SEATTLE, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Surefield, the first residential real estate brokerage to put sellers first, is dramatically lowering buy-side commissions to bring the U.S. residential real estate market up to date with its peers around the globe. Now sellers don't have to automatically pay a 3 percent buyer's agent commission to get buyers into their home because Surefield is using 3D home-tour technology to get them into the home online.
Globally, commission rates for countries with similar gross domestic product per capita are between 1 percent and 2.5 percent. The seller usually only pays for his agent, who also gives home tours to potential buyers. In the United States, the customary total commission rate is 6 percent and the seller pays for his and the buyer's agent.
It is a common misperception that the services involved in buying a home are free. The cost of a buyer's agent comes from the sale of the property, which means the cost indirectly is paid by the buyer in the form of a higher sales price. In many countries, buyers contact listing agents to view homes. If they use a buyer's agent to represent them, they write a fee into the offer. Even more common, buyers hire real estate attorneys.
Surefield has developed a proprietary, virtual 3D home tour system using computer-vision technology, giving buyers the most realistic, remote tour of a home, enabling a new level of commission savings with no trade-offs. Because buyers can view homes remotely 24/7, Surefield embraces this efficiency and passes on the savings. Sellers save big by cutting the typical 3 percent buyer's agent commission, while still enjoying full seller representation for a total commission of 1.5 percent; other full-service brokers cost between 4.5 percent and 6 percent. This means on a $500,000 home, sellers save up to $22,500 in commission.
"The U.S. real estate industry has been operating as a quasi-cartel for far too many years, just look at the high commission rates as proof of tacit collusion. Surefield's goal is to deliver the same level of transactional efficiency to U.S. consumers that is found in other developed countries," said David Eraker, Surefield CEO. "Residential real estate is sold successfully all around the world without automatically prepaying for the services of a buyer's agent. We are bringing that practice to United States to give sellers more freedom in marketing and accurately pricing their homes, and giving buyers access to homes around the clock."
According to the National Association of Realtors, 92 percent of home buyers use the Internet to search for homes for sale, and the majority of them find the home they purchase by themselves. But without a home tour, buyers can't get a feel for the layout of the home, or look at every nook and cranny. Before Surefield, buyers needed an agent to tour homes for sale. Surefield's virtual 3D home tour is the first and only service to show the entire home inside and outside. The home tour simulates walking through the home, giving buyers a realistic look at the flow and surroundings so they can make smarter decisions during their home search. As a result, sellers receive inquiries from more serious and qualified buyers.
Surefield currently operates in the greater Seattle area, but plans to add more markets. Interested in Surefield in your area, email and let us know: [email protected].
Surefield (www.surefield.com) is a Seattle area residential real estate brokerage that combines proprietary virtual 3D home-tour technology with experienced full-service agents to help home sellers attract more serious buyers with less hassle, and save up to 75 percent in commissions. The company is backed by 500 Startups, Portland Seed Fund and Jaan Tallinn as well as angel investors.
 Source: 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers