One thing we know for sure about the real estate industry is that it’s constantly changing. Traditionally, buyers and sellers relied on real estate agent connections, placing classified ads, for-sale signs in the yard, and referrals or word-of-mouth. Now 96% of buyers use online tools such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, and even Google during their home search process. For nearly half of them, an online search is the first step. New technology allows for virtual walkthroughs and video showings. Scheduling a showing no longer requires multiple rounds of phone tag. But how else does real estate today differ from real estate even ten years ago? What other industry predictions are there? One thing is for sure, the future of real estate is in flat-fee listings.

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What Is a Flat-Fee Listing?

Traditionally, the real estate industry relied on a commission method. Listing agents earned about 6% of the final sale price of a property, and about 2.5% of that went to the buyer’s agent if they had one. Depending on how much their home was worth, this can cost tens of thousands of dollars for the seller.

Future real estate is focusing more on flat-fee listings. With a flat-fee listing, a seller pays a licensed realtor to add their property to the regional MLS database. A multiple listing service, or MLS, is an exclusive database of homes only local licensed realtors can access. Its multiple databases depend on your region. Prello Realty lists homes in the Midwest Real Estate Database or MRED. The MRED is one of the country’s largest MLS databases, covering all of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, including Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.

With flat-fee listings, the only commission paid is to a buyer’s real estate agent once the home sells. Paying a 2.5% commission rather than a 6% commission is the essential money saver of flat-fee listings. Flat-fee listings combine typical for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) and traditional property lists.

Flat-Fee Listings for Sellers

Selling your home is already stressful enough. Determining a list price, fixing anything that needs fixing, keeping it neat for listing photos and showing, keeping track of any offers, counteroffers, or negotiations, marketing your property, and scheduling showings are just some to-do items on a seller’s list. Like most things in the 21st century, selling your home is often done mostly online, and that’s where flat-fee listings start. While the future of real estate can’t clean your house or provide a fresh coat of paint, flat-fee listings can help save your budget. 

A flat-fee listing gives you more control over your listing, pricing, showings, and communication with potential buyers. Handling more of the process on your own also reduces the risk of compromise. While many flat-fee services simply add your property to the database, other service packages can include professional photography, marketing assistance, and assistance with contracts and offers. Prello Realty offers three levels of flat-fee listings for sellers. Unlike the standard basic listing packages, all of our flat-fee listings include our expertise, tips and tools, and guidance throughout the process. 

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Flat-Fee Listings for Buyers   

If you’re considering buying a home, chances are you’ve opened up or similar websites and started a search. It’s a common first step in the real estate industry. However, the flat-fee system is standard in real estate today and allows buyers and agents to explore more properties.

The number of listings accessible isn’t the only benefit to buyers. The future of real estate includes a lot more direct communication between buyers and sellers, cutting down on some of the back-and-forth phone calls and emails. Many platforms even allow direct communication, saving everyone time and increasing efficiency. 

The Future of Real Estate for Agents

Real estate agents get the short stick with future real estate without the traditional commission payment structure. However, flat-fee listings have benefits for real estate agents and the industry as a whole. With a multiple listing service, real estate agents can avoid the work of listing a property individually on multiple websites and locations. They can share property listings directly with other real estate professionals, giving clients greater visibility in selling their homes through an online database. Additionally, the MLS system makes it easier for brokers and buyers’ agents to share listings with their clients.

Real estate today includes more and more flat-fee listings. Since flat-fee listings generally involve less hands-on work from the listing agent and more of the marketing handled by the seller, agents have more time to list more properties. Rather than focus all their time and energy on a few properties, listing agents can embrace the future of real estate and help even more clients sell their homes.

lincoln park real estate

Future Real Estate in Chicagoland

Even though real estate today includes more seller-led flat-fee listings, that doesn’t mean real estate agents are going anywhere. Chicagoland’s Prello Realty has the expertise, local knowledge, customer service, and familiarity with how the real estate industry is changing. Our flat-fee MLS services are ideal if you want to save money while selling your property yet still receive some assistance from an agent. If you determine a flat-fee listing isn’t for you and need a listing agent more involved, we’ll be happy to go the traditional route. Either way, we will embrace the future of real estate with new technology and marketing methods to sell your home and help you buy your next one. Connect with us today to experience how flat-fee listings are changing the real estate game.