Timing the real estate transaction

Pondering the future of pay-as-you-go

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George Ayling, founder and real estate broker of Select A Fee Real Estate System in Chicago, said he was skeptical when he first considered a fee-for-service business model. "I just felt it wasn’t going to work," he said.

That was in 1995, before he and his real estate agents spent about 1 1/2 years examining the workload involved in everything from the initial client contact to closing.

At the time, "I came up with 12 to 13 hours" (of work) per transaction, Ayling said. The next question he considered: "How much should I charge per hour?"