Flat Fee News

Bargain Shopping

It seems like with every new Holiday Season American consumers are demanding more and more value from retailers. In our technological age shoppers have become ultra savvy when it comes to value and price. No longer are consumers fooled into simply assuming that the most expensive item is the highest quality item. Consumers instinctively understand that value is more important than price and that with just a little extra research they can usually find a high quality item at a better value than the highest price one.

The question then for me is why has the American consumer not been more discerning when shopping for a real estate agent or firm? With a little extra research the consumer would realize that the highest price agents and firms are not necessarily the highest quality and that there are far better values available than the highest priced firms and agents.

Thanks to advancements in technology and overall efficiency, real estate agents can now provide the same if not higher quality services at a fraction of the cost. Why then have the prices for services not changed for the vast majority of providers over the past 30 plus years?

When the precursor to today's modern cellphone was introduced in the 1980's the original model cost $4,000 per phone. Can you imagine if you walked into Best Buy today and saw a cellphone listed for $4,000? Let's see do I buy an Iphone for $300 or the $4,000 phone that takes 10 hours to charge for 30 minutes of talk time? That would be a "no brainer".

If consumers were complacent the quality and value of goods in America would never improve. Thanks to American consumer demands the quality of almost every product has improved over time and the value of those products has increased immensely. If consumers start demanding better value and quality out of real estate agents and firms things will change. However, until consumers start flexing their purchasing power, the value provided by most firms will remain poor.

We encourage you to demand better value out of today's real estate industry. Thank you.


Buyers Get a Competitive Edge With Flat Fee

Because Flat fee shares its commission with its buyer clients, our buyers have a competitive edge when bidding on houses. Here is an example:

A home is listed by a firm and the seller is offering buyer agents a 3% commission. The home is listed for $350,000.

A buyer with an agent that does not share their commission offers $325,000 for the home.

A buyer client of Flat Fee offers $330,000 for the same home.

In almost every case, the seller is going to accept the higher offer of $330,000.

At closing Flat Fee receives a commission check for $9,900. Flat Fee keeps $3,500 and gives the rest, $6,400, to our client.

Thus, even though our client offered $5,000 more for the house, they actually paid $1,400 less than the other buyer was offering for the house.

As you can see buyers gain a competitive edge by using Flat Fee.


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    • Harold W. Faller on

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      Not Too Cold to Start Looking

      With bone chilling temperatures outside it may be difficult to think about Spring and Summer. However, because purchasing a home is typically the largest financial investment an individual or family will make in a year, it is important to begin planning well ahead of the time you actually want to buy. For most families the preferred buying season is in the Spring or Summer in hopes of making the physical move prior to the upcoming school year.

      Although historically there is greater inventory in the Spring and Summer, there are new homes listed every day in Vermont. Even though you may not be ready to look at homes or have even developed your house budget, by starting to follow the new listings now you will develop a better idea of the market and current values. Then when it comes time to get serious about looking in the Spring and Summer you will already have an idea of what your budget can afford. You will also have a good handle on which homes represent good value and which are overpriced.

      Stay warm and call us if you have questions about the home buying process. Thank you.



      1. never cold call again audio on

        Wow, this paragraph is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things, thus I am going to tell her.
        • sales training negley ohio on

          Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?
          • Victoria Vaughan on

            I just wanted to say that using a flat fee listing is really the way to go. We did and we had a wonderful experience. Thanks.

            Thank You

            With the end of the year quickly approaching we just wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who supported us in 2012. We would particularly like to thank our buyers and sellers who made 2012 our most successful year to date.

            When we started 5 years ago, many doubted whether our innovative real estate model could survive in Vermont. Few thought we could withstand the predictable backlash from those who had traditionally charged more. Well not only did we survive, we have thrived.

            So far in 2012 we have sold more than $35,000,000 worth of Vermont real estate. This ranks us #8 out of more than 400 active firms in Vermont.

            We believe that our success is as much about our abilities as it is about Vermonters standing up for consumer choice. We hope that all of you will continue helping us spread our message of consumer choice and that we can continue saving Vermonters money by changing the way that real estate brokerage services are offered in Vermont.

            Thank you again. Happy Holidays!

            Agents Wanted - Rutland, Brattleboro and Saint Johnsbury

            Now that our model has taken hold and thrived in Chittenden County, Windsor County and surrounding communities, we are now looking for agents in Rutland, Brattleboro and Saint Johnsbury to help expand our foothold in Vermont.

            Flat Fee is looking for new agents all over the state. Check out all of our career opportunities here. Not finding what you're looking for? Contact us here.


            1. Iury on

              All life insurance is a form of eastte planning.If you're asking about life insurance used as a funding vehicle to pay for confiscatory eastte and inheritance taxes, as well as income taxes with respect to decedent (our easttes get to pay income taxes after we die, including untaxed IRA and qualified retirement plans these taxes can be substantial for almost everyone), then I've included some links below to several trade associations of life insurance agents that specialize in using life insurance for eastte liquidity:National Association of Insurance and Financial AdvisorsSociety of Financial Service Professionals

              Censorship - Realtors Association

              On September 30, 2011, after consulting with the National Association of Realtors, the Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors demanded that Flat Fee Real Estate remove the following blog post:

              "The average Vermont family make $51,200 per year. What do you think real estate agents make?

              According to data from the MLS and based upon the traditional 6% commission model charged by other firms, the top 5 agents in Chittenden County so far this year (January to July 22nd) have made between $292,000 and $587,000. Thus, they are on pace to make between $600,000 and $1,000,000 this year alone.

              It is remarkable during the worst recession in history that real estate agents in a small community like Chittenden County can make in excess of $500,000 per year, much less $1,000,000 per year, and continue to get away with it.

              We believe the public should demand fairer compensation models from real estate agents. We believe that our flat fee model represents a fairer compensation model and keeps our compensation much more in line with average Vermont incomes.

              Thank you."

              Flat Fee in vermontbiz.com

              From yesterday's (04/13/12) vermontbiz.com

              According to analysis of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), real estate sales in Vermont increased by slightly over 10 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Compared to last year, MLS data for 2012 shows 955 sales while the first quarter of 2011 saw total sales of 867. This increase can be attributed to increased buyer confidence that the housing market is starting to return to equilibrium after 2008s Great Recession.

              While we still arent seeing the same level of confidence that we did in 2006 or 2007, it is greater now than at any point during the prior four years, said Rob Foley, owner of Flat Fee Real Estate in Burlington. MLS data shows that Chittenden County experienced an increase from 224 sales in the first quarter of 2011 to 243 sales in the first quarter of 2012, and the median home price increased by $1,000.

              While experts warn that the national housing market could suffer another blow from the shadow market of foreclosures (proceedings that banks have been delaying until the robo-signing litigation is completed), Foley believes that the Vermont market will be largely unaffected, and will continue its recovery. The Vermont market is more stable, and in better health, than national markets. Our state sees less speculative housing activity, lending practices are more conservative, and inventory tends to track carefully to primary home ownership demand, all of which lead me to expect a continued recovery of Vermont home prices.

              Renting to Own

              Flat Fee's Rob Foley quoted in Pittsburgh Post Gazette story regarding "lease to own".


              1. Oscar on

                People buy life insurance, usllauy in trust so it doesn't also get included in the estate, in order to pay estate taxes. That's about 97% of what you need to know. Outside of that you just need to look around for the specific information you're looking for. Was this answer helpful?

                Get Paid to Buy A Home!

                Recently a person made what I thought was a great observation about our services for buyers of real estate. He said to me, "so I get paid to buy a house. That is a smokin deal."

                I had never thought about our service in that sense but I guess he is correct. Essentially our buyer clients get paid to buy a house.

                Because the buyer agent commission is baked into every transaction and the seller is going to pay it regardless of which firm the buyer uses, then this person's observation is absolutely correct. When our clients purchase a home and we give them a check back, they are getting paid to buy that home through us. As far as we know we are the only firm in Vermont sharing our commission with buyers and thus our clients are the only ones getting paid to buy homes.

                To learn more about Flat Fee's business model, click here.