These are excellent questions, and the actual applicable question is: what do I get for using a REALTOR®? First of all, there is not any set fee when it comes to real estate agent costs. Even though they all seem to cost similar amounts across the board, you should look carefully into what you are actually being promised.
For example, the most glaring omission is often professional photography. Many times, I've seen obvious iPhone photos which are dark and have reflections of the "photographer" in the bathroom mirror, not to mention the laundry that was never put away in preparation.
A good real estate agent is someone that does more than just put a "For Sale" board on your front lawn and take a few pictures. There is so much more to it; such as knowing how to negotiate successfully and keeping a deal afloat... even when things look bleak. Sure, anyone can go and get a Real Estate License, but not everyone should.
As you might have already guessed, I work for Sotheby's International Realty®, and they have very high standards when it comes to the way we both present our properties and represent our clients.
Billboards of my face with the interminable cheesy smile and crossed arms will never be seen. Park benches with my ad on it will also never be seen. It's just not the way we do business at Sotheby's International Realty.®
For us, it's all about the long term and building relationships with our clients. We're recognized as an aspirational brand serving the luxury market, and our clients love the fact that they have one point of contact throughout the entire transaction. It is simply not possible to offer a bespoke level of service if you have too many clients. The bigger the "team", the less you get to see the highly recommended agent you gave your business to at the listing appointment. Sound familiar?
The best thing I like about working with Morrison House Sotheby's International Realty® is that we have an extremely high end and instantly recognizable brand name; marketing materials that are simply second to none, top of the line presentation and excellent world class client representation. All for the same price of the competition.
In other words, why bother going elsewhere when you can get the best service at local competitive rates?