Effective marketing is absolutely essential to selling your home.
No matter how amazing it is, if no one knows it's for sale, how are you going to sell it?
While there are a number of options for attracting interest in your house, one of the most popular is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a concept that has its origins all the way back in the early 1900s.
However, now that you have so many other ways to market your house, should you list your home on the MLS?
The Pros and Cons of the Multiple Listing Service
Today, there are hundreds of different local multiple listing services all over the country. In other words, there isn't a single, national MLS. Real estate listings get distributed by each local multiple listing service through licensed real estate brokers and licensed real estate agents. Only real estate agents have access for inputting mls listings on behalf of homeowners.
As popular as the service is, you may still be wondering if it's actually necessary. Let's look at the pros and the cons of listing your home on the MLS.
Pro: Increasing Real Estate Agent Visibility
The MLS is accessed by agents and there's no disputing that the MLS is still the first place real estate agents check when they're helping their clients find homes. In other words, most agents don't search on Zillow or other apps. Since they have MLS access, they rely on the it as their source of truth.
In fact, aside from their phones and email, the vast majority of Realtors view their local MLS site as the “most valuable technology” they use for their businesses. So, if you want real estate agents to find your home, you want to list it on the MLS.
Pro: Distribution to Major Real Estate Apps and Websites
All MLS listings are syndicated automatically to 100's of other real estate websites. This means that once your home is posted on the MLS, it will also go live on many other websites — such as Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, etc. Lots of these websites actually only allow MLS listed homes on their site too, so you would have no other way to get your listing in front of their viewers unless you chose to list.
Pro: Saving Time
Another big benefit of listing your home on the MLS is how much time you stand to save in selling it. As more realtors will see your listing, it stands to reason that more potential buyers will, too, which means you should start seeing offers a lot sooner.
Furthermore, one of the first things buyers will look at when considering your home is how long it's been on the market. If the amount of time significantly exceeds the average number of days for comparable homes, most will assume there's something wrong with it (e.g. maybe the price needs to come down?).
On the other hand, the above benefits come at a cost. You'll have to agree to pay your real estate agent a commission on the sale of your house or find a MLS service in order to get your home listed there.
Do you always need a licensed real estate agent? Well, it depends. Agent fees are easily the most expensive aspect of selling your home and represent most of your closing costs as a seller
Typically, the commission paid to work with an agent and get listed on the MLS is around 3%.
If you sell your home for $400,000, that's $12,000 just for the listing agent's commissions! That cost doesn't include the other 3% that you'll owe the buyer's agent.
Listing on MLS For 1%
For the vast majority of home sellers, the MLS is an advantage they can't ignore.
Fortunately, brokers like SimpleShowing provide access to the MLS for a fraction of the standard commission rate.
Not only can do we list your home on the MLS for a 1% commission and a number of other popular listing sites (including ours), but you'll also get to work with a dedicated agent, get professional photos, an open house, pricing assistance, and contract and negotiation support.
Advice For Selling in 2023
- Interview several real estate professionals, including flat fee mls service options
- Talk to a local real estate broker about their listing fees and buyer agent commission rates
- Compare real estate brokerage offerings, including photography and marketing
- Find discount real estate broker options in your area
- If it's not your first time selling, decide if listing on mls without a Realtor (for sale by owner) is an option
- Compare differences between a flat fee mls listing service, a flat fee broker and "full service" or traditional real estate agent
- If you plan on listing on MLS, request a free home valuation (comparative market analysis), so you can price your home accurately and competitively
The home selling process can be stressful if you've never sold a property. If you're a home seller trying to decide between an MLS listing service, a flat fee mls company, or just your neighborhood agent, our advice is to consider the real estate market and the selling fees before signing an exclusive listing agreement. You can still save money and use a nationally known brokerage if you can successfully negotiate the real estate agent commission.
Keep in mind that both the listing agent commission and buyer's agent commission are negotiable, whether you're going with a flat fee service or a local agent.