If you are looking to sell your home you should consider using a flat fee listing service. In this arrangement there is no listing commission except for a flat fee of $250-$500. Your property gets listed on the MLS and highly trafficed web sites like the Realtor.com, AOL, msn and Yahoo. Since 80% of home buyers use the internet to find a home this type of marketing really makes sense.
We are currently in a buyer's market. In Chicagoland there is a lot of inventory of unsold homes. Here are the advantages of this type of listing:
Sell Quicker - Using a flat fee listing you can price more aggressively because you do not have to pay a full service broker 5-6% commission to sell your home. You also have the option to offer a better commission to a buyer's broker to increase traffic. In a buyer's market some sellers will offer 3% instead of 2-2.5% so that their properties might pop up to the top of the list when it comes time to set up showings. Another option is to offer incentives to buyer's like free flat screen TVs. All these are easier to pull off if you are not paying a full listing commission.
Net More - You have the potential to net more money without a listing commission.
Unbiased Advice - The advise that you get from a flat fee broker is less biased than a full service agent. If a broker makes 5% commission on the sale of your home, how incented are they to get the deal done even if it is not the right deal for their client. A price drop of $10,000 on a $300,000 home equates to $10,000 less for the seller but only $250 less for a full service listng agent on a 2.5% listing commission. They net $7,250 instead of $7,500 (assumining 2.5% to the buyer's agent and 2.5% to listing broker)
The National Association of Realtors reported in November that these types of listings now make up 17% of the market place.