What to Know About Flat Fee MLS

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362


Putting a Home in MLS Without an Agent

Lots of people wonder if they can put a home in multiple listing service without a Realtor. The answer is yes; you can, however, there are certainly pros and cons to listing with a flat fee MLS company. Before choosing this marketing method, it is vital to know the upsides and downsides of such an arrangement.

The Multiple Listing Service or MLS for short is used by real estate agents to share properties with other agents. It is the way the word is spread that a home has been listed for sale.

In the typical arrangement, a full-service real estate agent helps their client (the seller) get their property sold by placing it in MLS. Other agents who may have clients for the home can then cooperate with the seller's agent by showing the property and writing an offer if the client is interested.

A flat fee MLS entry only service provides an option for home sellers who want to take the for sale by owner route. Sellers can list a home as a flat fee MLS listing without a Realtor. By doing so, you can avoid paying at least half a real estate commission. You can see even more information worth knowing at Maximum Real Estate Exposure.

This entry only listing means that other agents know that the real estate agent who added the listing isn't undertaking the regular tasks associated with selling a home other than an entry in MLS. They will know not to contact the agent to arrange showings for their buyers, for example.

This option is particularly useful for those selling a house for sale by owner, giving them a route to having their property show up on websites like Zillow and Realtor.com. This usually is the only way to get your home listed on these websites. Doing so will potentially increase the chances of selling for sale by owner with no agent involved.

If you are looking to sell your home without the services of a real estate agent, the flat fee MLS option is an excellent choice to make sure as many potential buyers get to see your home. Though you won't have to pay commission for being added to the MLS and the other services a seller's agent provides, you will still need to pay the buyer's agent's commission. This will typically mean paying somewhere between 2 to 3 percent of the sale price of your home.

How Expensive is a Flat Fee MLS Service?

Fees will vary dependent on the features of the service offered, but typical prices range from around $400 to $500. Some companies offer enhanced services which cost nearer $1,000; you should consider what you require to sell your home and choose the service which best meets your needs.

What the Flat Fee MLS Means to Sellers

Most flat fee services will leave you, as the seller, to deal with arranging showings along with closing and escrow documentation. Buyers agents will contact you directly, and you need to stay on top of this if you hope to have a successful sale. There will be inquiries from people who see your home on Zillow and other sites to cope with also.

You need to write a compelling listing description for your home sale as well. This will mean you need carefully write about the benefits your home offers and avoid making it seem like you are desperate to sell. You can take inspiration from other listings to help you.

The photos of your home have to be ready when the listing is submitted along with the description. These are more likely to be the first thing the buyer looks at and are even more critical to get right. For this reason, it may be prudent for you to hire a professional to take photos of your home.

And if you accept an offer, you have to make sure your property details are removed from the MLS. Extra services offered by flat fee providers could begin to look very good, as these tasks start to mount up. Understanding what you need to do to be successful as a for sale by owner is critical.

Real Estate agents do a lot for their clients, the least of which is entering a listing in the multiple listing service.

Selecting a Flat Fee Company

There are a few things you might want to think about when choosing a listing service. Not all services are the same, and some may provide as many revisions as you need to your listing. This is likely to be something you will make use of and worth having.

You have to make sure your property is listed in the right MLS. This means that you should select a company that is local to you and, therefore, your listing will be added to the local MLS so it will be seen by the right people.

Does an Entry Only Listing Make Selling More Difficult

Buyers agents will have to do more work because you are selling for sale by owner. This could potentially put them off showing your home to their buyer, but won't happen most of the time. The buyer's agent will still get a commission for the sale if your home is right for their client. Your home will still be featured in the popular online real estate websites as well.

Despite this, unless you put in a lot of work, you aren't going to be able to market your home as well as a professional. You could find that dealing with potential buyers is more complicated than you imagine, leading to you failing to keep up with messages and phone calls you receive. This will lead to missed opportunities and could mean your home takes longer to sell than it needs to.

You can potentially save some money using a flat fee MLS service, but it isn't without its downsides. You may not realize how much work is involved in selling your home before you have to deal with the inquiries and the paperwork yourself. There are solid reasons why a significant percentage of for sale by owners fail and end up listing with a full-service brokerage.

While the potential advantage of a flat fee MLS listing is saving part of a commission, the disadvantage is there is far more work on your part. Additionally, you may find that selling your home without a full-service professional was not as easy as you thought it would be.

Lots of for sale by owners end up realizing entry only flat fee listings have more downsides than it's worth.

Final Thoughts on Using an Entry Only Listing Service

There is a reason why most sellers choose to work with a full-service real estate professional - the odds of selling a home for top dollar are far more likely. Quite often, people think they can beat the system. In real estate sales, there are very few magic bullets that work.

If you want to sell your home in the least amount of time, for the most money, with the fewest headaches, your best bet is to seek out a top producing agent. Selling a home is hard work. Be a smart seller and look for an outstanding agent that is successful year after year.

Going with an entry only listing usually isn't the best approach.


Posted by

Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comments (1)

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for shring.  I hope you have a great day.

Mar 16, 2020 04:18 AM