MLS is the most powerful tool in U.S. real estate. Homes listed on the MLS sold faster and for 17% more than off-MLS homes, according to a Bright MLS study.
So, whether you are selling a single-family home in Los Angeles or a townhouse in San Francisco, you need to be on the California MLS to get top dollar for your property.
Only Realtors have access to the MLS. And to list you, they will charge a 3% listing agent commission. You will also have to pay the buyer agent another 2.5% to 3% in commission. Gosh… That’s thousands of dollars of your home equity.
But it’s 2023. Some of the best Flat Fee MLS California services and For Sale By Owner websites will get you listed on the local MLS within 24 to 48 hours, and for just a few hundred dollars. You get the savings and you retain full control of your sale!
⚡ 4 Powerful FSBO Tips
- List on MLS in California: MLS is the most powerful tool for home sellers. It gives you maximum exposure to home buyers and buyer agents. More exposure means more competition and a higher sale price for you.
- Price Your Home Competitively: Pricing your home right is probably the single most important factor in selling your California home fast. Pricing too high means more days on market. Pricing low means multiple offers and a bidding war.
- Get Professional Photos: 90% of home buyers search for homes online. You are competing for clicks on Zillow and Houzeo. Get pro photos done – more clicks online means more showings and more offers!
- Offer a Competitive Buyer Agent Commission: We hate commissions. But you can make buyer agents work for you by paying them a commission. Check with local realtors what a competitive commission is in your area.
What is MLS in Real Estate?
MLS or the Multiple Listing System is a local database real estate agents use to list properties for sale. Only licensed real estate agents have access to the MLS.
There are 35+ local MLS’ in California. You must list your property only on your local California MLS. Only then the local buyer agents will be able to find your listing.
⚡ Flat Fee MLS California: Houzeo automatically assigns you the right local MLS for your property.
What are the Benefits of Listing on the MLS in CA?
There are 5 key benefits of being on the MLS.
- Max Exposure = Higher Sale Price: MLS listings get syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, and hundreds of other websites. All that exposure means more competition for your property and a higher sale price. Listings on the MLS sold for 17% more than off-MLS listings – That’s thousands of dollars in your pocket!
- Marketing to Buyer Agents: 86% of home sales involve buyer agents who have access to the MLS. Thus, MLS is the most efficient way to market your house to buyer agents.
- Attracting More Buyer Agents: MLS’ allows you to incentivize buyer agents with a competitive commission. Given that most transactions involve a buyer agent, this will allow you to attract top-dollar for your property.
- Faster Sale: Bright MLS found that listings on the MLS sell faster than those not on the MLS. This makes sense given all the extra exposure MLS provides.
- Getting Cash Offers: Almost all California cash home buyers scour the MLS for properties. This includes iBuyers, investors, and home flippers.
Should I List on MLS with a Full-service Realtor in California?
We do not recommend listing with a full-service Realtor in California. The 3% listing agent commission a Realtor will charge you is too expensive. And the biggest benefit a California Realtor provides is access to the MLS.
You can list on your local MLS with Flat Fee MLS services. You’ll be in control of your sale, and save thousands in commission.
⭐ Houzeo Reviews: Houzeo is the only Flat Fee MLS service with 5-star ratings from thousands of home sellers!
How to Get an MLS Listing in California Without a Realtor?
Only licensed real estate agents have access to California MLS. There is no way to list on MLS without using an agent.
But you don’t have to pay thousands in commissions to get on this MLS. You can just opt for a Flat Fee MLS listing service. With a Flat Fee MLS listing, you pay a small fee instead of a full listing agent commission. It is the fastest way to get listed on the MLS and hit the California real estate market.
You can get listed faster with high-tech FSBO sites like Houzeo than with a traditional full-service Realtor. And save thousands!
⚡ Register Now: You can start your listing for FREE and pick an MLS plan only when you’re ready!
Steps to List Your Home on the MLS
- Research to discover the best Flat Fee MLS listing services near you.
- Purchase a Flat Fee MLS listing plan.
- Provide your property details.
- Attach professional photographs with your listing.
- Sign the listing agreement.
- Review the draft listing and get on the MLS.
What is a Flat Fee MLS California Listing?
Flat Fee MLS is a type of listing service that lists your home on the MLS for a small flat fee. Unlike traditional Realtors, Flat Fee MLS listing services do not charge you a hefty commission of 3%.
Flat Fee MLS listings are typically known as “entry-only” listings or Flat Rate MLS listings. The broker or the company only helps the seller list on MLS for a flat fee. If you need additional help or services, you have to pay additional charges.
Here’s how you can get listed on the MLS in 4 steps:
- Find the Best Flat Fee MLS Listing Service: Choose a Flat Fee MLS listing service to list your house on the local MLS. Several Flat Fee MLS companies are notorious for very high hidden fees. Research Flat Fee MLS listing services in California before you choose one.
- Choose a Listing Plan: Most services offer a DIY California MLS listing plan and a virtual full-service plan. In a virtual full-service plan, a licensed real estate broker provides all the assistance virtually.
- Provide Property Photos and Information: Attach good-quality pictures of your house. Opt for professional California real estate photographers. Homes photographed professionally sell 32% faster. Also, professional photos make your listing more attractive and appealing. Remember, you’re competing for clicks online.
- Sign the Listing Agreement: You will be required to sign the listing agreement and complete California’s seller disclosures. If everything is in order, the real estate broker will list your home within 24 to 48 hours!
How Much Does it Cost to List on MLS in California?
It depends on whether you’re working with a full-service or a Flat Fee MLS service like Houzeo.
A full-service agent generally charges you around 2%-3% commission. On the other hand, you can potentially save a lot by using a Flat Fee MLS listing service. Houzeo costs $349 for most home sellers.
Here’s how much a Flat Fee MLS By Owner listing costs:
- Upfront Flat Fee: This is the amount you’ll pay to get on the MLS. Typically it is between $300 and $500.
- Fees at Closing: Most Flat Fee MLS services will not charge any additional fee unless you are in a minimum service state.
- Hidden Charges: Many unscrupulous brokers will reel you in with a $99 listing. 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 may demand extra charges at closing when it would be too late to do anything.
» SAVE: Houzeo discloses all its fees upfront on the pricing page.
What are the Best Flat Fee MLS Listing Services in CA?
|Flat Fee MLS Service||Price||Additional Fees||100% Online||Offer & Showing Management||Negotiation Support||5-star Reviews||Mobile App|
|2. Congress Realty||$299||None||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|4. Brian Dombroski||$299-$999||None||✅||✅||✅||✅||❌|
|5. MLS Town||$99-$295||$300||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|7. Flat Fee Group||$449||None||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
*Varies across states
#1 Flat Fee MLS Service
Houzeo offers 4 Flat Fee MLS packages.
- Bronze Package – $329+: This package offers Houzeo listing only for 6 months with maximum photos.
- Silver Package – $399+: This includes everything that home sellers typically look for.
- Gold Package – $379+: It is Houzeo’s signature MLS package and includes all the technology Houzeo is known for Houzeo Showings, Houzeo Offers, and DigiTransact.
- Platinum – $349+: It includes the assistance of a licensed broker to help you with negotiations, disclosures, and closing.
👉 Our Take: We recommend the GOLD plan. You’ll have access to Houzeo tech, making managing showings and offer negotiations easy!
» Houzeo Reviews: Houzeo is 100% online. You can finish listing formalities in less than 60 mins.
Houzeo is America’s #1 Flat Fee MLS service because of 4 reasons:
- Max Exposure: Houzeo MLS packages give you access to the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, and 100s of other websites.
- 5-star Customer Service: Houzeo has a fully staffed customer service desk available 6 days a week. Chats and emails are open 7 days a week. This is rare in today’s world.
- 100% Online: Houzeo is high-tech. For you, this means easy listing, fast changes, online showings, and online offers. Houzeo Mobile App is also very powerful.
- No Listing Commission: In most states, you’ll be paying just a small flat fee to list on MLS. Houzeo covers 47 states + DC! And remember, all fees are disclosed upfront, so there are no Houzeo hidden fees. You get to bypass the listing agent commission!
There are no dealbreakers with Houzeo.
» Houzeo Reviews: Houzeo is rated “Excellent” with a 4.9 out of 5 star rating by 4,521 home sellers on Google Reviews and Trustpilot!
Houzeo is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars by thousands of home sellers on Google & Trustpilot.
» Houzeo Reviews: Check out how Team Houzeo has addressed all Houzeo complaints from home sellers.
Houzeo.com is California’s #1 ranked Flat Fee MLS service. Houzeo provides an unbeatable combination of max savings, 5-star customer support, and cutting-edge technology.
Houzeo’s Bronze package is priced at $99. The Silver package is priced at $379, and the Gold at $379 + 0.5% at closing. The virtual full-service Platinum package is priced at $349 + 1% at closing.
2. Congress Realty
Most Experienced Broker
Congress Realty Offers 3 Flat Fee MLS packages and one full-service Package.
- Basic Package – $299: It includes a listing term of 6 months and 4 photos with access to all state forms & disclosures, the showing appointment tool, and up to 5 free listing changes.
- Plus Package – $399: The services offered are similar to the basic Package. You can make up to 10 free listing changes. Additionally, automated phone leads are forwarded to you.
- Premium Package – $499: You get all the services of the Plus Package with unlimited open house postings, social media featured listing, and unlimited free listing changes.
- Full-Service Package – $399+0.5% Commission: This Package comes with the assistance of an agent to help you with negotiations, contract review, and closing. They charge 0.5% at closing.
Listing Upgrades: In the cheaper plans, you have to purchase upgrades separately. We’ve summarized all upgrades below.
- Call Forwarding: $50
- Max Photos (if more than 25): $50
- Open House Advertisement: $50
- Listing Renewal: $175
- Pro Photographed Virtual Tour: $350 (could be more. If so, you will be notified)
- Congress Realty Yard Sign: $150
- eLockbox Rental: $295 (includes $125 refundable deposit)
- Combo Lockbox (basic): $50
👉 Our Take: We recommend Congress’ Premium Package. The Premium package comes with unlimited changes, so it’s worth it financially.
» Jared English Congress Realty: Jared English and Congress Realty have an excellent rating on Houzeo.com.
Congress Realty is an excellent Flat Fee MLS option for sellers looking to sell their homes fast.
- Very Experienced & Highly Rated Broker: There are very few brokers as capable as Jared Andrew English. If you are buying or selling, Andrew provides excellent representation and works hard for your interests.
- Excellent Customer Service: Andrew and his team at Congress Realty are fast and reachable.
In our research, we found no red flags with Congress Realty. Jared Andrew English has a stellar reputation within the broker community.
Congress Realty however has a significant number of upgrades. They can add up quick, so if you’re opting for a cheaper plan we recommend you budget for these.
» Congress Realty Reviews: Check out what Houzeo home sellers have to say about working with Congress Realty.
Congress Realty has an excellent rating of 4.9 out of 5 from 127 reviews on Houzeo.com.
Congress Realty is our #2 ranked Flat Fee MLS service in California. What sets Congress Realty apart is its Managing Broker – Jared Andrew English.
Jared Andrew English is an experienced Flat Fee MLS broker and has represented thousands of home sellers. Congress Realty covers all major MLS’ in California.
Average Tech, Average Service
Beycome Brokerage Realty LLC offers three Flat Fee MLS listing packages for homeowners:
- Basic Package – $99: This package will get you listed on the MLS with unlimited changes to your listing. This package is available in all the 10 states they cover.
- Enhanced Package – $399: You get a yard sign, a featured listing on Beycome’s website, flyers, brochures, and one key lockbox. You can also add a virtual tour video to your listing. This package is available only in 8 states.
- Concierge Service – $599 + 1% Commission: This is essentially a virtual full-service package that includes assistance till closing. They charge 1% of the sale price at closing with this package. This package is available only in 6 states.
👉 Our Take: Beycome’s prices are reasonable, and their technology is useful. We recommend their Enhanced Package priced at $399.
Beycome offers good service in the selected states they are available in:
- Unrestricted Revisions and Edits: You can make unlimited changes in description, photos, or price adaptions in your listing. You can also easily switch to a full-service package anytime.
- Expert Assistance, if Needed: You can get expert assistance on all 7 days of the week in English and Spanish.
In our research, we came across some deal breakers with Beycome.
- You’ll Be Constantly Upsold the Title Service: Beycome also owns a title company, which will be pitched to you repeatedly.
- Limited Coverage: Beycome is only available in 10 states.
- Average Customer Reviews: Most customers had to manage logistics, price negotiation showings, and closing all by themselves. Customers also complained about the lack of customer support and the delay in resolving issues.
- Average Technology: Beycome technology helps you with listing your home on the MLS. Leads, inspections, appraisals, etc. are managed offline so the process can be cumbersome.
- Only for Experienced Sellers: You need to have a good handle on buying and selling real estate, including closing costs and seller disclosures.
Beycome has 4.5 out of 5 stars (338 total reviews) on popular review sites like Google Reviews.
» Beycome Reviews: Know why it is not the best way to sell with Beycome in 2023.
Beycome’s MLS listing packages are reasonably priced and offer legal forms, seller disclosures, an Open House scheduler, and customer support. We recommend the $399 Enhanced Package for FSBO home sellers.
Beycome’s technology is limited and won’t help you with the scheduling and review of home inspections, appraisals, and closings. Separately, you’ll have to be very diligent and manage leads manually outside the platform too.
Best Flat Fee MLS Listing Services Near Me
Local California Flat Fee MLS listing services will provide packages for listing your home on the local MLS for a flat fee.
- Flat Fee MLS Los Angeles: Flat Fee MLS Los Angeles listing companies are low on tech. The fixed fee MLS rate in Phoenix ranges between $299 to $500.
- Flat Fee MLS Bakersfield: All Flat Fee MLS Bakersfield listing companies give your home the most exposure on the local MLS. These fixed-rate services range from $95 – $500 in Bakersfield.
- Flat Fee MLS San Jose: Flat fee MLS San Jose listing companies list your property on the local MLS listing to provide ultimate marketing exposure. The fixed fee MLS rate in San Jose ranges between $95 to $999.
- Flat Fee MLS San Diego: San Diego Flat Fee MLS listing providers will help you maximize your property’s exposure. They also provide a lot of a la carte options. The price of the flat rate services ranges from $99 to $999.
My Responsibilities with a CA Flat Fee MLS Listing Service
With a Flat Fee MLS “only” listing, you are essentially your own agent. From showings to negotiations, you control everything. Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth listing process with a Flat Fee MLS company:
- Provide Accurate Information: While listing your property yourself, be sure to provide accurate information.
- Use Own Photos: Make sure you own the copyright for the photos you upload. You can either click the photos yourself or hire a professional real estate photographer.
- Ensure MLS Listing Status is Updated Promptly: Mark your listing as “Sale Pending” within 24 hours (or sooner) after accepting an offer. Provide executed documents, promptly. MLS fines can absolutely ruin your day.
- Ensure “Active” Listings are Available for Showings: If a listing is “Active” on the MLS, make sure it’s available for showing. When you go live on the MLS, ensure you’re ready to show your property.
How to Get on MLS for Free?
You can list on the MLS without a full-service agent, but it is never going to be free.
Home sellers can list on the For Sale By Owner websites that provide nationwide coverage for free. But the exposure offered will not be as efficient as MLS. Because homes listed on the MLS sell faster and for 17% more.
This is where Houzeo can help!
Houzeo offers affordable MLS listing services. Your listing gets syndicated to 100+ real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and others. This guarantees maximum exposure.
How Long Does it Take to List a House on California MLS?
It takes about 2 days to make an MLS listing live after submitting all the paperwork and listing contract.
Most California Flat Fee MLS services forward the order to local real estate brokers. The broker then sends you the paperwork that you have to complete manually. Your listing goes live within 2 days of submission.
Houzeo instantly assigns you the right paperwork based on your location and region. And it is all digital. After you have submitted all the documents, your California home will be listed within 24 hours, in most cases even sooner!
How Does a Flat Fee MLS California Listing Save You Money?
Traditional listing agents charge about 3% listing commission. Flat Fee MLS California listing services charge you a flat fee of about $300 to $500, saving you thousands in commission.
You only have to pay the buyer agent commission if you sell to a represented buyer. You keep the entire sale amount if you find an unrepresented buyer.
86% of buyers are represented by an agent. We recommend you offer a competitive buyer agent commission to get top dollar for your property.
|Listing Agent Commission||3%||$349 flat fee|
|Buyer’s Agent Commission||2.5% – 3%||0-3%|
|Total Commission||5.5% – 6%||2.5%*|
Apart from real estate agents in California and Flat Fee MLS companies, here are the other ways to list your home:
- Take the FSBO Route: In an FSBO sale, you won’t be marketing your property in traditional ways available with Realtors. Instead, you will DIY your marketing strategy using for sale by owner yard signs and For Sale By Owner websites. The best FSBO sites in California are Craigslist, Zillow, and ForSaleByOwner.com.
- Opt for a Discount Real Estate Broker: Work with a California discount real estate broker if you want to list on the MLS without paying a 3% commission. Along with an MLS listing, discount brokers offer all services offered by traditional brokers, but for discounted rates. Some discount brokers worth mentioning are Homie and Houwzer.
Getting on the MLS is the best way to market your house to buyer agents. Houses listed on the MLS sell faster and for more. Only licensed real estate agents can get you on the MLS but they charge you a 3% agent commission.
List with Flat Fee real estate companies like Houzeo to bypass the hefty listing commission.
With Houzeo you get:
- An MLS listing within 48 hours
- Maximum exposure
- 5-star customer support team to assist you
All of this and more, just for a small flat fee of $349.
Eager to Know How Houzeo Works?
We’ve got you covered. Check out the following video to understand how Houzeo works and why it is one of the best For Sale By Owner websites in the U.S.
What is Houzeo?
An overview of what the platform is all about
» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why the platform is the best in America’s competitive housing market.
FAQs on How to List on MLS Without a Realtor in California
1. Can a private seller list on California MLS
Only licensed real estate agents can list on California MLS. However, private sellers can work with a Flat Fee service to get on the MLS without paying the 3% listing agent commissions. Check out our rankings for the top Flat Fee MLS services that will save thousands in commissions and get you on the MLS within 48 hours.
2. What does it cost to list on California MLS?
It depends on whom you are working with. Traditional Realtors charge 2.5% to 3% commission to list a house on the local MLS. On the other hand, a low-commission broker will charge you around 2% commission for an MLS listing. The best option would be to work with a Flat Fee MLS California company. They will get you listed for $300 to $400. Check out Houzeo's Flat Fee MLS plans that will save thousands in commissions.
3. Can anyone list a house on California MLS?
Only licensed real estate agents can list houses on the California MLS. As a For Sale By Owner seller, you can work with Flat Fee services that offer entry-only listings. Unlike traditional realtors, they do not charge a 3% commission. Check out the best Flat Fee services near you.
4. When do MLS listings go live?
Depending on the agent or the listing service you work with, it can take up to 2 business days to make your listing live. With Houzeo’s fast listing service, you can get listed within a few hours. Discover how Houzeo works.
5. Is listing on California MLS worth it?
Yes, listing on the California MLS is completely worth it. Your listing gets syndicated to various local California real estate websites which guarantee maximum exposure and more offers for your home. As per a study, homes listed on the MLS sell for 25% more than the asking price. Check out our in-depth research on the benefits of an MLS listing.