I've never used the company, but CataList Homes has addressed an issue that I've long wondered about: why do real estate agents continue to charge the same percentage fee even though house prices have skyrocketed over the past few years? Well, CataList doesn't -- they charge a total fee of 3% instead of the typical 6%. I've bought a few properties, and if I'd known about CataList I would have saved tens of thousands of dollars; I hope they put pressure on the rest of the industry to follow suit.

2. How can CataList Homes sell my home and only charge 3%?

The truth is, it does not cost any real estate agent more than 3% to sell a home. Fees in excess of 3% represent an excessive charge to the home seller for the use of a real estate agent involved in an old, inefficient and costly system. Instead, you should be asking: "How can Realtors continue to charge five and six percent commissions (typically eliminating 20-25% of homeowner equity) when the average home is sold in less than 30 days?" When you consider the fact that home prices have virtually doubled in the last five years, how can Realtors keep the commission percentage the same and essentially double their fee? Your conventional agent is asking you for a 100% pay raise in 5 years, and he wants you to pay for it.

A 3% commission in 2005 is the same dollar cost as 6% just five years ago when you factor in home appreciation. This is how we offer all the essential service for 3%.

Ask yourself this question: Why have fees for stock brokers, travel agents and mortgage brokers been reduced, while real estate agents are still charging inflated commissions?

It's about time the cost-savings of the internet intrude into the real estate market.

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