$100,000 + in consumer savings: It pays to shop

[photopress:j0409344.jpg,thumb,alignright]Since Ardell mentioned the rebates her clients enjoyed, it got me thinking about our small business and how we stack up. During 2006, our purchase and sale clients saved over $60,000 in escrow fees alone compared to our competitors, more if you add up all the other industry inventions consumers are charged for. That figure does not even include the refinance business our office closed.

Put this in perspective:

Let’s say the median sales price in the Seattle area for a single family house is about $450,000 and the fee a seller pays to agents is $27,000, or 6% of the sales price. In contrast, the escrow fee each party (buyer,seller) pays at our office is about .0011111 or 1/10th of one percent of that same sales price. This illustration is not to say agents are overpaid.

Evidently, escrow fees are negotiable. Over the last few weeks our office has received a few calls from people asking if we will match certain title companies who are dropping their escrow fees—ironically, to levels that our clients have enjoyed and where we’ve been residing for the last three years running.

It pays for consumers to shop.