Flat Fee Listing is the practice in the real estate industry where a seller enters into a listing agreement with a real estate broker who accepts a flat fee rather than a percentage of the sale price for the listing side of the transaction. The buyer's broker is still typically offered a percentage though that could be a flat fee as well. A discount flat fee MLS brokerage typically unbundles the services a traditional real estate brokerage offers and list the property for sale in the local multiple listing service (MLS) a la carte without requiring the seller to use its services for valuation assistance, negotiating, transaction management and showing accompaniment. Flat Fee brokers are real estate brokers, just like the national brand names, but offer discounted or unbundled services. Most flat fee brokers do offer full service brokerage services.
In the by owner MLS®, the listing agreement between the Vermont real estate broker and the property owner typically requires the broker to enter the property into the MLS and provide other contracted services, with the broker acting as what the traditional industry has coined a "limited service broker". However, the flat fee industry prefers the term a la carte broker because the services are not limited. Instead freedom of choice is expanded to allow sellers to pick from a menu of services.
Within the non-traditional real estate services market, there are multiple programs offered to sellers that share the common objective of saving the consumer money by reducing the overall expense of selling real estate. A "non-traditional service" does not automatically entail "limited service". For instance, some full-service brokers list properties under a full-service agreement but charge a "flat rate" that is not a percentage of the sales price.
For Sale By Owner Vermont MLS FOR SALE BY OWNER (Multiple Listing Service) is not different from traditional real estate brokerage services. Because the MLS requires a listing agreement between a real estate broker and property owner, the rapid explosion of discount flat fee service providers has created a gap in the States developing laws governing flat fee services provided by real estate broker.
The main differences flat fee Multiple Listing Service and traditional services, flat fee allows the seller to sell as a for sale by owner in and not pay a commission. With traditional commissioned real estate agents, if you sell your own property, you will own the agent a high commission. Flat fee listing allows the customer to sell as a FSBO and with an agent, having the best of both worlds.
You are not a FOR SALE BY OWNER on the MLS, you are listed with an agent but still have the option to sell your own property without paying a buyer agent commission. Your listing agent is a discount real estate broker. Flat Rate or Flat Fee MLS listing services have been around for years but are now fast becoming more popular now that selling your property is all about just getting on the internet in front of the buyers.
The Multiple listing service, also known as the MLS, is a portal that real estate brokers can access to list properties, view local real estate data, and interact with other brokers. Most people recognize the MLS as the database that all realtors use to post homes for sale. The MLS can only be accessed by local licensed realtors, who pay a membership fee. There are over 700 MLS’s in the country and each multiple listing services is geographically based. Real estate listings should only be posted on the local MLS. Realtor.com acts as a nationwide collection of all properties listed on the 700 MLS’ around the country. The only way to get your home listed on the MLS is through a licensed broker who is a member of your local MLS.
Many home sellers are unaware that they can get their home listed on the MLS without paying 4-6% commission to an agent. Some home seller don’t think they can get their FSBO listing on the MLS because they do not want to sign a listing agreement with an agent. However, FSBO’s can successfully list and sell their for sale by owner listing on the MLS. A growing trend in the United States is homeowners wanting to get their home listed on the MLS through the Flat Fee MLS service. It is a simple process that allows home sellers to get their home listed on the MLS by paying a for sale by owner friendly broker a one time, flat fee payment.
Many homeowners want the exposure the MLS provides, but they do not want to hire a realtor to sell the property for them because of the commission fees. The Flat Fee MLS product is a great option for these home sellers to get their home on the MLS without paying a full commission. This can help home sellers save thousands of dollars when selling their home. With a Flat Fee MLS offering, home sellers are able to post their property on the local MLS through this a la carte option. They can pay a few hundred dollars and enjoy the same exposure they would have if they listed with an agent, but instead of paying the listing agent a commission they pay a flat fee. If you are going to list your home on the MLS, home sellers should consider offering a commission to the buyer’s agent. Instead of paying 4-6% commission at closing the home seller will pay half of that, around 2-3% in commissions to the buyer’s agent. This is a significant savings of thousands of dollars, often tens of thousands of dollars. That is where Houzeo.com comes in.
Houzeo.com offers a competitive, low cost $295 fee for our Flat Fee MLS service. This service gets you six months on your local MLS. Additionally, your local MLS listing will share your property with Realtor.com as well as other sites that have sharing agreements with your local MLS (Zillow, Trulia, etc.).
Here’s how it works:
- When you purchase the Flat Fee MLS from Houzeo, a receipt will be sent to the email address you provided.
- You will be contacted via email by the licensed broker/brokerage who will put your listing on the MLS. The broker will send the MLS paperwork to the email address associated with your Houzeo account. Please check your junk mail, sometimes the forms end up there.
- All inquiries from the MLS are forwarded to you by the broker that post your listing on the MLS. Even though the broker put you list on the MLS, you are still in control of your listing and will be responsible to answer all questions from buyers, set up showings, negotiate the sales price, and the seller’s closing paperwork.
- Once you receive the paperwork, please fill it out and send it back to the broker along with the photos of your property. Once they receive your completed paperwork, your MLS listing will go live within 1 to 2 business days. At that point the six month MLS listing starts.
- Once it’s live on the MLS, Realtor.com will pick it up within 24 to 48 hours.
- Now your listing will receive maximum online exposure.
- You will start receiving buyer inquiries!
- Find a qualified buyer and close the deal!
Flat Fee MLS History
In the early 1990’s an agent in Florida owned a brokerage and started offering a la cart services to his clients. When home sellers purchased these a la cart services from him, he would accept a flat fee instead of a percentage of the sales price when the transaction closed. One of the most popular a la carte options was the Flat Fee MLS listing. The agent would unbundle this service and post the home for sale on the MLS without requiring the home seller to use his other services.
The reason the Flat Fee MLS listing was so popular was it offered the exposure the MLS provides while cutting out the listing side of the commission. Home sellers could now work directly with the buyer’s agent. Home seller’s still need to offer the buyer’s agent a commission. By doing this, they typically save about half of the commission. As home prices have increased over the years, this saving has become very significant to home sellers.
The Flat Fee MLS has dramatically changes the way home sellers think about selling their home. It is also a very different way of selling a home from the traditional method. Over the last 25-30 years, technology has empowered the home seller to control several aspects of the home sales process that were very difficult to manage before the internet era. As home sellers utilize technology to sell their home, they will be able to cut down costs and keep more money in their pocket. Houzeo will continue to empower home sellers to sell their home by owner and save the commission!