Flat Fee MLS Listing

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Flat Fee MLS refers to the practice in the real estate industry where a seller enters into a listing agreement with a real estate broker who accepts a flat fee rather than a percentage of the sale price for the listing side of the transaction. The buyer's broker is still typically offered a percentage though that could be a flat fee as well. A flat fee MLS brokerage typically unbundles the services a traditional real estate brokerage offers and list the property for sale in the local multiple listing service (MLS) à la carte without requiring the seller to use its services for valuation assistance, negotiating, transaction management and showing accompaniment. Flat Fee brokers are real estate brokers, just like the national brand names, but offer discounted or unbundled services. Most flat fee brokers do offer full service brokerage services.

In a flat fee MLS listing, the listing agreement between the real estate broker and the property owner typically requires the broker to enter the property into the MLS and provide other contracted services, with the broker acting as what the traditional industry has coined a "limited service broker". However, the flat fee industry prefers the term à la carte broker because the services are not limited. Instead freedom of choice is expanded to allow sellers to pick from a menu of services.

Within the nontraditional real estate services market, there are multiple programs offered to sellers that share the common objective of saving the consumer money by reducing the overall expense of selling real estate. A "nontraditional service" does not automatically entail "limited service". For instance, some full-service brokers list properties under a full-service agreement but charge a "flat rate" that is not a percentage of the sales price.

Flat Fee MLS service is NOT different from traditional real estate brokerage services. Because every State requires a listing agreement between a real estate broker and property owner, the rapid explosion of flat fee service providers has created a gap in the States developing laws governing flat fee services provided by real estate broker.

The main differences flat fee MLS listing and traditional services, flat fee allows the seller to sell as a for sale by owner FSBO and not pay a commission. With traditional commissioned real estate agents, if you sell your own property, you will own the agent a high commission. Flat fee listing allows the customer to sell as a FSBO and with an agent, having the best of both worlds.