Find Out Why Flat Fee MLS Florida Websites Do Not Publish their Listing Agreements
Why is it that flat fee MLS websites do not show you their listing agreement before you pay?
There are 3 reasons why flat fee MLS services do not publish their listing agreements.
- If the website is not a licensed real estate broker in your state, they do not have a listing agreemnet to publish. Many websites portend to be the biggest national flat fee MLS or FSBO website in the USA. This means they have no listing agreement to show you because they are not licensed in the State of Florida. In this business model they refer out your MLS listings to local broker. The listing agreement you sign will be that of the local broker. At the time of paying for your listing with the national website, you have no idea who your local broker is, what hours they answer the phone and many other important details. Why would anyone sign up with a “national” flat fee website? The answer is these people just don't understand the complexities and seriousness of listing a home in the MLS home.
- The listing agreement should spell out who gets the buyer leads from Realtor.com and other Internet sources. If the seller is successful selling the home to an “unrepresented buyer” from Realtor.com they would save all of the offered commission. This scenario would only occur if the flat fee seller actually receives buyer leads from the listing broker. If the listing agreement doesn't clearly state who gets buyer leads from Realtor.com, Homes.com and other Internet ads, then you may or may not receive them. Without buyer leads, the flat fee seller misses out on many opportunities to sell without a Realtor.
- There are two words that can entangle you with your broker preventing you from re-listed with another broker. They are “inactive” or “conditionally withdrawn.” These two words mean that if you attempt to cancel a listing before the listing term is up (as long as 12 months), the flat fee service or full-service company will only suspend the listing from being seen by other Realtors® and prohibit any new agent/broker from re-listing your home. This language is used by flat fee and full-service listing agreements to force a seller into paying a cancellation fee.
I am Keith Gordon, Broker for ADDvantage, a Florida flat fee MLS listing service. We publish our listing agreements online for all 4 flat fee MLS programs that we offer.
I just looked at 6 Florida flat fee MLS websites that offer flat fee MLS services in Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa and I couldn't find one sample of a listing agreement.
Why do sellers pay for a flat fee MLS listing without ever seeing a listing agreement?
This blog is about the importance of reviewing and understanding the terms and conditions that are being offered to flat fee MLS sellers through a listing agreement.
At ADDvantage, we have always proudly displayed our flat fee MLS listing agreements and how we operate as a flat fee listing service. Most sellers don't know enough about real estate listing agreements to know how important they really are. We provide Floridians with the most articulate well defined listing agreement possible.
ADDvantage makes our listing agreements simple. We list everything we do and what we don't do.
Below an excerpt from our ADDvantage PLUS™ Listing Agreement (contract-to-close flat fee MLS program). As you can see, we spell out more details than maybe necessary but unlike full-service, you are paying for a service “in-advance” so you should know exactly what you are buying before you pay.
- Upon receipt of an offer(s) from a Realtor® or buyer's agent (in behalf of buyer), ADDvantage will forward offer(s) to seller by email or fax and call seller to confirm receipt of such offer(s).
- Broker for ADDvantage will arrange a time convenient to sellers to discuss offer and what actions should be considered.
- Broker for ADDvantage will request Realtor® or buyer's agent (on behalf of buyer) to provide seller with a “pre-approval” letter from mortgage banker, broker or major lender.
- Broker for ADDvantage will negotiate all offers, counter offers, and attempt to execute a final contract to the best of our ability.
- Broker for ADDvantage will assist seller with choosing a title agent and send such title company a fully executed sales contract.
- Broker for ADDvantage will assist, cooperate, and facilitate the closing process with all parties (to the best of our ability) including Realtor®/buyer's agent, property inspectors, property appraisers, and Title Company.
- Broker for ADDvantage will request HUD settlement statement from title company prior to closing, send a copy to seller and review HUD with seller.
- Broker for ADDvantage should not be relied upon or held responsible for the following: to be physically present at property inspections, property appraisals, closing or arrange or be held responsible for delivery of keys.
Another excerpt from our listing agreement about how we handle buyer leads.
LEADS: ALTRU Real Estate will be marketing your listing via the following media and all leads received from any source, will be forwarded to SELLER by email for SELLER to follow-up on in an attempt to sell their property thus avoiding paying a real estate commission (the main principle of being flat fee MLS listed): MLS, Realtor.com, Homes.com, our websites (getmoreoffers.com and others that are managed by ALTRU Real Estate) and other real estate web portals domestically and internationally, as standard business protocol. Most Realtor® phone calls will come directly to you, the SELLER. Those that come to us will be instructed to call you directly, as well as documented in your “Buyer Leads” section, located within MY ACCOUNT. All Homes.com and phone calls from our websites will come directly to you, the SELLER. Realtor.com does not allow any SELLER contact info to be displayed on your listing. However, our office will always forward any sales leads coming from Realtor.com directly to you, the SELLER. If you select the Showcase upgrade option (add at checkout) we then can place language in the description that will direct buyers to click on the website link, which will take them to your property detail page on our website with your contact information section. All email leads that come to ALTRU Real Estate will be logged in your “Buyer Leads” section and we will email them a link to your detailed property page.
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