Does Your Agent Have the Right Tools?|Thinking About Scott's Recent Blog:-)

Services for Real Estate Pros with NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time

Members Please note that this is an open to the Public Blog.    Costs to open MLS Listing Doors?   Minimum annual investment isn't that bad compared to the opportunity. Please see Scott's Blog in order to follow my train of thought.

You have to have the right tools in order to practice Real Estate. Scott Daniel


Opportunity Costs

Annual 3rd YR +

Annual Alternative


Monthly Alternative

License Renewal

$  65.00


$    5.42





$  33.25




$360.00  Agent

$   60.00

$30.00  Agent

E & O


Add ONS ++

$   17.08


Supra Ekey


Display Key: $114

$   24.99

$ 9.50



Key Ins /NO INS

$      2.08


Lock Box Rental

Buy Your OWN


$  60.00

Buy Your Own

$5 each LockBox


Total Min CDB

$1, 688.88




This is the cost to open MLS listing doors and to list straight MLS. All other choices we make are optional depending on how we choose to do business.

Keep in mind that whether one is a REALTOR/MLS member or not,  an agent still has to go through basic training and pass licensing (many feel that basic is not enough and the licensing requirements are too minimal, but that is another blog entirely).

Agents vary according to CE education, designations. ($$$, time, and effort investment).

Agents vary according to how they market: Web site, Hard Copy, signs, other media.

Operational costs vary: Gas, communication

Gross income from closings vary as well by Broker/Agent Split (including who pays for what).

My question is this: If an agent is not willing to pay MLS dues--where else are they cutting corners?

Is it legal? Yes. Is it ethical? Debatable. Is it preferable? That choice belongs to the client.

Do you want to go to the closing table with someone not willing to pay the costs associated with opening MLS listing doors? What level of professionalism do you expect from an agent you may be going to the closing table with?

Agents who pay for MLS access are also (in most cases as far as I know:-) members of NAR and are obliged to adhere to the NAR code of ethics. Further, MLS boards provide additional ethical guidelines, through rules and regulations.

When you list your home and your agent uses an electronic lockbox there is added safety in being able to track which agents have accessed your home, and the time coming and going.

The purpose of this blog--As a consumer, whether buying or selling, the choice is yours whether to use a licensed agent, or a licensed agent who is a REALTOR/MLS member. What level of professional commitment do you feel most comfortable with?

   Opening Doors is just the beginning. 

Suzi Gravenstuk, REALTOR/Broker, MS Real Estate License #17787, Gri, ePRO,

Member: Gulf Coast Association of REALTORS, Mississippi Association of REALTORS, National Association of REALTORS, Gulf Coast MLS.

PS: CAll for Assistance: Blood Donations needed! Fellow REALTOR, Jon Ross and husband of MLS/GCAR Staff employee, Roni Ross has recently been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. Jon has been admitted to Ochsner Hospital in New Orleands and will be undergoing treatment soon. Anyone wishing to donate blood for Jon may do so in any city/state, at any hospital or blood bank. Give his name and the name of the hospital he is in and Jon will receive credit for it.





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       Always Believing in...    

Due Diligence Should Begin With you.



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Jon Higgins
Century 21 Elite Performance - Springboro, OH

One "strategy" I have for converting FSBO's is suggesting that if they have to put all of their advertising egg$ in one basket or if they only anticipate spending a certain amount on marketing their home, I suggest they contact a discount broker who will do nothing more than simply place their home on the MLS for a flat one time fee.  I explain to them it's not only a tool we Realtors use to help locate properties for our clients but it's also how the public finds homes, via the IDX, the search engine that drives all of the search engines on the internet.  In fact I go on to explain that in Reality they're getting their home on our website and all of our competitors websites as well!  Also, I explain that (after already determining that they'll pay a 3% buyer broker) an agent will just as likely show their property for they make the same commission as they would if it were listed with another agent, and the buyers agent is accountable to their buyer and should show the property especially if the buyer wants to see it. The difference being of coarse the other Realtor is working strictly for their buyer and not for the seller. 

They are delighted to learn this.  Indeed, I go on to say that their home will now be found easily through Google and Yahoo searches as well AND even REALTOR.COM!!!  I tell them that millions of dollars are spent to get clients to those sites and so this way they can rest assured that the 89% of all prospective buyers that use the internet to search for homes will be able to find theirs as well.  They are amazed as you can well imagine!  In other words I try and help them sell their home the way I would sell my home if I were a FSBO.  The thanks I get is usually their listing.  9 times out of 10 on repeat visits back to the prospective client they have not even contacted a "discount broker."  "Haven't had the time."  "We're probably going to list anyway." Followed by, "where do I sign?" Which as you and I know is the wisest of decisions.  To sell your home without a Realtor is like driving a car without a steering wheel, I would not advise it to my closest friend - even if that Realtor isn't me. 

***Of coarse of the 89% that use the internet to search for a home only 29% (According to latest NAR) actually find their home using the internet.  Hmmm... where do you thinnk the rest of them find it? Someone's help perhaps?***

It goes without saying that I explain to them that there is much more to marketing and selling a home than putting it up on the MLS, but not to put it on the MLS would be of greater detriment, and criminal if you're a Realtor. So to answer your question, YES - I think it's criminal not to place your clients on the MLS.  I think it's UNETHICAL.  And in this day in age I'll take it a step farther and say if you don't have at least six photos of the home or property uploaded I think you're also not in compliance with our Code of Ethics Standards and Practices and due diligence.

Dec 17, 2007 07:32 AM #1
Keith Perry
Coldwell Banker - Hiram, GA
REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta

So true Suzi, If they are cutting corners with MLS fees then there is no telling what the client is getting.

The photo with you on the boat looks cool! :)

Dec 17, 2007 07:52 AM #2
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results
Suzi - Between you and John you have covered more than most prospective vendors would get from any listing presentation 
Dec 26, 2007 01:20 AM #3
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

Kathy, Thanks for dropping by. As you know this blog was written to emphasize a point that Scott was making in his blog as well. Some real estate agents don't "pay the dues" to be a REALTOR and MLS member and ride on the coat tails of those who do. My illustration was intended to show that the cost of doing business is NOT that great for an agent to have their own access.

Whether we like the idea of the MLS, its so necessary to be thorough in the services we offer buyers and sellers.

Jon, I apologize for not acknowledging you sooner, for some reason I thought I had. Your comment was packed full of good information. I can't imagine why andyone would bother going on the market with an agent if they won't be listed MLS/ Of course there are ways to go around any system, but the results are usually incomplete.

Keith and Robin, Its always nice to hear from you. From reading many blogs, I see that there are many current REALTORS who complain about the costs of membership and whether what we get is really worth it. At the local level our MLS requires NAR membership. To tie in Scott's Blog--There are so many consumer tools on the market today, that I suppose an agent could use those and survive. However, If I were buying or selling my home, in choosing an Agent, I think I would be less likely to choose one that is not a NAR/MLS member.

REgarding our NAR dues--NAR provides a lot of research and advertising to make this difference known and for the end prospects to think and ask these questions. So, maybe membership isn't necessary for an agent to assist in buying and selling property. However, I think membership conveys a minimal committment to professionalism.

The cost is not that great. I think that was my point:-)


Dec 26, 2007 03:42 AM #4
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
Suzi the cost of entry in the real estate business is not that much. You cover the cost in general, and about what it is here in New Orleans. Add another 1000 for computer and fax etc... Still not bad to be in a real business that can and does make you money.
Dec 26, 2007 04:35 AM #5
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

Frank, thanks for stopping in. I hope you realize that was my point. Of course things can start to get a little hairy when you talk about marketing budgets, but in referring to Scott's blog (which I hope you visited), this whole blog was giving a real perspective on how little it costs an agent to be a REALTOR and have full access to the MLS, and consequently be able to provide the fundamental research to reinforce a client's objectives. (He cited a scenario in which an agent (not a REALTOR) contacted him to inquire about a listing, when if the agent had been an MLS member they would already have access to the information).

Also, it gets a little wearisome how some people complain so much about NAR dues and MLS membership fees. Maybe we should be grateful we get what we get at such a reasonable cost...

Again, Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Dec 26, 2007 09:35 AM #6
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M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)

Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS
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