Anyone who's ever bought or sold a home will understand just how expensive a process it can be. When using a real estate agent, the traditional commission is six percent of the home's total sales price – wouldn't it be great if you could save some money on that?
Well, thanks to a new app called SQFT, some sellers might just be able to do that. SQFT is an app that helps buyers and sellers to reduce these traditional fees by doing most of the legwork themselves, and in the process doing away with the need for a real estate professional, explained James Simpson, Co-Founder and CEO of SQFT.
“The biggest reasons to use SQFT are to save money, take control of the process and have ownership of the results,” Simpson told me in an interview. “Sellers often feel pressure from agents who simply want to close a deal – but under our model, this pressure doesn't exist.”
Taking control of the sales process means that sellers don't face any pressure to reduce their listing price, or to accept a lowball offer, because all of the negotiating is done directly between the seller and the buyer. The buyers gain an advantage too, because SQFT allows them to interact directly with sellers and control their end of the buying process, saving additional commission for the seller and therefore make their offer stronger or realize a better price in the end.
“Building equity isn't easy, so why not hold on to as much as possible? Using SQFT is easy and very cost effective,” Simpson assured me.
The app is dead easy to use. Simply download it and SQFT will walk you through all the steps needed to list your home. This includes identifying those special features that can be key selling points, and taking professional photos for the listing. The app can even help you to identify the ideal listing price for your home.
Once ready, your listing is posted onto more than 450 real estate sites, including major ones like Trulia, Zillow and MLS. Sellers can then use the app to schedule showings, respond to enquiries or offers from prospective buyers, and even sign the closing contract. In fact, it's possible to complete the entire sales process from start to finish without ever meeting a real estate agent face-to-face.
SQFT isn't entirely free to use, but on its website it claims it reduces the 6 percent fee to just 1-2 percent. That's because SQFT does employ its own affiliated real estate agents as brokers, to handle the contracts and other legal stuff.
“They are there to handle all state contracts and forms and to assist with questions a seller may have,” Simpson explained. “They help get the deals closed.”
SQFT is available now and can be downloaded from the app store.