What is Flat Fee MLS?
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a computerized list of homes for sale through the National Association of Realtors. When a Realtor® lists a home for sale, they enter it into their local MLS. Our local La Crosse Area MLS contains homes listed with Realtors® in Buffalo, Clark, Crawford, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon Counties as well as Houston and Winona Counties in Minnesota. Home buyers can view MLS listings through the websites www.Realtor.com, www.WIHomes.com, and most individual Realtor® web sites.
Our Flat Fee MLS service provides increased exposure without many of the supplemental services offered by full-service listing companies. We provide the MLS listing, placement on our website, yard signs with the seller's phone number on them, photographs and data sheets. It is up to you to handle showings, open houses, negotiation, handle the offer and other paperwork, and coordinate the closing. Since we know where our responsibilities begin and end, we can provide our service for a flat fee. The trend in real estate is heading towards discounted fees. Home sellers now have more options than ever before. In fact, we're surprised the old system survived for so long without a serious challenge. To put it into perspective, imagine if plumbers in Wisconsin charged their customers a percentage of their home value rather than an hourly rate for their services.
The service we provide accounts for the listing side of the transaction. It does not account for the buying side of the transaction. If an agent is involved (if they procure your buyer) you will have to pay that cooperating agent's broker a commission at the time of closing. This commission is commonly referred to as the co-broke, which is a fraction of full service commission.
Unlike most real estate listings, our Flat Fee MLS allow you to retain "for sale by owner" status. This means that you can advertise your property in any way that you think will help you find a buyer. If you find a buyer yourself, you don't owe the commission to anyone. For example, if a buyer sees your listing and contacts you directly, with no other agents involved in any way, then the co-broke commission does not apply. The same goes for any buyer who see your yard sign or your listing on our site, so long as you deal directly with the buyer and not an agent.
Our service now provides greater exposure than before when we offered a traditional For Sale By owner (FSBO) marketing service. The cost savings can range from good (our flat fee + agent commission) when an agent is involved in the transaction, to great (you only pay our flat fee) when you deal with the buyer directly. Listing your home on the MLS not only increases your exposure, it also opens up a large pool of buyers who use real estate agents and may avoid FSBO listings. Our fee is very economical considering a one month ad in the newspaper can cost more. For six months, you can have internet and MLS exposure!