Is an MLS listing better than For Sale By Owner?
Here are some advantages of listing your home on the MLS with HomeLister:
Visibility & Reach: The MLS is an agent-only platform where over 90% of homes are sold, and is often the first place that buyer's agents look for homes for their clients. Your listing will also syndicate from the MLS to hundreds of public websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com, Redfin, and many more. With a For Sale By Owner listing, you post your home on just one of these websites. An MLS listing gives your home much more visibility to buyers who are looking for homes.
Inquiries Come from Buyers, not Soliciting Agents: A very common issue for sellers with For Sale By Owner listings is that they receive tons of inquiries from real estate agents looking to represent them, and become inundated with these requests rather than communication from potential buyers. With HomeLister as your exclusive listing agent, other real estate agents are not allowed to solicit for your business, which ensures that all the communication you receive about the home will be from potential buyers.
What's the difference between For Sale by Owner and a Listing Agent?
Because there are a lot of changes in real estate these days, there is a lot of confusion about what it means to be For Sale By Owner.
In the past, For Sale By Owner has meant that you are not using a full service agent to sell your home. And in the past, a full service agent was your only option.
However, HomeLister is changing what it means to have an agent. We are breaking down what an agent does into the parts you want, and the parts you don't want. We are a hybrid where we are your agent for some things that are traditionally done by an agent, but don't do all the things that a full service agent would do. We are what is called a limited services brokerage where you are allowed to choose what services we do and don't do for you.
When you sign up with HomeLister, you are signing up for us to be your listing agent so that we can put you in the MLS and take advantage of all the other tools that agents are allowed to use. Depending upon which package you select, you are choosing to hire us to do more or less of the things that full service agents do. At all times, even with a basic listing, we are your listing agent. We are required to be in order to post you in the MLS.
Facts & Figures
The real estate industry goes out of their way to tell you that you need a Realtor to sell your home for what it is worth. However, the truth is that an estimated 20% or more of US home sales every year are sold by owner or flat fee sales. The US Dept of Justice actually has a website dedicated to telling consumers how much they can save by selling this way. Check it out here: https://www.justice.gov/atr/consumers-save-thousands-commissions
There have been multiple studies that show that as long as you are listed on the MLS you are likely to sell your home for the same as a Realtor or even more. (See the above study that shows that Realtor sales are often lower priced.)
Multiple studies over the last 20 years, including by University of Chicago and Stanford, have found that homes that were listed on the local listing service, but not sold by an agent (such as flat fee MLS or HomeLister listings) actually outperformed those sold by agents. These studies have found that owner driven sales of homes on the MLS or local listing service actually sold for anywhere from the same amount to 7% more than similar homes sold by agent driven sales. That is before the commission is even taken into account. For the average homeowner, a 7% increase in home price translates into 35% more cash at closing. If you sell your home for $250,000 and you have 20% equity in your home, here is how those numbers look for you.
Example with a $250,000 Home Sale
With a loan of $200,000, owner has $50,000 in equity (or 20%)
Sale price: $250,000, 6% commission = $15,000
Owner takes home before other closing costs: $50,000-$15,000 = $35,000
Flat fee MLS sold
7% bump in price means home sells for $267,000, commission potentially 0%. The owners equity has increased from $50,000 to $267,000
Owner takes home before other closing costs: $67,000 - $0 = $67,000
Increase in take home cash: 91%
Need more information? Real Estate Recoded did a great job of breaking down the arguments and reviewing one study here.