Everything You Need to Know About a Flat-Fee MLS Listing
Feb 3, 2020
If you’re ready to sell your home, you probably already know that it’s not as easy as just putting a sign out in your yard. There are a number of steps involved. Obviously, you need to find a new home. You also have to think about any repairs your current house may require before you put it on the market. Then, there’s everything from changing your address to cancelling the cable.
Among all of these tasks, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is how you will actually sell your home. Traditionally, the job has fallen to real estate agents who typically charge a 6% commission on the sale for their services. While these sizable fees have never been very popular among those looking to sell, until recently, it was the only real option. Fortunately, another option has become more popular in the last ten years — listing for a flat fee. In this article, we will explore flat fee listings and the many advantages of using this type of service to sell your home in a far-more-affordable manner.
What Is a Flat-Fee listing?
A flat-fee listing is exactly what it sounds like.
Instead of paying your real-estate agent a percentage of the sales price for your home, you agree upfront on a set fee for their help. In return, the agent agrees to list your home on the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) marketplace. Along with a flat-fee MLS listing, some agents may also provide other valuable services like open houses, professional photography, managed showings and more.
In summary, no matter what your home sells for, the amount you pay your real-estate agent stays the same with a flat fee mls listing.
The 3 Biggest Advantages of Selling Your Home with a Flat-Fee Listing
One very simple benefit of choosing a flat-fee listing is just how much it simplifies selling your home, which can often turn into a fairly complicated process. However, there are actually three other very good reasons to consider choosing a flat-fee real-estate agent if you’re thinking about selling your house.
1. You Keep More of the Profits from Your Home’s Sale
Although turning a profit may not be the primary reason you’re selling your home, no one wants to take a loss on such a sizable investment.
Whether it’s time to expand or you’re looking to downsize, you’ll have far greater options if your house sells for a healthy profit. The less you pay in commissions, the more you can anticipate making on the sale and allocate towards the budget for a new home.
That’s why so many sellers have begun ditching traditional real-estate agents.
According to Bankrate, these old-fashioned agents typically charge their clients, “about 5 percent to 6 percent of the sales price.” Zillow says their commissions can be as high as 7 percent. Either way, even though this 6% commission fee is generally split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents, it still is deducted directly from the amount you walk away with.
So, for example, if your home sells for $300,000 and you agreed to pay your agent and the buyer’s agent a total of 6% percent of the sales price for a traditional listing, then you’re out $18,000!
When you choose a flat-fee listing, you don’t have to worry about that kind of exorbitant overhead no matter how much a buyer agrees to pay for your home. As you’ll know from the very beginning what you’ll owe your listing agent, it’s much easier to decide what to price your house at and what you can afford in a new home.
It is important to keep in mind that most flat listing fees do not include the buyer's agent commission. Therefore, your flat fee will save you a ton of money on the sell side but most likely will not affect the buyer's agent commission.
Although the seller does ultimately decide the commission they would like to offer the buyer's agent and can offer a lower commission, it is highly suggested to not do so. In some cases, lowering the amount offered to a buyer's agent can discourage agents from showing your property to their clients which can have various negative effects on the sale of your home.
2. An Experienced Agent Still Handles the Entire Sale of Your Home
In the past, home sellers who weren’t satisfied with paying agents thousands to sell their home only had one alternative: handle the entire sale on their own.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
Selling a home requires everything from connections with agents in the area who represent buyers to an understanding of local real-estate laws and contracts. Juggling these responsibilities with those of everyday life usually means the venture doesn’t get very far.
That’s why for-sale-by-owner is falling out of favor among sellers.
While some flat fee listing services only put your home on the MLS, many others actually offer the help an experienced agent who provides the same services of a traditionally-priced listing. As a result, with a flat-fee listing, there’s simply no need to take the labor-intensive, for sale by owner approach. Even though you’re saving money with a flat fee listing compared to the traditional route, you don’t have to forgo the essential services of an experienced real-estate agent, much less try to perform them on your own.
3. Peace of Mind While the Sale Proceeds
No real-estate agent can ever guarantee the sale of a home, much less a price, but when you choose a flat-fee listing, you will avoid some of the anxiety that often comes along with this process.
Again, you already know what your real-estate agent will charge for the sale, regardless of how much you get for your home, so there’s no need to constantly second-guess your asking price. This is no small benefit, considering that one of the biggest worries among home sellers is “selling their home within the desired price range.”
Better still, as you’re not trying to sell the home yourself, you don’t have the long list of responsibilities weighing on your mind each and every day.
Instead, you can see to all the other tasks associated with preparing for a move, not to mention all the other priorities you already have on your plate.
Choose a Flat-Fee Listing to Sell Your Home without the Overhead or Hassle
Expect the popularity of flat-fee real-estate listings to continue increasing in years to come as more and more buyers discover this alternative to the antiquated way that home-selling is usually done.
At SimpleShowing, we pair the aforementioned benefits of flat-fee listings with the advantages of working with experienced real-estate agents so you'll get the support and service you need while still saving thousands in commission.
So, when you choose our service, you’ll still benefit from:
- Listing on the MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and more that will give it just as much exposure as if you had agreed to a 6 percent commission.
- A free, home valuation report, so – combined with knowing your agent’s fee – you’re comfortable with what to expect from the sale according to the activity in your current market
- The marketing services required to bring sufficient buyer interest to your home, including professional photos and digital ads.
- Expert help with negotiations, necessary paperwork and contracts
- No upfront fees and you only pay the 1% flat listing fee once the sale of your home is complete.
If you’d like to learn more about how easy it can be to sell your home without paying excessive fees, please contact us today.