Thank you for asking such a great question.
You have a couple of options we when you sell your home:
1. Sell it without professional representation (common referred to as "for sale by owner" or FSBO.
2. List it on the MLS with an MLS Entry Only broker. They typically charge a flat fee, then offer optional fees for other services. Because the listing is in the MLS you offer a commission to the buyer's agent (often termed SOC or selling office commission...confusing but that's the way it is)
The amount you are saving is the difference between the listing agent commission (usually the same as the commission offered to the buyer's agent, less the expenses paid to the MLS Entry Only broker and other marketing expenses.
3. You list it with a "limited service broker". Similar to a MLS Entry Only broker, "Limited Service" means that they offer more services than MLS Entry Only, offering a menu of services.
4. List it with a "Full Service" Broker. Typically they pay all marketing costs and provide all services needed at no additional charge.
Which way is best for you?
I study my market constantly and can provide you with some insights:
Because you asked about MLS entry, I am assuming that you see the value to being in the MLS. Why? Because your listing would be noticed by Realtors, right? You are correct.
Each quarter I research the performance of the three types of brokers mentioned. These are the results of the last quarter (April to June).
Out of 1,166 listings sold, 10 were sold by either MLS Entry Only or Limited Service brokers.
This poses a challenge because with such a small market share listings get lost in the shuffle.
Of a larger concern is that listings fail to sell over 33% more often. So just because you list your home doesn't mean it will sell. We call those "expired listings". Out of 35 listings, 25 did not sell. For full service, out of 2,339, only 1,183 did not sell. A ratio of 102% to 250.
The other big problem is that when listings do sell, they sell for less. On average, listings sold by MLS Entry Only and Limited service brokers sell for 2% less than those sold by Full Service Brokers. (sold price compared to asking price within 30 days on the market)
The last big problem is timing. Listings sold by Limited Service and MLS Entry Only brokers take longer to sell, on average 25 days longer.
So based on my data, if you don't really need to sell, have time to kill, and money to burn , then you are set. OTOH, if you need to sell for top dollar, then you the only way to accomplish that is to use a Full Service Realtor.
My suggestion is for you to interview three Realtors, run the numbers and then you make the call.
Just to add, while I agree with Keith, I do not know if he belongs to your area MLS. The numbers may be different for those listing and selling their homes. There are at least 10 MLS's in southeastern Michigan.
I suggest interviewing at least 3 agents and asking them about where your home will be marketed using each of the Listing Types described. (don't forget to make them prove your home will actually be on those sites after Listing)
If Full Service is not for you because you have marketing, negotiating, and contract experience then there are, other alternatives. I would make sure you read the fine print very carefully. Some companies offer to list your home for a non-refundable fee but require you to use their Title Company and other related services at a marked up price.
I suggest you shop around before signing any paperwork. The hot summer selling season is almost done, so you have time. I have a 50 page booklet "Who's the Best Person to Sell My House" and would be glad to send you a copy. The booklet walks you through 29 things to watch for when selling your home and provides a check list to use when choosing a Realtor(R). No obligation