The Future of Real Estate is Here.
Today, the real estate industry works pretty much the same way it worked when it formed more than a hundred years ago. The Multiple Listing Service - or MLS - dates to the 1800's. Well suited to the 19th Century, the MLS model today is inefficient, expensive, and poorly serves buyers. Houses.Direct is modernizing real estate.
Real estate through the years
From the very beginning, real estate brokers have worked with each other. They have always shared their commissions. That's why sellers have always paid two agents to sell their house, one to help them and one to bring a buyer. Both agents worked for and owed a duty to the seller.
Late in the 20th Century, something called "the internet" changed everything. Suddenly, the free flow of information gave consumers new options and new market access. Today, just about every buyer uses the internet to search for their next home, and more than half of all buyers find their homes themselves, without an agent.
But they still need an agent to make an offer. And since 1996, the law has said that a buyer's agent works for and owes a duty to the buyer.
Yet sellers still pay the buyer's agent. Known as the "Selling Office Commission," this seller-paid fee creates two giant problems in real estate.
First, it keeps commissions artificially high. Because the fee is paid by someone other than the customer, there is no meaningful downward market pressure on it. Today - just like 100 years ago - the buyer's agent is almost always paid 3% by the seller.
Second, this fee creates an obvious and meaningful conflict of interest. Seller pays big fee to Agent; Agent "works for" Buyer; Buyer has interests adverse to Seller. The Agent's clear conflict of interest is not resolved simply with a law that says it's OK. Like they say, "follow the money."
Thanks to Zillow, sellers can finally stop offering this commission. This means that agents will need to look to buyers, their clients, for their fee. Lower commissions will soon follow, reducing overall transaction costs - a win for everyone.
Moreover, if buyers pay buyers' agents, the conflict of interest at the heart of real estate is resolved. POOF! Gone. Suddenly we will live in a world where the interests of buyers and their agents are aligned.
We call it "cutting out the middleman." It will be a better world. And it is surely the future of real estate. Or do you think sellers will pay buyer's agents forever....
we're dedicated to making real estate more efficient
These days, Zillow doesn't allow non-MLS agents to list on Zillow. However, Zillow still allows sellers to post their homes "For Sale By Owner." Accordingly. we offer the FSBO assistance you need to sell your home without having to pay the buyer's agent.