As we all know, the standard 6% realtor commission has been a 2-edged sword. In a lot of cases (including now, when sales are at rock bottom), Realtors have to work extremely hard to market and sell a house. The buyer's agent? I still haven't been sold on that one.
In most cases, however (especially over the past 3 years, when mortgage lenders were giving away money like Halloween candy and houses were selling in weeks), the difference between the amount of work done and the reward of the 3% commission has been a complete joke.
Now, Zillow.com is getting in on the act. From CNN/Money:
'The Web site Zillow.com, most known for its "Zestimate" price valuations for nearly 70 million homes, launched several new services for home sellers Thursday.
Sellers can now post their home for sale at Zillow - free of charge. Sellers can add details to a page that already includes basic details, such as square footage, number of beds and baths and sales history. '
Sounds good. But wait! There's more!
'And there's something else new - and radical - they can do: "We're encouraging homeowners to post 'Make-me-move' prices," says Zillow's CEO, Rich Barton.
He suggests that owners just toying with the idea of selling can enter an extremely high make-me move price. Then, if they get an offer that blows their socks off, they can make a very profitable sale.'
I like the approach, but these guys obviously haven't paid attention to the market. Unless a house is extra-special (in price, location, or both), it could sit on the database for years. Still, the idea of cutting out the middle-man and saving several thousand dollars is a beautiful thing. And then there's this:
'It's almost the flip side of a service launched this summer by another real estate Web site, Reply.com.
There, buyers are encouraged to make unsolicited offers on any houses they want. Buyers pick out a number of homes, 15 or 20 say (just one or two is too few to work), that they would like to make offers on. They decide just how much to bid on each convey the info to Reply.com. For a fee of $24.95, Reply will deliver a package containing the offers to each of the homeowners.
The company catchword for the service is, "Every home in America is up for sale."
Hmmm...will this drive the total inventory numbers up?