The Best Flat Fee Real Estate Brokers (2023)
Mar 1, 2023
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.
When it comes to selling your home, choosing the right real estate broker is critical. Flat fee MLS services have gained popularity as a cost-effective alternative to traditional real estate brokers. In this article, we’ll discuss how flat fee MLS works and provide our picks for the best flat fee MLS brokers.
What is a Flat Fee MLS Service?
A flat fee MLS service is a multiple listing service (MLS) that allows home sellers to list their properties on local MLS platforms for a one-time fee. This fee is significantly lower than the typical listing agent commission, which can save thousands of dollars in the home selling process. Flat fee MLS listings grant your property maximum exposure to potential buyers, as well as to licensed realtors and real estate websites.
Our Picks for the Best Flat Fee MLS Brokers
When selecting a flat fee MLS company, it’s crucial to consider factors like pricing tiers, hidden fees, and additional services. Here are our top picks for the best flat fee MLS companies:
- Homie: Homie offers a comprehensive flat fee MLS service with a focus on technology. Their package costs $3,500 and includes professional photography, pricing assistance and a yard sign. Additionally, they provide support from local licensed Realtors and a user-friendly platform to help you manage your listing.
- SimpleShowing: SimpleShowing is known for its transparent pricing and excellent customer service. Rather than a 6% commission or an up-front fee, they charge a 1% listing commission at closing. The fee includes listing on the local MLS & real estate websites, professional photography, and a comparative market analysis. Their service is “full service” from the standpoint of contract review, negotiation and showing management.
- Beycome: Beycome offers a range of flat fee MLS services to cater to different needs and budgets. Their packages include local MLS listing, buyer’s agent commission, and unlimited listing changes. They also provide additional services such as pricing advice, legal paperwork, and contract negotiations for an up front fee of $599.
- List with Freedom: List with Freedom is a flat fee MLS provider that focuses on affordability and flexibility. Their basic package includes listing on local MLS platforms, a yard sign and 25 photos for $195. They also offer an array of optional add-on services, such as legal forms, a lockbox and disclosures, for an additional fee.
- Houzeo: Houzeo is a modern flat fee MLS provider that focuses on user experience. Their basic package is as low as $379. They also various levels of plans including a Gold or Platinum package that includes more services.
How Does Flat Fee MLS Work?
When you opt for a flat fee service, you’re essentially choosing a real estate broker to list your home on the local MLS. The listing broker will enter your property details into the system, making it visible to other real estate brokers and active buyers.
Unlike a full-service agent, a flat fee MLS provider offers limited coverage, focusing solely on listing your property. This means that the seller takes on tasks such as pricing advice, legal paperwork, negotiations and home showings.
Advantages of Flat-Fee MLS
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.
You Keep More of the Profits from Your Home’s Sale
The less you pay in commissions, the more you can anticipate making on the sale and allocating towards the budget for a new home.
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.
Keep in mind that even if choose a low commission broker, you still need to cover the buyer’s agent fee. The flat fee will save you a ton of money on the sell side but generally does not affect the buyer’s agent commission.
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 with an FSBO approach.
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 can be challenging.
How to Choose the Right Flat Fee MLS Provider
When choosing a flat fee MLS company, consider the following factors:
- Pricing: Ensure that the flat fee service doesn’t have any hidden fees and that it fits your budget.
- Coverage: The more listing exposure your property gets, the higher the chances of attracting a motivated home buyer. Look for a flat fee MLS broker that provides maximum exposure on real estate websites and local MLS platforms.
- Additional Services: Some flat fee MLS companies offer additional services like pricing advice, legal paperwork, or even full service at an extra cost. Determine if you need these services and if the additional fees are worth it.
- Support: Choose a flat fee MLS provider that offers excellent customer service and support throughout the home selling process.
Flat Fee Alternative: 1% Listing Fee Agent
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. Rather than charging you a flat fee up-front, we charge zero up front and only 1% at closing
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, combined with a personalized CMA (market analysis) from one of our agents.
- 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 Realtor fees, contact us today.