With Western Washington’s hot housing market, some home sellers are opting for online, hybrid brokerages that offer à la carte services.
Eric Dennis first saw the KING 5 story about Seattle home sellers spending $43,000 on average and wanted to share his story.
“We didn’t pay a real estate agent, other than the buyers’ agent,” said Dennis.
He said he saved $24,000 on his north Bothell ‘for sale by owner’ property because he did not pay a real estate agent to list the property. He used Savvy Lane, a Lynnwood tech company where sellers can pay for à la carte services. Dennis said he paid $900 for an MLS listing with professional photographs. Savvy Lane also helped him decide on a listing price.
"We’ve taken what brokers do and unbundled them,” said Savvy Lane co-founder Andrew Miklos. “If houses are selling themselves, them why give away a percentage to a real estate agent?”
Fees are typically six percent. They are usually split between the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent.
Real estate brokers like Austin Schneider of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty object. “In reality, there’s a lot of thought that and process that goes behind selling your home,” he said.
Schneider, a former KING 5 salesperson, said the broker comes with experience and expertise to help through what can be a complicated process. He said the commission also provides a greater incentive.
“If I have that skin in the game to get you the most money because I’m going to make the most money, I’m going to do all that I can,” he said. “I’m going to spend more money on advertising. I’m going to spend more money on pictures.”
Miklos acknowledges Savvy Lane had to pivot to include listing agent on the platform to help sellers. He said previous sellers had an issue pricing their homes too high. That service comes with a one percent commission, similar to what Redfin offers.
Dennis said he invested some personal time, but he thinks it worked out in his case.
"We managed the showing of the house. We managed the coordination with the buyer’s agency,” he said.