What the best way to get a MLS listing without using a realtor?

Asked by Chris Stewart, Olathe, KS Mon May 25, 2009

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Jennifer, Home Seller, New Mexico
Wed Nov 7, 2012
I sold my home myself. No Realtor and no Mls#. I started by putting a For Sale By Owner sign in my yard and posting an ad on my local Craigslist. I had an offer in 5 days. I had a Realtor come out prior to me listing it myself, He felt my home should be listed at $189,000, I ended up listing it at 219,000, Which is what it sold for. I did not need a Realtor their to handle the big scary negotiations. You can download a basic purchase agreement online, And I worked with a title company that was more than happy to help me along the way with any questions I had. Now can you Imagine if I had hired a Realtor and five days later they sold the house and for five days worth of work they banked over $16,000? Does that make any sense? That's the whole problem here. So my advice to you is if you are willing to put in the time and effort to sell your own home go for it, buy that flat fee MLS and see what happens, you may be pleasantly surprised. This is not rocket science here no matter how many Realtors try to scare you into thinking otherwise.
3 votes
I completely agree. I did it back in 2010. Just talked with someone I know who hasn't listed their home yet. Going to list for $700k. Agent brought someone through who liked the home. Agent still wanted their 3% or $21k. For bringing someone in the door? Really?!!? As I have stated here in the past, the entire system needs to be "reformed" to make it more realistic for everyone including agents. Sellers should not be the only one with skin in the game. Buyers should have to pay something for an agents time. Probably a lot of time would be saved if buyers had to pay an hourly rate.
Flag Thu Jun 19, 2014
I agree , the realtors I have dealt with in the past have not been Rhode Scholars . Ask yourself if they are smarter than you in doing the initial paperwork . They make far too much money for what they do , particularly in California with the home prices . I call them realawhores
Flag Sun Feb 23, 2014
Congratulations on selling your home yourself. You make it sound like a piece of cake. However, most laymen do not know how to negotiate or create a contract. Even with the help of a title company, few non-realtor sales are closed. You need a Realtor's help for those nuances, e.g., that attract buyers and initiate them to write an offer. A lot of buyers think FSBO, "I'm gonna make a low offer." I call these people sharks. They're always trying to lowball you. Realtors are the ones first-time buyers or those relocating from other areas go to. You won't get these demographics (who usually are pre-approved) from websites or sign calls. Then you get the "lookie Lou's,". Who just want to visit houses but not buy. Realtors can bring you pre-qualified buyers or direct financially challenged people to the right lenders. We Realtors can save you a lot if time & distress. Remember, the longer a home stands unsold on the market, the more buyers perceive it lacks value.
Flag Sat Jan 11, 2014
Shane Stebner, Home Buyer, Viva P Lapham, Cocoa, FL
Sun Dec 29, 2013
I used NoMoreAgent.com and it was super affordable. Plus, they had a million features that made their service an even better value. I HIGHLY recommend you give them a look.
2 votes
tirebender, Home Owner, 55109
Thu Jun 19, 2014
Don't forget that a lawyer can do the contract and closing PERIOD - Cheaper -Just get on the MLS and use your god given brain
1 vote
Debbie Beasl…, Home Owner, Olathe, KS
Sun May 12, 2013
I listed my home in Nashville on MLS by using an on line realtor. He did no work, only sent me forms to clear himself and to do the listing. I sold my house above asking price in one day because another realtor saw it on MLS. I paid him the fee that he would normally get, 3%. I would never pay that much again. Maybe 2%. He did nothing to earn the 3%.
1 vote
Goat, , Denmark, IA
Tue May 26, 2009
You have made the right decision to not use a realtor. I have been looking at property for a awhile now and am so agog at the lack of professionalism in the realtor crowd that I will not even offer on a home when an agent is involved. Instead I let the seller know that I am interested in their property and to let me know when their listing contract ends so that we may make an offer.

Both parties need really competent real estate contract attorneys to make certain their respective interests are addressed appropriately. Cut the middle man out, reduce price to 15% below market and make a deal.
1 vote
While you are wait out the 6 month exclusive right to sell...it will be sold...also what if the person that you have waited all this time to make an offer...doesn't even like your home or they make you a low ball offer. Or demand thousands of dollars in repairs after you have waited 6 months...you have turned down higher offers to "save" it for someone that is being deceitful from the first time you meet them. How do you know they are even pre-approved...or that their pre-approval letter doesn't expire while they wait out the listing to expire.
REALLY...I know an owner that paid an attorney $3500 to write up a legal document (lease with option)...they didn't get a pre-approval, didn't pull a back ground check, eviction check, and now they had to evict them for not paying the last three months rent. In this market you need a professional agent to protect you and sell your house.
Flag Tue Jun 11, 2013
homecoin, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Apr 19, 2017
While you do need an agent to list you on the MLS, you do not need to pay that agent a big commission. You can get a flat fee MLS listing, which is basically paying an upfront fee to an agent to list you on the MLS, where you can offer a commission to buyer agents.

For example, instead of paying a 6% commission to a typical full-service agent to list you on the MLS, you would pay a flat fee agent $100 and then offer 3% commission to buyer agents. The savings are big and this is something the U.S. Department of Justice advocates.

In general, the big things you want to look for in a flat fee MLS listing are:

1. The listing MUST be on the local MLS.
There are dozens of MLSs in California alone. Sellers want to be on the MLS that covers the area where their home is located, so they can offer a commission to LOCAL buyer agents.

2. Cost to list + changes to listing.
Can range from $100-$400 for the exact same listing on the MLS. Watch out for fine print that requires an additional fee at closing. Make sure you are able to make changes to the listing after it has been posted for a nominal fee.

3. Photos on MLS.
Make sure you can upload at least a dozen photos. Some services offer a great price, but it is only for 1 photo - which is not useful for most properties.

4. Length of Listing.
Get at least a six month listing and be sure that there is no charge for cancellation.

5. Fine print.
You should never be required to use any closing service (e.g. escrow) provided by the flat fee service agent. This is a violation of federal law.

Ultimately, we have found that the three most important things when listing a home are 1) price, 2) pro photos, and 3) offering a fair buyer agent commission on the MLS (typically 2.5%). Also, always check the reviews of any flat fee agent you work with.
0 votes
i think 2.5% is a ridiculous amount to pay--that's a lot of money! AND FOR WHAT!!??!! i don't understand that amount of money to meet someone at a home, point out the obvious, fill in blanks on a pre-printed standard agreement...i will never understand how any percentage over 250.00 could be established as a "standard"
Flag Wed Jun 21, 2017
Choudharynar…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Tue Nov 29, 2016
you can get MLS listing without any agent or broker using property sites or real estate websites
such as http://www.trulia.com, http://www.realtor.com/, http://www.zillow.com. if you find more sites visit at
0 votes
Bbondpeare, Home Buyer, Olathe, KS
Sun Jun 12, 2016
We bought our home from a FSBO. We did not use a buyer's agent either. We did our due diligence with researching contracts, requirements, and other related items. We applied for our own mortgage pre-approval and our mortgage broker scheduled the inspections and did the background work necessary.

We attended the open house and immediately called the owner for a private showing afterwards to do a preliminary inspection of plumbing, electrical, roof, etc. on our own.

Then, we sat down on the patio and signed contracts together before popping a cold beer to shake eachother's hands.

It couldn't have been more perfect.

We are now selling this same house, 7 years later and we are doing FSBO. It may not go as quickly since realtors are reluctant to bring buyers to FSBO, even if they are paying the buyer agent commission.

I have no doubt that the perfect buyer will come along at the perfect time.
0 votes
are u using a MLS flat fee service?
Flag Wed Jun 21, 2017
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Jan 11, 2014
This question posted May 25, 2009.
Chris' issue has long ago faded away.
0 votes
I'm happy for Chris... however, Craig's "issue" is just beginning and he enjoys all the input that has been offered on "Chis' issue" since they are one and the same. The neat thing about these forums is that they continue to act as a learning tool. :)
Flag Mon May 12, 2014
That doesn't mean others won't be looking for the same answer and end up here. I just think FSBO is the way to go. Especially with flat-fee mls services like NoMoreAgent.com
Flag Sat Jan 11, 2014
Marcia Kelly, Agent, Topeka, KS
Sat Jan 11, 2014
You only can obtain information from the MLS by getting it from a Realtor that belongs to that particular MLS service.

You can find more general information about a property from different websites like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com or Craigslist. If you want more detailed information, you must request it through a Realtor

0 votes
Isabella Wie…, Agent, Edgerton, WI
Wed Nov 14, 2012
Chris, not everyone has the resources to do it yourself. You get what you pay for. Look if your happy to net the dollar amount you want in this market then go hire a pro a realtor in fact.
Are you free on Monday let's say 2pm to let me into your home. Wait I have yet to get approved....are you ready to handle these type of situations. Do you have lenders to work with..... I want you to do me a favor turn your tv on to hgtv ok now watch it as much as possible. Is your home staged? I have been selling for 9 years I respect you want to do it on your own but, most likely a realtor will sell your home wanting a commission. Look our jobs as realtors are not easy. Most flat fee services will hurt how your home is being presented to the public. Most likely your home will end up with more days on the market. Our market is different maybe working at a title company can get you to sell your house on your own, but are you ready to really market your home to sell, deal with writing the offer, inspections, lender requirements, appraisal issues, disclosing condition, radon, termites, etc. if you want to set an appointment to know your market value of your home feel free to contact me. Doing it on your own is a full time job that I can handle. Thanks Isabella
0 votes
scare tactics, blah blah. I have a neighbor who has sold the house he was living in 4 times without a realtor and every time got more than what realtors said he could get. He is coaching me o selling my home now. I've use two realtors and never want to again. Neither did any work, or represented my interests and both lied to me. I have found I can do the leg work myself. When I bought my home I found it and didn't like a single one the realtor took me to. All i had to do was take some time on the internet.

All the disclosures you mention are handled by the Title company, realtor not needed. Anything else can be covered by hiring a home inspector and appraiser
Flag Sat Feb 1, 2014
Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Actually, most of the answers here are correct.

You don't have to use a real estate agent, or pay that commission, any more than you have to use a hair stylist to cut your hair, have an accountant do your taxes, defend yourself in count, or fill the cavities in your teeth. All of these things you can do on your own if you want to spend the time, and assume the risks involved.

Generally, 90% of people in the world are too busy to do everything themselves - and the time spent pulling comps, fielding calls, being present for showings, putting signs in their yard, advertising the property, negotiating, etc. takes away from the time they could be spending doing whatever it is THEY do and specialize in to make money. Regardless of the service, you will always have those who feel it's easy and want to do it themselves to save a buck. More power to them. Some people have nothing but time on their hands, are extremely strapped for money, and can't afford to have professionals doing everything for them.

If you don't want to use a traditional Realtor - I would suggest checking out a "flat-fee" MLS service. You'll be on the MLS, but get little or no direction/support through the process, and typically pay around $500 upfront regardless if you ultimately sell the property or not.

Good luck!
0 votes
Sarah Boston, Home Buyer, Olathe, KS
Fri Jun 22, 2012
Unfortunately there is not a way to get your home on the MLS listing service without going through a realtor.
There are other sites and open houses you can do so that buyers may be able to see your home. But agents usually only show houses listed on the MLS unless their buyers find the home. Hope this answered your question.
Let me know if I can help you in any way
Sarah Boston
Realtor Professional
Call or text me if you have any questions
0 votes
I meant "not on the MLS"
Flag Tue Jul 22, 2014
And with the internet, potential buyers are most of the time fully aware of how to search for and find houses in any city in the US. Easily....quickly.... one visit to a FSBO site will reveal all the homes onto n the MLS.
Flag Tue Jul 22, 2014
Karen Barrett, Agent, Angola, IN
Tue May 26, 2009
I am sure there is a phone number for the Local Board of Realtors. Call the main office and ask if all Home listings are uploaded to Realtor.com or any other website, such as a public side of the local MLS.

As for getting your home on the MLS without using a realtor, forget it. That will not happen. The point of having an MLS is that when agent shows another agents listing there is guaranteed compensation because there is a compensation agreement portion in the listing contract. This compensation amount (the buyer agent commission) is disclosed in the MLS. If there is a local Real Estate Guide (Homes Magazine) You might be able to pay for a space to put an Ad in for your property. Advertising is expensive, Looking for the right home is time consuming, why not use a Realtor to help you? Did you have a bad experience?
0 votes
Patti Gabrie…, Agent, Beach, ND
Tue May 26, 2009
Chris. Not possible. There are a lot of misconceptions out there - driven by the "unrepresented seller" (FSBO) websites. The main goal in marketing a home for sale is exposure to attract a qualified buyer. I'd like to share how this happens. Selling your home FSBO doesn't net you the most "walk away" money. Email me and I'll explain: pattig@realtyexecutives.com
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue May 26, 2009
It's really not a problem. Just look for a MLS Entry Only broker, or a flat fee broker.

BTW, my question is WHY? You probably want to save money, right?

So you are assuming that you don't need a Realtor to sell your home. About 10% of homes in the US are sold without professional representation according to an NAR survey. I think if you can sell your home yourself, you should do it.

However, my experience has shown that it is likely that the ONLY way to get top dollar for your home is with a great Realtor. Not just any Realtor, but a great Realtor.

The summary is this:
I study the actual performance of Full Service, MLS Entry Only, and Discount Brokers in my MLS.

Over the past two years the following trends have remained constant:
1. Homes sold by MLS Entry Only or Discount Brokers FAIL to sell most of the time when compared to Full Service Realtors
2. The number of units sold by MLS Entry Only or Discount Brokers is VERY SMALL. The last quarter out of 931 transactions only 26 were sold by MLS Entry or Discount Brokers. Don't you think that if they were really that good for sellers they would sell more homes?
3. When the homes DO sell by MLS Entry ONLY or Discount Brokers they sell, on average for about 2.8% LESS than homes sold by Full Service brokers when you compare list price versus sale price.
4. Homes sold by MLS Entry Only and Discount take longer to sell.

I suggest interviewing a couple of REaltors. Especially if you need to sell in order to buy, then you really need to get a balanced view of what Realtors propose to meet your objectives.

Good luck.
0 votes
As they say in statistics, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. These are poor statistics. How many of the transactions for the same period were simply listed by "full service" brokers vs. MLS-only or discount brokers? One might be surprised to find the MLS-only sold at a ratio of 2:1. It's all about pricing, supply and demand.

Having been licensed in two states and having many years experience, I can tell you first-hand that real estate agents rarely actually represent their clients best interests over themselves nor do much to earn the thousands they do in a sale. It's a complete rip-off, ripe for the internet to innovate on (special-interest lobbying is why this hasn't happened properly yet, much like Uber/Lyft vs. various US Cities/States).

The uneducated, unethical real estate agents want to keep the masses believing their services are worth it so high school dropouts don't have to work at McDonald's but can list your house instead. Be not deceived.
Flag Sat Apr 26, 2014
Shara Collins, Agent, Leawood, KS
Tue May 26, 2009
Chris, Sarah is right on target. In order to be in MLS you have to have your home listed with a licensed realtor. Additionally, in todays market it is important that buyers and sellers alike are well represented by a realtor committed to assisting you in achieving your ultimate goal which is to sell your home for the most money in the shortest amount of time. It is important for you to have that type of representation and to have someone who knows the market and has all of the available tools to aide you in achieving this goal.
0 votes
Sarah Klamm, Agent, Wellsville, KS
Tue May 26, 2009
I guess I have a different take on your question than the other 2 responders. I see you listed as a buyer and a seller and assume you have a home you want listed on MLS. In Olathe, we are seved by the Heartland MLS and you must be a licensed realtor to list homes here. Having your home listed on MLS is definetely the BEST way to get your home shown and sold, and your realtor is part of that process. As professional realtors, we have the tools and the marketing experience to make sure your home is see by as many people as possible, including other realtors and buyers.

If you are a buyer and wanting to see what is available, you can VIEW MLS listings at http://www.realtor.com. I would strongly suggest you find a Realtor. We can make your home search or sale a priority.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Thank you.

Sarah Klamm
Layton Real Estate
mobile 785-248-1142
Web Reference:  http://www.laytonre.com
0 votes
David Ryan, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Mon May 25, 2009
Chris - as you are a home buyer I will address your question from the standpoint that you want to access the MLS for a list of homes to purchase.

MLS access is granted usually through the local Board of Realtors. Agents usually have a portal for searching the MLS on their website. Now the amount of information can be limited. You may only get the general location along with some of the details about the property, but for additonal info you would have to request it through the agent.
Web Reference:  http://www.jdavidryan.com
0 votes
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