In today’s competitive real estate market, agents are finding that some of their biggest rivals in house selling are not their colleagues at other firms, but potential clients. Many home sellers have become convinced that real estate agents attach a disproportionate number of fees to their services. As a result, an increasing number of them list and attempt to sell their homes themselves. But do these DIY home sellers really save money and get better prices for their properties? As experienced agents know, these sellers often take longer to move properties and get poorer sale prices than they would have if they had gone with a professional.

Real estate agents certainly know that they have the training and experience that makes them experts in everything from market value to contract review. But a successful realtor can certainly have empathy for a seller’s standpoint. These individuals want to retain some control of the selling process while saving on related costs. Is there a way to sell a home that allows a realtor do to his or her job without sacrificing fees, and allows the client more control as well? The 990 sells homes Company offers one such solution.

The principle behind the 990 Company is that participating realty firms agree to sell homes for a commission of $990. In exchange, the seller agrees to make no effort to negotiate a deal or bring in another party to do so. This reduces the number of parties and time involved in house selling, and the need for additional fees. It reduces the chance of a home sale breaking down, and allows realtors to move on more quickly to profitable new sales.

The 990 Company is the brainchild of Gregory Hague, an American businessman, lawyer, and realtor. The scion of a well-known Cincinnati, Ohio real estate dynasty, Hague received his license to sell real estate at the age of eighteen. Following college and law school, Hague returned to the Cincinnati area, where he opened his own successful realty company. Dreading the grind of weekend open houses, he made sellers a deal. If they held their own open houses and didn’t use other agents to close deals, he would limit his commission to $990. The caveat was that if other agents did become involved, Hague would charge his full six percent fee. The deal became very popular with sellers, and Hague formed a company called Why USA, Inc. that took this approach to sales. Within a year of this company’s founding, 221 realtors had joined it.

The company’s method was controversial, and Hague was quickly branded a “real estate maverick”, but as he has explained in seminars and writings, because most home sales ultimately involve multiple agents, “$990 plan” realtors lose very little commission money. They can make more real estate transactions within a shorter time frame. Hague estimates that realtors have to settle for a $990 commission once in every five to six home sales. He has stated that he has earned more than ten million dollars in personal income following this approach. While Hague sold the Why USA company, he remains active in the real estate market, and leads seminars on the 990 company approach.