Choosing a Flat Fee MLS listing Company – Make the Healthy Choice

Thursday, June 5, 2008, 7:45AM

By: Keith Gordon

Just like anything else in life, consumers must educate themselves in order to make the right choices. We can't rely on anything but our own due diligence to help guide us in the right direction.

Just as a reasonable person wouldn't walk into the first dealership they came upon and buy a car via the “eenie-meenie” method, it wouldn't be wise to sign up with the first online website you came upon offering flat fee MLS services either. Yet, it happens every day—consumers haphazardly hand over their credit cards to websites claiming to offer “the best” or “the cheapest” flat fee listing without even reviewing the listing agreement or knowing anything about the listing company.

In this day and age of Internet technology there really is no excuse for not researching major decisions such as this. After all, we're talking about perhaps the largest investment a person owns-a piece of real estate. Valuable time and money can be lost, for example, by missing the important detail that there is a $500 cancellation fee to cancel that flat fee listing you paid up front assuming there were no strings attached. Or by realizing that the flat fee MLS website you chose didn't actually have to give you your buyer leads-that they could keep them for their own agents. Or that the flat fee company wasn't reachable to report issues with the MLS listing. There are honorable flat fee listing companies out there like ADDvantage flat fee MLS of Florida…so how do sellers end up in this predicament?

Perhaps it boils down to the same mentality that hinders people from making good nutritional choices. There are so many choices and when you're so busy it's difficult to take the time to scour Publix reading nutritional labels. It's easier to just grab the pre-made meal or pick up take out. Ultimately though, the sacrifice takes a toll. We're sluggish and our bodies are “flubby.”

Bottom line: slow down and read the fine print, the nutrition labels, the testimonials…make phone calls, ask questions…exercise your good sense…and you'll find you're in much better shape in the long run.