MLS flat rate listing, the pros and cons

  1. What is a flat rate Multiple Listing Service (MLS) quote?

MLS is an all-inclusive database shared by local real estate agents. Agents can access this database to find exactly what their buyers are looking for. This resource gives real estate agents a significant advantage over anyone who sells on their own. In fact, more than 90% of buyers find their new homes through the MLS.

Real estate companies offering flat-rate MLS listings will enter the information and images into the MLS for a fee ranging from $ 99 to $ 995, depending on the level of services provided. However, a fee is generally offered to an agent who brings in a buyer. This fee can be any amount by law, but is generally 2% to 2½% compared to the 6% to 9% charged for full service listings.

  1. What’s the difference between flat rate listings and full-service real estate listings?

The owner assumes duties generally provided by a real estate agent. These include taking photographs, providing promotional copy, gathering information about the property, identifying repairs and improvements that will promote the sale and increase the return on investment, deciding the best marketable price, monitoring the market, price adjustments if and when necessary, Arraigning exhibitions, direct negotiation with buyers, obtaining legal advice, facilitation of inspections, possible renegotiation and everything necessary to bring the sale to closing.

  1. What services do flat rate brokers usually provide?

    In addition to adding your listing to the regional MLS, the listing is generally distributed to dozens of portal websites such as Zillow, Trulia,,, etc. in addition to local real estate companies directly. The owner provided images that are added to the MLS and portal sites. Usually a sign and / or a safe is provided. Some companies offer free renewals or listings that do not expire. If available in the area, companies will often provide appointment center services that provide a convenient means of scheduling visits. With higher price listing packages, more services are added.

  2. What are the downsides of flat rate listings?

    Selling by owner is a lot of work. More than half of the owners who were successful reported that they would not try to sell on their own again. This is because in addition to the work involved, it may not improve your return on investment. Real estate agents have years of hard-earned experience. If they cannot normally provide their clients with a better return on their investment than the owners themselves, they would not survive in the profession. In addition to the logistics that an owner can reasonably handle, a lot of judgment is required. One wrong step and the deal often fails. Inexperience, even in new licensed real estate agents, can cost thousands of dollars or the entire sale. Most brokerages provide close supervision and training to their new agents for at least the first year. The owner does not have this essential advantage. Flat rate brokers offering remote support cannot do so with the same experience as a real estate broker who has personal knowledge of the local market and property. Lastly, be careful not to invoke acquisition cause claims.

Despite the work and uncertainty involved, many sellers manage to sell on their own by using flat-rate broker resources to maximize their home investment to a great extent.

  1. How to proceed.

Contact a reputable flat rate MLS broker you can speak to directly to answer specific questions. This short article can only provide an overview of the process.

While sale-by-owner packages vary from broker to broker, here are some important considerations:

  • The broker must have experience and knowledge of local market conditions to provide guidance and advice.

  • The broker must be local and able to provide market data and references for lawyers, contractors, inspectors, etc.

  • The broker must be available 12/7.

  • The broker must be a direct member of the MLS where the property is located, not a portal site that remotely lists properties through affiliates.

  • A dedicated website that sends independent buyers directly to the owner should be included to save the joint breakout commission.

  • The appointment center showing scheduling services must be provided at no additional cost.

  • The owner must retain the right to sell on his own without paying an additional commission.

  • Changes or breaks in the listing must be provided at no additional cost.

  • The listing should not expire until the owner sells or recalls the home.

  • An electronic safe and sign must be provided and delivered at no additional cost.

  • All inquiries should be directed to the owner.

  • Professional quality photographic services should be available.

  • Photos and videos provided by the owner must be enhanced by the broker in accordance with the standards normally found in MLS.

  • The broker must also offer full service upgrades with a flat fee credited to the final commission.

  1. Steps to close
  • Involve a local flat rate broker

  • Provide details and pictures.

  • Approve listing in MLS and send rate

  • Organize the visit with the appointment desk

  • Negotiate offers

  • Get legal advice (recommended)

  • Comply with contact obligations. This is done with the help of the co-broker and your attorney.

  • Close with more revenue than if you had a full listing service

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