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Flat Fee MLS

Home Selling - MLS Listing Alternatives

A Realtor marketing plan or a FSBO marketing plan are normally viewed as mutually exclusive alternatives. With the Realtors traditional "Exclusive Right To Sell" type listing agreement, they are ordinarily mutually exclusive since the home owner traditionally gives up their right to market the property when they do that listing agreement with the realtor. However, before you settle on the marketing plan of your choice, you should evaluate and consider a third recently available alternative. This alternative is sometimes called a Realtor Flat Fee MLS Listing Service. We call it a Hybrid FSBO - Realtor marketing plan. Using this new marketing method, the so-called Flat Fee MLS the property owner literally pursues both methods of marketing through the Realtors MLS and FSBO simultaneously. This can be accomplished several ways, in each case the MLS listing agreement will specifically reserve the right to sell the home yourself and avoid Selling or Buyers agent commissions. One method, by way of example, is to have a Realtor list your property for sale in the Realtors MLS by a method known as "Exclusive Agency", with a limitation on the "Scope" of the agency such that the Listing Realtor's obligations and services are basically limited to Listing the property in the MLS. This type of listing agreement can provide that the owner will have the continuing right to market the property themselves and avoid further commissions altogether if the owner finds a buyer from their own marketing efforts. This Listing service can be provided for a fixed dollar flat fee, instead of a listing commission to the Listing Agent, paid in advance at the time the listing is made. All these terms are Negotiable, provided you can find a Realtor "willing" to negotiate. Under this "fixed fee type" of "Exclusive Agency" listing contract there would be no additional "commission" ever paid to the Listing Realtor, neither in the event of a sale by another "Buyers Agent Realtor" nor a FSBO sale by the property owner. Under these circumstances, all other Realtors can then try to sell your home to their potential buyers and earn their normal (often 3%) commission (if you elect to offer that to them) as a "Buyers Agent". Sellers can offer these Buyer Agent Realtors whatever percent commission they desire, but owners should consider that offering less than the traditional 3% could affect these Buyers Agent Realtors "degree" of interest in showing your property to their customers. So in this EXAMPLE, instead of 6% commission, you would pay the fixed dollar listing fee and the 3% Buyers Agent commission if and only if you sell a home to a buyer who was brought to your property by a Buyers Agent Realtor. Anyone using this method should seriously consider requiring each "Buyers Agent" Realtor to accompany each of their potential buyers who come to view the property and keep a WRITTEN LOG of the names of each Realtor and their prospective buyer and the date they viewed the property along with the Realtors initials on that log. This could be very useful in the event of any dispute with or between Realtors about which, if any, brought the ultimate buyer to see your property and is entitled to earn the 3% commission. You should also keep a log of everyone's name and date that came to see your property from your FSBO efforts as well. It is not uncommon for prospective buyers to contact several Realtors in the process of searching for property as well as looking into property advertised FSBO. If the Realtor does not accompany the prospective buyer or if you do not keep records, you may not know for sure who, if anyone, is entitled to be paid the Buyers Agent commission. If you sell your property yourself from your own advertising efforts or your Yard Signs, you do not have to pay the 3% Buyers Agent commission. In effect you are paying a "Flat Listing Fee" instead of the normal Listing Realtors 3% commission, offering Buyers Agents whatever Commission you desire, and you have the option of selling your property FSBO without paying that Buyers Agent commission. The trade off is that since you only pay a modest fixed listing fee, the listing realtor will likely limit the "scope" of the agency such that in effect you will get no transaction assistance or advice from the listing Realtor except possibly a Comparative Market Analysis report. The listing Realtor is merely granted authorization to list your property with the MLS so it will be available for all other Realtors who are working with potential buyers to try to sell and earn the "Buyers Agent" commission you offer them. The upside is you can continue to market your property FSBO at the same time and if you find a buyer before the Buyers Agent Realtors do, you pay no commission to them. By doing this MLS listing agreement with a realtor, the MLS will permit the Realtor to give you a CMA Report. This Comparable Market Analysis, or property valuation report, reviews the actual prior sale prices of recent "comparable" MLS sales in your area along with the details of those comparable MLS sales so YOU can determine Yourself just how "comparable" these sales really are. These CMA reports are intended to "Assist" in determining an asking price. They do not contain the prior sales price information for all property transactions (since the MLS does not have FSBO sales price information) and can Never just be taken at face value, they are however a valuable source of some of the information you need to competently decide how to price your property.

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