listing in MLS

Please pardon me if this isn’t the proper forum for this type question.

I have a property that I’m looking to sell and would like to place it in the MLS database. I’ve found some of the ‘flat fee MLS’ services on the web but haven’t found anyone who’s used them. They’re claiming to place a listing in the and local MLS database for a flat fee and thereby save you the seller’s agent fee.

Does anyone have any experience with using a ‘flat fee MLS’ listing service ? I’m not necessarily asking for a recommendation for a specific service, but rather have you used this type service and was it what it was marketed to be ?

Thanks in advance for any input.

  • Mike

Howdy Mike:

I have used my HML’s flat fee service and it has saved me plenty. I currently have a house listed at $165,000 that alone would cost $5000 in listing fees. They just type up the date and enter it on the MLS computer. They also take some of the calls if I am not available. I have a Home Depot combo lockbox so agents can call and get into the house. This is a bit of a hastle for the agents but they are paid well also. About the only other way I would do it is to get my license again and list it myself. My HML does it cheap as a service just for his clients.

Hope this helps

i’ve also used a $300 listing service in san diego, CA. sold the
house myself in 3 weeks with closing 3 weeks thereafter.
pretty easy in a good market.

however i would recommend reading a few books on how to sell
your home. theres also a book by press that will provide
the legal details and forms.

remember, its not rocket science!

The real benefit of a flat fee service is NOT the saving on commissions, but rather the ability to sell the property FAST!

How? You can generate a ton of showings by INCREASING the buyer’s agent fee. Example: If you area’s typical commission split is 3%, with a flat fee service you can afford to bump this to 4, 5, or even 6%, all going to the agent that brings you a buyer.

Some agents will say that they show only what the customer wants, but I can attest from experience that if you put a high commission on your property, it WILL get shown a lot, and the agents will promote the hell out of it.

I wouldn’t recommend using a flatfee service if you have never sold a house before. While, niravmd is correct that it’s not rocket science, it is also true that it is very confusing to the uninformed, and mistakes can lead to lawsuits, so be careful.


If you list a house on MLS using a flat fee organization, it is automatically listed on (I believe). Does the buyers agent fee list in the MLS listing, or do they contact you to find out? If the property is on, agentless buyers can contact the seller directly, so does there have to be any agent commission at all paid? If an agent brings a buyer, what factors dictate what you pay the buyers agent, and is it always decided ahead of time?


Last week at a monthly meeting there was a question from one of my fellow realtors to the Real Estate Commission in Arkansas about this very topic. It seems that technically this is not legal and there are changes being made to correct the situation. Just thought I’d let you know that this may not be available for much longer because the law states that as a Realtor (which is a National /not state designation,) takes an oath. The oath states that Realtors have an obligation to PRESENT all offers. I don’t know where this is going but just thought I’d mention that there is some controversy surrounding the service (which we realtors call Limited Listing Service)

as far as i know[which isnt much] putting a listing in mls does NOT put it in automatically.

You can generate a ton of showings by INCREASING the buyer’s agent fee. Example: If you area’s typical commission split is 3%, with a flat fee service you can afford to bump this to 4, 5, or even 6%, all going to the agent that brings you a buyer.

True enough…also consider the following;

My wife & I listed a property recently that sold in 5 days w/multiple offers & escalation clauses.

The owner was very happy & told us he’d spoken with a Flat Fee Service & 4% companies (they take 1% & offer the selling agent a standard 3% commission).

He told us that our opinion of value on his home was 10’s of thousands above the other Flat Fee & 4% companies (my wife’s an Agent & I’m an Associate Broker/Certified Appraiser)…that’s why we got the listing. In fact he didn’t take my advice…he listed for $5,000 less than I’d recommended (the house eventually sold [due to escalation clauses] for exactly the amount [on the high end] that I recommended he list at).

Think about that for a moment: How is it a 4% company can afford to take only 1% while full service brokerages typically require 3%? How is it a Flat Fee Service company is 10’s of thousands less on their opinion of value than a full service brokerage? ANSWER: They’ve got to be offering something less than Full Service Brokerages, and that could cost you dearly.

While trying to save pennies…don’t cost yourself dollars.




i’m going to have to disagree with you. while YOU might be an exceptionally good agent,
many agents [espcially in california where every other person i know has a license] don’t
know jack about real estate.

just because some one charges you more, doesn’t necessarily mean you get more for your
money.[it could be true, but it doesn’t have to be].

“…many agents [espcially in california where every other person i know has a license] don’t know jack about real estate.”

This is a popular sentiment among some, but highly inaccurate. American’s love to bash each other, and success breeds contempt. Moreover, some in our society have lost all respect for others. This is no more true than in the Real Estate Business…I’ve experienced it often; “The Appraiser doesn’t know the area,” or “doesn’t know what they’re doing” (only when their opinion of value comes in lower than someone HOPED their home was worth). The Home/Pest Inspector missed something (usually in a wall void–where only Superman can see), and I had to pay for repairs I wasn’t prepared for. Loan Officers get slammed & Agents are discounted…it’s an unfortunate sign of the times.

I know CA well, and I know many agents there. My wife will be getting here CA license shortly, and will thus be licensed in two states (we anticipate very qualified competition).

First; it takes a great deal to become a successful Agent. You must have the financial wherewithall, and intelligence to make it over the long haul (it’s especially difficult in the beginning, and many [potentially good] Agents wash out…no fault of their own). Research your Agents background as if they were applying for a job w/you.

Secondly; the age old axiom…“you get what you pay for” has been passed down from generation to generation because, it’s Sage advice. Cut rate & discount Brokerages are not competing on services offered by Full Service Brokerages. They’re competing purely on price, and the customers innate desire to save a buck. While that might be fine for the extremely experienced & educated…it can cost the novice dearly (I’ve seen it time & time again over my career).

Here’s another piece of Sage advice: Beware relying on DOT.CON sites that offer to tell you what you’re homes worth for a nominal fee. These Automated Value Modules are proving to be EXTREMELY inaccurate, and you could lose a bundle or have unrealistic expectations planted in your head.

When in doubt…hire an expert. Don’t pinch pennies while letting $$$'s slip through your hands!



Sorry, but you’re way off. Realtors are no different from any other union. Realtors protect their trade and the outlandish prices that go with it. It’s no different that hiring a painter. If I am finishing a new build strip mall, I get the same quality of work from a non union painter at 12.00/hr as I do a 28.00 union painter. The only difference is I don’t get the picketers and headaches if I pay the extra money. Realtors get a lot of money for doing very little work. If a realtor sells my 300k home, I pay 18K in commissions. If the same realtor sells my 45K rental property, I pay 2700 in commissions for the same amount of work. All a selling realtor does is give an MLS listing (400.00 retail), put up a yard sign (25.00 at lowes), do a showing or two (a few hours) and maybe a couple listing in the paper. Very rarely does the selling realtor find a buyer. MLS does all the work, and I can buy my own signs and do my own showings (better than any realtor can - I know my house).
My brother just listed his house with a realtor for 6 months. She did nothing, after finally firing her, he put up a FSBO sign, showed it more in 3 weeks than she did in 6 months, and had it sold in a month. Why should he have given 1000’s to a realtor - does she deserve it b/c she sat in a weeks worth of classes and got her license.
Buyers realtors are the same. More often than not, a buyer ends up picking out the house they are going to buy from or elsewhere, and the buyers agent sets up a showing. Come on now. What a load of crap. The same outcome would happen if the realtors didn’t exist. It could all be done with open access to MLS. It’s a protected industry in which the process is made to appear much more difficult than it is so unknowing people feel overwhelmed and give away 10’s of 1000’s to those in-the-know. I have a phone book, and all my fingers. I can call a title co. to set up the closing myself. Really, how much more does a realtor do? I don’t remember the last time a realtor knocked on my door and said, “if you are looking to move, I have a great property at 100 B.S. street that won’t last long, I’d love to show it to you”. They don’t have to, again, it’s a protected market.
A caveat - Don’t think I don’t understand. I’ll probably get my Realtors license at some point. Why not, I can do it on the side and rake in a lot of extra money. I don’t blame realtors for what they do, if the system is there, use it. There’s a reason union painters aren’t quitting left and right to go bring in that $12.00.
All this being said, I use a realtor to buy rental properties. He finds deals and contacts me. He works and earns his money, and I respect him and what he does. I just don’t buy it for the one time homeowner/homeseller. That aspect of the business is a rip.
Additionally, I’m not an idiot. I don’t need a realtor to tell me not to sell my house for 20K less than it’s worth. I can check comps myself. My dad just used a good friend of his as his realtor to sell my grandpas house. The all knowing realtor told him to put his house on the market at at 145K. My dad said no, we need to at least start at 170K. The house sold for his asking price to the first people to look at it. He should have asked for more. Thank God there are realtors out there to keep people from making mistakes, huh?

Sorry for the ranting. I’m really not anti-realtor in all situations, but the Mr. Good-Oats needs to be a little more realistic about his profession.

when i was selling my condo, the local self-proclaimed “condo king” had an open house in the same blding as mine.[each blding has 8 condos].
i checked out his open house - he had an $8 dollar/hr pretty chick handing out comps. his
comps on the price of the condo was $10k lower than the comps i had pulled from my title company. so the “condo king” was really a “condo jackass”.

selling a house is neither rocket science or brain surgery. its a clerical job that should pay $25/hr tops. not the $1000/hr that some agents make.

Man, infowell/Mike,

You really stirred it up this time didn’t you? :slight_smile: If I didn’t know better, I might think that you like it. ;D

Since you pulled a quote from my post, let add that also in that post, I recommended that a new or inexperienced seller NOT use a flat fee service. It would still be better for them, in most cases, to use the services of a good agent.

Concerning your story about the value of the home: I’ve had agents (not flat fee services) both severely overprice and underprice properties before. It’s not just a problem with flat fee services. You think highly of your profession and you should. You’re a good agent. How do I know? First, because you DO think highly of your profession. Second, you believe in keeping educated. Third, you DO think outside the box, at least a little :). If not, then you wouldn’t be on an investors website.

Unfortunately, the real truth of the matter is that most RE agents do not and are not as good or as motivated as you to be good at their job. I’ve seen the agent that wants only to list property and sit back and collect the split without lifting a finger. Or agents that refuse to show properties that don’t offer a 3% or higher fee to them. Agents that have as me, as the buyer, how to fill out the purchase and sell agreement. Agents that have presented MY offer to the seller but put their PREFERRED buyer’s name on it. I seen it all, and it happens more than you want to admit.

Buckeyes, makes a good point. Why is it that it’s a 6% commission whether it’s a $300K property or a $30k property? Is the $300k property so much harder to sell, list, or market that it commands a premium price for the service? Why is it that in the U.S., the average commission is 6%, but in Europe, it’s only 2%? I think that Buckeyes answered that also. It’s because here, it as he said, a “protected industry.”

Don’t get me wrong. I, personally, like agents. I own a real estate company. Agents make me money. If your were talking to a bunch of new home sellers or buyers, I’d probably be preaching with you. But, as experienced investors, Buckeyes is probably right again. The investor can show and sell the property faster than an agent. I know I can. I can sell or lease/option my properties in an average of 3 weeks compared to the 8 month average sell time here via the MLS. I have agents asking me all the time how I do it.

I totally agree with your view on the value sites. There is nothing better than a good, up to date, comp.

Just my veiws,


Realtors get a lot of money for doing very little work.


“You really stirred it up this time didn’t you? If I didn’t know better, I might think that you like it.”

Who…me? Thanks for the compliments though.

Honestly…everything I stated in my last post comes from experience, and I believe it with all my being.

I’ve have to recertify every two years for my dual licenses. I had to drop my other licenses…otherwise I’d be doing nothing else than attending CE Classes. And I have literally thousands of files in my archives (experience–everything from Beaver Ponds to Multi-Million Dollar Waterfront Properties). I work from sun up to sun down & the possiblility of litigation in this business is worth my services alone.

I routinely save my clients tens of thousands & that’s why I’m successful, and I’m NOT the exception to the rule.

Without exception: When I run across a potential client with the attitude that “Realtors get a lot of money for doing very little work,” I dump em quicker than I’d drop a red hot coal. It just means they’re going to be nothing but a pain (trust me). At this stage of my career I know my value…I don’t need validation from someone who resents what I do, or what I get paid…there are too many others willing to pay my fee.

Moreover, it’s the ones who think they know it all, who have little respect for Real Estate Professionals that I see routinely lose money…often times they don’t even know it.

Funny story: Had a “Gutter Guy” come across the street to an empty house I was inspecting. He was all attitude, and looking for some free advice to boot (which I gladly gave him as I went about my business).

At the end of a 15 minute conversation he asked that I appraise his house so he could drop his PMI payments he’d been making for the past 12 years. When I informed him I was too busy & not accepting anymore clients–he got a little nasty: “Well I’ve got a problem with paying someone $400 for an hours worth of work anyway,” he quiped.

“I don’t know what’s funnier,” I retorted, “the fact that you’ve been paying PMI for 12 years, or the fact you think I’m making $400 an hour, and you’re not doing it yourself.”

you’re missing the whole point, mike.

you’re making a lot of money because of your intelligence and work ethic, not just cause you have a license and charge 3%.

Mike, you have your exceptions and rules backwards. Again, I’m not saying that some realtors don’t do specialty work and earn their money, I’m just saying that the ratio of hacks to quality agents is very high, and that because of a protected system (that should be illegal as any other restricted trade would be) even low quality MLS watchers still make good money at the expense of people who really don’t need them.
If you’re truly a good agent who offers value to your clients, good for you! If you would drop any client who doesn’t think that a real estate license makes you walk on water - well, you’d be dropping me really quickly I guess. For some reason it seems like I know more people who have gotten a R.E. license than I do people who have made it through Harvard Law. Must be some reason for that, you think?

“…(that should be illegal as any other restricted trade would be)…”

Ohhhhh, OK…now I get it. I may not be the brightest bulb in the knife block, but I do eventually get it…you’re one of those.

You & I are chasms apart & will obviously never agree. Readers will have to decide for themselves who they’d rather be getting advice from.

I word on disrespect…it’s usually reciprocated. While it may be fashionable for our politicians to bash each other…the way to make ourselves look good IS NOT by attempting to make others look bad (especially entire professions).

“…you’d be dropping me really quickly I guess.”

It’s only good business sense, for how can you taste my cup of tea Qwai Chang…if yours is already full?

the anonymity of the web allows many people who are quite nice in real life to become rude and condesending.

are you one of those mike, or are you really like this?

I’m sure Mike is a good guy, we just disagree on whether some realtors are good or all realtors are good. It’s commendable to stand up for your profession, it’s just not a position we are ever likely to agree on.

This will be my last word on this topic.

There are those reading these posts who need to understand the FREE advice they’re getting in some instances could cost them dearly. There’s much anymosity towards Real Estate Agents on this site & it would appear I’m wasting my valuable time giving free advice (the hatemongers shout too loud & too often). I’ve no intention of continually debating with those who hold such apparent disdain for an entire profession.

“…are you one of those mike, or are you really like this?” My qualifications speak for themselves. I’m a professional with an extensive background & education in the field of real estate (& I also invest)…I don’t just play one on the Internet.

Further, my comments are defensive of an industry painted by some here with a broad brush (defensive…not offensive). For instance:

"…so the “condo king” was really a “condo jackass”. FYI…novices would be well advised NOT to rely on “comps” provided by a title company (that’s coming from an expert).

I’m just saying that the ratio of hacks to quality agents is very high, and that because of a protected system (that should be illegal as any other restricted trade would be)

The investor can show and sell the property faster than an agent. Wrong! The typical investor tends to have a day job (it’s a part-time gig @ best). My wife & I sold our last three listings all within 5 days…all with multiple offers.

There’s much valuable information here & I intend on shopping. However, in the case of the Forums: Those who know can’t talk (unless they want a debate), and quite often…those talking don’t appear to know (I’ve read more counterfactual information in some posts than I could address in an afternoon).