Florida's Genuine Flat Fee MLS Service
There is not one universal definition of what flat fee MLS listing are. The ADDvantage® Real Estate Network does define and offer our authentic version of flat fee MLS which is a bundle of real estate services provided to sellers of real estate for a fixed cost or flat fee which includes listing a property in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service), providing a seller a flat fee MLS listing agreement in advance of payment, the flat fee is paid “up front” or, if closing and contract services are provided, then a combination of up front fee and a fee at close. Flat fee MLS include MLS listing maintenance, defined hours of phone support, marketing, offer of compensation to other brokers (buyer's agents), all buyer leads from all sources including Realtor.com belong to the flat fee seller, not the flat fee MLS listing broker, there are no fees to cancel and if a MLS listing is cancelled prior to the end of the flat fee listing term, the listing will be “unconditionally” withdrawn from MLS system allowing another broker to immediately re-list said property.
Are all Flat Fee MLS Websites in Florida Genuine MLS Services? Only a handful of them are actually licensed in Florida and out of that handful, only a few truly offer a genuine flat fee MLS service.
Many discount MLS listing websites portend to offer “flat fee listings in Florida”. But, once a seller reads their listing agreement carefully (if one is published), sellers find out that most of these websites are offering their own interpretation of “flat fee”.
The definition of a Genuine Flat Fee MLS Listing in Florida is one that offers 4 critical components:
First, all buyer leads from Realtor.com, Homes.com and other sources are the rightful property of the seller (not the flat rate broker).
Secondly, sellers have the right to cancel the flat fee MLS listing upon written request and have the flat fee broker “unconditionally withdraw” the listing from the MLS with no penalty.
Third, the flat fee service acknowledges the importance of live phone support and what their hours of live phone support are.
Last, the flat fee MLS website must publish their listing agreement on-line. The listing agreement should contain all important details about what the listing broker will do and will not do.
Why is ADDvantage® the only flat fee service in Florida that answers the phone 9:00am-6:00pm 7 days a week? We realize that many Realtors® and Buyers call flat fee companies for assistance. If we didn't answer our phone they way we do, our Florida sellers would miss many opportunities to sell their homes.
If the flat fee website doesn't publish their exact hours of phone support, preferably in their listing agreement, then it is not a genuine Florida flat fee website. The reason is simple. There is a perception held by many that all calls from Realtors® and Buyers go directly to the seller. This is not correct. When listed flat fee, 50% of the inquiries for showing instructions end up calling the flat fee broker, not the seller.
Most flat fee websites say nothing about phone support, buyer leads, right to cancel by “unconditional withdrawal” from the MLS…without these items clearly addressed, the flat fee MLS website in not genuine.
What happens on the weekends when the phones rings to the flat fee broker? Are these calls being answered? Or, is the seller missing a showing? Are these calls going to a voice mail? Just like a full-service agent that doesn't respond to calls for showing instructions promptly, many flat fee services in Florida offer no published hours of phone support or inconsistent phone support.
Flat fee services have expenses such as MLS Administrators, MLS Board fees, Realtor.com Showcase fees, Website Development, SEO marketing and phone support. Phone support is one of costliest service items that a flat fee broker offers to a seller. At ADDvantage, we offer 9 hour a day, 7 days a week, live support. Over the past 12 months, calls from Realtors® and Buyers have found their way to ADDvantage®. Each call was answered live, showing instructions were given and an email was sent to the seller confirming the call. Without this exceptional and costly phone support, our Florida Flat Fee MLS clients would miss opportunities to show their homes.
Listing with a genuine flat fee MLS service offers home owners in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and other cities in Florida more opportunities to find a buyer. One missed call can mean one lost sale. In today's market, no one can afford a missed opportunity to sell.
Does answering the phone 9:00am-6:00pm 7 days a week make ADDvantage® a genuine flat fee MLS service? ADDvantage® is the only flat fee service in Florida that seems to believe that extended hours of phone support help the seller. That would also indicate that ADDvantage® “genuinely” cares more about our seller's well-being.
The reason other flat fee services don't talk about live phone support is because it costs too much to deliver this type of service. ADDvantage® spends more money on phone support per client than any real estate company in Florida.
Or, you could believe the rhetoric that all calls go to the seller because in the MLS under “Realtor® Remarks” it states for Realtors® to “call seller directly for all showings and offers at 813-3434-1199.”
Do Realtors® actually read these remarks? For the past 70 years, Realtors® have been calling the listing broker for showing instructions, not the seller. Flat fee is rather new. Not all Realtors® in Florida even understand what flat fee is. Some Realtors® see those instructions and call the listing broker anyway. Sometimes because they just prefer the traditional approach of speaking and dealing directly with the listing broker, or maybe they just don't read that part of the MLS. Or, perhaps they are out with their clients and call the seller but can't reach them…then they call the listing broker for assistance…which happens every day and especially on Saturday and Sunday.
It really doesn't matter why or how these Realtors® end up on our phone. What really matters is that your Florida home sells. Flat fee can be a powerful For Sale By Owner marketing tool. In the wrong hands, the service is faulty.
If a flat fee website says, “all calls come to you, so don't worry about phone support”…move on to a website speaks the truth and spends the necessary money to help you sell…ADDvantage® is the only flat fee MLS service in Florida that publishes the hours of phone support (9:00am-6:00pm 7 days) in our listing agreement.
Unlike a full-service listing, sellers are paying in advance for a flat fee listing. Sellers are entitled to understand exactly what services are included in that “bundle of real estate services” called flat fee MLS. Each important element of those services should be clearly articulated in the listing agreement.
Call us anytime, where are here 7 days a week, 9:00am-6:00pm…even Saturday and Sunday. 727-942-2929 or 1-877-232-9695
Miami residents can view our flat fee listings in South Beach, Coral Gables, Plantation, Weston, North Miami, North Beach, Star Island, Fisher Island, and other South Florida hot spots.
Tampa Bay by owners can see what ADDvantage® is selling in your neighborhood by visiting our sales statistics for Florida.
Orlando and Greater Orange County residents that are thinking of selling flat fee can read what our Florida clients are saying about listing through ADDvantage®. We just sold a $1,700,000 home in Windermere, FL.