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Does this Flat Fee MLS Listing Service Really Work?
2BuyHomes is one of the many sites in our For Sale By Owner Advertising Services Distribution Channel. Our distribution channel is the largest on the Internet so that your FSBOAdvertising listing can get More Exposure to Buyers directly and More Exposure to Buyers thru the Realtors MLS if you select that option.
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Sellers should be aware that some other companies offer what SEEMS to be a Flat Fee MLS Listing service but in fact they contract to keep some of the contingent sales commission for themselves such that EITHER the Buyers Agents are actually being offered LESS commission to sell your home than they are being offered to sell other homes on the market (which means your home may not get shown to any buyers at all) OR you are contracting to pay a sales commission which is in excess of what the listing agent is actually offering to pay to the Buyers Agents so that the listing agent can keep a listing commission of say 1/2% while they are calling it a Flat Fee just to get you to list with them to start with. So make sure that your written listing contract provides that the listing broker is NOT keeping any split of the commission if you deal with a broker directly.
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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. 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 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 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.
Considering that this Flat Fee Realtor MLS alternative allows for both the increased exposure to potential buyers who may be working only with a realtor (at a cost to the seller of 3% commission rather than 6%) and the continuing opportunity for the owner to sell the property FSBO and still avoid Realtor commissions entirely if the owner finds a buyer first, this is indeed an alternative which property owners should research, become knowledgeable about and consider Before you settle on Your Marketing Plan. In the above described scenario, owners should understand that there is only "Limited" Agency with the Listing Realtor and NO Agency with the "Buyers Agent" Realtors. This means that the "Buyers Agent" Realtors do NOT Work For The Seller as many people commonly think that all Realtors do. These "Buyer Agent" Realtors do not have the same customary responsibilities towards the property owner that a "Listing-Agent" or a "Sub-Agent " Selling Realtor would normally have. Dealing with these "Buyer Agent" Realtors is more like dealing with a potential buyer who might respond to your FSBO marketing efforts. Any owner interested in this approach should fully research and understand these differences in the Realtors duties and responsibilities and consider getting an attorney to review your sales contracts with any of these Buyer Agents before you sign them (having an attorney lined up to review your sales contract, or better yet to prepare one for you in advance, is a good idea anyway for all non-real estate professionals). A form called "Information About Brokerage Services" is published by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and is available to download or view at ftp://ftp.trec.state.tx.us/contracts/OP-K.pdf and this form has some information about these "Buyers Agent" Realtors. These rules about Agency and their consequences will vary considerably from state to state, the Texas TREC form is one general example of the nature of these rules. Be sure to determine how these issues affect your rights and obligations in your specific state.
One problem with this Flat Fee MLS marketing method is finding a LOCAL Flat Fee Realtor that will do it. Dealing directly with a Local Realtor who lives, works, and has a wealth of personal knowledge about marketing homes in your specific area has a number of obvious benefits for home sellers. A lot of realtors "Talk" about discount listing services these days primarily as a way to get customers into their offices to sell them their Full Priced Services, many others idea of "Discount Commissions" is to reduce their normal 6% to 4.5% or 5%, while Most Realtors will not consider this type of an arrangement at all, since it runs contrary to their traditional practices. We offer these Realtor Flat Fee MLS Listing Package Deals in coordination with FSBO Friendly Local Realtors all around the country in order to combine the benefits of this new marketing method with the normal FSBO marketing strategy. The result is a Powerful Marketing Plan which offers sellers a Lot of Flexibility at a fraction of the cost of most Discount Realtor Listing services.
Our users should understand that we do not recommend any particular Marketing Plan, either The Realtor plan, The FSBO Plan, or the Hybrid FSBO - Realtor plan. Each individual seller will have different needs, limitations, or preferences. Our purpose is simply to assist users in identifying the various alternatives, evaluating those alternatives for yourself, and obtaining additional information about those home selling alternatives for your own individual consideration to determine which Plan best suites your preferences and objectives. If Your Marketing Plan then requires any Advertising, FSBOAdvertising is here to provide you an efficient and valuable addition to your Advertising program which is designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of WHICHEVER Marketing Plan You Choose. In reality, all property is For Sale By Owner. Some owners choose the Realtor Marketing plan, some choose the FSBO Marketing plan, and lately quite a few are choosing the Flat Fee MLS Hybrid Marketing plan.
FSBOAdvertising does not own or operate the Independent Licensed Real Estate Companies who provide these services. An experienced Licensed Real Estate Broker serving your area will be providing the MLS listing feature of this package according to the Written Listing Contract you will enter into directly with them in connection with ordering this service.
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Alabama Flat Fee MLS Birmingham & Mobile areas.
Alaska Flat Fee MLS most areas.
Arizona Phoenix Flat Fee MLS Phoenix and surrounding areas.
Arizona Tucson Flat Fee MLS Tucson and surrounding areas.
Arkansas Flat Fee MLS Little Rock and most of the state.
California Flat Fee MLS San Francisco Bay Area & Northern areas.
California Flat Fee MLS Sacramento and surrounding areas.
California Flat Fee MLS Los Angeles - San Diego - Orange County areas.
California Flat Fee MLS Bakersfield, Fresno, & Ventura County areas.
Colorado Flat Fee MLS Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Pueblo.
Connecticut Flat Fee MLS Hartford and most areas.
Florida Central Flat Fee MLS Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, most central Florida areas.
Florida Miami Flat Fee MLS Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, & South Florida.
Florida Jacksonville Flat Fee MLS Jacksonville area.
Georgia Atlanta Flat Fee MLS Atlanta and surrounding areas.
Georgia Flat Fee MLS Athens, Augusta, Ellijay, Jasper, Savannah & Other areas.
Hawaii Flat Fee MLS most of Hawaii.
Idaho Flat Fee MLS Boise and other areas.
Illinois Chicago Flat Fee MLS Chicago and most Northeastern Illinois areas.
Indiana Flat Fee MLS Indianapolis Indiana and surrounding areas.
Kansas Flat Fee MLS Kansas City and Wichita areas.
Louisiana New Orleans Flat Fee MLS most areas.
Louisiana Baton Rouge Flat Fee MLS most areas.
Louisiana Lafayette Flat Fee MLS most areas.
Maryland Flat Fee MLS Annapolis, Baltimore, the Entire State (MRIS MLS).
Massachusetts Flat Fee MLS Boston and the Entire State (MLSPIN MLS).
Michigan Detroit Flat Fee MLS Detroit and South-Eastern Michigan areas.
Michigan South West Flat Fee MLS South Western Michigan areas.
Michigan Other Areas Flat Fee MLS other Michigan areas.
Minnesota Flat Fee MLS Minneapolis - Saint Paul and the Entire State.
Mississippi Flat Fee MLS Hattiesburg & Biloxi areas.
Missouri Kansas City Area Flat Fee MLS Kansas City, Springfield, Mineral areas.
Missouri St Louis Area Flat Fee MLS Saint Louis Missouri and Surrounding areas.
Montana Flat Fee MLS Billings & surrounding areas.
Nevada Flat Fee MLS Las Vegas and most other areas.
New Hampshire Flat Fee MLS Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Milford, the entire State.
New Jersey Flat Fee MLS most of the State.
New Mexico Flat Fee MLS Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.
New York Flat Fee MLS most New York areas.
New York Flat Fee MLS Buffalo-Niagara areas.
North Carolina Flat Fee MLS most North Carolina areas.
North Carolina Charlotte Flat Fee MLS Charlotte areas (and South Carolina suburbs).
North Carolina Flat Fee MLS Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and surrounding areas.
Oregon Flat Fee MLS Portland, Eugene, and most western areas.
Oregon Flat Fee MLS Salem, Willamette Valley areas.
Ohio Cleveland Flat Fee MLS Cleveland - Akron and surrounding areas.
Ohio Cincinnati Flat Fee MLS Cincinnati, Dayton, & Toledo areas.
Ohio Columbus Flat Fee MLS Columbus and surrounding areas.
Oklahoma Flat Fee MLS Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and surrounding areas.
Pennsylvania Philadelphia Flat Fee MLS Philadelphia & Eastern State areas.
Pennsylvania Pittsburg Flat Fee MLS Pittsburgh & Western Pennsylvania areas.
Rhode Island Flat Fee MLS Providence, Kingston, & Newport (entire state).
South Carolina Flat Fee MLS Charleston and most South Carolina areas.
South Carolina - Greenville Flat Fee MLS Greenville and surrounding areas.
Tennessee Flat Fee MLS Nashville, Knoxville, Central - Eastern State areas.
Tennessee Memphis Flat Fee MLS Memphis areas.
Texas Austin Flat Fee MLS Austin Texas and surrounding areas.
Texas Dallas Flat Fee MLS Dallas - Denton - Fort Worth - Henderson - Tyler areas.
Texas Houston Flat Fee MLS Houston - Galveston Texas areas (HAR MLS).
Texas San Antonio Flat Fee MLS San Antonio Texas and surrounding areas (SABOR MLS).
Utah Flat Fee MLS Salt Lake City and all Central and Northern areas.
Northern Virginia Flat Fee MLS Fairfax, Alexandria, Northern Virginia areas (MRIS MLS).
Richmond Virginia Flat Fee MLS Richmond and Central Virginia areas (CVRMLS).
South Eastern Virginia Flat Fee MLS Virginia Beach and Newport News areas (REIN MLS).
Washington DC Flat Fee MLS all areas.
Washington State Seattle Flat Fee MLS Seattle, Tacoma, and all Western State areas.
Washington Spokane MLS Spokane, Tri-Cities, Whatcom, and Yakima areas.
Wisconsin Milwaukee Realtor Flat Fee MLS Milwaukee and surrounding areas.
Wisconsin Madison Realtor Flat Fee MLS Madison - Green Bay and surrounding areas.
Wisconsin Twin Cities Realtor Flat Fee MLS Twin Cities Wisconsin Suburban areas.
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