For years, extremely knowledgeable home sellers, people like commercial real estate agents, real estate attorneys, and former residential agents would contact their friends in the residential real estate business, asking them to cut a deal. “Just put me in the Multiple Listing Service (back then it might have been referred to as the Multi-List) for a small fee and I will manager all the work,” they would say. sometimes the residential real estate agent would oblige, although they would want to keep the arrangement secret from their complete paying customers. Although the home seller did not have a way to directly list their character on the MLS, they were able to gain access by their Realtor friend. The Realtors would not, however, offer something like this to the general public.
In recent years, there has been so much need for this kind of service that real estate agents have realized that it may be a viable business to focus on this niche exclusively. Flat fee real estate brokers effectively unbundled their sets by charging a base listing fee for the listing and offering upgrades that a customer could pay for, for example, signs, lockboxes, and virtual tours. These money saving programs are becoming increasingly popular for one reason, they work. Many sellers close escrow on their similarities having saved thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
Home owners need to understand what “by owner” listing on the MLS is. First, the listing is not technically “by owner” at all, since anytime you list with a broker, already a flat fee broker, your character is no longer considered for sale by owner or FSBO. It is treated like any other listed character on the MLS. Buyer’s agents find the character in their customary search course of action and show the character knowing that a particular compensation level will be paid by the seller at closing in the event that their buyer purchases the character. The “by owner” concept is useful, however, in understanding that the owner is in control of their own listing. They can decide how showings will be handled, when to keep up open houses, and how they want to negotiate. For some sellers, simply having control over their listing is their main motivation for a flat fee MLS listing; the money they save is an additional bonus. They can price the character how they see fit. They can keep up firm to a particular price, or come down on price to make the sale happen. Since money is saved in commissions, they often will walk away netting more money in their pocket. Some sellers like that they can answer their cell phone for all prospective buyer and Realtor phone calls instead of worrying about those calls being unanswered.
Listing by owner on the MLS, flat fee listing, flat fee MLS, or at any rate the term may be, has grown in the last few years and continues to grow already in a down market. Preserving one’s equity is important to homeowners in spite of of market condition. After all, when a Realtor sells his or her own character, they usually do it themselves, offer a commission to a buyer’s agent on the MLS (often 2.5 or 3%), and save thousands in the time of action. Homeowners want to list their own similarities in this same fact, and thankfully now have the option.