FSBO Truth About MLS

    The Truth About Flat Fee/Discount Listings

    The belief that many sellers have is that if they can just get their home on the MLS it will sell itself because after all over 92% of “real buyers” have an agent that is finding homes for their client in the MLS Right? Right!

    Sounds like common sense and good logic….here’s the dilemna.

    When your property is listed in the MLS using a Flat Fee service it is required to be listed under what the industry calls a “limited service listing agreement.” This might as well be a billboard ad that says:

    You may be asking yourself, “Why is this a problem?” Its not a problem if you are comfortable with selling your home as a FSBO and taking what goes along with that challenge. If you are a motivated seller however it is important to know how many (not all) agents treat a listing in the “Flat Fee” category.

    Again many (not all) agents have concerns about taking their clients to see a home where they don’t know how capable the homeowner may or may not be of being realistic about their price, have the ability to negotiate without emotionally separating themselves from the home, and will the seller be dilligent and able to complete all the necessary paperwork and steps to get the transaction to close.

    Many agents consider FSBO sellers to be inexperienced and difficult to deal with. They are perceived to have an unrealistic expectation about the value of their home, potentially making negotiations overly onerous and unpredictable. Buyer agents don’t want to spend extra time extracting information including tax bills and deeds, as well as educating sellers on the process every step of the way. Sellers who are unfamiliar with negotiating practices and disclosure protocols may cause unnecessary liabilities for all parties involved.

    It is important as a FSBO to know the steps and required disclosures etc…particular to the situation. I would recommend that if you do get an agent to show your property, be sure and have a binder laid out in a very noticeable area that contains at minimum things like required disclosures, HOA paperwork if applicable, floor plan, and details about insurance and utility costs etc. This will give the agent and potential buyer a better feeling that you are prepared for a collaborative transaction.