Can I list my house on our local MLS without using a real estate agent?

Asked by Hillary, 59718 Wed Jul 18, 2012

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jjhugej’s answer
jjhugej, , New Orleans, LA
Tue Aug 6, 2013
Hello Hillary!

Listing a house on the MLS requires a licensed broker who has paid dues to the MLS that services your local area. Typically when selling a house you offer a 6% commission which is split with any co-operating brokers (usally 3% to the listing agent, and 3% to the buyer's agent). However, you can take advantage of flat fee listing services that offer a non-conventional ways to list your house on both and your local MLS.

Usually these flat fee services require an upfront fee, and do not assist you in selling your property unlike a traditional broker. If you feel comfortable selling your house without the assistance of a licensed Realtor, using sites such as or can save you some money. However, if you are a first time home seller, or uncertain about how to properly sell your home I recommend using a licensed Realtor in your area. When using a local brokerage you typically get the services of a normal listing coupled with that broker's expertise in your market.

Good luck!
0 votes
When you list with you are listing with a Realtor. You are signing a "limited services agreement" that does get your property on the MLS but limits the service you receive (and the protections you receive) when actually working with a Realtor.
Flag Sat Dec 14, 2013
Dennis Erick…, Agent, Bozeman, MT
Wed Oct 3, 2012

Per other answers you've received here, consider this:

If you post your home on the MLS you MUST sign an agreement with a MLS member real estate broker.

If someone sees the listing on MLS and an agent contacts you and you sell the home to the agent's client, you must pay a commission to your listing broker who then pays that agent.

You must offer a cooperating agent's commission on the MLS at the time you post the property on the MLS.

An Exclusive Agency listing means if you sell the property to YOUR customer you pay no commission. You must be careful in this respect, however. Ask each prospective customer if they are working with an agent and have them sign something that say's "No, I'm not working with an agent." Failure to do so could result in you paying a commission anyway since many buyers would say no when they were, in fact, contracted with an agent for representation.

And, finally, think about this. How hard would you work for someone if you weren't sure you were going to get paid if you worked hard and did a good job? An agent only gets paid if they close the sale on your home at the price you want when you want it. An Exclusive Agency Listing usually means the agent HOPES something good will happen and they will get paid, but they are most likely not going to spend money marketing your home or holding open houses or otherwise trying to get the job done. Your home will most likely sit on the MLS for a while, like until you get tired of waiting for something to happen and call your agent up and tell him to properly list the home, which is the strategy behind most EA listing agreements. They are usually not the best solution for the client, frankly.
1 vote
Dennis Erick…, Agent, Bozeman, MT
Wed Jul 25, 2012
No, you can't list your house on MLS WITHOUT USING A REAL ESTATE AGENT. The MLS is created by Realtors for other Realtors. It is an extensive database of properties for sale as well as sold properties. The sold properties are used as a comparison to price for sale properties and are used by Realtors and appraisers who are MLS members (they pay a fee to be a member just as all Realtors do). This database is the culmination of decades of Realtors' efforts and because of the tremendous amount of work and cost involved with establishing the MLS in the first place, it is reserved for Realtors and their clients. Thanks for a great question, Hillary!
1 vote
@Joseph Hendon. Actually you are wrong. The "flat fee listing agencies" you speak of are broker/agents that use a set price.

No need to hire a real estate attorney as the closing/title company has one.

Also on your home you WERE the high bidder with the fact they seller saved the commission.

Only one here that appears to "want to discourage or deny it completely. " is you Sir.
Flag Thu Nov 2, 2017
Yes you can. There are several flat fee listing agencies that will list your home on the MLS for a set period of time. But i get why a realtor would want to discourage or deny it completely.

Hire a real estate attorney and sell it yourself. If you are willing to deal with the people yourself, sell it yourself. Your attorney will handle the contract, just like they do for realtors. Average cost is 1000 to 1500 dollars flat fee and they work for you, not the contract.

A realtor works for the contract. Real life example, i bought my home out from under another bidder on my home, not because i had a higher bid or was better qualified, but because i DID NOT HAVE A REALTOR. The seller's realtor could pocket the entire 28,000.00 bucks instead of splitting it with the other contract who had an agent.

They do not work for you. They work to find the best way to get paid, even at your expense. Always at your expense.
Flag Fri Jun 30, 2017
Paul, Both Buyer And Seller, 11968
Mon Mar 28, 2016
Use to fully understand + analyze all real costs of homeownership, including purchase price, down payment options, closing costs (title insurance, bank fees, inspection/appraisal, legal), mortgage financing- interest rate, term, points, pre approval requirements, RE Taxes, HO Insurance, utilities/maintenance/condo fees, selling costs (broker commission, capital gains tax, state transfer taxes). is educational, in-depth, easy-to-understand. Invaluable especially for serious first-time homebuyers.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Ktwisner, Both Buyer And Seller, Seattle, WA
Mon Mar 28, 2016
You can use a flat-fee mls listing service to get on the MLS. Or try Faira - which is free. With Faira you get free professional photos, MLS listing, home inspection, online offer platform to negotiate the sale, simple contracts, key box, for sale signs, high quality flyers and support to sell your home. I'm sure you've sold by now but perhaps this could help others.
Good Luck!
0 votes
Tamara Willi…, Agent, Bozeman, MT
Mon Sep 28, 2015
Yes. They are called flat fee listings. I would not necessarily recommend it because the restrictions normally create less than conducive selling assistance. Flat fee listings generally only allow 3 photos, set amount of time, you don't get a refund if your home doesn't sell, etc.
0 votes
billclint, Both Buyer And Seller, Bozeman, MT
Sun Nov 2, 2014
Technically, you can't, but there's a great alternative. It's called a flat-fee MLS Listing. NoMoreAgent offers them and they're well worth the $237 or whatever it is for a 3 month listing.
0 votes
How is it well worth it? I dont understand why buyers would know that website and go search for houses there? none of those flat fee websites have access to the traditional broker MLS listings, so their traffic is not worth the money spent, because the leads are mostly useless. even free service offered by Zillow is better than the fsbo or others. Its all a scam
Flag Thu Dec 10, 2015
To clarify, I'm talking about
Flag Sun Nov 2, 2014
Alex DiSaggio, Agent, Houston, TX
Mon Jan 6, 2014
City Group Properties offers Flat Fee MLS Listings in Houston - San Antonio - Dallas - and Austin Texas Markets. We list your home until it is sold and provide guidance throughout the process. Our flat fee listing service starts at only $250 for unlimited listing time and is better than listing a house on the local MLS without using a real estate agent because you still get the expertise behind selling a home as well as paying no commission to the listing agent only the one-time flat fee and no hidden expenses. Our website is and our main office phone number is 713-964-2707 - we would love to answer your questions any time!
0 votes
Real Estate…, Home Buyer, Punta Gorda, FL
Thu Dec 12, 2013
You should try Flat Fee Mls Listing Services....
0 votes
I realize this is an old blog but want yo sell our condo in Punta Gorda without an agent.
Flag Fri May 27, 2016
I didn't like - was MUCH easier to use, and offered a LOT more for the money.
Flag Sun Nov 2, 2014
johnsteveens…, Home Seller, Tennessee
Fri Sep 13, 2013
yes, I used and I found they were the most affordable way to post on MLS with no agent
0 votes
That link doesn't exist. I can attest to the success of using though.
Flag Sun Nov 2, 2014
most real estate agents are worthless. They just want as many listings as possible because the law of averages work out eventually. I have listed a few million dollars in properties and cut a deal with a local broker for 1% to list. I do not blame agents for the way they are I just refuse to have to come up with all my own solutions to sell my properties.For a while I would sign a contract and make a addon to the contract to get an open house every 30 days the property was listed .. I also refused to sign more than a 6 month contract. I have met only 1 agent I would hire again and she has passed so that option disappeared.
Flag Sun Mar 2, 2014
WOW! There are FOUR homes on that website! Incredible. If you were wanting maximum exposure to sell your home, would you really list on a website with four other listings? Buyers won't waste their time on this site to find only four other listings. This is NOT an MLS site, the URL is very misleading and the owner of the site is grossly misleading people. Bad dog.
Flag Sat Dec 14, 2013
there are only 2 homes for sale on that website in Ottawa. It is not listed on mls, there are much more than that on mls.
Flag Tue Oct 22, 2013
P.L.S. Tony…, Agent, Belgrade, MT
Thu Oct 4, 2012

An Exclusive Agency Listing (EAL), as alluded to in previous comments, is the only way you can do it without paying a commission. But if the broker you list with finds a buyer at your price & terms stated in the listing agreement then you are bound to pay him/her a commission.

I do EAL's because I am a small realty-mapping company with a great deal of flexibility compared to franchise offices. All my listinhgs get full world exposure on Showcase. Contact me if you wish to do business.

P.L.S. Tony Novotny
0 votes
P.L.S. Tony…, Agent, Belgrade, MT
Fri Aug 31, 2012
Many franchise realties lack flexibility in this regard. I run my own company. I will do what is called an Exclusive Agency Listing, meaning you get it on the MLS - more importantly, on - and you pay no commission if you cause the buyer to come to you.
Tony Novotny, PLS-Broker
0 votes
So what is that document they have to sign in order to get it into the MLS? Do we need an audit? I'm sure the BRR would love to see how this is possible since it is an agreement we signed with the MLS.
Flag Fri Dec 13, 2013
Tamara Willi…, Agent, Bozeman, MT
Wed Jul 18, 2012
It can be done in Bozeman. You pay a fee around $500 (give or take a few hundred). There are only a few agents that do it. You must take all the photographs, complete your write ups and it is only good for a few months. You have to provide all of your own forms, and handle all calls, you also will need to determine what you are willing to pay a realtor if they have a client who wants to see your home. All legal questions have to be directed towards an attorney, as the agent your hire to input your data in the mls is only there for data entry.
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Wed Jul 18, 2012
Hi Hillary,

Only Realtors can post on the MLS. You might be able to find one that would list it on there for you for a flat fee but unless you know all the Real Estate laws (including all disclosures required), you might want to hire a Realtor to assist you - so you don't possibly face litigation in the future.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
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