Real Estate

For sale by owner and MLS listings

There is a common misconception among people who decide to sell their home without a real estate agent. The misconception deals with getting their home in MLS listings.

Making the decision to sell your property without a real estate agent makes sense from a financial perspective. The commission rate charged by a real estate agent is traditionally six percent. This equates to a fee of $18,000 on a $300,000 home, $24,000 on a $400,000 home and a whopping $30,000 on a $500,000 home. Anyway you cut it, that is a lot of your hard earned equity to pay out. In fact, it may have taken you three, five or ten years of monthly mortgage payments and appreciation to build up that amount of equity.

Given the above figures, why do people use real estate agents? In many cases, they do so because they think using a real estate agent is the only way to get into the multiple listing service for their area. The multiple listing service, better known as MLS, is a directory of homes for sale in the area that real estate agents and buyers can access. What most people selling their own property do not understand is that they can be listed in the MLS without retaining a real estate agent.

In many areas, access to the MLS has been opened up to for sale by owner individuals. You can contact discount brokers that will list your home in the service. The brokers typically charge you a flat fee for the listing. The fees can be a bit pricey, but they are always much, much less than paying a realtor commission. If you feel like you need some additional help as well, most discount brokers offer tiers of service where you can pay a bit more to get help with closings, contracts and so on. Again, the ultimate fee is much less than paying a realtor commission.

While inclusion in MLS is probably a wise decision, it is not absolutely necessary. One of the reasons MLS listings are now easy to get has to do with the Internet. Simply put, the web has revolutionized the real estate industry. A recent study found that over seventy percent of buyers now do their initial research on the web. This makes sense given the fact it is lot less time consuming to simply point and click through a large number of homes without having to blow money on gas driving all over town. In simple terms, this means you need an Internet advertisement for your property more than you need a straight MLS advertisement.

If you are trying to decide whether to sell your property without an agent, do not worry about MLS listings.

About the author
Raynor James is with the site – FSBO America – FSBO homes for sale by owner.