Lots of people are out there in the U.S. right now are desperate to sell their houses. The economic downturn has hit people hard, and many are looking to sell their homes so they can move to take a new job, or just get out from under a crushing mortgage. I’m here to tell you that if you want to sell your house, a flat fee MLS service might be the best thing you could possibly do.
How to avoid paying a 6% real estate commission on your house
In traditional real estate deals, the home owner lists with a real estate agent. Typically, this person will want you to sign a contract stating that you owe them 6% of the home sale price for selling your home.
Of that 6%, the listing agent (the person you contacted) will get 3%, and he or she will split the fee and give the other 3% to the buyer’s agent (the agent who theoretically shows up with the person who will buy your home). If the two people are the same person – in other words, if the person who lists your home then goes out and finds a buyer for it – then that one person keeps the whole 6% fee.
But that’s a lot of money! 6% on a $200,000 home is $12,000! And what if the agent doesn’t actually do any work? What if you go out and find the buyer flat fee realtor for the house? Guess what! According to the terms of the contract you signed, the listing agent still gets all 6%!
What if there were a way you could cut the middle man out of the picture, and either pocket that extra $12,000, or offer your residence for $12,000 less and sell it way faster?
There is – by listing your property on the MLS yourself!
What is the MLS?
It stands for Multiple Listing Service, and it’s the number one tool that real estate agents use to sell your house. It’s basically an online database that lists houses for sale across the nation. When agents want to find a house to show their clients, they look at the MLS in order to know what is for sale. And they can use it to figure out what homes are in their clients’ price range.
What you probably didn’t know is that over 95% of all websites that show houses for sale are getting those listings off the MLS. If you’ve ever browsed a website looking for a home, you were looking at something pulled off the Multiple Listing Service.
One of the things an agent does is list your residence on the MLS. But it’s a fairly cheap cost when you compare it to $12,000. And there are companies out there that will allow you to list your property for a fraction of that cost – usually a low $49 to $399 flat fee, depending on the services provided – and get your home listed on that national database.