Charles Rutenberg Realty Fort Lauderdale

Trusted Local Real Estate Expert and Board Certified Florida REALTOR®

FSBO : Is Flat Fee MLS for Me?


Marketing and the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

If you have decided to sell your home For Sale by Owner you  you must market the property aggressively in order for any many potential buyers as possible to see it.

Read : 14 Ways to Market Your FSBO Property 

One way to get the most buyers to see it is to list it on the MLS. The MLS is the Multiple Listing Service.  The MLS is the tool Realtors® use to market properties. It is hands down the most powerful tool available to real estate professionals. While new technologies such as Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin have emerged the MLS continues to trump them in its ability to pair qualified buyers with sellers.

Flat Fee Listing Services

If you are selling FSBO you can list your property on the MLS through a Flat Fee listing service. But there are some things you should be aware of before you decide if Flat Fee is for Me.

Lead Farming

Who is getting your leads? You ? Or the Flat Fee services agents?

When you list your property on the MLS the Flat Fee listing service appears as your broker. It is also noted that this is a Limited Service Agreement aka Flat Fee.

What that means for you is that when your listing is syndicated the Flat Fee brokerage appears as the listing agent, not you. They should list your information in the broker remarks, but that is often missed by most.

So what happens is that when buyers call regarding your property, they will call your Flat Fee listing service. Those leads may or may not be sent to you directly. Many times Flat Fee listing services will take those buyer leads and give them to their agents, and you won’t ever even know about them.

Avoid this happening to you by asking how they handle calls they receive regarding your property.


Cancellation Fees

Shocked business man looking through papers with bills
Cancellation fees can be steep!

Some Flat Fee listing services charge cancellation penalties, if they will let you cancel at all. Some of those fees can be very steep too! Find out if they have cancellation fees before you sign.

An Island Unto Yourself

Man is calling for help on uninhabited island
For the most part with a Flat Fee listing service you are an island unto yourself.

When you sign up for a Flat Fee listing consulting may or may not be part of their services. If it is, find out how available they actually are to help you.

One thing is for sure when you list with a Flat Fee service you are an island unto yourself. They will not do anything for you except list your property. If they promise they do other things ask them what they do, and how they do it. Also be sure to read their reviews.


Locked In

Make sure you don’t get locked into a contract you an get out of.

Some Flat Fee listing services lock you into a listing agreement from which you can only get out of if you sell your home. One company I recently came across was criticized on Yelp for not letting clients out of a 36 month, $79 minimum per month listing agreement. That is $2844 you are locked into unless you sell your house.

Do Your Homework

Do your homework in order to make sure that Flat Fee is for Me.

Unfortunately many FSBOs opt for Flat Fee without really knowing what they are getting into. If you are selling FSBO or thinking about selling FSBO and are considering a Flat Fee MLS, do your homework so you don’t get into a raw deal. The MLS can be your most powerful ally, as long as you know that when you pay your getting the most power for your buck.

Good luck selling your house!


About the Author

Désirée is a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée Ávila was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology.  Désirée publishes four blogs in three different languages. Désirée has also been featured in different print publications in the United States and abroad. Désirée is a lifetime local resident of South Florida and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.