Flat Fee MLS
With ListSmartTexas, home sellers are able to save at
least half of traditional real estate commissions minus the
flat fee paid upfront. For decades now the Multiple
Listing Service, commonly known as the MLS, has been
responsible for the larger portion of home sales in America.
The MLS is essentially a member-only database of properties
listed by individual real estate brokerage firms. They
cooperatively work with other licensed brokers in the system
to market properties.
A lot of money is made in real estate transactions typically
by the receipt of a “commission,” on the final price of a home
sale. This commission is typically divided between a
seller’s broker and a buyer’s broker. If the commission is
negotiated at 6%, it is equally divided between the two
co-operating brokers after closing. A $200,000 property will
yield as much as $12,000 in real estate commissions!
This fee is usually justifiable as Realtors® provide not only
access to a local MLS system but also advice and expertise in
protecting both buyer’s and seller’s best interests in a
transaction. While legal counsel is also an option available,
when it comes to contract negotiations, most home sellers
elect to use a real estate broker to handle their marketing
and property selling affairs.
A few years ago, some licensed real estate brokers and MLS
service providers began to offer a “Flat-Fee” MLS selling
model. Essentially, it does away with the listing agent and
his customary listing fee for representing and marketing a
seller’s property. The seller now has access to the Multiple
Listing Service by virtue of paying a flat-fee instead of a
full commission and is allowed to carry on the sale of his or
her own home and the option to pay a fee only to an agent who
produces a qualified buyer.
In spite of many opinions on this subject, flat-fee MLS services
and brokers have proliferated across the United States and
have developed growing popularity among die-hard for sale by
owners and sellers who simply can’t afford to pay a full
commission out of their equity.
Since most homes are sold through the MLS, many
sale by owners” seem to like this new selling method and are
willing to pay flat-fees for the exposure the MLS data base
Flat-fee programs not only offer access to local MLS systems but
also to the high-traffic Realtor®.com site. With 85% of
homebuyers now using the Internet to look for homes, it makes
sense to have as much online exposure as possible.
In conclusion, flat-fee services are not a replacement for the
services of traditional real estate agents or legal counsel
but the Internet and providing limited real estate services
has made it possible to change the one-size-fits-all mentality
when it comes to the typical real estate commission structure.