Let’s face it. Consumers are becoming more educated and empowered when it comes to purchases… especially with important purchases like a new home. Think back 20 years to when shopping for a house meant driving around from one neighborhood to the next with your trusted real estate agent and a road map in your hand, committing months to the search.
Fast forward to today where buyers are able to see a virtual tour of any house they want, in any city they want, from the comfort of their own homes, within minutes of it being listed online. Online home listing sites have changed the landscape of the industry for home buyers. This digital shift has also made it easy for listing agents to sell homes without depending on traditional marketing like newspaper advertising, flyers, and open houses.
Recently an innovative new company called iList announced a unique real estate model that will completely transform the way homeowners sell their homes. Launched by Texas real estate duo, Dale and Joe Peterson, in response to their clients’ desires to save money and take control of the home selling process, while still having the security of a knowledgeable agent on their side, iList is bringing sellers the best of both worlds.
iList has reinvented the entire home sale process. When a seller is ready to list their home, they no longer have to meet with their real estate agent and sign a six-month contract to get started. They simply create a free iList account online and use a tool called iValuate to compare and determine a fair listing price for their home. Just like working with a traditional real estate agency, the seller’s home is listed on MLS and other online sites. In addition, they receive yard signs, electronic lock boxes, and can talk to their iList agent any time they have questions. When an offer is received, there is no more waiting for the real estate agent to call and wading through stacks of complicated legal documents. The seller can instantly review, compare, counter, or accept offers through an online dashboard on their iList account. The buyers make offers through the online portal. Once an offer is accepted, the professional real estate team takes over and handles all of the contracts from there. All contracts and other legal documents are secured and maintained digitally. The technology’s interface is designed with the average consumer in mind so it is easy for anyone to use.
Aside from the simplicity, what is making this innovative new technology so attractive to sellers is the savings they receive. Traditionally, a seller will pay 6% in fees between the buyer and listing agent commissions. iList sellers only pay a 0.5% listing fee, resulting in savings on average of 50% or more of typical listing fees. For a $300,000 home sale, that could be over $9,000 savings to the seller.
Although there have been other companies who have attempted to shake up the listing process by offering low cost or flat fee commissions, none of them have taken it to the same level as iList. Unlike others, iList is providing the guidance of a professional industry team coupled with technology to supplement the self-sufficiency of today’s homeowners.
“Technology has come a long way in real estate, but now we are taking the process to the next level. Not long ago, people were apprehensive about abandoning their travel agents and booking flights online, but today that is the norm. A similar trend has occurred in the financial industry by companies such as E Trade. Now we are bringing about the same shift in the real estate industry,” said iList founder, Joe Peterson.
So does this change signify the death of the listing agent? "Perhaps," said Peterson. "Or perhaps we are about to see listing agents take on a whole new role as advisors to the tech-savvy independent sellers who are welcoming the long overdue advancement of a conventional industry."