ADDvantage's Flat Fee MLS Listing Agreements

The Flat Fee MLS Listing Agreement you sign spells out every detail of what the flat fee service will do and not do during the listing period.

Choosing the best flat fee MLS service to list your home requires research.

Selling a home is not as simple as getting in the MLS. It requires phone support, lead forwarding, marketing, and a listing agreement that protects the seller. Your flat fee broker better be your advocate or the sale of your home is at stake.

ADDvantage® is 's most trusted flat fee broker and our listing agreement is the most articulate seller friendly flat fee listing agreement in .

Why Flat Fee MLS Services Don't Publish Their Listing Agreements Before You Pay…

The first thing to know about listing flat fee MLS in is that “flat fee MLS” means sellers are paying in advance for a bundle of specific real estate services.

The listing agreement dictates what a seller will receive from their flat fee MLS broker. The listing agreement is a contract between the seller and the flat fee MLS listing broker.

There are several reasons why flat fee MLS services in do not show sellers their listing agreements before they request payment.

The first reason why they can't show a seller a listing agreement because they are not licensed real estate brokers in the state of .

Sellers have a choice. They can list their home with a flat fee MLS broker or with a national flat fee “website” that refers them to a local broker.

To avoid this situation, simply make sure you review the listing agreement before signing up or paying. A simple way to differentiate between a “national referrer” broker and a licensed broker would be to call them and ask. As well, if you do not see a listing agreement clearly published, you can assume they don't want you to see it.

Another indication of a “national website” is their reference to terminology such as “we are the largest national flat fee MLS website in America.” The word “referral website” would mean the same thing.

Another reason why flat fee MLS services do not show you their listing agreement is because they would prefer that you pay first, then read what you are getting into, second. Seems backwards and it is.

Nothing would upset a seller more than attempting to cancel a flat fee listing and re-list with another broker only find out they can't before paying a fee or be forced to list with a broker that the flat fee service picks for you because of some referral commission kickback scheme. To prevent this from happening, sellers need to make sure the phrase below is in the listing agreement…

“Seller can cancel MLS listing anytime, ‘unconditionally’ with no fee.”

The cancellation fees are easy to spot in a listing agreement. Either there is one or there isn't one. The tricky part is the language that gives the seller the right to cancel and re-list with another broker at any time.

Some flat fee services and full-service companies have language in their listing agreement that uses the word “conditional withdrawal”.

If the word “conditional withdrawal” is found anywhere in your flat fee listing agreement, this means the listing broker will not remove the listing from the MLS but rather “suspend it” until the remainder of the listing period runs out. During this “suspended period”, no other broker can re-list the property. Why would brokers do this? It works well to get unsuspecting residents to pay a cancellation fee.

The language a seller wants in their listing agreement is as follows:

“Broker will unconditionally withdraw listing from MLS upon written request from seller.”

While not as common as a cancellation fee, a closing fee would be quite a surprise at closing if you had to pay your flat fee MLS broker 1%.

Who receives buyer leads from and other Internet sources is important language to have in a listing agreement.

If the flat fee MLS listing agreement doesn't clearly state who gets buyer leads (unrepresented buyers, meaning no Realtor®), then who does get these leads?

Do they go the broker's agents or do they get referred out to another real estate company? Some flat fee companies lead you on with cheap prices only to get your buyer leads. These leads are very valuable.

The next most important feature to have clearly spelled out in the flat fee MLS listing agreement would be the hours of operation for the flat fee service.

If the hours of operation are not clearly spelled out, does that mean they are not committed to answering the phone at all? If they are providing a “fee for service business” then what exactly does the seller get for their money?

At ADDvantage®, we answer our phone live, 7 days a week. Hours of operation can make a huge difference about how fast you sell your home. Our clients get a lot for their money.