Free Flat Fee MLS Doesn't Always End Up Being Free - Hold Your Wallet!
Can the Flat Fee Seller's Bill of Rights helps sell my property?
Yes, because unless you know what a fair flat fee MLS offer looks like, then you will be none the wiser. The Flat Fee Seller's Bill of Rights helps protect flat fee MLS sellers from Florida and New York from the unscrupulous business practices that are unbridled in all states. Frustrated by the misleading business practices by other flat fee MLS providers, GetMoreOffers.com® established the Flat fee MLS Seller's Bill of Rights with the intent to aid sellers in making informed choices about listing flat fee MLS. There are no Laws designed to protect the flat fee MLS consumer and the Flat fee MLS Seller's Bill of Rights articulates what GetMoreOffers.com® believes should be addressed by the State Legislature regarding minimum disclosure laws before one lists flat fee MLS.
Free flat fee MLS sounds great. But how do they make money?
Free flat fee MLS providers can make more money by confiscating what should be sellers' buyer leads from sources such as Realtor.com. Any brokerage company can offer a free MLS listing in the MLS. The question that a consumer must ask is: "what do they stand to gain by doing so?" An example of a Free flat fee MLS listing gimmick would be a mortgage company who uses a "sister" brokerage company to acquire mortgage prospects. Oftentimes consumers don't question the free or "too good to be true" offer because they take it at face value. Unfortunately, in many cases, this can cost the seller their most valuable commodity; their buyer leads.
Why would the flat fee MLS service want your Realtor.com buyer leads?
These buyer leads are extremely valuable and equate to potential real estate commissions. The free flat fee MLS service might work a buyer lead with its own agents or refer the buyer lead to an outside broker in hopes to earn a referral commission of 25%.
Why should a flat fee MLS seller be so concerned about a buyer lead from Realtor.com?
One of the most significant reasons why someone lists their property using the flat fee MLS model is to retain the right to sell their property themselves (called an Exclusive Agency Listing Agreement - not an Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement) and not pay a commission. If the flat fee MLS seller doesn't receive buyer leads from Realtor.com and other sources, then this essentially eliminates this possibility and negates the purpose of being flat fee MLS listed in the first place. What actually happens to the flat fee MLS seller is they are entering a convoluted Listing Agreement that is more analogous to an Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement because the flat fee MLS seller is never given an opportunity to work an unrepresented buyer lead.
Can a flat fee MLS seller trust a flat fee MLS service to forward buyer leads from Realtor.com to them?
sellers need to do their homework and read the Flat Fee MLS Listing Agreement carefully before listing. Buyer prospects are the byproduct an MLS listing in any MLS. Every MLS listing shows up on Realtor.com. flat fee MLS sellers are 100% reliant on the flat fee MLS service to forward Realtor.com buyer leads to the flat fee MLS seller. Realtor.com does not permit the seller's phone number to be displayed anywhere on the ad.
How can a flat fee MLS seller be assured that all buyer leads from Realtor.com and other sources will be forwarded to them?
Read their Flat Fee MLS Listing Agreement carefully. If the flat fee MLS service is a proponent of the Flat Fee MLS Seller's Bill of Rights, than their listing agreement will clearly state where these buyer leads are going. If the flat fee MLS service's website or listing agreement doesn't mention where these Realtor.com buyer leads go, then either ask them or choose a flat fee MLS service that offers a listing agreement that clearly states these important matter, such as Flat Fee MLS Listing Agreement.
Can the flat fee MLS service charge for their flat fee MLS service and then take my Realtor.com buyer leads, yard sign calls and other Internet leads from sources such as Homes.com?
Yes. The broker of record (agent who inputs the MLS listing) will be the only contact person listed as their phone number and email address are the only ones allowed in Realtor.com. Therefore, you must be able to trust that the broker of record will forward you leads that are received. This is also true for leads that come via email to the broker.
If I list my home flat fee MLS, can I cancel my flat fee MLS listing at any time and not pay a cancellation fee? What if I wish to move to a full service Realtor® that says they can do a better job?
If you list your home flat fee MLS with GetMoreOffers.com®, you may cancel without a fee at anytime. Many other flat fee MLS companies will charge a cancellation fee.
What is flat fee MLS "bait and trap"?
This is the practice whereby a flat fee MLS company charges the flat fee MLS seller a cancellation fee if the flat fee MLS seller terminates the listing before 6 months are up. This fee can be up to $500.
Why would a flat fee MLS service want to hold my flat fee MLS listing for 6 months when they have already been paid for their services up front? The answer is the reason flat fee MLS "bait and trap" works so well - there is more money in trapping a seller into a 6 month listing agreement then there is in the $200-$400 collected as a flat fee.
Explain how the "bait and trap" scam works...
The disreputable flat fee MLS service sits back and waits until the eager full service Realtors® targets the flat fee MLS seller with promises that they can get the property sold in weeks if the seller lists with them. The flat fee MLS seller tries to cancel their flat fee MLS listing but realizes they can't without: (a) Listing full service with the flat fee MLS service's own agent at 6% or; (b) Agreeing to release the listing to an outside broker so long as the new agent agrees to their 25% "referral commission". Sellers looking to list flat fee MLS need to understand that not all flat fee MLS companies operate this way and it is not "standard protocol". GetMoreOffers.com® offers a traditional flat fee MLS service that is straightforward and has no stings attached.
Can a flat fee MLS service legally charge a cancellation fee?
Yes, as long the flat fee MLS service discloses this in listing agreement. Some full service (Coldwell Banker) firms and a few flat fee MLS services actually reserve the right to lien your property for payment of the commission.