WHAT IS A FEE FOR SERVICE REALTOR®?

WHAT IS A FEE FOR SERVICE REALTOR? - Crawford Realty, Birmingham, AlabamaMost Realtors® offer Sellers an "Exclusive Right to Sell" Listing agreement, for which they usually charge a 6% commission at closing.  This is an umbrella charge for all the services they should provide during the course of the listing, plus a commission for the buyer’s agent, if there is one.  (If there is no buyer’s agent involved in the sale of your home, the listing agent keeps the full 6% commission anyway…ALL of it!)  Either way, the Seller is committed to paying the full commission when the property is sold.  The true dollar value of the services provided by many Birmingham Real Estate agents is frequently far less than the total cost of the commission the Seller must fork over at closing.  Crawford Realty of Alabama is a different kind of Birmingham Realtor®, and unique to the Birmingham Real Estate market.

It’s important to understand that Crawford Realty of Alabama is a licensed Real Estate Brokerage (agency) every bit as much as any of the other Real Estate companies in town.  However, we believe in a different way of earning our commission and the gratitude of our Sellers.  It’s called "Fee for Service” Real Estate, and it has saved our Sellers an average of over $7,800 in commissions when they close.  "Fee for Service” IS full service (we can do absolutely anything any other Greater Central Alabama Real Estate Agency can do) but services are provided and billed ONLY as needed.  Here’s how it works:  We believe that Sellers should be able to have all the services they need, but not have to pay for services they don’t need or don’t want.  Therefore, we have an a la carte menu of services that our clients pick and choose from, and a reasonable charge for each.  Many of our Seller clients want to be actively involved in the sale of their property…and who could be a stronger advocate than the owner?  No agent could ever know as much about a home for sale as the Seller does.  Furthermore, many sellers have sold on their own before, or found that, even with a traditional "Full-price” listing, they were doing much of the work themselves, either by choice or necessity.

The a la carte services in our "Fee for Service” menu that Sellers choose most frequently are:

  1. $500 to list the property in MLS®.  This covers our time to meet you, the Seller, complete the listing agreement, evaluate the property, get all the right information to market it well, and do the data entry.   The $500 also gets you a Crawford Realty yard sign and a directional sign to guide traffic to your door.  (Once you get an offer, Crawford also helps you negotiate the offer to a binding contract and then coaches you to get through all the pitfalls on the way to your successful closing celebration.  The fee for all this is only ½ of 1% at closing.)

  2. $100 for an electronic lockbox.  This gives 4,000 agents the ability to enter and show your home according to your instructions (and with your knowledge) without you having to be there.  In today’s tough real estate market, no one can afford to miss even ONE showing to that prospect who might become your Buyer!  (If you want to buy a combo lock, Crawford Realty doesn’t charge the $100.)

  3. $50 for digital pictures to place in all the listings.  Done at the time we come to your home to list, we add photos to all the listings.  The more photos, the longer prospects will look at your listing.  A picture really IS worth a thousand words.  (If you can email us digital photos, we add them to the listings for you at no charge.) Our MLS® will accept up to 34 photos per listing.

  4. 2.5-3% Selling Commission to the Buyer’s agent: YOU, the Seller, determine how much you will offer a Buyer's Agent to bring you a Buyer.  If your eventual Buyer doesn’t have an agent, then we don’t take that money from you, like other Realtors® do who have already written the 6% commission into your listing agreement..

We offer many other services, all priced individually, such as holding open houses, printing flyers, and placing ads in other media like newspapers and magazines that feature Greater Central Alabama Real Estate for sale.  As a matter of fact, we offer over 60 points of marketing, all available at fair and reasonable costs.  But our Sellers usually tell us that they would rather do these things themselves, and save the money.  The less they spend in commissions and fees, the more competitive they can be with their price—and the more they can walk away with from the closing table.  Our sellers can often make a deal just BECAUSE they’re not locked into a 6% commission that they would have had to build into their asking price.  Many save as much as 5½% over the cost of their neighbors’ traditional full-price listings.

"Fee for service” is a new and unique concept in our Real Estate market.  No other Great Central Alabama Realtor® does it like we do.  IT JUST MAKES SO MUCH SENSE to do a little bit of work and save a whole lot of money.  We work in high volume, so we’re experts at knowing how to meet our Sellers’ needs.  And, since we work SO many contracts, we also know how Buyers think (invaluable when it comes to negotiating a deal that can actually close.)

A recent client told us he felt like he "had been robbed” by his agent the last time he sold his home.  We suspect many people feel that way, but don’t know they have an alternative.  Well, maybe they didn’t up until now.  Crawford Realty of Alabama truly is "A BETTER WAY.”

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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Crawford Realty of Alabama   |   Alabama’s Most Innovative Real Estate Company   |   4500 Valleydale Rd. Suite 60   |   Birmingham, AL 35242   |   Phone: 205-437-2004
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