From Nick Barron. Follow him on Twitter @nbarron; email him at nick[AT]borderstan.com.
A DC business is challenging the status quo of the real estate industry in a move it hopes will ease the housing shortage in the nation’s capital.
DC Home Buzz, a real estate brokerage in Columbia Heights, has moved to a flat-fee listing service, instead of the industry’s standard commission-based fees. The fee is $9,900, regardless of the purchase price of a home.
Ati Williams, owner of DC Home Buzz, hopes the move will accomplish two things: increase the amount of available housing stock in DC, one of the tightest housing markets in the U.S., and encourage others in the real estate industry to start offering flat fee services.
“We’re hoping that sellers see what a great offer we’re giving and are encouraged to put their homes on the market because they can sell their homes, get the full service, luxury treatment and save up to $20,000,” Williams said.
While some real estate agents offer flat fee listings, Williams says most don’t offer the level of service her firm is giving sellers.
“The few brokerages that do flat fee listings don’t include marketing for the property, staging and the like,” Williams said. The flat fee service was requested, and DC Home Buzz can afford to offer it by being more targeted in how they spend money on marketing.
With DC Home Buzz’s flat fee service, a $400,000 transaction would save a seller $2,100, based on an estimated 3 percent commission to the listing agent and buyer’s agent. A $750,000 transaction would save the seller $12,600 based on the same scenario.
DC Home Buzz has published a question-and-answer blog post with more information about their flat-fee listing service.