For Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Agents: Not Something for Nothing!

January 19, 2017

Sooner or later, all children need to be warned about the fallacy of something for nothing. It’s an important lesson and a milestone. Very little ones are too young to be exposed to the idea that when they grow up, they should automatically examine the motives behind anything that seems to be offered for free. Until then, it’s one of the joys of parenthood to enjoy shielding the innocence of their kids for as long as possible. But sooner or later, for their own good, the basic lesson from the adult world has to be learned: outside the family, there’s no such thing as a free lunch

That could be why first time home buyers can be forgiven for having a degree of skepticism when they learn that the Fort Lauderdale real estate agent who is offering to help them is willing to do so at no cost to them! 

Hold it, they automatically think; where’s the catch?

It only sounds like “something for nothing.” When we make that offer, we Fort Lauderdale real estate agents aren’t, in fact, giving away our professional services as a charitable enterprise. The work we do (and the expenses we encounter in the course of doing it) will be compensated, but the bill will be presented elsewhere. It’s only sort of like a free lunch. The way it works is not just straightforward—it’s also logical.

When homeowners decide to sell Fort Lauderdale homes, the popular choice is to call upon the resources of a licensed Fort Lauderdale agent. The commission for doing so (often 5% or 6% of the sale price) is considered when arriving at the asking price—and since most of the other homes listed for sale have made similar arrangements, that amount should not put the property at a competitive disadvantage. Something like nine out of ten homeowners make that same decision, if for no other reason than the powerful marketing resources that can then go into the sales effort.

On the other side of the transaction-to-be, potential buyers can be offered the professional assistance of a real estate agent at no cost because of the traditional practice in the industry—the agreement between buying and selling brokerages to share in the selling agent’s commission. It’s a bit like what you run into when you use some cities’ toll bridges, where a toll equal to the value of two passages is charged coming into the city, but none as you leave. It’s doubly efficient that way.

In fact, I suspect the efficiency argument in American real estate practice isn’t the entire reason that this ancient system developed. Since a seller hopes to reap the proceeds of the sale, it’s fair to assume that he or she is the party who is better able to justify an expense—especially if it will only be paid when a successful sale is concluded. For the buyer, receiving the benefits of a professional’s services with no bill presented. Come to think of it—it does seem a little bit like free lunch, doesn’t it?

Fort Lauderdale listings are usually less numerous this time of year—which makes it an attractive time for sellers to put their homes up for sale. If you are thinking of selling or buying, there’s less competition than will be the case come springtime—ample reason to give me a call!