✍️ Editor’s Note: We’re a team of comprehensive researchers and analytical individuals. Our goal is to assist you in making the best decision possible while listing your home on MLS. This guide summarises our In-depth research and expertise on the ways to list on MLS.
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The US real estate market is booming and so are the hefty agent commissions. FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) accounted for more than 7% of home sales in the previous year and the number is continuing to grow!
You don’t have to pay expensive agency commissions if you follow these basic strategies to list your home on MLS in the current hot market.
» Jump To:
- What is MLS?
- Why List on MLS?
- How To List On MLS?
- How To List on MLS With a Realtor?
- How to List on MLS Without a Realtor?
- What is a Flat Fee MLS Listing?
- How to List a Home on MLS Using Flat Fee MLS Listing Service?
- What is the Best For Sale By Owner MLS Listing Service?
- How to do For Sale By Owner MLS Listing on Houzeo.com?
- How to get on the MLS For Free?
- What are the Alternatives to List On MLS?
What is MLS?
MLS is an acronym for Multiple Listing Service that enables the real estate agents and brokers to list a property for sale, and it is accessed by thousands of other real estate agents or brokers to see the properties that are listed in their respective localities.
According to Showcase IDX, there are more than 600+ local MLS’ and multiple MLS overlays in coverages. The number is constantly changing due to the numerous merges and unions.
📌Note: Only real estate agents can list a house on MLS, one must get a real estate license to access the MLS.
How Does the MLS Work?
REALTORS® pay a fee of $150 to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®in order to post their listings and to search listings for buyers. MLS is a generalized term, with no regulatory body.
Earlier, real estate agents used to market their own listings with their respective clients which resulted in high brokerages as most of the listings were in-house.
According to NAR, the first MLS database was formulated in the 1800s. Typically, few real estate brokers that work together in local areas come together and frame their individual regional MLS. As a result, there are more than 600 regional MLS.
This helped in the following ways:
- Home sellers were benefited from a large pool of qualified buyers
- Homebuyers were facilitated with more houses to choose from
- Real estate agents were awarded a huge commission.
Today, MLSs work as a central database that allows the real estate agent and brokers to list and share property details with the respective home sellers and homebuyers.
Why You Should List On MLS?
Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves to be a medium between a home seller and a homebuyer via real estate agents.
We are required to list on MLS because if a potential buyer is working with an agent who belongs to an MLS, the buyer can easily browse through the properties for sale.
Benefits of Multiple Listing Service
📢 Get Maximum Exposure
The best part of an MLS is that the listing gets syndicated to hundreds of other real estate websites that carry a huge pool of potential buyers such as Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
🧑💼 Market to Buyer Agents
Buyers are mostly represented by an agent during the real estate transaction. 90% of home buyers are represented by a buyer agent. Thus, MLS is the most effective way to market a property to potential buyers.
💸 Propose a Buyer Agent Commission
As we know that buyer agents are involved in most of the transactions, MLS provides you an opportunity to incentivize buyer agents with a competitive commission.
⏩ Sell Faster
Homes that were listed on MLS sold 17% faster than homes that were not listed on MLS.
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits, let’s get your property on MLS in JUST 60 Minutes! Start your MLS Listing, now!
How to List on MLS?
To sell your home faster, an MLS listing is required which is accessible only by licensed real estate agents that charge a huge commission.
Although, few alternatives can help you list your home on MLS without paying the entire listing agent commission or no commission at all.
Let’s look at the options:
- Listing on the MLS with a Realtor
- Listing on the MLS without a Realtor
How To List on MLS With a Realtor?
Listing a house with a realtor is the most common way to list on MLS. If you’ve never sold a house before, it can be challenging to do it all alone.
Full-service real estate agents may charge you a hefty commission but they’ll ensure to cover everything.
Starting from creating an MLS listing to closing on the property.
Pros & Cons of Listing on MLS With a Realtor
|✅ Pros of Listing on MLS with a Realtor||❌ Cons of Listing on MLS with a Realtor|
|1. If you're new to these complicated real estate transactions then a real estate agent will take care of everything on your behalf.||1. No substantial savings as you'll have to pay a hefty agent commission that might go up to 3% or even more.|
|2. By listing on MLS with a realtor, you won't have to pay an extra additional fee to market your home across social media platforms, or syndicating your listing on other websites.||2. You may not be his only client to whom he will attend. Your home may not receive the attention it deserves depending on how busy your agent is.|
|3. Selling your home through a real estate agent is beneficial, as there's someone who's interested to sell your property for a higher price. |
Remember, higher the selling price, higher the agent's commission.
|3. You do not have control over the transaction, you do not make the necessary changes to the MLS, you can not negotiate deals directly as the real estate agent is the first person to talk to the qualified buyers.|
Steps For Listing a House With a Realtor
|1||🧑💼 Search for an Ideal Agent||Find and take interviews with real estate agents in your area. You can even schedule a pre-listing appointment with the agent. |
Make sure to negotiate the terms of the listing agreement, duration of the listing agreement, the commission asked, and necessary marketing activities.
|2||📃 Sign The Essential Documents||After finalizing all the terms and conditions, you may sign the listing agreement. Be sure to read them comprehensively.|
|3||🔨 Required Restoration||Cleaning, staging, photos, and any pre-listing repairs will be scheduled by the agent.|
|4||🗝️ Add listing to the MLS||At last, the listing agent posts your listing on the MLS.|
How to List on MLS Without a Realtor
You can not list on MLS without the help of a real estate agent as a real estate license is required to post properties on the MLS.
But there’s a catch! If you don’t want to have a real estate license or interact with a listing agent, there are flat-fee multiple listing services that will market your home for you.
👉 Find out which is better, selling a house by owner (FSBO) or selling a house with a realtor.
What is Flat Fee MLS Listing?
Flat Fee MLS Listing or Entry Only Listing was legalized by the US Department of Justice in 2005, it is a service offered by a real estate agent or broker that helps you to list your house on MLS for a small fixed fee.
A Flat Fee MLS listing service is far cheaper than the traditional listing commission but remember that you have to pay a buyer agent commission which ranges from 2.5 to 3%.
👍 Don’t worry! You still hold the command over the transaction and retain the integrity of selling your house by owner. The real estate agent only provides you with a listing in the MLS and no other services.
Thus, if you want to sell your home yourself and save thousands from the commission then a Flat Fee MLS listing is the BEST option.
What You Should Expect From a Flat Fee MLS Listing Service?
📍 Firstly, you’ll be given a form to fill out relevant details about your house that might interest a buyer. Make sure that the listing is accurate. These forms are usually filled out online.
📍 Secondly, the real estate agent will enter all the necessary information into the MLS and represent themself as the listing agent. They put the home seller’s contact information into the MLS listing as well.
👑 Queen’s Take: Make sure to verify the time frame for which your listing will be active. Usually, an MLS listing goes live for 6 to 12 months.
Pros & Cons of Listing With Flat Fee MLS Services
|✅ Pros of Listing with Flat Fee MLS Services||❌ Cons of Listing with Flat Fee MLS Services|
|1. According to reports, almost 87% of homebuyers are represented through an agent. These agents have access to the MLS which significantly increases your chances to get a potential buyer.||1. You still have to pay a small Flat Fee to get on MLS.|
|2. Your listing gets syndicated to hundreds of other websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com.||2. You're selling your home by yourself, and you require any assistance from the listing service. Then there's a slight possibility that the support concierge might not be efficient.|
Listing on MLS is easy and can be done within a few steps:
How to List a Home on the MLS With a Flat-Fee Service?
|1||🔍 Organize a Research||Organize research to find the best Flat Fee MLS listing service in your area. Define certain parameters like: |
|2||🧑💼 Look for an Ideal Listing Package||Many companies provide a variety of Flat Fee MLS listing packages, each with its own set of benefits and prices. |
Packages differ depending on the number of photos, listing term, MLS coverage, services you choose, and many other factors.
|3||📸 Click Professional Photos||If you want to sell your home faster, make sure to click some professional photos of your house. |
Take at least one curb shot and let there be enough light while clicking a photo.
|4||📃 Create a listing||While creating a listing for your local MLS, make sure to go with a catchy headline, comprehensive description, and attractive photographs. |
Finally, avoid pricing gimmicks and try not to oversell.
|5||🗝️ Get Listed on MLS||After finalizing these all prospects, forward the same to the listing agent and get your property listed on the MLS. |
Houzeo allows you to list within 24 business hours.
🤩 » LOOK: Want to create an attractive listing that can help you get an ideal deal? Find out, 18 Creative Ways to Market a House For Sale By Owner Homes.
What is the Best For Sale By Owner MLS Listing Service?
‘For Sale By Owner’ refers to the process of selling real estate without the assistance of an agent or broker.
We reviewed multiple Flat Fee MLS Listing services based on the following factors:
- Maximum Visibility,
- Offer Management,
- Stellar Customer Reviews,
- Mobile App Availability
Houzeo is our first choice for FSBO MLS Listing since it shines out in every way.
Houzeo is our top pick for best for sale by owner websites. Here’s why:
💰 Great Savings on Commission: Houzeo allows you to list on MLS with just a small flat fee, which helps you to save thousands of dollars on listing commission. If your buyer is not associated with any agent then you can save the buyer agent commission as well.
📣 Maximum Exposure: Houzeo not only lists your house on local MLSs, but they also syndicate your listing to popular real estate marketplaces such as Zillow, Trulia, Realltor.com, Redfin, and hundreds of other websites. Not just that, Houzeo provides nifty social media sharing tools to share listing details conveniently.
⚡Fast Listing & Changes: Houzeo’s platform is 100% Online. Thus, it makes the process seamless and lightning fast. Your listing gets live within 8 working hours if all your documents are aligned properly. Houzeo provides unlimited listing changes plus easy and quick responses.
⭐ Great Customer Reviews: Houzeo has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on credible review sites like Google and Trustpilot. This ensures that whenever you give a call to them, there’s a live person attending to your doubts.
📱Advanced Technology: Features like IntelliList Listing Management System, Houzeo Showings, Houzeo Offers, Buyer Search, and Houzeo Settlement Agent Platform gives them an edge over the other top flat fee MLS listing services.
- 100% online
- IntelliList Listing Management System makes listings & changes fast!
- Near-nationwide coverage
- Listings get syndicated to Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, and 100s of other sites
- 5-star customer service
- Mobile app
No particular cons found
Houzeo has 4.9 out of 5 ratings (1,749 total reviews) on popular review sites
Houzeo is available in 80+ U.S. markets, giving it near-nationwide coverage.
How to List a Home For Sale By Owner Online?
If you pick a website that specializes in FSBO listings and gives the property maximum exposure, you can simply market your home for sale by owner online.
All you need to do is to review the terms and conditions carefully, add some professional photos, write a lengthy description to interest visitors, and then publish your listing.
Many websites now serve as real estate marketplaces, with nationwide coverage.
We’ve covered some top examples for you:
How to do For Sale By Owner MLS Listing on Houzeo.com?
|📝||Go to Houzeo.com and click on 'Start Free Listing', present at the right corner of the home page. After clicking on the "Register Here" button fill out the credentials to create an account.|
|📧||You'll receive a verification email to log in further. On your dashboard, select 'Sell A Property'.|
|✒️||Fill out the necessary details about your property and select an ideal plan for you. Houzeo provides à la carte facilities at reasonable prices. |
Note: Packages' prices may differ from State to State and MLS to MLS.
|🧑💼||You'll be allowed to select a property agent and he/she will be assigned as your listing agent.|
|📃||At last, To complete your listing order, you must complete the tasks assigned to your account. Your listing order will be processed and will go live within 24 business hours after you have completed all of the tasks and provided all of the required information. Make sure to align your documents properly.|
How to List a House on Zillow For Sale By Owner
Zillow is the biggest real estate marketplace that publishes real estate listings from across the country. They pull out the listings from a variety of channels such as MLS, syndication companies, and user inputs.
To list a house on Zillow, you’ll be required to create an account and follow the below-mentioned steps.
|ℹ️ Gather information about the property:||Collect relevant information about your house that might interest the buyers like the number of bedrooms, area, amenities, nearby locations, and so more. |
Take professional photographs of your home from different angles.
|🧑💻 Create a Zillow Account:||On their website, you'll have to create an account to post the listing.|
|📃 Fill out the Online Form:||Zillow asks you to fill out an online form, which will hold necessary information about your home.|
|🔍 Review and Submission:||After filling out the online form, just review the terms and conditions and submit the listing for verification.|
|🗝️ Get Listed:||Your listing gets live within 72 business hours.|
How to List a House on Redfin For Sale By Owner
Redfin is a real estate firm that has listings in major towns and cities across the United States. The company obtains its listings from multiple listing services (MLS) and For Sale By Owner (FSBO) websites. In comparison to Zillow, It makes money from a 1% to 2% selling commission.
To advertise a home for sale by owner on Redfin, you must first list it on a specific FSBO website such as ForSaleByOwner.com. This is because Redfin obtains it’s For Sale By Owner listings from third-party sources and does not allow owners to list directly.
Redfin is a real estate brokerage. While it works in many respects like a regular brokerage, it offers a unique low-commission business strategy. It has its own buyer and seller agents to assist customers with the home-buying process.
How to Get MLS Access For Free
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You can always list on MLS without a realtor, but you can never list on MLS for free.
The Flat Fee MLS approach allows you to list on MLS and gain maximum exposure at just a small fixed fee. Your listing gets syndicated to hundreds of real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and so more.
Many Flat Fee MLS companies offer full-service packages which include almost everything that a traditional agent would offer you for 3%.
Houzeo provides maximum exposure, incomparable customer service, and the best facilities at reasonable prices starting from $199 to $999. Their basic package allows you to list with 6 photos for 3 months listing period. On the other hand, their premium package allows a maximum number of photos, virtual tours, pricing assistance, a 1-year Listing term and so much more.
Alternatives to List On MLS
Acquiring a real estate agent and getting listed on MLS, Using a Flat Fee MLS Listing Service, or going For Sale By Owner Online. Still, there are other alternatives available to list on MLS.
Let’s go through them together.
1. Companies That Buy Houses For Cash
If you’re looking for an immediate solution to sell your home then “We Buy Houses for Cash” companies are the perfect alternative for you.
They often buy your property for cash at a way lower than the fair market value.
At present, Opendoor is the best choice for companies that buy houses for cash as they offer instant cash offers on the homes for sale. If you want to sell your house as quickly as possible, then selling your home to an iBuyer is an excellent option.
To receive an offer, just hop on to Opendoor’s website and enter the necessary details like, address, photo, and basic description of the property. Opendoor evaluates your home on the basis of their home pricing formula and credible feedback from the area experts.
They’re available in more than 45+ markets plus they promise to initiate an offer within 24 business hours. Just after receiving an offer, they charge a 5% service fee, repairing costs, and closing costs. Closing typically takes 14 days.
Best For: Sellers who’re seeking a quick and simple transaction for cash.
- Closing in as soon as 14 days, flexible in time.
- Provides an instant cash offer within 24 hours.
- No Cancellation offer
- There are no obligations to accept the offer.
- You; ‘ll have to pay the repairing and closing costs.
- They do not provide you with an ideal market value.
- Strict criteria while evaluating the homes.
They have an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 from more than 2000+ reviews.
They’re available in more than 45+ markets.
2. Discount Real Estate Brokers
Traditionally, a real estate agent/broker asks for a 2.5% to 3% listing commission but a discount real estate broker is someone who is willing to do all the work in selling your house for a lesser than usual amount.
Even though Redfin’s regular listing cost is 1.5 percent, they heavily promote a 1% listing fee. They may promote 1% because they provide further discounts to clients who sell and buy with the company within a year. If you meet the criteria, Redfin will lower your listing cost to 1%.
If you sell first, Redfin will charge you a 1.5 percent listing fee, with the remaining 0.5 percent refunded once you buy your new property. Many Redfin reviews state that they’ve gotten a great deal.
Redfin’s business strategy also relies on existing customers enticing them to use other Redfin services. These are some of them:
- Redfin’s title and settlement company are called Title Forward.
- Redfin Mortgage is a company that has its own mortgage broker.
- Redfin Open Book is a service provider affiliate network for contractors, electricians, and landscapers.
- Strong technology
- Thorough listing agreement
- Detailed paperwork
- Holistic services
- Full-service brokerage
- Slow listing process
- Average customer service
Redfin has an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 on Consumer Affairs.
Redfin covers 80+ Markets in the United States.
3. Truly FSBO
As mentioned before, ‘For Sale By Owner’ or ‘Sell your home yourself’ refers to the process of selling real estate without the assistance of an agent or broker. In simple words, instead of paying a realtor commission, you take on the work and obligations that a realtor would normally handle.
51 percent of homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors, look for properties online. Furthermore, FSBOs accounted for 7% of all house sales in 2020.
More importantly, you can avoid these small fees too and sell your home yourself. Various For Sale By Owner websites like Houzeo, Zillow, Craigslist, ForSaleByOwner.com, and more offer free listings to their respective websites.
Their platform carries a substantial amount of traffic that can attract potential exposure.
Traditional marketing approaches like FSBO yard signs, flyers, or word-of-mouth advertising can be beneficial too. Houzeo provides the most dynamic For Sale Yard Sign. Here’s a visual to assist you.
Home sellers across America have sold their homes themselves using Houzeo and saved $$
You can do it too!
4. Acquire a Real Estate Licence
Although it might sound a little bit tough and time-consuming but this will surely provide a lot of opportunities if you want to make a career in the real estate field.
📌Note: Each State has its own requirements. We advise you to please go through your respective state government website for details.
Should I Really List My Home on MLS?
Yes! One must list on MLS if any of the below-mentioned reasons meet your requirements:
📌 Get Maximum Exposure
Once you get on MLS, your listing gets syndicated to hundreds of other real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and many more. This helps the buyers to easily find your real estate property online.
Moreover, If you have a lot of traffic, it simply means that you have more chances to get a great deal.
📌 Sell Faster
Of course! If you’re getting more traffic then it’ll simply increase your chances to sell faster. It is a proven fact that houses that are listed on MLS sell faster than houses that are not.
📌 Get Cash Offers
iBuyers, Investors, or home-flippers search for properties on MLS to initiate a cash offer.
If you are seeking to list on MLS and save thousands on commission by not going with a real estate agent then using a Flat Fee MLS Listing service is the best option.
You can start your free listing today with Houzeo’s advanced platform, stellar customer support, and seamless listing process.
List your home with Houzeo and save $25 instantly!
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Frequently Asked Questions on How to List On MLS
What is MLS?
Multiple Listing Service or MLS is a property listing database used by licensed real estate agents and brokers to list their sellers’ homes and properties. Every listing is automatically posted to hundreds of real estate websites, including the major ones like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com
Is Flat Fee MLS Legal?
Flat Fee MLS is legal all over the United States. In fact, the US Department of Justice just updated their bulletin highlighting the benefits of Flat Fee MLS for For Sale By Owner home sellers.
Are Flat Fee Realtors Good?
Some home sellers assume that since flat-fee realtors are working for lower fees they might not provide you with good services but there are thousands of home sellers who’ve already tried these flat-fee realtors and they have saved thousands of dollar with the best services!
Can I List on the MLS without an Agent?
Yes, you can list your home on the MLS with a Flat Fee MLS listing service like Houzeo, eliminating the listing agent, and their 3% commission right away!
What is a Flat Fee MLS Listing?
Flat Fee MLS Listing (Multiple Listing Service) provides home sellers access to the MLS for a small flat fee – $79 to $495 on Houzeo – instead of paying a 3% listing agent commission. When you choose a Flat Fee MLS listing, you are in full control of your home sale and can avoid paying up to all of the 6% standard real estate commission.
How Can I List My House Using The Flat Fee MLS Listing?
It’s simple! List your home on Houzeo.com, purchase a Flat Fee MLS listing plan, and fill out all the needed documents that will be automatically assigned to you. 60 minutes could save you $20,000 in real estate agent commissions! Our plans are designed to serve a specific type of customer. For land, feel free to purchase the BRONZE plan. We recommend the SILVER plan for the sophisticated seller. And the GOLD gives you everything you need to make things easier for novice sellers!
Can I Request to Add Open Houses Easily?
Our IntelliList Listing Management system makes requesting open houses to be added a breeze! Watch this video on how to request listing changes, including open houses
How Much Money Can I Actually Save?
You can save up to 100% of the real estate commissions! With the Flat Fee MLS listing on Houzeo, you save the 3% listing agent commission. You’re obligated to pay the buyer’s agent the commission you offered if they’re represented by an agent, but if you procure a buyer with no agent involved, you can save even that!
What Things Does a Seller Have to Do to Sell Their Property?
You’ll essentially be serving as your own agent, so your responsibilities include setting up the yard sign, scheduling showings, filing paperwork, pricing your property, etc. Houzeo does make it a little easier though – and you save $$$ in the process!
Do I Need to Sign a Contract to List My Home?
Yes, but these contracts for Flat Fee MLS listings are generally “entry-only”. That means they’re limited to the agent entering your listing into the MLS. And they can be canceled/terminated anytime with no penalty!