FAQ

About Crawford Realty

How does Crawford Realty work?

Why does Crawford Realty work?

What advantage does Crawford Realty offer as compared to a traditional Realtor® or For Sale By Owner?

So why do so many people still list with agents charging 6%?

If I am going to show the home and do the open houses, why do I need Crawford Realty?

Do you also represent buyers?

How can Crawford Realty charge such low fees for its services?

If your business model is so beneficial to client and you alike, why aren't other brokers doing it?

Am I locked into a 6-month listing contract with Crawford Realty?

 

Real Estate Lingo

What is MLS®?

What is REALTOR.com®?

What is "fee for service" or "a la carte services?"

What is "full service?"

Are you a "discount broker?"

 

The sales process

How should I price my home?

Will a yard sign be provided?

What are open houses? Are they necessary?

We work all day. How can we show our property?

What happens when I receive an offer?

How does Crawford Realty help me with the paperwork and legal steps?

 

Commissions

What if I sell my home myself?

If another agent contacts me directly to show my house, do I have to give them a coop if they write a contract?

May a buyer contact me directly after a Realtor® shows my home to them?

How much commission do I have to pay?

Are there any hidden fees that I don't know about?

If Crawford Realty brings me a buyer and sells my home, then will I owe a commission to them for bringing the buyer?

 

Relationship with other agents

Won't buyer's agent boycott my listing?

How do other Realtors show my home?

Will my listing look he same as those who have agreed to pay a full listing commission to a traditional agent?

 

 

About Crawford Realty 

How does Crawford Realty work?
You choose the marketing you need and how involved you want to be in the sales process. If you show your home and you sell your home, you save! Don't have time to show your home? We can show it for you. If our client buys your home, Crawford Realty does receive the buyer's agent commission you have offered, along with our ½% listing commission. Your home will be offered to local Realtors® in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) for Birmingham so they can show and sell your home. If they sell your home, you pay the low Crawford Realty fee of ½% and you pay the real estate professional that brings the buyer the fee you agreed to and quoted in the MLS® listing. You will still save thousands. No matter how it sells or who sells, you save.

 

Why does Crawford Realty work?
Crawford Realty works because a steadily increasing number of buyers are using the Internet to search for a home before they ever even consider speaking with a real estate agent. In fact, thousands of buyers visit our websites each month. We cover your bases with effective marketing and work directly with the real estate community because the local agents are fully protected by the MLS® system. We provide services that make the process seamless because our licensed consulting team will help you and the buyer fill out all the forms that are required by the state and handle the process from start to finish, including helping you find a buyer, qualifying them for a new loan, all the way through selecting which closing attorney to use. As a seller, it is important to know that you can have professional help throughout the entire process.

 

What advantages does Crawford Realty offer as compared to a traditional Realtor® or For Sale By Owner?

  1. You Save Thousands! By selling your home with Crawford Realty instead of with brokers who charge a 6%* commission. You can use your savings to reduce the sales price, or provide financing incentive options to the buyers, or offer an incentive to Buyer's Agents who show your property, all of which will speed up the selling process.
  2. Crawford Realty Offers Choices! We let you choose exactly how much you want to participate in the sale of your home and exactly what services you need assistance with. Your fee is based upon how many services your Crawford Realty Real Estate Consultant provides. If you participate in the sale of your home and procure the buyer by either showing your home yourself or through an open house you hold, the cost to sell your home will be 45% - 95% less than it would have been with a traditional listing agent.
  3. Crawford Realty's proprietary technology allows you to obtain up-to-date information about your home sale quicker and more efficiently than a traditional listing agent. In fact, with our technology, you can be anywhere in the world and learn about the latest activity on your home.

 

So why do so many people still list with agents charging 6%*?
The big real estate companies spend a lot of effort training their agents to push the service-side perception of their offering and avoid the issue of fees. To defend their traditional pricing structure, many agents will argue, "if you pay less, you will get less." It's all a smokescreen, of course. There is no shortage of unhappy sellers who paid 6%*.

Loyalty - When sellers prepare to sell their home, they first think of the agent that sold them their home. Because of their past relationship, they often find it difficult to "arm wrestle" commissions when they didn't have to as a buyer.
Education - Most people do not realize commissions are negotiable and rely on advice from a friend or relative in the real estate business. Many people think that For Sale By Owner or traditional agencies are their only options because information concerning options was not presented to them and the resource that they relied on provides discredit for alternative processes.

 

If I am going to show the home and do the open houses, why do I need Crawford Realty?
The #1 reason sellers use Crawford Realty is for our marketing & expertise. We counsel you on pricing your home, marketing your home, and most important, managing your transaction through closing to make sure that all of the paperwork is done correctly and that all required legal documents are included. In addition:

  1. We guarantee in writing to advertise your property as needed.
  2. We use our exclusive marketing system to get you buyers.
  3. We lend you "For Sale" and directional signs.
  4. We discuss the "Bad" and the "Good" in all offers and negotiate to get you the best possible price.
  5. We can help pre-qualify your buyer and help them obtain financing. We can go through your closing costs and leave you with an estimate of your net proceeds.
  6. We help you avoid problems, assist you should any arise, and work to save you money in all the hidden parts of the transaction.
  7. We coordinate for you with the contractors, appraisers, inspectors and other professionals.
  8. We handle all negotiations, and advise you on all paperwork, contracts, any counterproposals, and manage your transaction up to and through a successful closing.

 

Do you also represent buyers?
Yes. Many of our sellers were once buyer clients, and of course, many of our sellers also want to buy again. We also have buyer agents who specialize in working with buyers.

What happens if a buyer calls Crawford Realty directly to request to see my home? The Crawford Realty office will first check their showing instructions to see if you have given them permission to show your home. They will then make every effort to contact you and let you show your home. In the event that the buyer is impatient and you cannot be reached within a reasonable amount of time, a Crawford Realty Real Estate Professional will make arrangements to show your home.

 

How can Crawford Realty charge such low fees for its services?
We have streamlined the process of selling a home and identified how much time each service takes within the sale. This has allowed us to create low fees based upon the amount of time our real estate professionals will have to dedicate to the sale of your home. For instance, in most areas, higher priced homes take longer to sell. Therefore our fee might be higher for a higher priced home to compensate for the additional time we will have to invest and additional marketing we will have to provide.

 

If your business model is so beneficial to clients and you alike, why aren't other brokers doing it?
Traditional real estate brokerage is pretty entrenched, very conservative and industry change is slow. The Internet has really shaken things up, and changes are starting to appear. Large national chains are even starting to tinker with the traditional model-including Century 21 in Atlanta, Georgia-and along with Crawford Realty and Duffy Realty of Atlanta (Largest Fee For Service Broker in the South), there have been several Internet start-ups taking a stab at simple discount brokerage. We expect that the rate of change within the industry will increase, bringing new choices to consumers. Instead of seeking to "jump on the bandwagon", Crawford Realty is proud of doing "fee for service" from the start, and being at the cutting edge of the new direction of Real Estate.

 

Am I locked into a 6-month listing contract with Crawford Realty?
No - your listing is "good until sold or canceled." You can cancel at any time for free. If you want to re-list at a later date, we'll do it for only $150.

 

Real Estate Lingo

What is MLS®?
MLS® (Multiple Listing Service) is the most comprehensive computerized database of homes for sale, with over 1.5 million listings nationwide. This database is used by Realtors® to market and promote their own listings and to cooperate with other Realtors®. Realtors®, in turn, are compensated with part of the commission. The largest number of real estate transactions are a result of direct MLS® exposure. By having your home in MLS®, it will be exposed to thousands of local real estate agents who otherwise would not have known that your property was for sale and would not have shown it. This is the same MLS® used by a traditional broker who would charge you a full cost listing commission.

 

What is realtor.com®?
Realtor.com® is a leading Internet site where buyers can search for homes. Technically, it is the official Internet site for the National Association of Realtors®. REALTOR.com®'s 1.4 million home listings are provided by participating REALTOR® Multiple Listing Services. This is one of the advantages of listing your home on the MLS® - your home will then be copied to the REALTOR.com® web site and will be accessible to individuals and Realtors® via the Internet. This includes color pictures, tours and all pertinent information (price, location, room descriptions, contact information, etc.)

 

What is "fee for service" or "a la carte services?"
"Fee for service" is where the full service package is separated into any number of component parts and combinations. In this arrangement, different services cost different fees, and these fees are usually not contingent upon an actual close of escrow. This arrangement is suited for today's more "e-savvy" sellers and "For Sale By Owners" who want assistance with select parts of the process of selling their home, without having to pay traditional real estate's higher full-cost fee.

For instance, for the real estate professional, the two most costly and time-consuming services in a sale of your home are the open houses and showings. The standard Crawford Realty fee does not include these services. You can show your own home and SAVE!

But the key is: now you have the option to decide which services you need. Our fee structure provides you "full service" to meet your needs.

 

What is "full service?"
Most real estate professionals refer to their service as "full service." This means that they do everything it takes to sell your home: place it in the MLS®, advertise it in the local paper and home magazines, provide a flyer, do open houses, show your home to potential buyers, handle the negotiations when you receive an offer, and handle everything through closing.

The question really should be, "What is full-cost service?" Sadly, many agents and brokers (regardless of company) list homes and then just put them in the MLS® and wait for a contract to come in with no service provided beyond that. Many times after these listings expire, we end up interviewing these unhappy sellers. We explain carefully to them what we do and what we don't do. Most clients realize they are getting more services than when they where paying 6%* commission. We offer you a menu of services that lets you choose as much or as little service as you desire! AND we back it up in writing by making the specifics of the service and the marketing we are obligated to provide part of the listing agreement!

 

Are you a "discount" broker?
No. What makes Crawford Realty different is that we are a "fee for service" company. We have determined a very competitive fee for each component of a real estate transaction and we offer that to the public in a "no haggle" environment. Unlike traditional real estate, you don't have to argue and bicker with us to get a super competitive rate! We don't attempt to make a fortune from each family we deal with; we sell a lot of homes.

 

 

The sales process

How should I price my home?
We will provide you detailed information regarding recent home sales in your area, as well as what prices are on other currently-listed homes so that you can choose a price you feel is appropriate for your home. Right pricing is one of the strongest marketing tools available to you, and we will help you determine the right price.

 

Will a yard sign be provided?
Yes, a distinctive Crawford Realty of Alabama yard sign will be provided that is conservative and does not indicate a discount or alternative listing.

 

What are open houses? Are they necessary?
Open Houses are typically conducted on Saturdays and/or Sundays. The idea is to let the buyers preview your home in a no-pressure, non-scheduled manner. Open Houses statistically are responsible for 2-3% of all home sales. Just like "location, location, location" is important, so is "exposure, exposure, exposure". The more people that see your home, the more you increase the odds of finding a buyer.

 

We work all day. How can we show our property?
Fortunately, the people buying homes also work all day so most people can only preview a home in the evenings or on the weekend. Generally, scheduling the buyer to meet with you is not an issue. However, in the event that the buyer can't wait, you can choose to let us show your home for you. If we show your home and the buyer makes an offer that you accept, we would receive our ½% listing fee and the buyer's agent commission at closing.

 

What happens when I receive an offer?
Contact us immediately so that we can get the process rolling. We will write the contract and help you handle the transaction all the way through to closing if your buyer doesn't have an agent, or we'll help you construct a counter offer if necessary and present it back to the buyer's agent, continuing to negotiate until you reach a binding agreement. We will then work with you every step of the way from the initial offer right up through receiving your check at closing so you don't miss a step.

 

How does Crawford Realty help me with the paperwork and legal steps?
Crawford Realty's licensed consulting team will help you execute your transaction through closing. Once you find a buyer (either directly or through a buyer's agent), simply call Crawford Realty and one of our licensed Real Estate Consultants will help you to negotiate the purchase agreement and complete all the steps to closing. If your home is listed on the MLS®, and you receive an offer from a buyer's broker or one of our Realtors®, then Crawford Realty will facilitate the transaction thru to closing.

 

 

Commissions

What if I sell my home myself?
If you sell your home without a cooperating Broker, no buyer's agent commission is due. The only fee is the 1/2 of 1% Crawford Realty fee, which is collected at closing and we'll still help you with all the paperwork and legal steps.

 

If another agent contacts me directly to show my home, do I have to give them a commission if they write an offer that I accept?
If your home is listed in the MLS®, then you are legally bound to pay any real estate professional that procures a buyer for your property the amount of commission specified in the MLS® entry.

 

May a buyer contact me directly after a Realtor® shows my home to them?
Yes. However, you will still be obligated to pay a selling commission to the Realtor® who showed the home

 

How much commission will I have to pay?
Unlike most real estate agencies, we leave several options open as to how much commission you will pay-we are leading the trend within the real estate industry to charge an up front "Fee for Services Provided," currently $500 for the MLS® and other internet listings and signage plus any a la carte services you purchase: or you can select an option to pay a fee of $2,500 at closing in lieu of the up front $500. Either way, when the house sells, you'll pay Crawford a listing commission of ½% of the selling price. Then when the house sells you could pay NO additional commission (if your buyer doesn't have an agent) or whatever commission YOU HAVE OFFERED in the MLS® listing (usually 2 ½% or 3%) to a buyer's agent, if there is one. (In a traditional full-priced listing agreement you are locked into the full 6%* commission as soon as you sign the listing agreement. When your home sells, you pay the full commission, whether or not the buyer has an agent.)

 

Are there any hidden fees that I don't know about?
No. Crawford Realty identifies all fees up front.

 

If Crawford Realty brings me a buyer and sells my home, then will I owe a commission to them for bringing the buyer?
If a Crawford Realty agent brings a qualified buyer to you and they purchase your home, we are entitled to the buyers' agent's commission for selling your home since we are acting as the buyers' agent. In this case you will need to agree to sign a "limited consensual dual agency agreement" since Crawford is acting as agent for both buyer and seller.

 

Relationship with other agents

Won't buyer's agents boycott my listing?
No. Buyer brokers are indifferent as long as they are being paid their due. Our listings have been sold by nearly every major real estate company in Birmingham and surrounds and we have excellent relationships with our colleagues. Furthermore, it's not likely that there will be another house just like yours (same price, size, condition, location, etc.) on the market at the same time as yours with a higher listing commission BUT with the same buyer's agent commission. Also, it is in violation of the Sherman Act - a federal law preventing boycotting. A violation of this law gets up to 10 years in jail, and a fine of up to $100,000 per person and $1,000,000 per corporation per violation.

 

How do other Realtors® show my home?
Other Realtors® will schedule a showing using the instructions in the MLS®. Nothing will be different for them.

 

Will my listing look the same as those who have agreed to pay a full listing commission to a traditional agent?
Yes. Your listing is a "Full Service" listing from the viewpoint of the MLS® service because you are getting full service for the resources you have selected.

* 6% is the standard commission charged by full priced real estate agencies, buy may be somewhat negotiable.

What are people saying?

Hoover: Wayne, we want to thank you for help in selling our house. You were always available and promptly responded to our requests. You kept us informed of all the steps involved in the selling process and guided us through the negotiation process resulting in a smooth transaction. Once again thank you for helping us save money in commissions and your help through this whole process. ZB


Pleasant Grove: I am delighted that I used Crawford Realty to sell my home. Who doesn't like saving money? Also the service could not have been better under any circumstances. Wayne was very knowledgeable and willing to assist in any way possible. When the time comes to sell my next home, I will definitely be a repeat client. SC


Trussville:  We were very pleased with Crawford Realty as our agent, Charlie Esters, worked with us to sell our house. We saved thousands of dollars by not having to pay full 6% sales commission. It was a pleasant and professional experience. We have already recommended Crawford and will continue to do so. T&JB


Talladega:  I am delighted to have the opportunity to recommend Crawford Realty and Wayne Crawford, in particular, to anyone with property for sale.  You will have excellent help and service and save a lot of money!  I had a very unusual property, a rural bed and breakfast in the $600K+  price range.  It had been listed with several "full service" realtors--some of whom just captured the listing and then disappeared, hoping someone else would sell it for them.  I was not happy contemplating the largely unearned commission I would have to pay them if that happened.  My daughter had quickly sold a home listed with Crawford Realty, and was very pleased with the assistance and results, so I decided to try a listing. It took a while to sell, but renewals of the MLS listing were without additional charge. There were actually more calls and showings than before. Wayne showed professionalism in dealing with other realtors, and patience and support for me throughout the process. He returned phone calls quickly and with excellent advice.  He celebrated with me when it finally sold!  Crawford Realty is, indeed, a "better way".  MAP


 Hoover:  I have bought and sold numerous houses throughout the years and hands down, the transaction with Crawford has been the best real estate experience I've had.  It is rare to get such a good deal AND great service.  It's usually one or the other, but in this case, I know I saved a lot of money and I cannot think of a way the service could have been better.  Charlie was more helpful to me than any full-priced realtor I have ever dealt with and was always available to answer questions and offer guidance. I always felt like he had my best interests in mind and I truly appreciate that.  I have been recommending your company to everyone I know who is buying or selling. If I ever move again, I will definitely enlist your services.  Thanks so much and please let Charlie know how much I appreciate all his help!  TS


Vestavia Hills:  It was a pleasure working with Wayne.  We saved a ton of money and the service was great.  I definitely recommend using Crawford Realty for all your real estate needs.  It is the closest you can get to selling for sale by owner and still having professional help!  HC


Birmingham:  I’ve found Crawford Realty to go the extra mile while my property was on the market.  They always provided real estate industry news that I found informative and helpful.  My wife and I were extremely happy with the help we received with closing, not to mention the savings as well.  SN


Hoover:  "Wayne, we want to thank you for help in selling our house. You were always available and promptly responded to our requests. You kept us informed of all the steps involved in the selling process and guided us through the negotiation process resulting in a smooth transaction. Once again thank you for helping us save money in commissions and your help through this whole process."  ZB


Pleasant Grove:  "I am delighted that I used Crawford Realty to sell my home.  Who doesn't like saving money? Also the service could not have been better under any circumstances. Wayne was very knowledgeable and willing to assist in any way possible.  When the time comes to sell my next home, I will definitely be a repeat client."  SC


Warrior:  "We couldn't be happier with the service we received from you and your staff; always available and helpful when called. We were happy to save the $6000+ that we would have had to pay a full service realtor. We do regret that we couldn't have sold it ourselves and saved an additional $6000.00.  Thanks for putting up with me. Should we sell again, you'll be hearing from us again."  R&C C


Hoover:  "Thanks so much Wayne, for your assistance in selling our home.  As a former realtor, I understand how much time and effort it took to achieve a successful closing of our home.   Both my husband and I believe your knowledge, expertise and follow through rivals that of any "full service Realtor."  J&DB


Hoover:  "We had a great experience overall with Crawford Realty and would recommend it to anyone who wants to sell their home doing as much as possible on their own. I liked the 'ala carte' services offered, that way we only had to pay for the services we wanted. I appreciated you, Wayne, for guiding us on this journey of selling our home!"  SG


McCalla:  "Thanks Wayne!  Yes the savings was huge for us!  We couldn't have moved without that extra cash!  Again, simple and to the point!  Thanks again."  N&T M


Hoover:  "Crawford Realty does everything a full service broker does except schedule showings! I saved almost $15k by scheduling the showings which is not really extra work if you consider the scheduling agent would call you anyway to confirm availability. Wayne was available for negotiations, giving feedback, and taking care of writing the contracts, negotiating counter offers, and anything else you get from a full service agent. Crawford Realty IS a full service agency that will save you money every time!"  JC


Birmingham:  "Thank You Wayne and Charlie for all your help.  From day one you have been very professional and awesome to work with.  I've used real estate agents in the past and have always questioned their value from the sales side; this is why I decided to give you a try.  To me, you are the first Realtor I have dealt with where I feel you have earned the whole 3% and you only charge 0.5%.  Great service, great value and I will definitely use you and recommend you in the future.  Actually, A…… and I have discussed it and would like to send you a little something extra to show our gratitude.  Should we just mail that to your office?"  K&AC


Birmingham:  "Great decision to go with Crawford Realty . Great savings , too!!"  LK


Altadena:  "We were very pleased with you working with  us to sell our home.  It was a quick sale considering today's market and everything when very smoothly.  We really enjoyed having you as our agent.  J&M W
We would like to thank you for your assistance with the sale of our home in Alabama.  We were consistently pleased with the service you provided.  We particularly appreciated the detailed advice and information you gave us concerning each step of the home selling process, from pre-listing to closing.  We would definitely recommend you to other prospective sellers (and buyers, for that matter), and we wish you all the best in the future.  Best wishes."  B&L R


Vestavia Hills:  "My husband and I were very pleased with Crawford Realty. He gave us extremely helpful advice about preparing our house to be sold and creating the listing. We had an offer on the house within 3 days of him listing it on the MLS. He guided us through the contract process and helped us with the closing. We have saved several thousand dollars and could not be happier!"


Hoover:  "We truly feel that being listed in the MLS is the very best way to sell a home. With Crawford Realty, you can enjoy the benefits of the MLS and save lots of money in real estate commission! Wayne was very professional and helpful along the way.  After one week of listing with Crawford, we had 2 offers. We listed and closed within 3 weeks! Thanks Crawford Realty!"


Homewood:  "Crawford Realty provided all the services of a traditional realtor at a much lower cost.  Our home sold very fast for almost asking price and Crawford Realty provided all the necessary information and instructions on exactly what to do to prepare for the sale and closing.  Thanks."


Vestavia:  "Crawford Realty of Alabama…The best thing since sliced bread!  Wayne is an expert in the real estate market and shares his in-depth knowledge readily. We not only highly recommend him but would insist that you take our word and use only Crawford Realty. There are other agents but Wayne and Crawford Realty just rock.  He is Honest, Open, Meticulous and Expert, all of which made selling our home a breeze."


Bluff Park:  "I just wanted to say thank you, so much, for saving us a LOT of money and getting our house sold in a tough economy!  I really appreciated your expertise, prompt responses, as well as the do-it-yourself tools and step-by-step lists provided on the website.  I will be referring you to anyone interested in buying or selling in the Birmingham area!"  LD


Montevallo:  "I am really happy with my experience using Crawford Realty!  I had used "flat fee" services before which put the house on the MLS and then disappeared.  With Crawford, I stilled saved thousands on commissions but Wayne stayed with me through the process and gave me all the tools to be a savvy seller with full information each step of the way.  In this market, I felt blessed to have sold the house so quickly.  Wayne made the process very easy and enjoyable."  CN


Bessemer:  "We were extremely pleased with Crawford Realty!!!  My home sold amazingly fast and the savings I realized by using Crawford Realty confirmed that I had made the right choice in a realty company!  Personal and responsive service went a long way toward making this a happy ending!!!  Thank you so much!

PS:  I have been recommending Crawford Realty to everyone--not just family and friends--we were all amazed by how quick and easy this was!"  DF


Chelsea:  "Crawford Realty has exceptional service and support. MLS listing and several for sale by owner sites got my listing to lots of perspective buyers. Wayne reviewed the contract and was helpful with making the closing as smooth as possible."  MB

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