Services

How We Do Business

As an independent brokerage, Springtree Realty has the flexibility to deal with each client in a way that is mutually beneficial.

This gives you broader control of the services you get and their costs. You may select from the whole range of services that any REALTOR would provide and negotiate the price that you pay.

The job of a seller’s agent is much different than the job of a buyer’s agent, although there is overlap and both require a thorough knowledge of local real estate practices and state regulations. Services to sellers and buyers are listed separately below.

Services for a Seller

Full Service Listing

This is the traditional model that has been used for years and involves a commission of between 5% and 8%. The size of the commission is agreed upon based on the listing price of the home and the buyer agent offer of compensation. All costs are borne by the listing agent.

Consultation

The first two hours are always at no charge and involve an initial assessment and preliminary pricing analysis in two one hour meetings.

Additional consultations when the choice is to work exclusively on a consultation basis are charged at $175 per hour billed in 15 minute increments.

Multiple Listing Service Access

This is often described as a limited service agency. The flat fee for unlimited MLS access is $500 paid in advance. We will provide guidelines for the information needed and provide forms for disclosures. Properties listed in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service would be also syndicated by TMLS through List Hub to over 40 other real estate sites. As part of the fee you may also use the Centralized Showing Service to schedule showing appointments. You may change information in the MLS as often as you like (change or add pictures, re-write copy, change the price, etc.) as often as you like. As a courtesy we will also review offers for accuracy but will not advise on appropriateness or negotiations.  The seller is is expected to deal directly with buyer agents or buyers. Once the home is withdrawn from the market or sold, the services end. We will provide one of our signs and a lockbox for an additional $50.

Transaction Facilitation

A step up from Multiple Listing Access. Appropriate in situations where traditional services are not required. For example, there are properties that are so special that they sell themselves and no marketing is needed. In other cases, a buyer identifies themselves before a home goes on the market such as a neighbor that has told a friend that a home might go on the market who then deals directly with the seller.  For a flat fee of $1500 we will help negotiate the price, write the contract, negotiate repairs and improvements and do all the things a listing agent normally does between contract and closing.

Pricing Analysis

We consider our Pricing Analysis the typical REALTOR competitive market analysis on steroids. It is not a substitute for an appraisal but a nice complement to it that includes some sophisticated statistical analysis of market trends. The fee is $250.

Marketing

As a 4PsRE practice we begin with a comprehensive marketing plan that covers product, price, place and promotion. All services will be provided a la carte.  All outsourced services and materials such as printing, photography, website hosting, etc., will be billed directly to the seller.  The final plan will include a budget. Springtree hours within the plan will be accrue at a rate $75 per hour and be charged against a monthly retainer of 1.5% of the listing price divided by 6 for each of the 6 months of the plan. At closing, unpaid retainer and hours billed in excess of the retainer will be paid out of the proceeds of the closing. If the home is withdrawn from the market no payments are refunded.

Full Service Negotiated

This option provides all the a la carte services in one negotiated package where retainers, charges and commissions are agreed upon in the formal listing agreement.  Various means of compensation can be considered including retainers, fees for specific services, commissions and bonuses for achieving specific goals such as sales price and days on the market before contract or sale.

Pros and Cons

The natural question is why would the a la carte approach be preferable to the traditional commission arrangement. Isn’t the latter more complicate? It is more complicated but there are several reasons why Springtree has taken this approach.

1. We can.  For better or worse larger brokerages are slaves to their own systems cost structure most of which were built around the traditional commission based business model.  Departures from the norm greatly complicate tracking agent performance, broker “splits” and other compensation issues.

2. The Springtree approach is fairer and more transparent to all involved. The seller knows exactly what her money is being spent for and the agent is compensated when services are performed in a much better way than in the more traditional seller/agent relationships.

3. It is more professional. Physicians, lawyers, accountants, and other marketing professionals are used to working this way for all the reasons mentioned.

4. It can save the client money and reduce the listing agent’s risk.

5. It demands a closer collaboration between the seller and the agent that in the end is more effective.

The downside is that it is more complicated and requires more detailed record keeping of time and other billable costs incurred.  On the other hand, that is a much more businesslike approach to business.

Buyer Services

Traditional Buyer Agency Relationship

The traditional full service relationship with commissions ranging from 2.0% to 3.5% depending on the sales price of the purchase. For homes less than $100K the commission is 3.5;  for homes over $100K up to $300K the commission is 3.0%;  for homes over $300K up to $700 the commission is 2.5%; for homes over $700 the commission is 2.0%.

If listing agent compensation offered to the buyer agent in MLS is less than the agreed upon commission rate the buyer makes up the difference.  If the agent compensation is more than the agreed upon rate, the difference will be rebated to the buyer at closing.  The commission covers all services in the traditional agency relationship.

Consultation

Initial consultation is always without charge up to two hours in two sessions. In the first we discuss agency, how Springtree does business and how the real estate transaction takes place in North Carolina.  A search tool account created and parameters for searching are established. The second session is to review results of initial search and establish a schedule. Additional consultation is at $100 per hour.

Showings

Showings are scheduled at no charge. Show time is charged at a rate of $50 per hour including travel time to and between showings.

Transaction Facilitation

This option is primarily for buyers who have conducted their search and are ready to make an offer.  We will draft and present the contract to the seller or the sellers agent and represent the client in all negotiations including repair negotiations and work with other professionals including mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers, attorneys and the listing agent to insure a smooth closing. The fee for transaction facilitation is $1750, half due upon signing the buyer agency agreement and the balance at closing.

Transaction facilitation can also be handled at the buyer consultation rate of $100 per hour billed bi-weekly or on a negotiated retainer.

Multiple Transaction Discounts

When a client chooses to be represented by us in the sale of their home and a subsequent purchase that closes within 30 days of the sale of their home, we will negotiate lower compensation on the purchase transaction.

Dual Agency

Generally we prefer not to represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction but will make exceptions.  Both from a practical point of view and by regulation, in a dual agency situation neither the buyer nor the seller are fully represented by an agent. Exceptions will be made when the transactions is so straightforward or the clients are so sophisticated that full representation is not necessary.