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Why Flat Fee MLS?

There are many articles and statistics one can read regarding selling your home with an agent vs For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Below are some statistics and articles relative to using an agent (in the traditional way) vs FSBO. When reading these articles, please be aware that Choice Realty respects FSBO and Traditional Full Service methods; however, Choice Realty offers hybrid services that provide much of the cost savings to the Seller of FSBO while providing access to a huge pool of potential buyers who use an agent. While many sellers are comfortable listing FSBO, statistics show that the majority of buyers use an agent. 


According to

“Most buyers today work with a buyers’ agent to represent their interests.”

“88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.”

According to Investopedia, the #1 reason not to sell FSBO is that Buyer’s agents may not show your property. Can you afford to give up “88%” of potential buyers?

1. Buyers' agents may not want to show your property to their clients.

In a for-sale-by-owner deal, the buyer’s agent knows there won't be a professional on the other end of the transaction, which can mean numerous headaches. Even if a client insists on seeing your home, the agent might discourage making an offer, citing the hassles and risks of trying to close the deal without a professional representing the seller.

“There are only two reasons why I show an FSBO: There is no other inventory available or the price is ridiculously low,” says Bruce Ailion, a realtor with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta. Every experienced broker has been burned by an FSBO transaction where the seller did not pay the full commission, or any commission at all, to the agent who brought the buyer, he says. In addition, he says, “FSBO sellers are viewed as unrealistic, unreasonable and difficult sellers whom professional realtors have rejected.”

But there are buyers' agents who will show your property under the right conditions. Philadelphia realtor Denise Baron of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach says that as long as she has a signed buyer’s agreement stating that when she shows an FSBO her agency gets paid, she is confident.

“I also have an agreement signed beforehand by the owner who is selling their own property or home,” she says. The agreement states what percentage fee the seller will pay the agent. The agreement also clarifies that the agent is only working on behalf of the buyer, and that as a buyer’s agent, she has a duty to disclose to her client all information the seller provides to her, such as the need to sell by a certain date.

Using our Flat Fee listing this #1 reason is mostly eliminated. The Buyer’s agent already knows you are offering to pay their commission because it is posted in the MLS this is done when we create your listing. Buyer’s agents can show your home just like any other MLS based listing and rest assured that if their Buyer purchases the property their commission will be paid. Regarding the concern for a “…professional on the other end…” with our service, you will have already completed all the necessary disclosures, etc. to eliminate most of that concern and if the deal gets too complex, Choice can negotiate on your behalf for an additional fee.

With a FSBO, you have to show your home. Can you drop everything to go show your home when a potential Buyer calls? Probably not, but with our Flat Fee listing, represented buyers can schedule a showing via the Centralized Showing Service (CSS) and view the property without your presence. You can specify the days and times the home can be shown then via our SUPRA box (optional service) or our your own lock box, an authorized Buyer’s Agent will show the home for you while you go about your daily routine. If you keep the option to sell via FSBO, you will still have to go home to show the property to unrepresented Buyers.  The CSS system addresses much of Investopedia’s #3 reason not to sell FSBO. 

Once you have the Flat Fee MLS package and therefore access to the pool of buyers using a Buyer’s agent, and the convenience of CSS, you need to make sure your property is reasonably priced. You don’t want to be priced too high or too low. And to be clear since Choice Realty is getting paid a Flat Fee, we have no vested interest in your listing price; however, if you price your house too high your house will stay on the market for a long time and once that happens, buyers start to think something is wrong with the house. Price it too low and you will sell fast, but leave money on the table.

According to

“… statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will garner you a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average FSBO sales price was $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000, a difference of $40,100”

Choice Realty Services provides professional resources to help you price your home via our optional Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or Market Activity Report (MAR).  We provide the facts regarding what similar homes in your area have sold for, straight from the MLS. This data is critical to correctly pricing your home. In fact, most professional appraisers have access to the MLS to get comparative sales to appraise a property. These “comps” are often used by mortgage companies to determine loan to value ratios. These options which are normally part of a full service listing can be critical tools to help you properly price your home. But, it is your choice to purchase these options or not. In our comparative market analysis, we tour your home and provide our opinion regarding how it shows. Often a non-involved third party can identify things which can make a big impression regarding how the property shows to potential buyers. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

If you decide you need more help we can convert your listing to a full service listing upon request or simply help with contract preparations (additional fees will apply).

Finally, when you purchase a Flat Fee MLS listing from Choice Realty, you will be working directly with the local Broker who manages your MLS listing, not an out of town middle-man.

Our Flat Fee MLS service allows sellers the best of both worlds, maximum exposure to buyers that traditional listings offer, cost savings of FSBO options, which are completely customized to your comfort zone. If you need full service representation, we do that too, it’s your Choice.