The traditional seller’s realtor services include professional discretion on how to get the job done. The broker and its agents work to set a sale price and gauge the market. They decide which steps to take to get a quick sale at a fair price. The realtor works for a commission based on a percentage of the sale price. The commission pool rests typically in the five to eight percent range. The buy and sell sides divide the commission by negotiated agreement. Flat fee MLS is an opposite approach; the seller decides the particular set of services and pays a flat fee rather than a commission.
The Multiple Listing Service
The Multiple Listing Service is an information system that permits sharing of inventory among member realtors. The originating realtor posts property information and a total commission rate. The buyer’s realtor can accept it as an offer to contract or negotiate a different commission. The Multiple Listing Service enables cooperation on sales and by qualified professional realtors. The key is information; the Multiple Listing Service has property information, and the system limits access to it. The public can only see parts of the information there, and registered and paid members of Realtor associations can see the full information.
Saving on Commissions and Fees
The typical experience of a flat fee MLS service is a saving to the seller of approximately half of the usual sales commission and fees, which can be two-to-four percent of the sales price. By using a flat fee service, the seller can engage the full set of connected listings and buyer’s agents in the MLS system.
Pardon My Wrong Info
Low-end MLS listings often have no convenient mechanism for updates and corrections. If data were entered with errors or in ways that misled buyers, the seller might be stuck and essentially trapped in a useless listing. It is vital that the system accepts corrections and changes. There may be a price difference associated with the services needed to ensure a good effort. In a given market, some low-end services might cost $200 while one with correctable listings and backup services might cost $350. The difference can be well worth the extra investment in a smooth sale.
Advantages of Flat Fee MLS
The seller maintains control and can sell the property on his or her own during the time that the property lists. Under traditional realtor agreements, the seller cannot sell directly while the realtor holds the property under contract The realtor agreement complicates a direct sale after the realtor agreement expires. The agreement may call for up to six months when the realtor can claim a commission, and afterward if the realtor can show the sale came from his or her initial efforts. These complications do not arise from flat fee arrangements; there are no commissioned seller’s agents and no seller’s agent commission.
Tips when Selecting Flat Fee Service
The below-listed items will help select a flat fee MLS service.
• User reviews are most helpful. When selecting a flat fee MLS service, one should look for user reviews and particularly those which reflect the sale property area. The support services agreed to by the MLS are important factors that contribute to quick and successful sales.
• BBB Ratings can help. Like many businesses, the Better Business Bureau rates MLS firms and helps resolve customer complaints
• Service area limits may be a factor. Many flat fee MLS services have strong geographic area. They may not be as useful outside of a primary market.
• Access to service representative and back-up. The flat fee MLS service provider has some physical functions such as showing, lock box, and signage. Good and reliable access by phone and text can be vital to getting a sale done quickly.