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Flat Fee Multiple Listing Service

Updated on October 2, 2012

When you opt for a flat fee MLS, you can assume that you will have to do without some of the services of a traditional estate agent. You may have to make do with showing the house to prospective customers yourself, instead of the estate agent taking on this chore. It is also highly unlikely that the agent would photograph your home for virtual tours on property sites, and also not show any interest in putting up signs on the property for sale. You can of course pay additionally for these services in addition to the flat fee.

The Advantage of MLS Listing

The multiple listing service or MLS does charge fees of about 3 percent, but in case you do sell the houses yourself, you would have saved a similar sum in commissions. One great advantage in going in for flat fee MLS is that the odds of your selling the home increase dramatically, as a large professionally trained sales team does get into the act of selling your home. When you list a property on the MLS you are saddled with the task of showing the property and answering any questions about it. The agency undertaking the listing will offer only limited services, which will not undertake such property showing. If you are from out of state, or are looking at foreclosure or short sale, you can save yourself a lot of money with list on MLS services. There are a number of companies that work on the Internet to provide such services, and it makes sense to see the track records of these websites before opting to their list on MLS service. Most MLS services are restricted to realtors, and could have a local or larger geographical area that it covers. If a realtor does arrange for a sale through the MLS service, commissions, will have to be paid to them.

Discount Realtors Can Be an Alternative

Another way to save costs on selling a house, is to look at the scenario of discount realtors. A discount realtor will offer you discounts on commissions for selling the house, but typically, they will also offer services that are not the same as the complete ones that you can expect from a full service realtor. Such a discount realtor is likely to offer you a flat fee MLS listing, and lower rates on other services. Discount realtors charge lesser sales commissions and this can translate into thousands of dollars.

Marketing Efforts a Must for Sales

Whether you sell a home, through using the services of a MLS listing or a discount realtor, the main difference comes in the marketing effort that goes into the sale. A full service realtor will have the backup of a large database of prospective customers, and can virtually start showing your home from day one. Such a realtor will also constantly advertise services and update websites that give your property more of advertising value. You are also spared the inconvenience of making appointments to show your home, all of which can be quite time consuming. Deciding on the option of flat fee MLS listing, a discount realtor or a full service estate agent, is a matter of individual choice, and depend on the particular circumstances of each seller.


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