We are not cheaper, we are less expensive. With the increase volume of business we get, we achieve great savings that are really passed down to our customers. We can offer a competitive price because we are more efficient, have great technology, use cloud computing resources, don't have brick and mortar offices and have strong partnerships. Our company (Blue Lighthouse Realty, INC – a Licensed Real Estate Corporation) is directly your listing agent so we owe no referral fees to anyone (unlike most of the other companies out there that sell your information out to a local Broker - most Flat Fee listing companies are just an additional “middle man” and some are not even licensed to provide the service they offer) . Furthermore we are a family owned company and don’t have corporate obligations with shareholders (like most big Real Estate Brokerages do). These elements and our unique business model allows us to operate with less overhead cost and the savings are transferred directly to you. Other companies’ business models and corporate structures only make it more expensive for the consumer. Bottom line: We are less expensive, more efficient, more effective and much better.
Two part answer:
1) The MLS, which is accessible only by Realtors contain your contact information (phone and email with clear instructions to contact you directly for showings, information and offers); so Realtors with potential buyers will be contacting you directly. If by any chance they don't follow this instructions and call our office, we will guide these to how to proceed and contact you directly. Most of the Leads will come from Realtors (around 95% of all properties in the country are sold through a Realtor); they are out there working hard to get a buyer (or tenant) for your property and earn the commission offered.
2) Realtor's regulations for Realtor.com and other partner sites do not allow (when a property is listed through a Brokerage) to include the owner's contact information. The phone number that appears associated with our company is our automatic messaging service (all Portals display this contact information differently). All leads that we receive* will be forwarded to you: if by email, they are just forwarded to you. If by phone call, our system will record the message and forward it to you via e-mail for you to listen to it and follow-up directly.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: When a property is listed and an offer a compensation is posted (like in this case), all Realtors will be working hard to try and find a buyer for your property ... that is what they do. One of the strategies and methods they use to try and get a buyer is by "buying leads" form the Real Estate Portals out there (Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Etc). All portals (including Realtor.com) are profit-oriented business enterprises that make money by advertising services and by selling leads to Realtors trying to get buyers to represent.
Some of these sites allow the potential buyer to choose who to send the enquiry to (like Zillow) and some like Realtor.com just assign the lead to the Realtor(s) that has(have) purchased the lead(s) (either by paying for a zip code or a specific area). We have no way of controlling how the Real Estate Portals assign and/or forward the leads they generate. This is why we can't assure that all the leads will come to us. What we assure our customers is that ALL leads that come to us will be forwarded to you, the seller (or landlord) as describe above.
Unfortunately Realtor.com (and syndication partners) rules and regulations prohibit the publication of owners direct contact information on their website. Nevertheless you can rest assured that ALL leads that come to us will be forwarded directly to you, the owner.Furthermore, the most important piece of our marketing strategy for your property is your local MLS system. There we will list your phone number (and e-mail) with instructions for Realtors to call you directly for Showings, information and offers. REMEMBER THAT approximately 90-95% of all Real Estate transactions are made through a Realtor, so this is where you want the maximum exposure. We have estimated that approximately 2-3% of buyers come from Realtor.com and the remaining 3-4% come from other partner sites. It is impossible to get to 100% because there is a 1-2% of sales and rents that come by word of mouth, neighbor interaction, friends and family. Having a good MLS listing and a solid Realtor.com presence will cover the main portion of the market and is, by far, the best and most effective way of reaching potential buyers. WE HAVE YOU COVERED! YOU WON'T MISS A SINGLE LEAD!
The MLS (Multiple Listing System) is a database where all Agents list properties for sale. By listing a property through the MLS the listing agent is offering a commission to any Realtor that brings a buyer (or tenant). REMEMBER: 90% to 95% of ALL properties sold in the United states are sold by Realtors through the MLS. Your property needs to be in the MLS!
A Flat Fee Listing is an advertising and promotion service where www.snapflatfee.com (Blue Lighthouse Realty INC) will charge you a low one-time fee ($99) for a very specific and powerful service: list your property through your local MLS, post it to Realtor.com and promote it by publishing (syndication) it through all of our partner sites that cover approximately 97% of potential buyers in the global market. Partners are more than 100 different sites and include the most popular third party property sites in the modern market like: Redfin, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com, HomeFinder.com, YahooHomes, Hotpads, Movoto, and many, many more!
We are experts in maximum exposure for all of our listed properties and we are proud of every single one of them.
First and foremost the property will be listed in your local MLS system.
The property will go directly onto Realtor.com (the best and most accurate and reliable Real Estate portal available).
It will be published in hundreds of other Real Estate search engine sites. the most important are: Zillow, Trulia, Movoto, Redfin, Homes.com, Estately, among many more.
This covers more than 97% of the potential buyers. Your property will be available to potential buyers WORLDWIDE.
Many real estate practitioners have websites that offer property search features. We participate in all data exchange programs available though each MLS system and Agents and Brokerages will have the ability to display your property information in their websites if they participate as well. This multiplies the exposure of your property. Nevertheless we cannot warranty the publishing on all other brokerage and/or agents websites as we can't control the manner in which each individual cooperating broker manages his website and publishing resources.
After you click “Start Now” you will fill-out a from with your contact information, the property description and the commission you offer to a buyer’s agent. We will review the information. If everything looks good, our payment partner, PayPal, will send you an invoice via e-mail (to the e-mail you provided) for you to pay online (you can pay with any major credit/debit card. It is VERY easy and you don't need to have a PayPal account. www.SnapFlatFee.com does not collect payment or credit card information and leave this to the experts (our partner: PayPal). As everything with us: it is clear, transparent, simple and fast. For any other payment arrangement, please Contact us or give us a call to our toll free number: 1-855-376-SNAP.
Immediately after submitting your information, you will receive an e-mail (to the email address you provided) with instructions as to how to send us your pictures. Nevertheless it is very simple, just attach your pictures to an e-mail and send them to us at: email@example.com - Split the pictures into several e-mail messages if the pictures are too big (Max per message is 15Mb). Please include your property address in the email subject. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you provide an email address you check frequently and have free access to (please check spelling twice); this is the email we will use to send you instructions for pictures and invoice. This is the email address we will use to forward you ALL the leads that come our way.
You can provide 25 pictures. The initial picture must be an exterior picture of the property.
Absolutely not. This is VERY IMPORTANT*** Images and photographs downloaded from anywhere on the Internet or copied from previous listings are “Copyrighted” and/or restricted (by MLS rules and regulations). Including them in your listing without proper written authorization from the owner of the rights puts you (and us) at legal risk.
To protect yourself and to be safe ONLY submit pictures that you take or that you hired (and paid) someone to take for you.
Professional photographs will promote you property much better and it will stand out ahead of the competition.
You will save a lot of money. Usually sellers that use a traditional Realtor pay between 6% and 10% in total commission. Usually the Listing Agent will keep half and pay half to the buyer's agent. With our SnapFlatFee service you omit the entire commission if you sell it without the participation of a buyer's agent or you will save half the commission if a Realtor brings you a buyer. For listing the property in the MLS, it is obligatory to offer a commission to the buyer's agent; this also is important because only monetary incentive will motivate agents to present you a solid (ready, willing and able) buyer.
This adds up to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars IN SAVINGS$$$$
NOTE: There is no set commission required by law and you, as owner, are free to set the percentage (or dollar amount) that fits your strategy.
There is no set commission required by law and you, as owner, are free to set the percentage (or dollar amount) that fits your strategy. This is one of the questions you will answer when you input the property information and it can be a percentage (%) or a dollar amount ($). NOTE: The MLS will not allow us to input a property with no commission offered to buyers agent.
We call it “GOING LIVE”. We will have your listing on the MLS and on Realtor.com within 12-24 hours after we receive your payment and pictures. Partner sites take a little time to upload the information, but this usually happens within 48-72 hours.
No problem: you can cancel at any time. Just click on changes on the main menu of our website and fill out the simple form. There is NO FEE for canceling your listing (no refunds either, sorry).
Sure you can. Nevertheless we suggest to keep changes (specially price changes) to a minimum because the system will record all changes and Realtors will be very concerned when they see frequent price changes. This is why we suggest an aggressive listing price. Just click the changes option in the main menu of our site and fill out the simple form.
Be very careful with websites that offer similar services; not only are they more expensive, but...
- -Make sure that they are Licensed as Real Estate Brokerages in the state where the property is located. Most states make it illegal for any unlicensed company (or individual) to "solicit" listings without a licenses. If Licensed, they MUST (by statute) display their brokerage name on their website. When talking to other companies directly ask for their license number (for your state).
- -Most are just websites (not even companies) trying to get you to pay first and then they sell your information to a local Broker. This makes them more expensive because they cut a profit ( as a middle man) and pay the local Realtor a percentage of your payment. You lose control and contact with who is actually providing you the service. Some of these middle man (or referral) services might be illegal under state license laws.
- -Other sites belong to good descent licensed Brokers that work locally and some we know personally. Most of them do a good ethical job and run good businesses; nevertheless none can offer the price and ease of use that we offer. We are simpler, straightforward and much more effective and efficient. All savings are transferred directly to you, the owner.
- ...and others out there are just incomprehensible because not even us have been able to figure out who they are.
If you decide to pay more to another company (for an inferior or equal service), you are free to do it, but please make sure that you are dealing directly with a local state-licensed Real Estate Broker (by law, licensed Real Estate Companies have to provide (on their website) at the very minimum the name of the company as registered with the State regulatory agency. Caution: if you don't see a company name that is registered with the state regulatory agency, then it is a referral service or a scam. And may be operating illegally under state law. You must be very wary and you should stay away of websites that don't list their Company Name (or/and address), websites that don't have a phone number listed (or don't answer the phone or return the calls), websites that look misleading and MOST IMPORTANT: BE CAREFUL WITH WEBSITES THAT ASK YOU TO PAY BEFORE YOU INPUT YOUR INFORMATION.
We work with a Limited Service Listing Agreement (also known as Entry Only, or Flat Fee agreement) which basically gives us authorization to list your property and offer a commission on your behalf (that you will set) to other Realtors, while you keep your right to sell it to anyone else that comes without a Realtor as buyer agent and save the entire commission. This is an agreement that can be cancelled at any time without penalty. You will only have to pay that commission if a buyer (or tenant) is presented by a Buyer's agent. If you sell your property without a Real Estate Agent involved on the buyer's side, then you owe NO commission.
A Full Service Real Estate Company will provide you with many more services that you might not need (so you shouldn't pay for them). They will list the property in the MLS (in the same way we do), they will show the property or install a lockbox; they will schedule appointments for you, receive offers, review them and negotiate with potential clients and other brokers. They will be your liaison with the attorneys and title companies and will be there at the closing table to collect their commission. All of these activities most people can do on their own and knowing that, most probably (as recommended by us), you will have legal representation, it is a very manageable process.
Always use an attorney when making a Real Estate transaction even if you have a Realtor. Realtors are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice
Yes they are legal! This has been debated and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) not only approves creative practices in Real Estate brokerages (like our Flat Fee service), but encourages them. They have an entire chapter in their DOJ Antitrust website -- visit: www.justice.gov/atr/public/real_estate/ dedicated to this topic. The Federal Government has even sued some states for trying to prevent discount and Flat Fee Real Estate practices.We believe in the ability and right of the free market to regulate itself through competition and this is why we offer the best and simplest service and the most competitive price for this type of service out there. When a free market and smart competition exists, it is the consumer (you as seller) who gets the largest benefit (saving money).
Absolutely NOT! We consider this practice unprofessional, rude and potentially unethical or maybe illegal. As listing agents we are performing a job for you, the owner (seller or landlord), and it wouldn't be correct to charge anything to the buyer and/or buyer agent while not performing any job for them. This is a delicate area of RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) where "It is illegal for anyone to accept a fee or part of a fee for services if that person has not actually performed settlement services for the fee" (source: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/ramh/res/sc2secti).
Our one and ONLY fee is $99.
This is very important and we pride ourselves of providing the best customer service in the business.
All of our reviews are collected and verified (as true, valid and from current and/or past paying customers) by a third party, independent company called “Shopper Approved”. This company is one of only a handful of corporations approved by Google for the collection and verification of ratings and reviews from actual payment customers. - Some of our competitors post comments on their websites, but they are uploaded directly by them, so it is impossible to know if they are truly from previous or current customers, or just made up. You can check our reviews on our website by clicking "reviews" from our main menu. But to make it more reliable we recommend checking them directly on the Verification Collection Agency's website at: Shopper Approved - SnapFlatFee
Contact us or give us a call to our toll free number: 1-855-376-SNAP.