Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does Help-U-Sell Real Estate work?
Help-U-Sell Brokers and agents are fully licensed professionals, members of their local Board of Realtors and of the National Association of Realtors®, work with both Buyers and Sellers, and provide a full range of real estate services. Help-U-Sell differs from traditional brokers, not in the scope of services provided, but in the dollar amount that you pay for those services. Our brokers charge a set fee for their services, as opposed to the traditional 6 percent commission, which, in turn, helps you to retain a greater amount of equity while still receiving all the real estate services you expect. Streamlined business practices and a focus on marketing properties rather than marketing themselves allow our brokers to spend their time working with buyers and sellers.
2. How does fee for service work?
We believe that the traditional 6 percent commission choice for sellers is an outdated practice and has no correlation to the cost of performing a real estate transaction. Our goal is to provide a fair price for the cost of services rendered, much like any other professional service that consumers would pay for. We perform all the same services as traditional real estate companies, and, often times, more.
3. Do you also represent buyers?
Yes. Help-U-Sell Real Estate is a full-service real estate organization representing both buyers and sellers. We can help a buyer purchase any home for sale in the market, not just Help-U-Sell listings. We take the time to learn what our buyers are looking for and represent their best interests throughout the home purchase process.
4. Why does Help-U-Sell Real Estate work?
Its simple. We are consumer-centric. Sellers appreciate the fact that we spend our time marketing properties instead of marketing ourselves and recruiting agents. Our Buyers appreciate the fact that we are experts in their neighborhood and that our website contains all of the local MLS listings, and, in many cases, more. Our streamlined operations and cost efficiencies translate into low overhead and savings that we pass along to consumers with our low set fee.
5. Are Help-U-Sell Agents licensed?
Yes. We are all licensed, members of the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) board and members of the South County Association of Realtors® (SCCAOR), California Association of Realtors® (CAR) and National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
6. What advantages does Help-U-Sell® Real Estate offer as compared to a traditional Realtor®?
We offer several advantages over traditional real estate companies:
- Set-Fee. You know upfront exactly how much it is going to cost to sell your home and how much equity you will retain.
- More Equity. Our set fee is significantly lower than what any other traditional real estate company will charge in commission. This means that you retain more of your equity.
- More Technology. Help-U-Sell's proprietary technology allows you to obtain up-to-date information about your home sale quicker and more efficiently than a traditional listing agent. In fact, with our technology, you can be anywhere in the world and learn about the latest activity on your home.
- More Experience. The average agent typically handles less than 10 transactions a year, while our agents and brokers handle dozens, which means more in-depth market knowledge, more experience solving problems and more value for our buyers and sellers.
7. I've heard that Help-U-Sell® Real Estate offers choices. What does this mean?
In traditional real estate*, there is always a listing agent and a buyer's agent. Now that your saving thousands of dollars by using Help-U-Sell as your listing agent, let's talk about who will find and represent the buyer for your home.
We offer three choices for finding the buyer. All choices involve payment of the buyer's agent commission.Please note that our set fee is always separate from the buyer's agent commission fee. The more you participate in your own sale, the more equity you will save at the close of escrow.
- Option 1 - An MLS Agent such as Intero®, Alain Pinel®, etc ... shows your home to a prospective Buyer and writes an offer for them (2.5% buyer commission paid by seller).
- Option 2 - Help-U-Sell agent shows the home to a prospective Buyer and writes an offer for them. (2% buyer commission paid by seller).
- Option 3 - You show the home to a prospective Buyer and Help-U-Sell writes an offer for them as YOUR buyer for a 1% buyer commission paid by seller. This option offers the maximum savings possible).
*Traditional real estate involves commission-based real estate brokers who usually charge a fixed commission rate (perhaps 5% or 6% or even more) no matter how the buyer for the property is secured. The Seller ends up paying the same commission amount whether the listing broker finds the buyer or another broker finds the buyer or even if the seller himself finds the buyer.
Our choices are simple. In general, you can save the most amount of money by showing your home yourself and conducting open houses. Or, if you'd like a more traditional real estate experience, you can choose to allow one of our licensed agents or broker to show your home and host open houses. You can also choose to place your home for sale in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and have other local real estate agents participate in the sale of your home.
No matter what your choice, you still save thousands compared to the cost of a traditional commission and receive a full complement of real estate services from our licensed real estate agents. Once your home is in contract with a buyer, we will manage the transaction and provide the same services a traditional real estate agent does including negotiating, helping you evaluate offers, finding financing for the home buyer’s mortgage, coordinating inspections and appraisals where appropriate, troubleshooting hurdles that may arise and more.
8. How can Help-U-Sell Real Estate charge such low fees for its services?
Years of experience have allowed us to refine the home selling and home buying process. Instead of having another big brokerage model, our franchises are streamlined operations with low overhead and a team of specialized experts. Instead of recruiting and managing agents, we focus on promoting our clients listings. This results in cost savings and it also allows us to charge a reduced fee directly related to the services provided. We believe that the traditional real estate commission model, with no correlation between the services rendered and the cost of those services, is outdated and unnecessary.
9. Since your fees are lower, does that mean you hire inexperienced agents and pay them less?
No. We have dedicated Buyer agents that focus strictly on helping buyers find and purchase their homes.All our agents hold a current California Bureau of Real Estate sales person license. Our agents are paid on a commission basis only and have the full support of the Broker of Record on a walk-in basis. The Broker of record, Adalberto V. Gonzalez, B.R.E.#01424198 "Tito" handles all of the listings in the office. The status of our licensees (and any other brokerage licensee as well) can always be checked here using the agent's B.R.E. license #.
10. If your business model is so beneficial to clients and you alike, why aren't other brokers doing it?
Real estate commissions have always been negotiable by law. The big real estate brokerages choose not to negotiate the traditional 6% commission structure because doing so would set a new precedent on the amount of commissions being charged in the real estate industry. Also, since most big brokerage agents have a large commission split % with their brokerages, they simply cannot afford to lower the 6% commission structure. Big real estate brokerages also pay high office overhead, which they must account for by charging these high 6% commissions.
11. Are there any hidden fees that I don't know about?
No. Our office identifies all fees up front. The price you pay is based on a fee for professional services rendered - not on a percentage of the sales price of your home.
12. What is the MLS?
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) is the most comprehensive computerized database of homes for sale with over millions of listings nationwide. This database is used by Realtors® to market and promote their own listings and to cooperate with other Realtors®. Realtors®, in turn, are compensated with part of the commission. A large portion of real estate transactions are a result of direct MLS exposure. By having your home in the local MLS during the sale, it will be exposed to thousands of local real estate agents who otherwise would not have known that your property was for sale and would not have shown it. We use the same MLS used by traditional brokers who charge a 6% percent commission.
13. Won't buyer's agents boycott my listing?
No. Buyer brokers search many sources for their clients, and they understand the advantages of Help-U-Sell Real Estate. Our listings have been sold by every major real estate company and we have a long history of excellent relationships with our colleagues in the industry.
14. Do you provide For Sale signage and flyers?
Yes, We provide the large 'FOR SALE' sign post typically seen in front of homes for sale. We also provide a sign box with full-color flyers, Open House A-frame directional signs, an open house Guest Sign-In binder, "Just Listed" surround mailers, single property web-sites and a Supra Key box for access by agents from other brokerages.
15. How do I list my Home with Help-U-Sell Real Estate?
Contact our office by clicking HERE. You can also email us directly at Tito@husBAYAREA.com or call us directly at (408) 778-0800.
16. How should I price my home?
We will prepare a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) that will provide you with information regarding the price range of similar home sales in your area as well as with information on current sale conditions so you can choose a price you feel is appropriate for your home.