The majority of SMARTePLANS® are purchased by the Listing Agent (or Broker) and are at no cost to the Home seller. Why?
Well, a home seller already pays an agent a (6% ??) commission for the purpose of positioning their home in the marketplace, pricing it, and successfuly marketing it.
So the SMARTePLAN cost, which promotes the property, is considered a marketing expense. As a Seller, you can pay the 6% to an agent and have these materials included, or you can also pay the same 6% and not have these materials working for you — your call.
An agent budgets for a SMARTePLAN, along with their other marketing materials, based on their anticipated commission they will be paid at the close of sale. If you have negotiated a reduced commission, understand that marketing materials are usually one of the first things agents cut; but, if you are paying full commission, it is not unreasonable to expect a full slate of marketing services. Discuss with your agent what you feel is a necessary and appropriate level of marketing for your property. You both need to be on the same page …before you sign the listing agreement and the budget is set.
Don’t presume your chosen agent will automatically use a SMARTePLAN to market your property. Not all agents spend the same amount of money marketing their properties, so this is definitely something you should investigate, discuss and understand before you choose an agent and sign the listing agreement.
SMARTePLANS is an expense that some agents are not willing to make. Yes, I’ve been told it’s “too much” to spend, even on homes in the $1M to $5M range… which I think is just crazy. What I find so curious is that the same agents who told me it was “too much to spend” …. are frequently the first ones to call me up to do a SMARTePLAN for THEIR property (or their family’s) when it was going onto the market. So what they were saying wasn’t that the product was too expensive, but that it was “too much for me to spend on YOUR property Mr. Home Seller.” Owch.
Whether they hire SMARTePLANS or not, you need to be onboard with your agents marketing plan for your home, their proposed expenditure and strategy and you can’t do that unless you discuss it with them. [Link: Interview Several Agents ]
If you WANT an agent who uses SMARTePLANS, a list of real estate agents in Houston who utilize SMARTeplans to market their properties is here [Link to Agents Who Use SMARTePLANS] and you can also check here to read anecdotes from agents and clients of how they used SMARTePLANS and what they liked about it, and how it “worked” for them. [Link to SMARTePLANS Works for Me]
Some Home Sellers wish to purchase the materials themselves (instead of the listing agent). In those cases, the SMARTePLAN license is usually issued for a one year period of time and renewed if needed. The SMARTePLAN license DOES NOT INCLUDE the photography embedded inside the floor plan drawing —which is not my property. Be aware that all photos nearly always remain the property of the photographer. Even if an agent purchased them, it’s likely what he purchased was a right-to-use … and NOT a right to RE-USE. Obviously, every deal is different. So investigate this first if you are contemplating this route, and call me … I’m happy to answer your questions.
I’ve had a few home sellers who paid for the SMARTePLAN at the time of creation, with an agreement with their agent that all costs were to be reimbursed back to them at closing.
I’ve also had a few Home Sellers who DID NOT WANT any items erased from the drawing and agreed with the agent that they would pay for the “extras” if the agent paid for the initial base rate. We send the agent the completed drawing with a quote identifying all the non-structure space we have put into the drawing .. pools, porches, loggias, landscaping, etc. Each addition is priced individually and whatever the agent does not want to pay for is erased from the drawing and there is no charge.
My message here is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” and you have several options. Call me or send me an email if you have questions, I’m happy to talk through it with you.