If you want to sell your property in the United States, currently there is only one service which is reliable and significantly effective: the multiple listing service (MLS). According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of all homes sold are sold via the MLS. So does this statistic justify that if you are selling your home, then you should be on the MLS? Well, consider this: if playing red in roulette at the casino gave you 92% odds to win, wouldn’t you always play red? Of course you would. So, it stands to reason that if you are selling your house, you should list it on the MLS.
How Do I List on the MLS?
Traditionally, the only way to get on the MLS is to hire a listing agent. Period. However, you do not have to use a traditional listing agent. They typically charge you 6% of the sales price of your property to list your home. Instead, use a flat fee listing service, like ListWithFreedom.com. They charge a small up-front fee to put your home in the MLS and you do not have to pay the listing agent side of the commission. This type of real estate broker could save you thousands of dollars when selling your home.
Do I Have to Pay 6% Commission?
The traditional method of selling a home works like this; you hire an agent to sell your property and agree to pay the agent a fee (usually 6%). That agent will then share that commission with any agent that brings a buyer and completes the transaction. This shared amount (also known as the coop-commission) is usually 50/50; the listing agent keeps 3% and gives the buyer’s agent 3%.
But you don’t have to pay 6% to list your home in the MLS. When you list with an MLS flat fee listing service like ListWithFreedom.com, you’ll only pay a commission for one side of the transaction, the buyer’s agent side, saving you at least 3% which usually equates to thousands of dollars.
The MLS Story – Past, Present and Future
In the late 1800s, real estate brokers regularly gathered at the offices of their local associations to share information about properties they were trying to sell. They agreed to compensate other brokers who helped sell those properties, and the first MLS was born, based on a fundamental principle that's unique to organized real estate – “help me sell my inventory and I'll help you sell yours.”
Over the years since then, the MLS has evolved into a complex and efficient system, made up of over 1,000 regional databases across the U.S. But before this, real estate agents had very little facility to share their listings. Most brokerage firms would have offices in town, and buyers would have to visit those locations to see what inventory the brokers had.
Then came the books. The big blue books. Before the internet, agents and homebuyers used these huge catalogs that were printed and distributed every few weeks that featured all of the real estate listings in a city, town or county. A buyer would sit with a real estate agent and peruse this massive tome to find the house of their dreams.
Not only was it difficult to find the right property, but there was also something missing from the books. Pictures. There were no photographs. In comparison to today, the MLS can have multiple photos of a home. Many MLS’s allow 25 to 100 photos to be included with a listing.
We Are Changing the Way Real Estate Is Sold
It’s important to understand the history of the MLS to show why the real estate industry needs change, especially in the amount of commission that listing agents make. Back before the 1990’s, listing agents worked hard to manage, show and sell their customers’ homes. They were required to manage their inventory, have offices for buyers to visit, and worked hard to market their listings.
But once the internet became common place, listings became so readily available and easily searchable, that anyone could find the next house they wanted to buy, right from the comfort of their own home.
So, the role of a listing agent has become incredibly simple: get the owner to agree to list, enter the listing information into the MLS, and wait for a buyer’s agent to bring a buyer. In fact, as soon as a listing agent got a new listing, they would immediately go and find another listing. Since they no longer had to spend time to actively market the listing, they could continue to build their inventory and simply wait for other buyer’s agents to find the buyers.
Is the MLS Still Relevant Today?
YES! Remember, 92% of all homes sold are sold via the MLS. You want to be in the MLS. When you list your home in the MLS, you are essentially hiring all the agents in a geographic area to help you find a buyer. In some areas, that’s thousands of agents, and the more eyes you have on a product, the better chance you have to get the highest price possible.
Do Buyer’s Still Use Real Estate Agents?
YES! Buyers do not have to pay for the services that a real estate agent offers to find them a home. The seller pays the buyer’s agent. So why wouldn’t a buyer use an agent?
Perhaps they feel that they can find a home on their own. After all, the internet displays thousands of homes available and on the MLS. Internet savvy buyers can search to find their own homes. But only real estate agents have access to the actual MLS listing. And that is important, because the internet sites are not permitted to show seller’s direct contact information. When you call the contact number associated with a listing on a public internet site like Zillow or Realtor.com, you are calling another agent that paid to have to advertise on listings in their area. But when you work directly with your own buyer’s agent, they have direct access to the real contact information and showing instructions on the MLS listing.
The Future of Real Estate
The real estate industry, like everything else, is changing. And ListWithFreedom.com is on the forefront of that change, providing homeowners a way to save thousands of dollars, but still providing efficient, simple, and powerful services to help them sell their homes.
ListWithFreedom.com set out in 2005 to change the way real estate is sold. And we have done just that. ListWithFreedom.com will list your home on the MLS for a low flat fee and expose your property to thousands of agents who have ready, willing and able buyers. Take a look at what we have to offer. Visit https://www.listwithfreedom.com today to learn more.