What are the pros and cons of flat fee MLS listings overall?

Asked by John, Fairfield, CT Thu Apr 9, 2009

And are there any flat fee listing companies/providers that are better than others?

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Ngioffre, Both Buyer And Seller, Miami Beach, FL
Sun Jul 11, 2010
I found a good site to use with a great price and no cons. If your looking in Connecticut try http://www.freemlsconnecticut.com

otherwise try selling it on your own.
Web Reference:  http://www.mlsisland.com
3 votes
Dan Ross, Agent, Southington, CT
Thu Apr 9, 2009
Rockinblu's blog is very comprehensive on the subject. One other thought I have to add is, many of the things he discusses with regards to Realtors changes by area. Fairfield county Realtors are a VERY closed group. They even resist Realtors from outside thier board, so I would have to think that their attitude towards FSBO's will not be favorable.
Recently Connecticut consolidated all of it's MLS's into one unified MLS, with the exception of Fairfield. While many of the agents do list in the Consolidated MLS, they still have their own.
If you decide to list flat-fee or FSBO, I would expect you to be very much on your own.
2 votes
Minna Reid, Agent, Woodbridge, CT
Thu Apr 9, 2009
Well you get what you pay for. If you're just paying for a listing that's what you get - an mls listing. You will handle pricing, showings, paperwork, advertising, negotiations, etc. And you'll still have to offer the buyers broker a commission if you're hoping to get a buyer represented by an agent into the home.
2 votes
Brad, Home Seller, 11703
Mon Dec 6, 2010
The pros out weigh the cons big time.
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon Nov 29, 2010
Pros - reduced cost, but cost is paid upfront and regardless of whether you succeed

Cons - no service, less exposure

Remember that with a flat fee MLS listing, you are selling FSBO - but wisely getting yourself on the MLS. The fee is paid upfront. If you want to sell FSBO then this is a good move. To sell a home you need to price correctly and reach buyers - a lack of exposure will kill you. This is a good start.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Serivce
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Paul Gioffre, Agent, Long Beach, NY
Sun Nov 28, 2010
The good part is you save a ton of money. The bad? Maybe showing your house yourself. It is a good thing. Flat fee mls can save you thousands.
1 vote
Flatfeetopia…, , Indiana
Wed Jun 16, 2010
Hello John,

Listing Flat Fee MLS is like selling your home entrepreneur-style. If you feel that you can take phone calls from potential buyers, schedule your open houses, and contact your local title company, you may have what it takes to sell your home Flat Fee.

Once your home is listed in your local MLS, your home's information will be picked up and syndicated to many other publicly accessed Real Estate websites such as Realtor.com. If a Realtor brings you a buyer, then you will be obligated to pay the commission percentage that you are offering. This is always decided before the property is entered into the MLS, and it is usually between 2 1/2 - 3 1/2%.

However, if you are also marketing your home in areas such as Craigslist or local newspapers, and a potential buyer contacts you direct, you would pay NO Realtor commission.

Just remember that selling Flat Fee MLS and selling FSBO are two entirely different strategies with major marketing differences. FSBO can and does work, but with Flat Fee MLS, you gain incredible marketing power through both the MLS and your listing Broker's work.

For much more information concerning Flat Fee MLS, please read our FAQ page, or you may call us direct.
Web Reference:  http://www.FlatFeeTopia.com
1 vote
I agree. Flat fee listings are a step up from FSBO and can save you thousands of dollars. It is not right for everyone, but it does create options that were not there before. I used flatfeelisting.com, but any good flat fee service can work for people who are motivated to do a little legwork on their own. People need to have options and then they can choose for themselves.
Flag Mon Apr 14, 2014
Christopher…, , Westport, CT
Thu Apr 9, 2009
Hi John,

Typically, flat fee MLS services offered by real estate brokers provide minimal marketing services and leave most of the marketing up to the home seller. Although some internet advertising may be included, broker/agent tours, open houses, newspaper advertising and paid internet advertising are generally not.

In addition, it is important to remember that although you are paying a flat fee to the listing broker to have your home on the MLS, you will still have to offer a commission to buyer agents to show your home. In the Fairfield area, this commission is typically between 2-3% of the sale price. Also, you will have to be available to show your home or provide a secure way for others to view it.

The big question you need to ask yourself is whether you are willing to spend the time and money to market your own property. Just being on the MLS will not necessarily get the job done. Selling yourself can be done, but be prepared for the marketing costs and time investment.

If I can be of any additional assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Christopher Rich
HomeStyles Real Estate
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Apr 9, 2009
There are probably flat fee companies that get you on more websites. Do your research and ask them! Good luck.
1 vote
Tony, Home Buyer, Fairfield, CT
Fri Mar 10, 2017
Cost Savings

You have to correctly price your home.

I found this site to be very useful in breaking down benefits and tradeoffs of a flat fee MLS listing versus a traditional realtor:
0 votes
Donna Payne, Home Owner, Fallbrook, CA
Wed Apr 1, 2015
For a homeowner the pros are saving 20,000 to 30,000 dollars! In this day and age the internet sells more homes than brokers do.
0 votes
Ted Twogood, Agent, Bountiful, UT
Sun Feb 1, 2015
As per FLat Fee listings. Here is what I have found in Utah. The MLS is tied to every other broker's large or small and every other realtor's individual website. It is also tied to most national chains as well. Realtor.com, truila.com. NAR's stats are that 87% of home buyers start out searching on the internet. IN Utah http://www.2goodrealestate.com has one of the best services provided to help people save a lot of money.
0 votes
Vincent Murp…, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Oct 3, 2014
Looking to sell one of my Condo's, Just signed up and listed it on a entry only MLS. If anyone has used
this ENTRY ONLY service to sell. Any tips would be great.

Vincent Murphy

0 votes
Thomas Kidera, Agent, Pittsford, NY
Fri Jul 25, 2014
If you use a FLAT FEE broker from your area, you can save around 3% of your sale price. So if you have a house to sell for $200,000, you could save nearly $6,000 in commission costs if you sell to a buyer who has an agent or even $12,000 if you sell to somebody who does not have an agent.

The key is to find a broker who will list your house onto the local MLS, without charging you a commission. The name brand realty companies won't offer that service. You need to find a small, "virtual brokerage" in your area.

In Western NY, the best FLAT FEE brokerage is WILBROOKE REALTY, LLC. Check them out at http://www.wilbrooke.com or call 585 703-4856.

They charge a one time set fee ($275) and that will get your FSBO onto the MLS and all the major internet sites (Zillow, Trulia, etc). If your FSBO is on the MLS, then buyer agents will bring their clients to see your house. I
0 votes
Admin, Home Buyer, Mid Florida, FL
Thu Jul 24, 2014
You should try http://www.flatmlslisting.com they have many packages to choose from.
0 votes
Sonia Shanah…, Agent, Kennesaw, GA
Wed Jan 8, 2014
A flat fee listing may or may not be right for you. You get the MLS exposure you need and agents will still call you so I would at least be prepared to pay the buyer's agent commission! Typically the flat fee listing service does not help you in regards to actually getting the home sold. It may be right for you if you have plenty of time to spend on the marketing and selling. Be mindful that it takes a lot of time for pre-qualifying the prospective buyer (and knowing which questions to ask), showing the house, researching and staying current on market conditions, negotiating the contract, etc... And if you don't have any concerns about safety, fall through due to financing or staying unemotional about the sale. I would recommend at least hiring an attorney to help ensure that you are writing the contract in a way that protects you!
0 votes
foxtech66, Home Seller, Dumfries, VA
Mon Sep 16, 2013
We will be using flat fee MLS to sell our home soon. Seems the pros outweigh the cons. Will let you know our experience with the listing and sale in Dumfries, VA. We plan to use Flatfeegroup.com.
Any one out there use them before?
0 votes
Fred Romano, Agent, Servicing All, CT
Mon Apr 13, 2009
CTFlatFee.com is your source for the best flat fee MLS listing service in CT. Visit us online and call if you need assistance. We'd love to assist you!
Web Reference:  http://ctflatfee.com
0 votes
Phil, , Guilford, CT
Thu Apr 9, 2009
I offer Flat Fee MLS Service and a good share of them actually sell. I can tell which ones are over priced and wont sell as soon as they sign up. Listing Price is KEY.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Thu Apr 9, 2009
I research my MLS quarterly on the results achieved by Full Service Brokers versus MLS Entry Only and Discount Brokers.
These are the general charateristics:
In terms of total market share, Full Service brokers dominate the market. In the last quarter there were 25 listings sold by MLS Entry Only and Limited Service brokers, compared to 906 Full Service.

Most people think that by paying a lower commission rate that they will have more money net at the close of the transaction. Full Service brokers historically have a better List Price versus Sale Price ratio. One of the problems in working on statistics with these comparisons is the very low number of sales. Comparing 25 sales to 906 means that just a few sales out of 25 can really skew the numbers.

In this past quarter the biggest issue is simply price point.
Full service listings had an average List Price of $525,256 and an average Sale Price of $507,661
MLS Entry Only & Limited Service average LP of $398,107 and average SP of $399,991

These figures pose two problems. If the only sellers selecting MLS Entry Only & Limited Service are averaging such a low price point, and the vast majority selected Full Service, why is that?

The other concern is that the list price to sale price ratio are much different than the last quarter of 2009.
4th Quarter results showed that LP/ SP for full service were at 99.4% versus 96.0% - a difference of 3.4%. At that ratio, there is no way that a "discount broker is saving the seller anything. You are loosing by 3.4%.

This quarter the LP/SP ratio was 1.04% for MLS Entry Only & Limited Service. Full service was 96.7%.

Further investigation shows that it appears one of the reasons that the average Sale Price is so much lower for MLS Entry Only & Limited Service listings is that they were priced that low to sell.

Do you really want to hire an agent who's MAIN strategy is to sell your home at a discount? You want to new as much as possible, so you want a Realtor that will fight for your sale price, right?

Good luck.
0 votes
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