FAQ

WHAT IS A FEE FOR SERVICE REALTOR®?

Most Realtors® offer Sellers an “Exclusive Right to Sell” Listing agreement, for which they usually charge a 6% commission at closing.  This is an umbrella charge for all the services they should provide during the course of the listing, plus a commission for the buyer’s agent, if there is one.  (If there is no buyer’s agent involved in the sale of your home, the listing agent keeps the full 6% commission anyway…ALL of it!)  Either way, the Seller is committed to paying the full commission when the property is sold. Crawford Realty in Alabama, LLC is a different kind of Birmingham Realtor® and is still unique to the Birmingham Real Estate market.

It’s important to understand that Crawford Realty in Alabama, LLC is a licensed Real Estate Brokerage (agency) as much as any of the other Real Estate companies in town. And we are not “discount” real estate brokers.  However, we believe in a different way of earning our commission and the gratitude of our Sellers.  It’s called “Fee for Service” Real Estate, and, since 2005, it has saved our Sellers thousands of dollars in commissions when they close.  “Fee for Service” IS full service (we can do absolutely anything any other Alabama Real Estate Agency can do) but services are provided and billed ONLY as needed.  Here’s how it works:  We believe that Sellers should be able to have all the services they need, but not have to pay for services they don’t need or want.  Therefore, we have an ‘a la carte’ menu of services that our clients pick and choose from, and a reasonable charge for each.  Many of our Seller clients want to be actively involved in the sale of their property…and who could be a stronger advocate than the owner?  No agent could ever know as much about a home for sale as the Seller does.  Furthermore, many sellers have sold on their own before, or found that, even with a traditional “Full-price” listing, they were doing much of the work themselves, either by choice or necessity.

SHOWING YOUR HOME – Your house can be shown in three ways:

  • An OUTSIDE AGENT from another company 
  • YOU can show your house and/or do your own open houses (which can save you from having to pay a buyer’s agent commission).
  • CRAWFORD REALTY can show your house if an interested individual calls Crawford Realty or if you are unavailable to show your house (there is no additional charge but Crawford earns the buyer’s agent commission if they buy your home.)

NEGOTIATE CONTRACTS AND COMPLETE ALL CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS

Crawford Realty’s licensed and experienced consulting team will help you execute your transaction through closing:

Contract Negotiation

Whether your buyer comes with or without an agent, we will skillfully negotiate the contract on your behalf. We attend seminars and take regular ongoing classes to perfect our skills and build upon years of real estate experience.  

Purchase & Sale Agreement

We can provide all of the Greater Alabama Association of Realtors® forms and addendums that are needed to make your closing go smoothly. We will even assist your buyers that DO NOT HAVE a buyer’s agent in order to save you from having to pay a Buyer’s Agent commission.

Getting from Contract to Closing

We will advise and assist you and provide a Closing Checklist, so that EVERYTHING gets done to complete the sale and collect your cash on the scheduled day of closing. We pride ourselves to have our Sellers not to cause any delay in a closing from our side of the contract closing process.

BUYING A HOME IN BIRMINGHAM

Everyone knows a real estate agent.  You may know an agent who occasionally works in real estate, sells homes to family or works in real estate part time while they take care of their children or work another job.  While it might seem like a good idea or a charitable gesture to use your friend or family member to buy your new home, not using an expert can be financially hazardous, and just downright expensive.

At Crawford Realty, we see hundreds of contracts a year.  The majority of contracts that come across our desks are contracts in which we represent the seller.  This knowledge of how the seller negotiates, what they want and how they structure their offers gives us excellent insight on how to strategically negotiate for our buyers across the Central part of Alabama.

  • This is a free service for buyers, because the seller pays the buyer’s agent fee.
  • With our network of mortgage brokers, Crawford Realty can get you pre-qualified to obtain a loan and help determine your budget.
  • Crawford Realty will work with your schedule to look at Birmingham real estate until we find the right home for you.
  • We will write the offer for you and professionally negotiate the contract.

Your Crawford Buyer Agent will be with you every step of the way throughout the closing process

A SPECIAL NOTE TO BUYERS’ AGENTS

Many buyers’ agents have worked Crawford Realty by now, and you’ve heard that we do things differently.  We even have former agents use us to list their homes and some agents refer family members or clients that may not have a lot of equity in their home to us.  But if you haven’t worked with us, you may not know what a great experience it can be.  Yes, we save our sellers money, but not a penny of it is at your expense.  When you bring an offer to a Crawford Realty listing, you’ll earn the same full commission as you would expect from any other sellers:  2 ½%, 3%, 3 ½%, maybe more, and as always, it’s posted right in the listing.

When you make an offer, just email or fax it to the Crawford Realty listing agent.  We’ll get to work immediately to present the offer and we’ll work directly with you to negotiate to a binding contract.  We will work with our client to get everything done that their contract requires so we can all celebrate a successful closing together.  You don’t have to worry about whether or not our sellers will get it done – we hold their hands through the whole process

It’s quite routine for buyers’ agents with whom we’ve worked – and closing attorneys, too – to tell us what a pleasure we are to work with.  We close many contracts and know how to navigate all the issues that seem to make this a much more difficult business today than it used to be, and we have developed a procedure that makes the closing process smooth and orderly.  

Crawford Realty in Alabama, LLC is not just another Alabama real estate company. Since 2005, our hybrid approach (Fee For Service) to selling homes combines the best of Discount Brokerages and Full Commission Realtors® with the freedom of a For Sale By Owner or Sellers just wanting to save the Equity in their Home. At Crawford Realty, we realize that most buyers do much of their home searching on-line, then jump in their cars to see the houses they like. After finding the house they want, they usually call an agent to schedule a showing and make an offer. We also have a Local office, not a virtual or out-of-state location, where we can meet our Listing or Home Buying customers and clients.

*IT’S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW that MLS® entry-only listings offered by some companies are illegal in Alabama, where the MINIMUM SERVICES LAW (Section 34-27-84 of Alabama Code) reads:

“When accepting an agreement to list an owner’s property for sale, the broker or his or her licensee shall, at minimum, accept delivery of and present to the consumer all offers, counteroffers, and addenda to assist the consumer in negotiating offers, counteroffers, and addenda, and to answer the consumer’s questions relating to the transaction.”

Crawford Realty is a full-service agency that is always available to provide all minimum services as well as any other services our sellers need, on a fee-for-service basis.

Ask for Details!