The real estate market has seen dramatic changes in the past several years. When listing a home for sale today, “selling” is more about “exposing”. Selling real estate via what some might refer to as traditional methods is fading. Simply buying an advertisement in the local paper and real estate magazines will not attract buyers as they are not viewing listings at these one time popular publications. Flat fee MLS services are gaining in popularity and allow sellers to list on the MLS for sale by owner (FSBO), potentially saving a seller thousands of dollars in real estate commissions. In today’s real estate market, where every penny counts, it’s no wonder why flat fee real estate is gaining momentum with those interested in selling their homes.
List on the MLS For Sale by Owner (FSBO)
Ask yourself this: What is the first thing a buyer will do when interested in buying real estate? Today, over 80 percent will go online before they call a real estate agency. Over their computer they will gather information on properties instantly without waiting for a return phone call from their real estate agent. This is another way in which the real estate industry has changed in the last several years. Essentially all property for sale or rent flows through the real estate agent and broker controlled Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of property oftentimes specific to a particular geographic area, and then out to thousands of websites.
Real estate can only be listed on the MLS by a licensed real estate agent or broker. However, today, flat fee realty providers facilitate entry only MLS listings for a one time nominal fee. A property listed for sale by owner in the MLS gets the exact same exposure and looks no different than any other property on the MLS, all while saving the seller thousands of dollars in real estate commissions.
Of course, this is a subject that many real estate agencies don’t like to talk about. But it is important to ask if real estate agents are now not the middle men and doing a job that you can well do yourself. Granted, it’s not for everyone, but an option to consider nonetheless.
“What we’ve been working on is a way to give our clients options in how they sell their property. Some want a full service experience while others don’t need it and are happy to take on extra duties during the sale and be compensated for it,” says Dean Charles, spokesperson for Entry Only New England, a platform that helps sellers list on the Massachusetts MLS for sale by owner.
The next question you should ask yourself is if hiring a real estate agent is worth the real estate commission typical to your market, oftentimes somewhere in the neighborhood of 5% to 6% of the sales price, that you will be required to pay once your property sells. It’s often difficult to watch thousands of dollars subtracted from your home equity and paid to an agent, especially when a property sells quickly.
Flat Fee MLS Listing Service
Let’s take it step by step and see how an MLS flat fee listing saves property owners from paying thousands of dollars in real estate commissions to a listing agent.
After deciding to sell your home, your main concern, once you have established a price, is to gain the necessary exposure your property will need to surface a suitable buyer. Again, more than 80 percent of buyers today search the Internet to find a home. Oftentimes, by the time a buyer contacts a real estate agent, they have already found a listing that interests them. This has changed dramatically from even ten years ago when buyers would contact a real estate agency when they were starting their property search and look to their agent to present all properties to them for consideration – the agent is no longer the property information source, it’s the Internet enabled MLS. For home sellers, flat fee MLS is your answer to promoting your home. Once your property hits the MLS, it will also be syndicated to thousands of Internet sites such as Realtor.com, Yahoo, AOL and others. Buyers now have instant access to your home’s information. Like any other property on the MLS, they will see photos and details of your home that you provide to the flat fee agency. Unlimited updates, such as price changes and substituting pictures are oftentimes included in your one-time flat fee to list. You will be the sole contact for your property, as opposed to a listing agent, so a buyer or their representative can schedule a showing through you at your convenience.
Flat Fee MLS Realtor Fees
So what do the savings really mean? Take for example a home that is listed for $429,000 with a traditional real estate firm. If sold at the asking price, agents representing you and the buyer would divide the commission, in this example 6%, which is almost $26,000 in Realtor fees.
Now, using a flat fee MLS service, you would save up to $13,000 because you won’t be paying a commission to the listing agent. If your buyer contacts you directly and is not represented by an agent as well, then you pocket the entire $26,000. For more and more homeowners, to list on the MLS without an agent is an option that can’t be ignored.
Flat fee real estate is gaining in popularity for owners who are serious about selling their homes and committed to saving thousands of dollars. Quite simply, the future of real estate is here.