep up to date with the housing market and mortgage market. Our clarity and knowledge base could ensure our clients will never feel lost or helpless with us.
We don’t have vacation days. All requests will be answered at the earliest, within 24 hours.
We also adopt the latest and best technology, to make life easier for everybody.
Questions? Contact Us Here
We are licensed to sell properties all over Illinois. Areas we serve include but are not limited to:
Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Riverwoods, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette, Northfield, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Bannockburn, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Kenilworth, Evanston, Skokie, Niles, Morton Grove, Golf, Glenview, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Rosemont, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Lincolnwood, Western Springs, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Downers Grove, Naperville, Lisle, Warrenville, Wheaton, and more…