How MLS Listings Help Sell Homes
By Steve Flanagan
Here’s a statistic you should know: More than 80 percent of homes sold are listed on their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). What does listing on the MLS bring you? More exposure. And not just a little more exposure. A lot more exposure. Many buyers use real estate agents, and these agents use the MLS as their main tool to find homes for their buyers. You could be among the one in five sellers who don’t sell through the MLS, but if you decide not to go this route you are decreasing your odds of a successful sale within a desirable time frame.
Once you list on MLS, real estate agents throughout your area are notified directly about your listing and can begin bringing prospects to you. When you put your home on the MLS, every real estate agent in your area will see it. If you go this route you will dramatically expand your exposure and very likely will shorten your selling timeline, but if an agent brings your eventual buyer to your door, you will have to pay a buyer’s agent commission (typically 2-3 percent).
“MLS” stands for ‘multiple listing service’ – the database owned by real estate agents and their regional trade associations. MLS systems are the primary channel for publicizing listings among agents and brokerages. Every day, new listings enter the MLS database and flow to all subscribing agents and services.
Unlike ordinary sellers, ForSaleByOwner.com customers can list their home on the MLS without contracting with a seller’s agent. We offer a powerful and cost-effective point of entry to nearly every MLS system in the country.
When you choose ForSaleByOwner’s MLS Enhanced listing service, for a flat fee your home will be listed on our site and you gain access to the predominant real estate listing system while still saving thousands of dollars through selling by owner. By choosing the “MLS” option for your ForSaleByOwner.com listing, you can even choose which MLS systems will include your house.
Importantly, MLS systems must allow discount and ‘by owner’ listings entered by licensed agents. Numerous court decisions affirm the right of agents to operate their businesses as they see fit, even if that means that full-price agents are annoyed when ‘by owner’ listings are entered into the MLS by a discount-fee agent.
For an investment that is less than one half of one percent of the median price of homes sold in the U.S. in 2013 ($210,000 according to the National Association of Realtors), ForSaleByOwner customers can reap the benefits of not paying a seller’s agent commission while exposing their listing to a vast audience. And, of course, if a buyer contacts you through ForSaleByOwner you don’t have to pay any commission whatsoever.