Sometimes a person who wants to sell their home but has not listed it in MLS asks me "Why should I list it in the MLS? I offer a comparable buyer agent commission to any agent that brings me a buyer."
Yesterday I was honored to accept an award on behalf of the entire BuySelf Realty team. It was the "Award of Excellence" for online marketing from the world leader in real estate marketing, Realtor.com. It was humbling to be among the handful selected for the great work our team does marketing our sellers properties on the internet.
The past few years our flat fee MLS listing business has seen a huge influx of sellers who first tried to sell their home without any professional help and without a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing. Most of these people had put a sign in their yard, and maybe put an ad in a newspaper and maybe a few other things to try to sell their home.
I (and my team) spend lots of time helping sellers every day. So I am very familiar with explaining some of the terminology that often confuses buyers, sellers, and more often then you would think agents. I''m sure most flat fee MLS listing Brokers are. If you have terms you have found confusing please email them to me as I am sure I am just scratching the surface here.
Since the very beginning of being a flat fee broker, I have been surprised at how many traditional real estate agents use our flat fee listing service to sell their own properties. Yes, I think a flat fee MLS listing is an outstanding and incredible value, but I never really figured that agents who as their job ask people to pay 5%, 6% or more would not make sure they themselves paid that price when they sold their own properties.
One common question that comes up with our home sellers is "How do I make a counter proposal to an offer I have received?" First, it is helpful to review the basics of offer and acceptance in real estate:
Our company, actually the main website we advertise on http://FlatFeeMLSListing.com was featured in this excellent article for CNN Money recently. The article does a good job dispelling the misconception that flat fee MLS listing doesn't work in a buyers market. It tells how the stories of sellers putting their home on the market, getting 60 showings and 10 offers after the first weekend (yes, many of our sellers experienced those numbers a few years ago) are quite rare now that most markets favor the buyer over the seller right now.
It may surprise people to learn that we still get lots of questions about multiple offer situations. While the market has definitely slowed down in the past year or so, listings where two (or more) buyers competing to buy the property still happen. As my friend Pat Crosby, a 35+ year real estate veteran frequently said "a well-priced home that is well presented and in great area can sell quickly in any market conditions..." And yes, flat fee MLS listings are just as likely to see multiple offers as other listings.
As you may recall, I was interviewed back in December by a staff reporter for 60 Minutes (off camera, and no, not by Andy Rooney) for a story they were going to be doing on the current state of the real estate industry. I thought the story was going to run as early as February, and I kept watching for it, but I didn't see it. I asked around to others I knew had been interviewed and no one knew. At first I wondered if the topic just didn't make the cut and they were going to drop it. By April I was sure that was what happened.
I spend lots of my time being involved in local, state, and national Realtor Associations, whereas many flat fee brokers do not. The reason I serve on committees, travel to other cities (often Washington, DC), and spend other times working with Realtors is to strengthen my company's reputation. My work and involvement with traditional Realtors quite frankly makes them more likely to sell my sellers homes. A buyer agent who sees a familiar name as the listing broker has a higher level of comfort at showing that listing, as well as putting in a purchase agreement.