Profile picture for Erica_K_N

Flat fee mls service recommendations

I am going to attempt to sell my home myself prior to enlisting the help of an agent.  Does anyone have any recommendations regarding Flat Fee Services or experiences they can share regarding selling a home themselves?  Thanks!
  • August 22 2011 - Saint Charles
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (53)

Profile picture for JayDonosky
I know I posted something earlier, but I have been very pleased with Congress Realty.  They respond very fast.  We sold our home with a couple of offers.  $299.  Every time I emailed I got a response from Andrew within an hour or so, all the changes to the MLS were done quickly.  I would use again.
  • June 05
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Check BBB before picking a flat fee service. There are many that have a bad rating. I recommend a service called [Promotion removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for more information.]
  • June 05
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Profile picture for JayDonosky
CongressRealty.com has been exceptional.  Listed in less than 6 hours and responsive to questions and changes within hours.  Easy to use system.
  • April 21
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
"But I hope the moderators DON'T delete the phone number or website reference anyway" -

Really sad... the moderators not only deleted Jon Jones Gioffre 's post, but also deleted his entire profile....

I don't even think he had any clue he violated the "good neighbor policy" through "self promotion".
  • April 21
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Even more interesting....  that San Diego address given for the license registration in New York for Paul V  Gioffry is the address of John M Gioffry, age 65+.  Apparently Paul's dad.
  • April 21
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
For curiosity, I looked up Paul's Real Estate License in New York.  He is a licensed Broker, and his license is current, but his address and business address is in San Diego, California.

No wonder he only offers a flat fee MLS listing service!

Apparently he really did move from Long Beach New York to San Diego...  It is possible that his ICANN domain name registrations have outdated info; but it does indicate he updated the info in 2012.  Of course, legally, he is supposed to update it every year, if there are any changes.
  • April 21
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
By the way, there also doesn't appear to be an agent Jon Jones Gioffre in New York or Connecticut either; but with the same last name as the phone number and website being promoted....  it appears likely to be a pseudonym, or a relative.  In either case, it is likely "self promotion" in violation of Zillow's "good neighbor policy".

But I hope the moderators DON'T delete the phone number or website reference anyway, as one can't make good decisions about companies if they don't even know what is being referred to and can't look them up.
  • April 21
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Interesting... that 800 phone number appears to belong to Paul Gioffre, who is a Real Estate Agent in Long Beach New York.  He has multiple websites, started in 2011.  He has an address in San Diego California Also, and claims to be a licensed Real Estate Broker in California, but his name and company name does not show up in a DRE look-up.

http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp

(Patricia Gioffre and Dennis Gioffre do though, but appear to be unrelated to each other and to Paul).

Paul claims his broker business includes agents in California, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts; but it appears he only serves Long Island New York; and possibly Connecticut, but I didn't look up his licenses there yet.

One of his website indicates flat fee MLS listing services in all 50 states, but you click on any of most of the states where it is supposed to give a directory of agents, and it doesn't indicate any agents, but a lot of unrelated articles.  Nor can one find the flat fee offered listed on most of those websites.

Anyway, I'm not adding a flat fee MLS website that pretends to be national that isn't to the comparison table, nor would I do business with a company that claims to be a licensed broker in California that isn't.

The San Diego address doesn't even appear to be correct; it appears to be a different address in San Diego.  The White Pages indicate he moved from Long Beach New York to San Diego California, but it appears that the San Diego address may be his in-laws' apartment.
  • April 21
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
A review of the major National FSBO websites, for flat fee MLS listing prices:

website6
month
   12
   month
   delux
12
   min
avg
   max
avg
buyself.com


$395$495
byowner.com$299



byownerMLS.com$299



fizber.com$295



forsalebyowner.com


$81$809
forsale-byowner.com
$299$695

FSBO.com$350



homesbyowner.com?



mls2u.com?



mls4owners.com$199$595$895

mlsmyhome.com$199$249


owners.com$395



real-estate-byowner.com$495



virtualFSBO.com


$299$399

--------------
You can't get "featured status" on Zillow listings, unless your "partnering broker" that the FSBO website "middle man" arranges for you just happens to be a gold or platinum premier agent on Zillow. Even then, The gold and Platinum premier agents only get up to 10 "featured" listings at a time.

(Numbers indicated are as shown on their websites on 4/21/14)

Zillow does not offer to match you up with local broker that offers flat fee MLS service. You also can call the local licensed brokers direct and ask them if they offer a flat fee MLS service and what their fee would be. (Realtors with larger franchises typically don't offer such services; it tends to be the smaller broker/agent shops).

No "recommendation" just for info and to assist with your "research".
  • April 18
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Profile picture for nickmortz
 If you want to save some serious money and you are an organized person and don't have any issue doing a little work, taking some photos, writing descriptions, entering information etc...websitedeletedbyZillowmoderator.com is for you. We listed our house with websitedeletedbyZillowmoderator.com on a Monday and on Wednesday the house was in contract. One of the best things about working with websitedeletedbyZillowmoderator.com is overtime I called them, they answered the phone. I would highly recommend working with this company!
  • April 18
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Profile picture for jlrobbins61

Are there any flat fee brokers in Springfield, Mo?

  • February 24
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Haha user0215454455's comment was removed, but their logo is for [deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • November 02 2014
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flat fee mls can work great - my tip would be to check local companies first - national brokers all have to have a local broker actually put the property in the mls - you will get more personalized service and generally a better price - i am a flat fee broker in st. louis and occasionally work with the national companies - the clients that got my service through the national company all state that they wished they had found me first :)
  • October 20 2014
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I used [deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines] to list on the Long Island MLS.  I was happy with the results I priced it low to begin with so everyone was calling and it wasn't that bad.  If you home sells itself like my house did then you don't reall need a Realtor.  This is the best one in Long Island from what I've heard.

Tracey Oh
  • October 06 2014
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One thing I am sure of is that not all flat-fee MLS listings are equal. After paying $495 to get the 12-month MLS and legal docs from the site Zillow seems to recommend, I eventually gave up. What didn't meet my expectations?

* Having to write as many as 10 emails to get a single problem corrected in the MLS listing
* Never getting a timely acknowledgement of changes requested
* Having to play "20 questions" to figure out what can be put in the MLS listing (and not being able to use the supplemental description, limited to 510 characters)
and, I think, most importantly:
* Having no control over how range pricing appeared on other websites

The other problem is that, at least here in San Diego County, many regular agents will actually pass over FSBO listings regardless of buyer's agent commission (we were offering 2.5%) Some, like Rita Walker, may rightly be afraid of a seller who just doesn't understand that the buyer's agent does NOT work for the seller. I had one agent who would not show the house unless I signed an agreement to assign a 4% dual agency commission to her. And mostly, like Nicholas Ribeiro, I am just a "sales lead" to agents who want to hardsell me on why I cannot possibly sell my home without a full service agent.

To me, the language in real estate contracts is relatively straightforward and the pitfalls for seller liability, while not all obvious, are definitely avoidable. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

I always took the time to talk to agents even when their agenda was obvious, and the ones I was most likely to hire later were the ones who were most informative.

At this point I'm saying goodbye to the money I wasted on Zillow's affiliate site for flat-fee MLS and hiring an agent, but if I was going to do it over again I'd interview flat-fee and discount brokers in my area like LystHouse. I would happily pay quite a bit more to get a listing that works.
  • October 01 2014
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Profile picture for user0784480
This is a totally useless string. All of the actual recommendations are removed by Zillow. Not helpful at all.
  • September 30 2014
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Profile picture for LystHouse

I am a flat fee broker in Texas and agree with most of the other comments on here.  I can't stress enough, however, how important it is to find a broker who understands your market, has the ability to negotiate, and that can leverage technology to help market and communicate with you and your buyers. 


1. Understanding your market desirability.

You need a broker who can price your home correctly.  We have heard all from sellers who were able to sell their homes quickly, but only did so because they were WAY lower than the market would bear, and took the first few offers they got.  On the other side, you don't want to price yourself out of the market.  Pricing is critical to desirability.

 

2.  The Need to Negotiate and counter.  

Its inevitable, and 88% of people are apprehensive about negotiations. An agent sitting on the other side of the table, with many years under their belt, can work the deal to your disadvantage.  A good broker is essential to making sure your not giving up thousands of dollars, or even worse, rights to something you never intended on giving up.

 

3.  Technology as the Difference Maker. 

Don't even waste your time with a flat free broker who is not utilizing the latest in technology - and that doesn't mean they have a website.  You want a broker who is able to navigate the technology available with ease so that your home is on the market quicker, in more places, and sells faster and at the highest price possible.  This is the BEST way to maximize and retain your equity.  Some companies are leveraging technology to offer amazing service at a very reasonable cost.  We have actually closed deals with a digital signature on a phone during a showing. That's the kind of technology you want working for you.

In the end, your main goal is to get on the MLS, get the tools you need, either in one package or a la carte, and sell your home as quick as possible with no issues. 

Review as many websites and third parties as possible, and then talk with your short list of broker options to find the one that's right for you.

Hope this helps.

  • August 30 2014
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Profile picture for United Team
In some cases Flat Fee is always a good option or a Menu of Listing Services is another alternative.  For example choose what services your interested in that will suit your current circumstances and those would be the fees that are accessed! Good Luck...

Janice Nolan
  • August 27 2014
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It can save you money and time.
  • July 12 2014
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Profile picture for user0215454455
Nothing beats flat-fee mls listings. Same great MLS, one-low price!
  • June 16 2014
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[Spam deleted by Zillow moderator.]
  • April 05 2014
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[Self promotion deleted by Zillow moderator. See our Good Neighbor Policy.]
  • March 10 2014
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I am a flat fee broker in Texas and have been an agent with Re-Max and Prudential as well. What I find interesting, is how little most consumers know about MLS listing and selling a home.

The bottom line is this, there are 3 main keys to selling a home:
#1 - Price
#2 - Home staging
#3 - Listing on the REALTOR® MLS

Flat Fee listing is the BEST way to sell a home, period!

Why is this?
All agents list on the same MLS and the only thing a good agent can do is educate consumers as to the 3 keys to selling above. The number one key to selling is the price and if you can lower your selling expenses, you increase the probability of selling. Selling a home is really no different than selling anything else. 

What you are looking for in a flat fee broker, is one that offers all the services, including contract help with negotiating. This is not rocket science, but most sellers need help with this.

All you have to do to find a good Flat Fee broker in your area is call and ask a few questions. You want to talk with the actual broker listing your home. Good flat fee brokers cost about $500. This is the point to where they can be profitable. 


  • January 03 2014
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[Website removed by Zillow moderator.]Com. Shane, you design nice websites. Promoting them is inappropriate here.
  • January 02 2014
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
"Let me try that again, all I'm trying to do is recommend as you're requesting."

Based on your track record on Zillow's forums, I'd suggest you try reading Zillow's policy for posting (especially Zillow's definition of "spam"), which you can do here, or using the "Good Neighbor Policy" link shown just to the right of the "Submit" and "Cancel" buttons.

Best of luck, but just be aware that any attempt to promote the website, direct traffic to the website, or even suggest it as a solution to someone's question, is likely to be viewed as "spam" by Zillow's moderators and "moderated"...yet again.
  • January 02 2014
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  • January 02 2014
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  • December 28 2013
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  • December 28 2013
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[Spam deleted by Zillow moderator. See our Good Neighbor Policy for information.]

  • December 13 2013
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If you subscribe (which i do) to the theory that getting into the MLS is what is important after which you play the high statistical odds that another firm will sell the listing, then flat fee is the way to go.  Pick one (like me) that is Better Business Bureau A+ rated, is responsive, forwards all your leads to you and forwards all your phone calls to you.
  • November 18 2013
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