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 (43)

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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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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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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Nothing beats flat-fee mls listings. Same great MLS, one-low price!
  • June 16 2014
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  • April 05 2014
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  • 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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"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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  • 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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Profile picture for usat522
This year (2013) we listed our Ballwin, MO home using a $450 flat fee broker.  The fee got us an MLS listing, a Supra lock box, a comparative market analysis, all offers being filtered through the broker, professional  advice and assistance with forms.  Our MLS agreement included a 2.7% commission to the buyer's agent.
This worked very successfully for us. Prior to listing, we had hired an independent consultant who assisted us with staging the home.  That was money really well spent and key to employing the minimal services of a flat fee broker.
At the end of the day, we bettered ourselves by about $10,000 using this strategy.

On the other hand, last year (2012) we listed our rural MO lake home with a full service realtor.  We got great results and a higher price that more than offset the listing agent's commission.

Bottom line:  Flat fee broker worked great in an area and at a time when well maintained and well presented homes were selling quickly.  Full service broker paid for itself in rural lake community where real estate activity was more subdued.  
  • November 08 2013
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Profile picture for mikenish
One thing to be careful of is Market Time is not your friend if the home is on the market for a long period of time home buyers tend to think there is something wrong with it or it is undesireable. This can cost you a bunch of money. I am not sure how it is where you live, but in our local mls all the agents have to do is hit a history button and it shows all the previous market information. So sometimes by trying to save money first can cost you alot when your home finally sells. My recommendation would be to interview full commissioned agents and agents that offer low commission opportunities. See what the difference is marketing wise then make your decision. If one saves you money in commission but gets you a much lower sales price their might not be a savings. If you are in a sellers market it may not matter, but I would definitely interview both styles and consider how much you will net.

Hope this helps, Mike
  • October 29 2013
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Lauralei Properties, llc will list your St. Louis home on the mls for $195 - we help you with the whole process... from list to close  [Content removed by Zillow Moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy]
  • October 29 2013
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Companies like Help-U-Sell charge you a percentage of your sale price as a fee.  Broker owned and operated sites like the ones at [Multiple hotlinks removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for information.]
  • August 26 2013
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  • August 23 2013
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Hi Erica,

I am with Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty in Fremont/Pleasanton

Help-U-Sell Brokers and agents are fully licensed professionals, members of their local Board of Realtors and of the National Association of Realtors®, work with both Buyers and Sellers, and provide a full range of real estate services. Help-U-Sell® Real Estate differs from traditional brokers, not in the scope of services provided, but in the dollar amount that you pay for those services. Our brokers charge a set fee for their services, as opposed to the traditional 6 percent commission, which, in turn, helps you to retain a greater amount of equity while still receiving all the real estate services you expect. For example if your home sells for $400,000, we charge as little as $5950 which is a savings of more than $18,000 when compared to the traditional broker.

Where is your property located? If you are local, I would love to help you.

Meena Gujral
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  • August 19 2013
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What is a 3rd party referral site, and why you would NOT want to do business with one of these companies?


These are companies, that collect money (many times illegally), take a cut and refer you to a broker in your state. The main problem for you as a customer, you do not get to ask questions or interview the broker before you pay. These referral companies are not interested in finding the best broker to serve you, they are ONLY interested in finding the cheapest broker to maximize their profit. They constantly search for different brokers that work cheap. In fact, they have an open bidding process to find the cheapest brokers and often the worst brokers to work with. These brokers, they refer you to, often provide terrible customer service and because they work so cheap will try to up-sell you on many vital services.
Many of these 3rd party referral sites are under investigation by the Texas Real Commission due to their illegal practice of real estate.




How do you know you are dealing with one of these 3rd party referral sites?

It's real simple, you should always call a company before you list or research who your listing broker will be. When you call, simply ask, are you my listing broker or will you be referring me out to some other broker? We could give you a list of these "For Sale By Owner" companies, but it's best if you do your own research.
Legitimate real estate companies are required to put the listing broker on their website. It is important, you know before paying, who is your listing broker.


  • August 18 2013
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Flat Fee MLS is simply the way to go. There are many online companies  ddoing this. Most are 3rd party referral companies like owners.com, fsbo.com, forsalebyowner.com & even flatfeemls.com. It's always best to go direct though. The largest DIRECT LISTING COMPANY is [Removed by Zillow Moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy.] Each state is covered by the actual broker who inputs and oversees their listings.
  • August 18 2013
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I used a company called Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty in the past when I sold my house in Fremont Ca. I was very pleased with their services. It isa full-service low set-fee company and their licensed professionals managed the entire home sale process from start to finish, including negotiating a good price for me, holding open houses, internet marketing including most websites, virtual tours, you tube videos, craigslist, and providing advice. They returned our calls and were there with us throughout the transaction. I was able to save thousands of dollars.
  • February 24 2012
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Profile picture for lgmargewy
Flat fee services are a real hot button with traditional agents.  However, I have sold several homes through a flat fee agent.  I always offered 3% to buyers agents because I know how much work they can end up doing for their clients including days of driving them around.  You have to be prepared to act as a professional, however.  It was about $300 to get into the mls.  I liked that I had complete control over who was in my house and when.  Often, the hardest part of selling a house is maintaining, cleaning and accommodating showings- which sellers have to do anyhow.  And while it took some effort, I swear that I marketed my home better than 95% of agents out there would have- my house had great photos, impeccable mls data, wonderful description, etc.  I was friendly, professional and I did not hover when they were viewing my home.  My husband and I used a real estate attorney on an hourly basis when needed.  Also, [removed by moderator] will completely evaluate how your home appears on all of the important web sites (to catch any mistakes and give suggestions) for $189.  So, when all was said and done, aside from paying the buyer's agent half of a regular commission, our expenses were around $1000. 
  • February 08 2012
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