Frequently Asked Questions of Home Buyers and Home Sellers (FAQs)

Click on one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about buying or selling your home

 

Multiple Listing Service or MLS

What is the MLS and how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know about the MLS.

Yes. All participating MLS REALTORS® belong to their regional association of REALTORS®. The Listing Agent that will be assigned to place your property in the proper MLS for your region will be paid from the flat fee that you pay to flatfeelisting.com – There is no additional fee to pay the listing agent that is assigned to list your property into the real estate multiple listing service

If you are not completely satisfied you can qualify for a 100% money-back guarantee under certain conditions. This is based on FlatFeeListing.com referring your listing to a new real estate broker, and who is acceptable to both of us. In the event you want to cancel (for any reason), and wish to list with a more traditional broker (of course, prior to getting a sales contract), we agree to refund the money you paid us by rebating the money payable at close-of-escrow as long as all parties agree to a standard REALTOR® Referral Agreement.

The MLS, REALTOR.com and all public websites that display MLS listings in your area – plus extras as listed on the website page for your state.

Yes, you can cancel your listing at any time. Just notify the listing agent you wish to cancel your listing.

NO. Your listing will end up in the same MLS if you were to re-list your property with a more Traditional Real Estate Agent charging you higher commissions. Of course, there are no refunds once your property is listed in your regional Multiple Listing Service (except possibly under the terms of our “REALTOR® Referral” Money-back Guarantee.) You may also apply for the “Money Back Guarantee” by sending FlatFeeListing.com an email

The MLS flat fee listing is good for 6-months. Most homes are sold within a couple of months of listing or sooner. Many homes listed have sold within a day to a week. Rarely is a renewal of the listing needed.

Your home should sell quickly if priced right, in a good location and shows well. The MLS & REALTOR.com® will draw maximum attention to your home.

It does not matter. It’s merely an often-used false marketing method and fabrication to get you thinking it makes a difference so you end-up listing with them. Comparatively few potential buyers reside in your neighborhood. Most buyers come from another part of town, different areas, another city, or out-of-state. Even if a prospective buyer happens to live nearby, why would location of the listing broker make any difference at all? Keep in mind, a buyer who comes via The MLS in all likelihood already has a REALTOR® who is their buyers’ Agent. A buyer rarely hires the Listing Agent. If the Buyers’ Agent needs to contact the Listing Agent they normally use the phone or fax to submit purchase contract offer in-person contact is never really needed. The listing broker could be located in another city or even out-of-state, it really makes no difference.

You have several options, and should discuss the best alternatives with the agent who will take care of your listing. You can have agents call you directly to make appointments, if you wish. The most common way showings are done, is the listing broker indicates showing instructions on the multiple listing service computer. This can say “Call Owner direct to arrange for a showings” (giving your name and contact phone number) P.S. There are a few areas in the country (Ohio) where broker’s phone number is given for showings as the MLS does not permit Owners’ contact info. If so, the listing broker will refer the call directly to you, to schedule the showing appointment. REALTORS® customarily call Owner before showing the home.

Yes. The main purpose of MLS is for REALTORS® to sell each other’s listings.

Absolutely not! That is a misleading and somewhat fraudulent representation made by some Real Estate Agents in a clever attempt to dissuade you from doing a flatfeelisting. First of all, when the Agent sees your listing on the MLS computer, there is no way the Agent knows it’s a flat fee listing. The Listing Agent’s name and contact information shown on your Multiple Listing Service will be your Listing Agent, not flatfeelisting.com.
 
In addition, the listing commission is not disclosed on the MLS! Even if the Buyer’s Agent somehow knew you were not paying a high traditional listing commission, that would not effect the showings, since the Agent is not concerned about the commission you are paying the listing broker. After all, the Buyer’s Agent ONLY cares about the commission offered to him/her to sell your home, not how much you paid the Listing Agent!

Yes. Your MLS Flat Fee Listing will look exactly the same as any other listing. There is no way to tell how much you paid to get on the MLS. Regardless of whom you listed with or what you paid, your listing will look no different from any other listing in form and style. The listing broker’s name appears on the MLS, not flatfeelisting.com name. Our flat fee listing method gets your property on the same MLS used by your area REALTORS®. Your listing will appear the same as all other MLS property listings.

It is not likely. Of course, there are a very few exceptions. REALTORS® operate completely from MLS computer listings. The MLS Listing Agreement specifies the REALTORS® commission and without this agreement REALTORS® will bypass FSBO homes. Of course, you may sell your home without a REALTOR®, but once listed, REALTORS® do not regard you as a FSBO but simply another listing for them to sell. Real Estate Agents will generally avoid FSBO properties due to the fact that they are working with buyers and have no written agreement to be compensated. If the seller has not agreed in writing to pay a commission to a Buyer’s Agent, the buyer could cut the Agent right out of the deal and negotiate directly with the seller.

NO. There is no FSBO MLS System. The general public is not allowed to list their own property in the REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Only a State Licensed REALTOR® Member may access their regional MLS to list a property for sale, or find homes for buyers. This is the same MLS used by REALTORS® in your area, one you will be listed in, which is accessed by Agents in your area.
 
NOTE: Please be aware in order to get your property listed into your regional Multiple listing Service it has to be listed by a licensed Real Estate Listing Agent that is a member of the MLS. This agent is assigned to you by flatfeelisting.com and gets paid by flatfeelisting.com – There is no additional money you pay to the listing agent. A REALTOR® has to be involved in order for your property to be listed into the MLS and REALTOR.com®

Yes, the vast majority of homes are sold through the MLS due to the large network of REALTORS® working with home buyers. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports homes listed by REALTORS® result in a higher net price to Sellers compared to “FSBO” home sale transactions.

Realtors in our network provide services for a flat fee for two main reasons – volume business and more exposure for their real estate firm.

Only a licensed real estate broker who belongs to the MLS and pays the MLS dues and fees is able to list a property. An individual can’t simply post an “ad” in MLS, like placing an ad in a newspaper. The real estate broker is also responsible for the accuracy of the listing, and keeping it current. For example, the broker can lose his MLS membership or pay heavy fines if a property is under contract or sold, but still listed as “Active” in MLS. When you list with us, a licensed broker who belongs to the MLS where your property is located will be assigned to your listing.
 
If you list with a typical 6% Realtor, and the property sells, you pay the whole 6%, even if the buyer is your neighbor and the Realtor didn’t do anything other than put his sign in the yard and enter the listing in MLS. It gets worse – if you read the fine print in the typical 6% listing contract, you’ll notice that you owe the entire commission if you want to cancel your listing early, or if you lease the home without the agent’s permission! The main reason so many sellers sign such contracts is that they never read them.

The Listing real estate agent only gets paid a flat fee for listing your property into the MLS.

MLS stands for “Multiple Listing Service”. Most people refer to MLS as if it were all one big database of homes. Actually there are over a thousand individual MLSs across the country; some big, some small. They are all separate from each other, so a Realtor who looks on his local MLS in Boston can’t see the listings in the Miami MLS. That’s why it’s so important to be listed in the correct local MLS. There are many national websites, like Realtor.com, that aggregate listings from all these 1000 MLSs, and put them all on one giant website. Some information, such as commissions offered to agents and owner contact information, is only displayed on the local MLS for agents to see, and not the national public websites.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the key to Home-Sales Success. The MLS lists the vast majority of real estate listings which are listed “for sale” by real estate brokers and their agents. All types of real estate property is listed in the real estate multiple listing service; houses, townhomes, condominiums, commercial property, lots, acreage and even rental properties. Real Estate Associations in all 50 US states and Canada run their own MLS Systems. Statistics show that homes listed on the MLS sell faster.
“The MLS” is the secret to success of real estate sales, directly responsible for about 4 of 5 sales nationwide. About 85% of home buyers use a REALTOR® to help them locate a property. When a possible buyer contacts a Real Estate Agent regarding a home purchase, the Agent will search the MLS for homes matching the buyers’ desires, wants and needs. Statistics show that homes listed on the MLS sell faster.

1. You get the same MLS listing in the same local MLS for a one-time low Flat Fee instead of 6%.
2. If you sell your home without a buyer’s agent involved, there is zero commission.
3. More exposure on hundreds of national MLS websites. Many 6% Realtors limit the exposure to public websites to increase their chances of getting the entire 6% commission.
Fact: “1.1 million real estate agents in America average only six home sales per year. Each works about forty hours per sale, which amounts to 12% of the work year, or five hours per week. Most of the balance of hours is devoted to getting new business. Brokers receive a median $52,800 income yearly.”
“The average couple selling the average home will need to work five weeks each – ten weeks total – to pay the commission of the agent who will work only one week on that transaction.”

1. MLS stands for “Multiple Listing Service”, and is “the real estate market”.
2. Over 90% of all properties sold in the US are as a result of MLS listing exposure.
3. Being listed in MLS means all the local Realtors can find your home in their MLS database.
4. Buyers can find your home on thousands of public MLS websites, where they are most likely to be searching for a home.
5. MLS listed properties (for sale by owner or not) sell faster and for more money than non-MLS listed “for sale by owner” properties.

Commission to a Buyer Agent

Help me understand Commission to a buyer agent. How are different and how commissions work with Selling Agent and a Listing Agent.

No. If you find a buyer for your home with no Agent being the procuring source, there is no commission to pay.

The commission the Seller pays the Buyer’s Agent is totally up to the Seller. Real Estate commission fees are not FIXED, fees are negotiable by LAW. REALTORS® cannot demand the Seller pay a certain commission to sell their home on the MLS. REALTORS® that demand the seller pay 3% to buyer’s agent can and will have their license revoked.

• The term Agent means a Licensed REALTOR.® 
• Please note that FlatFeeListing.com is not your Listing Broker/Agent.
• FlatFeelisting.com provides a referral service to owners of real estate property. Once you buy the service from flatfeelisting.com, we refer your MLS flat fee listing to a Listing Real Estate Agent that is a member of your regional MLS. This Listing Agent lists your property in the MLS and REALTOR.com.
• A Selling Agent is the Real Estate agency who actually sells the property. They are sometimes called Buyer’s Agents.
• The Listing Agent is the Real Estate agency who lists your home for sale in the MLS.

Yes. Any REALTOR® bringing a ready, willing and able buyer with a satisfactory contract will be due a “selling” commission of your choice. This commission must be determined by Seller when completing the Listing Agreement. This Commission paid to the selling agent is shown on the MLS.

Lock Boxes, Signs and Photos

What kind of lock box should I use? Who takes the pictures and what will the yard sign say?

Items listed on the state pages may vary at any time without notice. Not all agents offer exactly the same included items. We may have to change agents temporarily due to current agent out of town, or for any other reasons. If this happens, your included items may vary.

You get at least one photo INCLUDED with your MLS and Realtor.com listing. Please look at your county specific page for the correct amount for your package. However, some agents allow more photos in the MLS for an additional charge.

You get 1-photo included INCLUDED which appears on Realtor.com. This is the same photo that appears on the MLS. However, some agents allow more photos on Realtor.com for a small charge.

You may also get a sign or realtors lockbox from the listing real estate agent – Some agents offer a INCLUDED sign, other agents charge a fee for the sign. Agents that offer a lockbox charge for it, which you pay them directly for. The SELLER can purchase a mechanical lockbox from any hardware store (Ace, HomeDepot or Lowes). FlatFeeListing does not include a “for sale sign” or lockbox.

The Listing real estate agent only gets paid a flat fee for listing your property into the MLS.

Yes. After you get listed on the MLS ask your Real Estate Agent for that option. Many of the referral Real Estate Agents usually offer extra photos for a small fee (some even do for INCLUDED) and virtual tours from $89 to $199 which is a reasonable additional fee. The cost is very minor compared to the benefit of saving thousands of dollars in real estate commission. However, additional photos and virtual tours are not necessary as the real estate multiple listing service in all likelihood will sell your home, with or without paying for extra cost services.

You can replace your sign with the Realtor’s sign if you wish. If you prefer to display your listing broker’s sign, many do offer a sign INCLUDED or as an optional service for a fee. After you get listed in the MLS, ask your Real Estate Agent if you can use their for-sale-sign, rather than your “For sale by owner sign.”

Owner can decide whether or not to use an optional key-lockbox, which is a metal container for your house key(s) and is normally hung on the front door knob or gate. The MLS Listing will advise Realtor’s if they can not reach you by phone, they may use the key lockbox for showings. It provides access to Agents when the owner is away, thus assuring full exposure to prospective buyers. Without a lockbox, Agents representing buyers will have to set appointments to meet you at the house to view the home. If you do not have a lockbox, you may miss out on some potential buyers who do not have time to wait. Lockboxes are completely removable and controllable by you.
 
Your Listing Agent will indicate your showing instructions on the MLS and contact phone number to call you first for showings. Showings are most always done on an appointment only basis (assuming key lockbox is not used if unable to reach you). It is rare an Agent will knock on the door without first making appointment with the homeowner. If you want a REALTORS® electronic lockbox you can request one from the listing agent (not all flat fee listing agents have or use electronic lockboxes, due to the cost and delivery time required for installation and removal from door with special key only real estate agents have.) The listing agent will lease one to you for a fee.

Listing on your local MLS

Why should we and what steps are involved with getting my property on my local MLS?

Yes you can make changes. Contact the listing agent by email with the changes.

The Listing Agent will have you complete the MLS Data Sheet. This Data Sheet will require you to answer all questions listed, which will supply Buyers with the type of information they require to see if your home meets their buying criteria. The MLS Data Sheet fields cannot be customized. You will however be able to write a description highlighting your home’s special features. The information on the Data Sheet also goes to REALTOR.com®, plus all the public internet sites for your area.

• Place your flat fee listing order
• The Flat Fee Listing Real Estate Agent that is a member of the regional MLS for your area is contacted and given your contact information
• The Flat Fee Listing Agent will typically list your property within 24-48 hrs . . . after getting your completed forms back, such as the Listing Contract, MLS Data Sheet, etc. However some agents do not work weekends, so you will have to wait until Monday to be listed.
• Your home is listed on the MLS, REALTOR com® & other websites as soon as you return paperwork to the Listing Agent

• We only work with licensed and experienced Real Estate Brokers
• We have the largest Realtor Network in America
• Your property will be listed quickly
• We offer more exposure than any other compan
• We give you more for your money
• We are open Weekends
• There are no hidden fees or charges
• INCLUDED forms, plus reports, etc
• No other Flat Fee MLS company offers as much exposure and coverage!

Marketing Websites Online

What is the difference between public websites, such as REALTOR.com, and the MLS?

The MLS sends listing information at different times to the different public internet sites. Once your listing is entered into the MLS system, it appears instantly to REALTORS® and their buyers.

Yes. REALTOR.com offers the ability to print and/or email color brochures of your listing to hand out to potential buyers.

Yes, the MLS is on the internet and buyers can go and view all the listings. Plus in order to get listed on REALTOR.com® you have to first be listed in the MLS.

Public websites like REALTOR.com receive listings directly from the MLS itself. Unlike the MLS which is updated instantly, the public internet sites are typically updated every 1-2 business days. Because of this, REALTORS® only use the MLS system, which is a closed system linked to their offices.

Sales Purchase Contract Questions

The Listing Agent is the most knowledgeable and qualified person to review the contract for you.

No, not unless you specifically request the Listing Agent’s consultation. You will handle all showings, inquiries, and sales contract presentations on your own.

Typically No -To save on commission, you will handle many details of the sale yourself. The Listing Agent is mainly getting paid to list your property on the MLS, as you requested. If the Seller requests assistance with the purchase contract, counter-offers, placing contract in escrow, contingency issues, closing & settlement matters – the Listing Agent offers extra services for a reasonable additional fee. If you want or need additional assistance involving your transaction (though you should be able to handle things yourself) ask your Agent about other available services. Most of our associates offer additional optional services.

Your listing agent will supply you with the forms you will need. If your home sells thru the MLS, the buyer’s agent will prepare the purchase contract.

General Questions

No, they are separate and distinct services with different websites and usage. Realtor.com is run by The National Association of Realtors® and picks up all the Nationwide MLS Listings from the hundreds of Multiple Listing Services around the Nation and puts the property information in their website.

Anyone can access and use it but NO, it’s rarely used by Real Estate Agents. It’s designed for and mostly used by private parties who want to search for appropriate properties throughout the nation.

Payment is made in advance with Mastercard, VISA, or American Express on this site.

Depending on the time of day, listings are usually inputted into the MLS system the same business day everything is received.