|  Ramzi Chamat

The real estate brokerage dilemma: Package or commission, which choice to make?

In the tumultuous world of real estate, owners often find themselves lost in the middle of the jungle of real estate brokerage offers. Choosing the formula that best suits their needs is a challenge that deserves thought. It is a choice that can have a significant impact on the outcome of the sale of their property. This article explores the flat rate versus commission debate in depth, uncovering the nuances of this crucial decision for sellers.




The real estate market is constantly evolving, and with it, the methods of brokerage. Two players, Neho and Kiiz, have recently shaken up the foundations of the industry by offering a pricing model based on a fixed fee rather than a traditional commission. They claim considerable success with their transparent approach and fixed pricing. However, traditional brokers remain attached to the commission model. So, what is the best option for property sellers? This article delves into the heart of this dilemma.



I. Fixed Fee or Commission: A Thorny Choice for Property Owners


The choice between a fixed fee and a commission in real estate brokerage is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to both models, and they can directly influence the outcome of the sale of your property.


1. Fixed Real Estate Fee: Transparency and Predictability


The fixed real estate fee has become an increasingly popular option in recent years. With this model, property owners pay a fixed sum for brokerage services, regardless of the value of their property. One of the major advantages of the fixed fee is financial transparency. Property owners know exactly how much they will pay for the broker's services, eliminating unpleasant surprises related to commissions based on the final sale price.


Another advantage of the fixed fee is predictability. Property owners have a clear idea of costs from the outset, which can help them budget more effectively and make informed decisions throughout the selling process.


2. Real Estate Commission: Link between Performance and Compensation


The commission model, on the other hand, is the traditional method of compensating real estate brokers. In this case, brokers receive a percentage of the final sale price of the property. One of the advantages of this model is that it creates a link between the broker's performance and compensation. The higher the property sells for, the more the broker is compensated. This can incentivize brokers to actively work to obtain the best price for the property.


However, this model can also create perverse incentives. Some brokers may be tempted to overestimate the property's value to secure the listing, which can lead to inaccurate appraisals and issues during the sale. Moreover, property owners may end up paying high commissions, especially if their property sells at a high price.


3. The Property Owner's Dilemma: Which Model to Choose?


For property owners, the choice between the fixed fee and commission largely depends on their personal preferences and financial situation. The fixed fee offers reassuring financial transparency and is particularly suitable for owners of moderately priced properties, as it limits fixed costs.


On the other hand, the commission can be more advantageous for owners of high-value properties, as it aligns the broker's interests with achieving the highest possible price. However, it is essential to work with a trusted broker to avoid biased appraisals.



II. Stagnant Margins Despite Rising Real Estate Prices


One of the major concerns for property owners is that, despite the soaring real estate prices, margins for traditional real estate agents do not seem to be following this upward trend. Costs associated with property promotion and securing new listings have increased, creating significant pressure on brokers.


1. Continuously Rising Real Estate Prices: Where Is the Money Going?


The rise in real estate prices has been well-documented in recent years. In many regions, properties are selling at record prices, which should logically result in higher profits for real estate brokers. However, many property owners and industry observers note that broker margins are not keeping pace with this upward trend.


2. Increasing Costs of Promotion and Prospecting: A Challenge for Brokers


A major explanation for this stagnant margin lies in the costs associated with property promotion and prospecting for new listings. With the advent of the internet and online sales platforms, brokers must invest more in marketing to attract buyers and sellers. Online advertising, professional photography, videos, and even home staging have become essential elements to draw attention to properties.


Prospecting for new listings has also become more competitive and time-consuming. Brokers must compete with a growing number of competitors to secure new sales contracts. This increased competition requires brokers to invest more time and resources in their quest for listings.


3. Margins in a Precarious Balance: Between Costs and Rewards


The imbalance between the rising costs of promotion and prospecting and broker compensation creates a precarious situation for many traditional real estate agencies. Margins are becoming increasingly thin, and brokers sometimes find themselves in a situation where potential profits do not offset the expenses and efforts required to keep their business afloat.



III. Fierce Competition: A Challenge for Traditional Agencies


Intense competition among traditional agencies has led some brokers to overestimate the value of properties to secure listings. This frantic race to attract sellers can sometimes have detrimental effects on property appraisals, leaving property owners perplexed and dissatisfied.


1. The Frenzied Race to Secure Real Estate Listings


The relentless pursuit of new real estate listings has become a reality for many traditional agencies. In this competition, some brokers may be tempted to overstate the value of the properties they seek to represent. The goal is clear: win the listing contract at all costs.


Property owners, eager to get the best price for their property, may be influenced by brokers who promise higher appraisals. However, this overestimation can lead to detrimental consequences throughout the selling process.


2. Inaccurate Appraisals: The Pitfall of Overestimation


When a broker overestimates the value of a property to secure the listing, it creates an unrealistic price baseline. Property owners may then be led to set a selling price that is too high for their property. As a result, the property may linger on the market for an extended period without attracting serious buyers.


This situation can be frustrating for property owners who wonder why their property is not selling despite optimistic appraisals. Furthermore, a property that remains on the market for an extended period can be perceived negatively by potential buyers, leading to a decrease in the perceived value of the property.


3. Perplexed and Dissatisfied Property Owners: Consequences of Overestimation


Property owners often find themselves perplexed and dissatisfied when their property does not sell at the price promised by the broker. They may feel misled by overly optimistic initial appraisals, which can lead to a loss of trust in the selling process and the broker himself.


Ultimately, this frenzied race to win listings at any cost can harm the reputation of brokers and the satisfaction of property owners. It is essential for brokers and property owners to work together transparently and realistically to establish appropriate and realistic selling prices.



IV. The Importance of Networking in Achieving Value Gains


Some industry experts emphasize the importance of a strong network in the real estate sales process. This includes the ability to collaborate with other brokers, which can help attract buyers willing to pay more. Traditional brokerage agencies highlight their physical network, while new companies like Neho prioritize digital platforms.


1. The Power of a Strong Network


A strong network is an invaluable asset for real estate professionals. It is a web of relationships that may include other brokers, industry experts, potential buyers, and sellers. Brokers with extensive networks are often able to create synergies that can lead to significant value gains for their clients.


2. Collaboration Among Brokers


One of the most important aspects of a real estate network is collaboration among brokers. Experienced brokers understand the importance of working in tandem with other real estate professionals to maximize sales opportunities. This collaboration can take the form of partnerships, exclusive listing sharing, or simply sharing information about available properties.


3. Physical Network vs. Digital Platforms


Traditional brokerage agencies often emphasize their physical network of offices, agents, and industry connections. They argue that this physical presence provides an advantage when it comes to reaching a wide audience and attracting potential buyers willing to pay higher prices.


In contrast, new entrants like Neho prioritize digital platforms and online tools. They argue that the digital era offers unprecedented opportunities for connecting with buyers and sellers on a global scale, potentially increasing the pool of interested parties and ultimately driving up property prices.



V. Neho and Kiiz: The Disruptors of the Real Estate Industry


Neho and Kiiz have emerged as disruptors in the real estate industry, challenging traditional brokerage models with their fixed fee approach. These companies aim to provide greater transparency, cost savings, and value for property owners.


1. Neho: Transparency and Fixed Fees


Neho, founded in Switzerland in 2017, is a proponent of transparent pricing in real estate transactions. The company charges a fixed fee for its services, regardless of the property's value. This approach eliminates the uncertainty associated with commission-based models and provides property owners with financial clarity.


2. Kiiz: Disrupting the Brokerage Commission


Kiiz, a real estate platform based in France, also offers an alternative to traditional commission-based brokerage. The company provides a fixed-fee model and emphasizes the simplicity and transparency of its pricing structure. Kiiz has gained traction in the French real estate market and is challenging the established commission-based agencies.


3. The Success of Fixed Fees


Both Neho and Kiiz claim considerable success with their fixed fee models. Property owners appreciate the predictability and transparency of these pricing structures, and they often lead to significant cost savings compared to traditional commissions. The success of these companies demonstrates the changing landscape of real estate brokerage and the demand for more transparent and cost-effective solutions.



VI. The Future of Real Estate Brokerage: Transparency and Value


The real estate brokerage landscape is evolving, with fixed fee models gaining traction and challenging traditional commission-based approaches. Property owners are increasingly seeking transparency, predictability, and cost savings in their real estate transactions.


1. A Shift Towards Transparency


Transparency is a central theme in the future of real estate brokerage. Property owners are demanding clear, upfront pricing and an understanding of the value they receive for their money. Fixed fee models, as exemplified by Neho and Kiiz, are meeting this demand by providing straightforward pricing structures.


2. The Importance of Value


In addition to transparency, the real estate industry's future will revolve around delivering value to property owners. Brokers who can demonstrate their ability to maximize property prices, leverage their networks, and provide exceptional service will continue to thrive.


3. Coexistence of Models


While fixed fee models are gaining ground, traditional commission-based brokerage is unlikely to disappear entirely. Both models may coexist in the market, allowing property owners to choose the approach that best suits their needs and preferences.





The choice between fixed fees and commissions in real estate brokerage is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Property owners must carefully consider their financial situation, the value of their property, and their expectations when making this important choice. Transparency, value, and networking are all key factors in determining the success of a real estate transaction. Whether through traditional commission-based models or innovative fixed fee approaches, the future of real estate brokerage will continue to evolve to meet the changing demands of property owners.

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