The Help U Sell franchise filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday according to Inman News, but the chief operating officer Ash Asensio claims the brand will survive. Asensio blames the recent downturn in the market as the culprit for the demise of the fee for service real estate company.
Throughout my real estate career, I’ve encountered tons of dissatisfied consumers who shelled out up front fees to sell real estate. They end up paying for silly things without reaching their goal to sell their home. Real estate professionals are paid to sell and if they can’t do it, then they shouldn’t get paid. Sounds fair to me.
Although Help U Sell was founded in the 70’s, they do have an innovative idea of trying to break down the fee structure. My personal feeling is that this idea will be expanded in the next decade alongside the increasing prominence of the internet in marketing homes. Either way, the consumer shouldn’t pay anything until the home sells. I hope it stays that way, but who knows what the future will bring.
I know if this happens my livelihood as I know it today will be much different, but you can’t stop innovation and a better way to do things. I remember when Zillow came to prominence, people on the traditional side of the industry were worried they’d be out of the job but computers just can’t factor in everything. Zillow is at best a good rule of thumb, but far from being accurate. If it was that accurate, banks would be saving millions from not having to pay appraisal fees. The fact of the matter is that they still need real estate professional and appraisers to valuate properties and so do consumers.
Consumers also need professionals to evaluate their situation and provide advice on the best course of action. You just can’t get that on the internet so I believe there’s always going to be a need for real estate albeit in more of an advisory role.
Well, there you have it, a glimpse into my crystal ball. Who knows what will happen in the future, but major builders and real estate companies going into bankruptcy will prompt change in our industry. The best innovations in any industry typically arise out of harsh times and this time will be no exception.