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Rankings: Best Flat Fee MLS Services in California
Flat Fee MLS is a Game Changer for Home Sellers
Looking to sell your home? You’re not alone – the real estate market is busier than it’s been in almost a decade. And in this hot market, if you follow some simple tips to sell your home by owner, you don’t really need to pay the hefty agent commissions. It’s your money. You keep it.
So, what’s the best way to sell your home?
You can take one of three approaches to sell your home:
- Option 1: Hire a full-service agent and pay 5 to 6% commission
- Option 2: Do a pure For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and get little to no exposure to buyers
- Option 3 – BEST OPTION: Sell it yourself as a For Sale By Owner with a Flat Fee MLS option with full marketing exposure for your listing and save on the commission
🧐 Top 3 Priorities For HomeSellers
- Sellers Want the Most Profit in a Sale: According to the Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Trends Report survey, for over 50% of sellers, getting maximum returns was the most important consideration.
- Sellers Want Control in their Transaction: Over 40% of younger sellers desire more control over the transaction.
- Sellers Want to Save Time: The 3rd important finding was that time is an important consideration for home sellers.
Based on home seller priorities, we can confidently recommend you choose the Flat Fee MLS route when selling your home. Homes values in California, especially in the high-profile cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego etc., have seen a tremendous appreciation. It is estimated that there has been a 51.6% home value appreciation in the last 10 years in California.
Zillow’s home value index estimated median home value in California for April 2021 at $644K, that is more than twice the median home value in the country! At this rate, flat fee MLS provides tremendous savings!
💰 Incredible Technology, Incredible Savings
Houzeo’s technology makes FSBO easy by giving you access to tools only agents have
Does a Flat Fee MLS Listing Work?
Yes. 88% buyers purchase a property through a buyer’s agent, and these agents are vital in getting you top dollar for your property sale. So, if your house is not listed on the MLS, you are turning your back on 88% of customers already.
In fact, Flat Fee MLS came into existence when the United States Department of Justice passed a settlement that allowed real estate consumers to save money when selling their houses!
💰 How Much does flat fee mls cost?
There are 2 types of costs associated with a Flat Fee MLS listing
- Upfront Flat Fee: This is what you’ll pay to get on the MLS
- Hidden Charges: Brokers will reel you in with a $99 listing! Buyer beware – that’s just the start. You’ll be paying $500+ in hidden fees. A $50 yard sign will be sold you to for $135. Some brokers will charge you hidden fees at closing, but you’ll only find out about these when you’re ready to close. That’s way too late to do anything about it
7 Best Flat Fee MLS Services in California
- No hidden fees to Houzeo or the listing agent
- Maximum MLS exposure
- 100% automated process on the web and the new Houzeo mobile app
- Quick listing – Listed within 8 business hours with Houzeo Concierge
- Counteroffer feature
- Affordable full-service packages
Houzeo is the “Most Advanced For Sale By Owner Website“. Here’s why:
- No Hidden Fees: Houzeo transparently discloses its Flat Fee MLS California pricing on its pricing page. You’ll pay no additional fees to the listing agent or to Houzeo
- Maximum Exposure: An MLS listing via Houzeo gets syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, and a hundred more! Since Houzeo provides maximum exposure on your listing.
- Reach Local Agents & Offer them a Commission: Over 90% of buyers are represented by agents. This means almost all inquiries to your property will be from buyers represented by agents. Via Houzeo, you can offer a fair commission to the buyer’s agent and invite top dollar offers for your property.
- Fast Listing & Changes: Complete your listing in an hour or less, all online. With Houzeo Concierge, you’ll be listed in 8 business hours if all your documents are in order!
- Online Offers – On the Web or Houzeo Mobile App: Review & compare offers online on the web or the mobile app. You can even counter an offer.
- Low Prices: Most For Sale By Owner websites like Zillow and Trulia aren’t really free. They provide your leads to local agents, who’ll call and cost you time. Houzeo doesn’t sell your leads. All buyers via Houzeo.com are routed directly to you. Check out our pricing for California Flat Fee MLS.
Congress Realty is a great option with stellar reviews. The broker oversees the operations himself, and the support team is responsive. You will notice several options that are included in Houzeo.com being charged for here. In addition, the site doesn’t have a strong search option for buyers. But all in all, like Houzeo, Congress stands head and shoulders above most competitors.
Yager Realty has multiple packages to offer that can serve all your needs. Their basic listing starts from $399 and their highest listing package is 0.75% commission. Their basic package only allows you to upload 15 photos so we’ve ignored it. Remember, photos sell homes.
Also, their plans doesn’t offer any forms, contracts or disclosure documents and if you cancel their package within 60 days, you have shell out $125 as a cancellation fee.
If you want to go with a For Sale by Owner way but find yourself in need of extra guidance from a listing agent then HomeListers is the Flat Fee MLS service in California that you should go with. Their package is pegged at $1,295 with no hidden fees!
Some cons of working with HomeListers are:
- They only operate in 10 Southern Californian markets
- Agent support will be limited given this is a Flat Fee MLS plan
MLS Town is a hybrid Flat Fee realtor in California that offers three Flat Fee MLS packages and one commission-based package for listing your property.
Their Flat Fee packages start with a basic package of $95 and go up to their premium plus package of $895. Their full-service listing broker package comes at 1% commission at the time of closing. That’s why MLS Town is perfect for budget-conscious sellers who only want a basic listing package. Their basic package allows you to upload eight photos whereas other companies who offer listing packages at less than $100 allow less than five photos.
Some disadvantages of working with MLS Town is that they are super-local, they are only available in Northern California and offer only a 3-month listing term. To list your property for more time, you will have to upgrade to their annual 12-month listing plan. Also, with a basic plan, you can’ edit your listing or add open houses.
Also, if you want any listing support then you only get 30 minutes of free listing support after that you will have to pay $75/30 mins for listing support and $75 for offer negotiation.
Because you got lured in with the cheap listing.
To sell a home in California, you at least need to fill out some basic disclosures. Homecoin will reel you in with a $95 listing, but you’ll have to pay $$$ for those disclosures
Homecoin’s biggest attraction is the $95 listing. But when you sign up, you’re faced with a very clunky online dashboard which makes listing your home a chore that can take hours.
Additionally, to access basic disclosures or a yard sign, etc., you’ll be paying significant $$$ raising your total cost to much above other options.
- Upload up to 20 photos even with their basic package
- If you decide to list with a full-service Realtor, you’ll get double your listing fee back if you sell with an agent referred to you by Flat Fee Guru.
If you are a strong believer in photos make the most difference when a buyer decides whether to buy your house or not, then Flat Fee Guru is the best Flat Fee MLS service you can get in California.
Their packages range from $595 to $3,995 and their basic package allows you to upload up to 20 photos of your property while listing. A lot of other companies, in the same range, allow only up to 10 photos. If you decide to list with a full-service Realtor, you’ll get double your listing fee back if you sell with an agent referred to you by Flat Fee Guru.
The con that most of the sellers noted when buying their package was the sellers were made to pay extra if their property space exceeded 3,000 sq. ft.
California is a hot market currently and homes are moving nearly 46% faster in 2021 than in 2020 and in March, the average time on the market was only 8 days!
And not just that, houses are selling quickly with minimal price reduction. The statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 102.2 percent in March 2021. If it’s above 100%, the home sold for more than the list price. If it’s less than 100%, the home sold for less than the list price.
On an average, you can expect to pay $200-$400 for a Flat Fee MLS listing service in California, but that’s only an average price. On the lower side, you can buy an MLS listing package for $100 and on the higher side, a comprehensive MLS listing service package can cost as much as $1,300.
Each package comes with multitude of features like enabling more photographs, a-la-carte services and some even offer help with paperwork. You can buy as per your requirements.
Houzeo is far and away the #1 Flat Fee MLS site in California. Congress Realty and Yager realty are a distant #2 and #3.
Flat Fee MLS is legal all over the United States, including in California. In fact, the US DOJ just updated their bulletin highlighting the benefits of Flat Fee MLS for For Sale By Owner home sellers.
Typical stipulated time to list is 2 business days after you’ve completed all your tasks accurately and the broker doesn’t have any questions for you. But for most MLS’ in California, your listing can be up in 4 to 8 business hours (Central Time). To avail of this expedited listing, email email@example.com with the subject line “Please Expedite My Listing: “. Do this only after you’ve complete all the tasks your broker has assigned to you. Make sure all sellers have signed the required documents. Note that listings can be expedited in most major MLS’ but not all MLS’ are covered under this policy. Call us at (844) 448-0047 if you have questions about whether your MLS is covered.