Ozarks Realtor Laura Duckworth Touts the Merits of Flat-Fee Real Estate Services

SPRINGFIELD, MO. (STL.News) – In a real estate market where there is a shortage of homes, sellers are seeking ways to keep more money in their pockets, and Southwest Missouri Realtor Laura Duckworth, of HouseKey Flat Fee Realty, explains the three main reasons why sellers should give flat-fee brokerages a chance.

No. 1: The Internet creates industry efficiency. Not only have online websites armed buyers and sellers with more information, technology has enabled real estate agents to be more efficient at completing each transaction. Duckworth believes this benefit should be passed on to the seller. Because of the MLS and thousands of online residential websites that feed from it, the amount of time it takes to list a home is typically the same regardless of the value of the house. Flat fee agents like Duckworth reason that the listing fee should be the same whether the home lists for $100,000 or $400,000, especially given the low inventory.

“Real estate agents are a valuable piece of the pie, I just think on the listing side the value and fee should align. To stay competitive, Realtors like myself must adapt, but we will never be obsolete—we have access to additional information on listings, plus we’re there to guide buyers and sellers through transactions and negotiations to make sure our clients are protected,” noted Duckworth. “A good agent is going to offer significant value to their clients that they’re happy to pay for.”

No. 2: For Sale By Owner (FSBO) doesn’t always pay off. With the low-inventory market we’re in, some sellers opt to list FSBO, but this can end up being more stressful and costly than the seller realizes. “With FSBOs, sellers have to be constantly available to answer the phone and to show the house, and every other call is an agent wishing to list their home. That costs time, and time is money,” stated Duckworth, “and that’s before negotiations and contracts have even started! With negotiations and contracts, sellers run the risk of falling victim to a scam or a lawsuit due to the lack of E&O insurance.” Statistically, over time FSBOs usually choose to list their home with an agent, meaning the period of time before the home was on the MLS was wasted.

No. 3: Not sacrificing service. “There is a common misconception that flat fee agents don’t provide a full-service experience, but not all flat fee companies are created equal,” noted Duckworth, “Anyone who checks out my online reviews can see that.” The goal of HouseKey Flat Fee Realty is to do everything a traditional agent will do but for $2,995 on the listing side. “Clients sometimes question how I’m able to provide the quality of service that I’m committed to. I may make less on the listing side, but seeing a seller overjoyed about the money I’ve saved them is rewarding…as rewarding as the look on a buyer’s face when they walk into ‘the one,’” concluded Duckworth.

About Laura Duckworth, HouseKey Flat Fee Realty

Laura Duckworth helps buyers and sellers in the Ozarks, including Springfield, Battlefield, Nixa, Ozark, Republic, Rogersville, Clever, Strafford, Fair Grove, Saddlebrooke and more. Her goal as a Realtor is to educate clients and create a stress-free home-buying and selling experience. Laura is a recipient of the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors Sales Volume Award and Rookie of the Year. For more information, please call (417) 520-6545, or visit https://www.SpringfieldFlatFee.com/. HouseKey Flat Fee Realty is located at 1824 S Lone Pine, Suite F, Springfield, MO 65804.

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