Floating a Trial Balloon

avatarthumbnail.jpgThese days, with homes in the Phoenix real estate market often selling within a handful of days and no time to preview or show before writing an offer, it seems I’m spending more and more time simply writing contracts.

Should one get accepted then I move into the regular mode – ordering and attending inspections, coordinating the transaction between the lender, buyer and escrow, negotiating repairs (unless it’s a bank owned home and no repairs are being made) and all the rest of the work that goes into a successful home purchase.

But 95 percent of the offers I’m writing aren’t getting there. And since my role is a bit more limited – I have less overhead when I’m not driving hither and yon to show homes to a buyer before he or she makes a decision – I’m wondering. Is there a place in the Phoenix real estate market for an agent chargining an up-front, pay-per-contract-written fee?

DOJ fun prevents me from using real numbers. But let’s say I started offering a service where a buyer pays me $XX per contract that I write. Should one prove successful, the amount paid would be credited back out of the commission paid either in full or at most up to the amount of the commission.

If you’re serious about purchasing, would you be willing to pay to have the time that it takes to research a property and write a contract?  Does a program such as this sound better or worse than charging an up-front retainer of a certain amount on homes under a certain price point?

Of course, the obvious flaw is there are hundreds if not thousands of local agents who will write the contract for free. Some of these are the same ones who will flaunt local MLS rules and hand buyers the lockbox codes without thinking twice.

Still, the quickly multiplying contracts sitting in my Documents folder makes me think that this might be a path worth pursuing.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.


  • J Williams 9 years ago

    Don’t waste anymore time thinking about this one Jonathan. I am a buyer that came across an agent that wanted to charge $100.00 retainer on each short sale contract written. Needless to say, I couldn’t move on quickly enough. I would do the same for an agent that charged for writing contracts too! Just chalk it up to the cost of doing business and move on.

  • Jonathan Dalton 9 years ago

    Which is why I’ve not gone that direction … there’s always someone willing to work for free.

    The solution really is in my own hands … It’s my call whether to be more selective in who I work with.

  • Portland Real Estate 9 years ago

    Keep it the way it is, people come to you for the service you provide. I feel that it may hurt your image if you went down that route. You are a great agent, but I dont think you want to be a full time contract writer.

  • J Williams 9 years ago

    With the market the way it is in Phoenix, it would be difficult to avoid writing multiple contracts for one client. The current philosophy is to bid on multiple properties til you get accepted. Which unfortunately for you means writing more contracts. But it’s all done electronically anyway, the only thing you lose is time. And if you are dealing with short sales, you’ll have plenty of it!

  • Jonathan Dalton 9 years ago

    I’m familiar with the philosophy … I’ve written about it on this site at least twice already. The idea was some sort of an alternative service model that works both for consumer and for the agent.

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