Are homes starting to sell we have home we want to sell and wonder if we should list with a flat fee mls?

Asked by Linda, 32205 Sat Apr 26, 2008

we could ask less money selling it that way and still pay the buyer agent commission

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Lisa Hill, , Port Orange, FL
Sat Apr 26, 2008
I see you already have several answers, and I'll admit I haven't thoroughly read them, but I did notice the comments about the problems with the flat-fee MLS systems. I've listed and sold several properties that had originally been listed this way. We all understand how difficult the market is right now, and are sympathetic to the fact that so many people are losing the homes and equity. But I would encourage you to not waste your money by paying an up-front fee, when there's a good chance that you'll eventually have to go the traditional route of listing and paying a commission when the property sells.

Also, the MLS is not going to bring you even half the results you need, in order to get your home sold. It's still very powerful, but we're now in Web 2.0 which basically means the internet as 95% of the population knows it, has undergone a drastic change; it is now the most powerful means of marketing your home, when it is done right. But this means that you, or your agent would have been very quickly educating yourself to the web changes.

To effectively market any real estate, the property for sale needs to be on multiple web sites and blogs, all of which have the ability to be found by the average consumer who is doing a targeted search (through their preferred search engine) for the area and type of real estate they want. And once the property has been found in a search, through a major search engine, it needs to have plenty of quality photos, a description that quickly grabs the attention of the reader, and video if at all possible.

Last but not least, make sure you choose a REALTOR who has plenty of experience in this market, and who you feel confident has thoroughly familiarized themselves and their brokerage with your home. You can also request that they e-mail you a link to each site and blog where the home is being marketed. This gives you a way to track the progress as well.

Whatever avenue you choose, good luck!
2 votes
Myke Atwater, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Linda, homes do not sell very well with a "flat fee mls" listing--most people who try this end up listing their house with a full service realtor, anyway, and then you are out the commission paid to the flat fee person or company. If you really want your home to sell, list it with a good realtor who can offer you all the internet advantages--that way it is being seen by the maximum number of buyers. It also generally means double the work for the agent bringing a buyer, and there is no one to look out for your interests from offer to closing. Full service realtors can bring all the services to bear to look out for you and help you to negotiate the deal so you can maximize your dollars from the sale. Frequently when an offer is made to a FSBO, the buyer has already figured in a discount for the lack of a realtor as well, so you wouldn't save that money either. Again, look for a realtor with a high internet presence--check out a couple different websites for real estate and also check out agents and company websites--this is where 85% of all buyers come from--see who has the bells and whistles.

I don't know if things are picking up in Murray Hill, but some places it has seemed to be leveling off--however, money is getting harder to get for the buyer's financial needs.

I hope this helps.

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2 votes
Louis Schwar…, , Jacksonville, FL
Sat Aug 9, 2008
Houses have been selling, but they are those that are in pristine condition and priced aggressively. If you are able to show your house at all hours during the day, are not expecting maximum exposure, and are willing to "go it alone" during the negotiations and from contract to close, then a flat fee firm might be just right for you. If you would like me to tell you how I market homes. please call or e-mail me for a no cost, no obligation home value assesment.

Louis Schwartz
0 votes
Jennifer Mar…, Agent, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Fri Aug 8, 2008

I have a listing in Murray Hill on Gilmore St. (MLS 424160). I know the exact trends of that area and will be happy to give you detailed information on what the activity level is in your particular neighborhood.

What the other Realtor's have written is exactly true. Using a flat fee service is almost like a "do it yourself". If you work 9-5 on weekdays this might not be conducive to selling your house in an efficient manner. Please note that the more days your house sits on the market the less activity it receives resulting in time waisted and dollars spent.
Pricing it right is the first step to selling your home. If you can emotionally separate yourself from the home when conducting business matters than a flat fee listing might be right for you. If you have put a lot of time and effort into fixing up your home or making additions to increase the value than I would suspect you are emotionally attached. Using a Realtor to handle negotiations is key to keeping the deal together and keeping everyone calm throughout every step of the sale. We are knowledgeable and experienced in what it takes to market and negotiate, and we will do what is best for the transaction to successfully close.

Thank You,

Jennifer Martin
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0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Apr 26, 2008
You have some wonderful posts to consider. They only not addressed are the facts:
How badly do you want to sell? What will you sacrifice?

Here are the facts are selling a property (these are my MLS):
1. Expired to Sold Ratio - When a property is listed for sale, in the soft markets we have in most areas a large percentage of listings do not sell. By listing your property with a MLS Entry only service, or a discount broker, you decrease the chances of NOT selling by 50%.

The statistic in our MLS is that in the first quarter of 2008, out of 13 listings in MLS entry only or Discount brokers, thrree sold, ten did not. Compare that to 1,166 Listings for Full Service, of which 590 sold,

2. Lisy price versus sale price ratio - the dollar amount paid versus asking price.Listings sold by Full service brokers average almost 3% more of SOLD listings.
MLS Entry only and Discount Brokers was 93.3% compared to 96.2%.

So if you need to sell to top dollar, go with a full service Realtor.
If you have money to burn, and time to kill, and really wold rather not sell, then use an MLS Entry only.

But why would you?
0 votes
Donna Smith, , 30054
Sat Apr 26, 2008
There are a lot of great flat fee companies out there, I'm not one of them, but certainly I do not knock them. If you are or feel that you are qualified to show your own listing and to be able through conversations on the phone distinguish whether or not someone is actually able to financially afford your home, then by all means, give it a shot.
I can tell you from experience, as can every other Realtor out there, that sometimes you will run into people who just like to "look". Some have motives that can be harmful to you and your family, some are just nosey and are looking for decorating ideas and some are actually real buyers. As a Professional, it is our job to weed out all except for the "real Buyers". We are trained and have the resources available to know the difference between these types of people. The last thing you want is someone walking around your home looking or scoping out your personal property.
As a Real Estate Professional, it is our fiduciary responsibility to bring you a Ready, Willing, and Able Buyer. If even one of those 3 key ingredients are missing, you do not have a bonified buyer. Also, your Professional will handle all aspects of the Contract to insure your rights are protected. Will you know what to do if your Buyer has a Home Inspection done (they most always do in fact, some loan programs require a Home Inspection) and the Inspector wants you to fix and replace everything in this house? What is legal and what is nit-picking? Are you willing to let your deal fall thru if you say No? Are you willing to make your re-sale home brand new? These are just some of the aspects that a Professional deals with daily. We are equipped and knowledgeable and can take the hassles out of selling your property.
It's up to you to decide how much representation is needed.
Real Estate Professionals cost money, but we earn every dime!

Make the right choice, hire a Professional!
0 votes
Antonio Vega…, Agent, Saint Cloud, FL
Sat Apr 26, 2008

With the amount of homes currently in the market FSBO's are having a very hard time. Going flat fee is "not the next best step", just look at the number of Flat Fee agencies that have closed upon the last year.

There is a big difference between getting a home listed and getting a home sold. To get it sold go with one of the big companies like Coldwell Banker, ERA, Century 21 or such.

If you like I could refer you to a CB agent in your town, let me know.
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0 votes
Lucien Vaill…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hello Linda

In answer to the first part of your question, yes, homes are starting to sell. In fact, homes have been selling all along. Just not at the abnormally brisk rate seen during the "boom" years of 2004 - 2006. To sell your home in a market that favors buyers, such as what we are experiencing now, it must be priced accurately and staged to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. This is something a professional REALTOR will ensure before exposing your home to potential buyers.

When considering the use of a "flat fee MLS" service you must ask yourself a few questions and answer honestly. Do you sell real estate full time for a living? Will you be available to show your home when buyers want to see it? Can you separate your emotions and approach the sale of your home as a business transaction? Are you an effective negotiator? Will you be willing to spend money to market your home using print and online advertising? Will a REALTOR who sees that your home is listed with a flat fee service and realizes they will be expected to perform the tasks of the listing agent as well as the buyers agent try hard to sell your home or follow the path of least resistance? Who will be protecting your interests? Unfortunately many home sellers think putting a home in the MLS is all there is to it. If that were the case why do REALTOR's spend so much money promoting the homes of their customers?

Linda, if selling your home is important to you and your family I strongly suggest using a professional. In todays market where buyers are routinely submitting "low ball" offers a good REALTOR will save you money, not cost you money. Ask your friends and family if they have had a good experience with a REALTOR and if they could recommend someone to you. If you would like information about my services please visit my web site or email me at and I will be happy to help. Best of luck!
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0 votes
M, , Florida
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Please read this article we recently had published and was widely distributed. Let us know if you need help. We can surely refer you to creditable agents in your area.
The Schaffer Realty Group
0 votes
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