How to List on MLS without a Realtor [Flat Fee Services]

Published on September 1, 2023

How to List on MLS without a Realtor [Flat Fee Services]

How to List on MLS without a Realtor [Flat Fee Services]

Selling a property can often feel overwhelming, especially when you want to avoid the traditional path, which involves realtor commissions. But what if there was a way to list on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) without using a licensed real estate agent? That’s where flat fee services enter the picture.

In this blog, we'll explore the process of listing on the MLS without a realtor and focus on the potential of flat fee MLS services. This guide promises insights that can change your real estate journey, so keep on reading!

What is the MLS in Real Estate?

What is the MLS in Real Estate

The Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as MLS, is a comprehensive database used primarily by real estate brokers to list and share information about properties available for sale or lease. 

Designed to foster collaboration between brokers, the MLS allows them to showcase details of listings to a vast network of professionals which increases the visibility of properties and the potential for sales.

The MLS has a standardized format, which ensures that all property listings provide a consistent level of detail. This enables brokers and potential buyers to easily compare and assess properties based on their specifications, such as square footage, number of bedrooms, price, and more. 

Furthermore, having a property listed on the MLS often implies a certain level of credibility, as the data is frequently updated and maintained by professional associations.

To date, many real estate websites and online platforms pull data directly from MLS systems to display property listings to the public. This not only ensures the visibility of listed properties but also provides consumers with a trustworthy source of information.

Why Do Sellers Use the MLS?

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has long been the primary tool for real estate professionals to list and sell properties. For sellers, the advantages of using the MLS are numerous. Here’s an in-depth look at why sellers lean on this platform:

Your Property Gets Max Exposure

The MLS is a centralized database where properties for sale are listed, and it's accessible to thousands of real estate agents.

When a property is listed on the MLS database, it isn't just showcased to one agent or a single brokerage; instead, it's exposed to all members of that MLS system. This means a broad network of real estate professionals can view the listing and show it to their potential buyers. 

Additionally, many online real estate websites pull data from MLS systems, so the property can also be seen by a wider public audience. This level of exposure is hard to achieve through private sales or other methods.

Potential Higher Selling Price

With a larger audience comes the possibility of more interested buyers. Increased interest often results in more showings and, potentially, multiple offers. In hot markets, or when a property is particularly desirable, this competition can drive the price up as potential buyers try to outbid one another. 

An MLS listing can create an environment where a bidding war occurs, which can be beneficial for a seller aiming for a higher selling price.

Faster Sale

When a property gets maximum exposure, it naturally reaches a larger pool of potential buyers. The more buyers that are aware when you list a home, the higher the chance that one of them will find it fits their criteria perfectly. 

With more potential matches, the likelihood of selling the property quickly increases. A faster home sale is often advantageous for sellers, especially if they're in a time crunch or don't want their property to be on the market for an extended period.

Potential for Cash Offers

Cash buyers are highly considered in the real estate market because they can typically close faster and their offers aren't dependent on financing. By listing on the MLS, the property will be visible to a wide range of investors and potential buyers, some of whom may be cash buyers

Investors, in particular, often look for properties on the MLS and may come prepared to make a cash offer if they find a property that aligns with their requirements.

You Can Easily Market to Buyer Agents

Buyer agents play a crucial role in the home buying process. They're actively searching the MLS daily for properties that match their clients' needs and desires. By listing on the MLS, sellers can directly market their property to these agents, streamlining the buying and selling process. Some buyers can even get an MLS listing notification directly.

Can You List in the MLS Without an Agent?

Yes, it is possible to list on the MLS without a traditional realtor. While the MLS is predominantly used by real estate agents and brokers, there are avenues that allow homeowners and independent sellers to access and list their properties directly on this platform. 

However, navigating the process might require adhering to specific criteria and guidelines set by the local MLS board. Also, you cannot really list a home on the MLS without a fee.

Benefits of Listing Without a Realtor

Benefits of Listing Without a Realtor

Listing without a realtor or listing agent when you want to sell your home offers more level of control, potential financial savings, and a direct line of communication with potential buyers. Let’s look at these benefits one by one.

No Commission Fees to Be Paid

One of the most significant financial advantages of listing without a realtor is the avoidance of commission fees. Typically, realtors charge a percentage of the sale price as their commission when you list your house. 

By handling the sale independently, sellers can save a substantial amount of money, which might amount to thousands of dollars, depending on the value of the property.

You Can Directly Handle the Sale

When you manage the sale of your property, you have direct communication with potential buyers. This direct interaction allows for clear understanding, quicker decisions, and a personalized touch to the entire transaction. 

Sellers have the chance to explain the unique value propositions of their homes, share stories, and answer queries in real-time, ensuring that potential buyers get a genuine feel of the property.

You Can Control the Photos You'll Use

Visual representation plays a vital role in real estate listings. Without a realtor, you have complete control over the photographs that represent your property. This means you can choose the best angles, ensure the home is staged perfectly, and even decide on the time of day for the photo shoot, capturing your home in the ideal light. 

If you're not satisfied with the pictures, you have the flexibility to retake or edit them without going through a middleman.

No Real Estate Agents Who Will Misquote Your Home

Sometimes, there's a risk of agents misrepresenting or misquoting certain aspects of a property, either due to misunderstanding or in the interest of making a sale. 

By listing without a realtor, you eliminate this potential discrepancy. You ensure that the information presented to potential buyers is accurate and true to your understanding, safeguarding the integrity of your listing.

What is a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company?

What is a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company

A Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company is a type of real estate service that allows homeowners to list their properties on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a fixed fee, rather than paying a traditional commission-based price. 

When homeowners choose to sell their properties, they typically have two primary routes: listing with a traditional realtor or going the 'for sale by owner' (FSBO) route. The Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company bridges the gap between these two methods. 

By using flat fee MLS listing service or flat fee MLS companies, homeowners can maintain more control over their home for sale, similar to FSBO or home for sale by owner, while still ensuring their property is visible on the main platform that real estate professionals use.

These companies typically offer different packages or tiers of service. They have a set fee to list your property on the MLS. Some may provide additional services when you list for sale by owner, like consultation or guidance on pricing, but their primary offering is to list a property or list a house on the MLS without the need for a traditional realtor's involvement.

Pros and Cons of Flat Fee MLS Listing Companies

Using a Flat Fee MLS Listing Company to list without using a real estate agent offers significant potential savings and control for homeowners, but it is not without some disadvantages. Let’s look at the pros and cons of listing your home on the MLS using a flat-fee service. 

Pros of Flat Fee MLS

You Can Save a Lot of Money

One of the most prominent advantages of using a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company that can access the MLS for you is the potential savings.

Traditional real estate agents usually charge a percentage of the final sales price as their commission when they market your home and get you on the MLS. By opting for a flat fee service, homeowners can keep more of their sales proceeds and only pay the upfront flat fee to get on MLS without a realtor.

You Have Control of Your Sale

When using a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company to list homes in the MLS in your area, homeowners maintain direct control over every aspect of the sale, from negotiations to finalizing the deal. This direct interaction that the best flat fee MLS listing allows more transparency and a hands-on approach to selling, especially those into MLS listing by owner or for sale by owner on MLS.

No Commissions if Your Buyer Doesn't Have an Agent

If a buyer approaches without being represented by a real estate agent and they don't have any access point to the MLS, the homeowner doesn't owe any commission, amplifying the potential savings.

Listing Cancellation is Possible

Unlike some traditional listings that may have strict contract terms for those who want to list their homes, many Flat-Fee MLS Listing Companies allow for more flexibility, including the option to cancel a listing without incurring hefty penalties.

Cons of Flat Fee MLS

You are In-Charge of Identifying a Selling Price

Without the guidance of a traditional realtor, homeowners shoulder the responsibility of determining the right listing price. This requires thorough market research, and mistakes can lead to underpricing or overpricing the property.

You May Overlook Some MLS Rules

The MLS has specific rules and guidelines that need to be followed. Homeowners unfamiliar with these rules might unknowingly breach them, leading to potential listing complications or even penalties.

Your Property May Take Longer to Sell

A traditional real estate agent often has a network of potential buyers and employs aggressive marketing strategies. Without this professional marketing, it might take longer to attract a suitable buyer.

Selling for Less

Without the negotiation skills and experience of a seasoned realtor, homeowners may end up accepting offers lower than the property's potential market value, negating some of the saved commission costs.

You Will Take Care of All the Details

Listing, selling, and closing a property involves numerous details, from legal paperwork to staging and showings. Homeowners will have to manage all these aspects on their own, which can be time-consuming and overwhelming.

Steps in Using a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company

Steps in Using a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company

Listing with a flat-fee MLS listing company requires a structured approach to ensure success. In this section, we'll outline the essential steps to guide you smoothly through this real estate listing method.

Step 1. Choose a Flat Fee MLS Company in Your Area and Open an Account

Begin your journey by researching and identifying the best Flat-Fee MLS listing Company in your area to get you on MLS without an agent. Each company has its strengths, so prioritize those that align with your specific needs so you can get an MLS listing without needing to work with a realtor.

Once you've settled on your preferred company, proceed to open an account, setting the stage for the subsequent listing process when selling without a realtor.

Step 2. Choose a Listing Package

Flat Fee MLS companies offer various listing plans, each tailored to different needs and budgets to market our home. 

Assess your requirements and financial capacity to select a plan that provides the best value when you list on your local MLS for a flat fee. Some might offer extended durations, while others could provide additional services like consultation.

Step 3. Sign the Exclusive Listing Agreement and Pay the Flat Fee Upfront

Once you've chosen a plan, you'll be required to sign an exclusive listing agreement. This contract outlines the terms of your relationship with the company and the MLS. Ensure you understand all the terms before signing. 

Afterward, you'll be prompted to pay the agreed-upon fee to activate your listing.

Step 4. Create a Well-Written Listing Description

A compelling listing description is vital in attracting potential buyers when listing on the MLS for sale by owner without a realtor. It should highlight the key features of your property, from the number of rooms and bathrooms to any unique selling points. 

Craft a narrative that not only provides essential details but also paints a vivid picture of what living in the property might feel like.

Step 5. Upload High-Quality Photos

Photos play a pivotal role in capturing the interest of potential buyers. Ensure you upload high-resolution, well-lit images that showcase your property in the best light. Real estate agents can list and do all these but you'll save a lot of money if you do it yourself.

Cover all angles, focusing on both the interior and exterior to provide an MLS comprehensive for sale by owner MLS listing, and consider investing in professional photography if your budget allows.

Step 6. Submit and Review Your MLS Listing

After meticulously crafting your listing, it's time to submit it to the company for review and order to list your property. They might check for adherence to MLS rules or suggest improvements. Once approved, their agents can list your property to the MLS, ready to attract potential buyers. That is, of course, after you pay a fee.

Always revisit your listing to ensure all details are accurate and make any necessary adjustments promptly.

How Much Does it Cost to List Using a Flat-Fee MLS Company?

The cost of using a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Company varies based on several factors, including the company itself, the geographic region, and the range of services provided. But typically, these services range from as low as $50 to upwards of $500 or even more. 

Some basic packages might only include a simple listing on the MLS with a set duration, usually six months to a year. These generally require a low flat fee so you can save money on realtor. As the price increases, additional services and features might be included, such as more photos on the listing, assistance with pricing strategy, or extended listing durations.

Furthermore, some Flat-Fee MLS Listing Companies offer premium packages or add-ons at higher costs. These include professional photography, virtual tours, assistance with legal paperwork, or even consultation sessions with flat fee full-service agents to guide homeowners through the selling process, getting on the MLS, etc.

How Long Will Your Home Stay Active in the MLS?

The duration for which a home remains active on the MLS when listed through a flat-fee company largely depends on the terms set by the company itself and the package selected by the seller. 

Most flat-fee MLS listing companies have different packages or tiers of service, and the duration of the listing is often one of the differentiating factors among these tiers.

Typically, a standard flat-fee MLS listing might keep a property active on the MLS for a duration ranging from 3 to 6 months. Some companies offer more extended periods, such as 12 months, especially if the seller opts for a more premium package. 

On the other hand, some basic, more affordable packages offer shorter listing durations, possibly as brief as 30 days.

Another aspect to consider is the flexibility and terms of the listing. Some flat-fee companies might allow for extensions or renewals for an additional fee, granting homeowners more time if their property hasn't sold within the initial listing period. 

Other companies might offer unlimited extensions until the property is sold, but this might come at a higher initial price.

Alternatives to a Flat-Fee MLS Listing

Alternatives to a Flat-Fee MLS Listing

While flat-fee MLS listings offer a compelling alternative to traditional real estate practices, there are several other viable options available to sellers. Check out these alternative routes below:

Use Per-Day Pricing on MLS Sites

Some MLS platforms have introduced a per-day pricing model. Instead of paying a flat fee or a commission, sellers can opt to list their property and be charged based on the number of days the listing remains active. This can be a flexible and cost-effective option, especially if the seller is confident that the property will sell quickly. 

However, it's essential to be cautious and monitor the duration to avoid accumulating high costs over extended periods.

Work with a Discount Broker

Discount brokers operate on a reduced commission model. Unlike traditional realtors who might charge a standard 5-6% commission, discount brokers offer their services for a much lower rate, sometimes even a fixed price. 

They might offer a more comprehensive range of services than flat-fee MLS listings, providing a balance between cost savings and receiving expert guidance throughout the sale process.

Free FSBO (For Sale By Owner) Websites

There are numerous online platforms and websites dedicated to list on MLS for sale by owner. These best for sale by owner websites allow homeowners to list their properties for free or for a nominal fee. 

While they don't have the same reach as the MLS, the flat fee MLS is usually an effective way to market properties to a specific audience of buyers interested in direct dealings without agents. However, it's essential to note that flat fee MLS is also a lot smaller in range and might not offer the same exposure as the MLS.

Get Your Own Real Estate License

While this might sound like a drastic measure, for some, it makes sense, especially if they plan on dealing with multiple properties or want to venture into real estate. By obtaining a real estate license, an individual gains direct access to the MLS and can list properties without needing any intermediary. 

This option provides the utmost control over listings and transactions. However, it requires a significant investment of time and money to complete licensing courses and pass the requisite exams.

Key Takeaways: How to List on MLS without a Realtor [Flat Fee Services]

Opting for flat fee services to list on the MLS without a realtor offers a cost-effective approach to property selling. While it's not a one-size-fits-all solution, it provides a new strategy for those who want to be more hands-on in their property's sale. 

Through this strategy, too, homeowners also save on potential costs so they can allot more budget for the other aspects of their business.

Now that you already understand how flat fee services work, it’s time to start buying properties and selling them at a higher fee through these platforms. Check out Property Leads for highly motivated seller leads generated from SEO!

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