Does Using a Flat Fee MLS Agent Make Sense?
Every single year in the USA alone, millions of Americans sell their homes to interested buyers. Of all the Americans who sold their homes, a large majority were assisted by a real estate agent in some way. They can often make the process easier and take a lot off of the plate of a seller. Of course, this comes with a cost, but more on that later.
However, enlisting the help of an agent to handle everything isn’t the only way to sell your home. Many people decide to sell their home on their own, to save money or gain more control over the sale. While it involves more work, it also has the potential to offer you a lot of savings.
Unfortunately, a big problem many people will encounter when selling alone is marketing their home. Real estate agents have access to many valuable marketing and advertising avenues that many others do not. This can make it hard to get your home in front of those that you want to see it.
Thankfully, if a seller uses a flat-fee MLS service, they possibly can get the best of both worlds. But what exactly is a flat-fee MLS or entry only service?
What is a Flat-Fee MLS Service?
A flat-fee MLS service is when a seller enlists the help of an agent to post their home on the multiple listing service (MLS). This can get it in front of many more potential buyers and agents. As you could imagine, this can make it far easier for you to find the right buyer. This is a listing service, and the agents won’t offer you any other services (for the most part) other than listing your home.
Instead of paying a commission, as you would with a standard full-service agent, you are only responsible for paying a flat fee for the service. This varies but is generally around a few hundred dollars. As you can imagine, this is far less than the thousands you will likely pay in commission to a full-service agent after a home sale.
These flat-fee MLS services have the potential to save home sellers thousands of dollars. When you buy a flat fee MLS business plan, you can rest assured that your house for sale will be marketed and advertised well to those interested in it.
If you are selling a home for the first time with no experience to fall back on, going the flat fee route might not be the best plan of action.
What Type of Sellers Normally Use This Service?
Now that you know about the service, and how it works, what type of sellers generally use this service? While any type of seller can use this service, there are a couple that you will see use it most often.
First of all, you have the savvy and intelligent sellers that simply don’t need the full-service assistance of a standard real estate agent. They are confident they can handle it independently and would rather save money than spend it on a full-service agent.
These are often people with experience selling homes, have done a ton of research, or are close friends or family members with an agent. They will often succeed with these flat-fee MLS, and it will help them make a more significant profit. Another type of seller who will use these services is the seller, who simply wants to save money. They may not be an expert but are willing to learn and take guidance when applicable.
Success might not come as easy for them, but if they do the work and educate themselves, they can still have a positive outcome. Of course, if they don’t put in the work, they might struggle.
You may also see some who think they are in the first category but are actually in the second. These are people who overestimate their own skills and abilities and don’t want to put the time in, and they will often fail as a result. Being confident in your abilities is great, but you also need to be realistic.
So, it is critical that you understand the pros and cons of flat fee MLS before you commit to a final decision. You easily could find out that the downsides of selling with a flat fee agent far outweigh the fact you will pay a normal real estate commission with a full-service brokerage.
How Much Can You Save?
While there are no hard and fast rules about what a real estate agent charges for a commission, in most parts of the country, it is between five to seven percent of the sales price. The resource at Vocal will give you an excellent overview of what you need to think about when it comes to commission.
Going with a flat fee, MLS will be a fraction of what traditional agents charge but don’t forget you will be the one paying for the marketing and advertising. You will also want to offer a buyer’s agent fee, which is usually half of the total commission.
So the savings will not be as significant as you initially think. Will you save money if your successful – sure, but just not quite as much as most think.
Tips for Selling Your Home Without an Agent
If you use a flat-fee MLS service, many of the home-selling tasks and duties will fall to you. This can be a lot, and the work required can often be staggering in nature. While some can handle this, it can also be a struggle for others to manage. To help, we have decided to include a few tips for selling your home without an agent if you choose to go that route.
Take Great Photos
People are very visual, and as a result, make sure to have great photos alongside your listing. These photos should be clear, bright, and show off every room in your home. Be sure to clean up the house and make it look as good as possible. Remember, you might know the potential of your home, but others don’t, so ensure photos can show it off well.
Don’t forget also to include photos of the yard and in front of the home. While these can be taken on your own, hiring a photographer can often lead to great results and higher-quality images.
Use Social Media
With billions using social media, and likely a large portion of those living in your town, it is a great place to advertise a home. You can promote it on your page directly, or find a group for interested home buyers and post it there. Encourage your friends and family to share the post, so it has the most significant reach possible. You could even consider making it a sponsored post to ensure it gets in front of your target.
Choose the Right Price
Arguably the most crucial aspect of selling your home is the price. Because of this fact, you need to choose the right price while listing the home. If the price is too high, you will have trouble selling at all. But if it is too low, you might not make the type of profit you were hoping for. Do some research on what homes in your area usually sell for and price accordingly.
Also, it is essential to be realistic. You might have some bias when it comes to the quality of your home, but be sure to keep that out of the pricing equation.
Final Thoughts on Flat Fee MLS
A flat-fee MLS service can be an excellent way to save money and have full control over the home-selling process. It is used by several different sellers, and if you put the time and work in, you can certainly be successful with it and make a healthy profit.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the time or energy to do all the same things a full-service agent would, you might be better off going the traditional home selling route.
Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of how flat fee MLS works.
About the author: The above article on why home sellers would use flat fee MLS was written by Wendy Dessler. Wendy is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition