The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is an online database that distributes your property sale listing to dozens of home selling sites. This means that it’s easily found by realtors and potential buyers. Basically, it gains your home far more reach than the old days of selling your house via a small local real estate agent. With the MLS, your home will be seen by thousands of potential buyers.
There are two ways that you can list your property on the MLS: you can pay a real estate broker to do it for you, or you can do it yourself. Paying a real estate agent to do this requires that you pay them a large listing commission fee, sometimes totaling thousands of dollars. Alternatively, you can pay a smaller flat fee to list the house yourself. A third way is to find a flat fee broker, whom you pay a fixed price but benefit from some additional services as well.
If you’re selling your home for the first time, it’s easy to feel very overwhelmed by the options – which one is right for you? It depends on how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest in the sale of your home. In this article, we’ll explain all about the MLS, and which method of listing is better for sellers.
What Is the MLS?
As we said, this is an internet database of homes that is available to realtors in your area and beyond, to help them match a house to their clients who are looking to buy. Realtors scour the MLS searching for houses that align to the needs of their buyers, making it an invaluable resource for them. As well as this, buyers can also access it themselves, if they are planning to buy without the help of a real estate agent.
There are plentiful advantages to gain from listing your home yourself on the MLS, and not paying a real estate broker to do it for you. The main benefit is that you get to keep your money: you don’t pay a huge listing commission fee to a broker to do the work for you.
When you choose to list your home yourself, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of that a realtor would usually handle for you. The main things are:
- Taking accurate and presentable photos of your home to attract potential buyers – nobody will schedule a viewing if your photos don’t show your home in its best light.
- Writing your own home advert – listing all the ways that your home would be an excellent purchase, highlighting all its best features.
- Putting up a ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign in your yard to attract drive-by interest.
- Accurately valuing your house. To do this, you’ll need to do thorough research about current house prices in your area, while also reflecting the work you’ve put into fixing up your home while you’ve lived there.
- Learning housing law – you’ll need to know the proper way to negotiate offers and legally put a sale through yourself.
As you can see, taking on the job of a realtor is not always an easy task – but the reward at the end is worth it. By doing all the work yourself, you stay in charge of the whole process, and get to keep a far higher share of the eventual selling price than you would with huge real estate agent fees.
Flat Fee MLS Listing
It could also be worth finding a flat fee real estate broker in your area who doesn’t require you to pay ridiculous commission fees to list your property for you – but be aware that sometimes in these cases, the customer services offered for such a low price can be dismal.
Overall, the advantages of selling for yourself far outweigh the negatives. If you’re thinking it’s time to sell your home, it’s absolutely worth looking into whether you have what it takes to list your property on the MLS without the disadvantages of using a realtor.