The Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a For Sale sign and the Internet are today’s three most tools required for marketing your home and getting it sold.
Today, more than 80% of home buyers look for homes online.
While it’s true real estate commissions are negotiable, flat fee MLS brokers and discount real estate offices are pressuring traditional real estate agents to modify their commissions. Home sellers can reduce fees by 3% by selling a home themselves and skipping the listing agent. Flat fee MLS companies are growing to provide licensed agents who can list your home on the MLS for a low, one-time fee.
Putting your home on the MLS gives you marketing exposure you can’t get if you are selling FSBO, or for-sale-by-owner. Your home will appear on dozens if not hundreds of real estate websites, including the major site Realtor.com. Keep in mind that agents are prevented legally by anti-trust law from refusing to show their buyers show homes listed by another agent. If you hear of any such incidents, you should report it immediately to your state’s licensing board.
Even if you list your home through a discount agent or a flat fee broker, you can publicize a open house, but remember that only three to four percent of homes are ever sold through an open house. Don’t let a traditional agent try to fool you by saying they will hold lots of open houses. A 3% chance of a sale rate isn’t worth paying the thousands of dollars in extra commissions!
Traditional Real Estate Agents Are Likely To Criticize Flat Fee Brokers
When you sell your home yourself or even hire a flat fee MLS listing broker, you’ll probably hear criticism from the local traditional agents.
Traditional agents will resort to the same old tricks to try to convince you to list wit them instead. Don’t let them suck you in. When selling yourself, as a FSBO, you can still use marketing tools through a flat fee MLS service to increase your exposure. Selling your home is a huge undertaking, and will impact your family in important ways, so selling yourself can be a good idea if you want to save you thousands or even tens of thousands in equity.
Most traditional agents will tell you that you should use an „expert“ to sell real estate, reminding you that you are not, and that you could face legal issues both before and even after the sale. Tell them you plan to hire a lawyer – and then do hire one – even hiring a lawyer can be far less than full real estate commissions.
Some agents will insist that your home is set at the wrong price. Again, let them know you have gotten or plan to get an appraisal or have reviewed home sales prices online. If the agent then tells you that other agents will refuse to show your home, tell them you are offering to protect buyer’s agent and will pay a commission to a buyer’s agent. When an agent claims they don’t have easy contact information to reach you, let them know that the information is on your listing courtesy of your flat fee MLS broker – just like other agent information. When they then try to tell you they don’t see your home listed in the MLS, ask them, then where did you find my number? After that, you may want to escort them to the door!