Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some answers to questions about our list in the MLS realty service.
What exactly is the MLS? The MLS is a powerful tool that Realtors use to market properties. MLS stands for Multiple-Listing Service which is the computer database that Realtors use nationwide to list real estate. The MLS is owned by local member Realtor associations and is typically broken up into regions or counties. The Mid-Florida Regional MLS is the largest MLS in Florida and is shared by over 25,000+ Realtors in the Mid-Florida area including those in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Sumter, Polk, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Hardee, DeSoto, Western Volusia, and Eastern & Central Pasco Counties including the metro Orlando and metro Tampa areas. The Southeast Florida Regional MLS services the Southeast Florida and Treasure Coast area and is shared by some 20,000+ Realtors in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. The Northeast Florida MLS services Baker County, Bradford County, Clay County, Duval County, Putnam County, Union County including the entire metro Jacksonville and Palatka areas. Some areas like eastern Volusia County including the Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach area, Brevard County, Ocala/Marion County, Alachua County, West Pasco County & Pinellas County, Hernando County, and Citrus County MLS's cover much smaller areas. Realtors who are members of these MLS's can view your property information and show your property to their customers. The general public does not have access to the MLS. Generally only dues paying Realtors have access to these databases, however MLS data typically uploads onto many other real estate websites.
What other websites does the MLS load onto? By listing your property in the MLS, your property is automatically loaded with a Standard Listing onto the most powerful real estate website in America, Realtor.com where millions of potential buyers can review your property's information. The MLS also automatically uploads onto many other internet sites like My Florida Homes MLS.com, Orlando Sentinel.com MLS search (not their paid classified ads) for Mid-Florida MLS listings, AOL.com, Yahoo.com, MSN.com, Cyberhomes.com, SDRhouses.com, and many more similar real estate websites. You can see a detailed list of websites by clicking here. Being that these websites are owned by 3rd party companies, we only have limited control over the exact content uploaded onto these websites from the MLS. However the exposure that uploading onto these websites provides is unmatched by any non-MLS real estate service provider. Also the MLS rules strictly prohibit us from putting anyone's contact information (including names, phone numbers, email addresses, or websites) into the public remarks section and thus your contact information will not appear on these 3rd party websites - they will only show our contact information. So our promise to you is that we will always forward the contact information of prospective buyers directly to you.
Why would I do a flat fee MLS listing instead of selling as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO)? The answer is simple: Market Exposure. Most serious buyers are working with a Realtor to help them buy a house. The MLS database is used exclusively by Realtors to search for properties for sale in the area. Thousands of Realtors use the MLS every day to search for properties. The MLS automatically uploads onto many real estate websites and exposes your home to millions of potential buyers by virtue of these websites. Some 70%+ of all house buyers begin their search on the internet, and nearly 80% of all FSBO sellers end up hiring a Realtor to sell their house anyway. The cost to list in the MLS is only a few hundred dollars, and you get all that additional exposure. If you are considering using one of those FSBO or For Sale By Owner type services that charge hundreds or thousands of dollars upfront and do not even offer MLS exposure, you may want to strongly consider doing a flat fee MLS listing instead of or even in addition to those services.
Other traditional FSBO marketing includes store bought (often unprofessional) yard signs, newspaper ads (quite expensive), property flyers, posting on FSBO websites, open houses, etc. While all these things can generate leads and we certainly do not discourage them, the exposure they give you is limited at best and often produces dismal results. As we stated before, most serious buyers are working with a Realtor. Smart Realtors are going to make sure that their buyer is pre-approved to obtain a mortgage before they even start showing the buyer a house. That Realtor is going to want to know that they are going to get paid a commission prior to showing your house to their buyer. That is another feature of the MLS. By advertising in the MLS, you are offering broker protection by automatically offering a commission to all of the member Realtors. While there is no guarantee that the MLS will sell your house, it is definitely your best avenue for getting your property exposed to the greatest number of potential buyers.
For more answers to your questions, please check out our flat fee listing MLS website. www.SDRhouses.com/flatfeemls.html