When you search the web for "Flat Fee MLS", what do you find?
One flat rate MLS "website" after another offering $79, $159, $169, $199 and $250 for a listings in the MLS. But, what you don't see is their listing agreements.
Where are they? Does this mean flat fee MLS listings agreements are no longer a requirement of the MLS?
NO IT DOES NOT!
Every MLS board requires the seller(s) to sign either an "Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement" or an "Exclusive Agency" listing agreement.
Any flat fee "websites" that do not first show you what their listing agreement is not being straight-forward. If their website looks home-made, or a potential buyer can't easily search the MLS from their site or you can't find their MLS Listing Agreement...then move on. Amateur websites equate to no money invested in their site, no thought involved in capturing buyer leads and not a trusted source for your valuable MLS listing, your buyer leads and not truly committed to your success as a seller.
The reason why listing agreements are so important is because they say what the terms are going to be between the seller and the listing broker. Maybe their listing agreement says all buyer leads (unrepresented buyers-no Realtor® attached) go to the listing broker and not you; maybe it says there is a $500 cancellation fee if you attempt to switch to another broker before their 12 month listing term expires; maybe their listing agreement says they will only "conditionally" withdraw your listing from the MLS (not "unconditionally" as it should read) which means no other broker can re-list your home until you pay a fee; maybe their listing agreement says that if you want to switch to another broker, you must use their "associated" broker or pay 1% at close.
If the flat fee website does not present you with a listing agreement before you pay, it is an unethical company and should be avoided.
Before listing flat fee in the MLS, find out the hours that the flat fee service answers their phone and if they send you all buyer leads from Realtor.com. These two facts should be in the listing agreement. You are paying in advance for a service (flat fee), so you better know exactly what you are getting and what they are giving and taking.
Seller's phone numbers are not published in Realtor.com, just the listing brokers. All calls and emails from Realtor.com go directly to the listing broker. Listing agreements must clearly state who gets these valuable leads. If these leads do not go to the flat fee seller, then this is not a flat fee listing, but rather a listing in the MLS for the sole benefit of this unscrupulous listing broker.
Listing agreements define the flat fee company, the service or dis-service that the seller will receive. If the flat fee website doesn't publish a listing agreement, move on to one that does.
Call us anytime, the Realtors® do.
727-942-2929 or 1-877-232-9695