Monday, December 10, 2012

Is an “MLS entry only” listing the best way to save money when selling your home?

“MLS entry only” listings are exactly as the words say – an entry in the multiple listing service with no seller representation whatsoever.  Basically this a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) where the owner has already agreed to pay a commission to any real estate agent who brings the buyer.

I realize there are some real estate companies willing take à la carte listing where the seller can choose what type of support they desire and the fee for those services.  This is not something I have ever done.

A seller wishing to go “MLS entry only” must know the process.  They must be willing to handle all phone calls, accommodate all appointments, negotiate contracts, verify buyer ability to purchase and coordinate the entire closing process.  They likely will want to be present for all showings.

Unlike a FSBO the "MLS entry only" seller does not have as much risk with the safety issues- provided they schedule all appointments with the buyer's real estate agent and ask for identification when they arrive for the appointment.

So is the "MLS entry only" the way to go to save a lot of money?  The monetary savings are not that significant vs. a full service listing.  Keep in mind... ALL REAL ESTATE FEES (COMMISSIONS) ARE NEGOTIABLE IN EVERY TRANSACTION.  THERE IS NO STANDARD.

Let's make this example easy. A home is on the market and being sold for $100,000.  The buyer's agent will receive a 2.5% commission.  The "MLS entry only" fee was $500.  This is just a figure pulled out of the air since I have always had a full service listing agreement.

A full service listing agreement is where the seller's agent promotes, markets, negotiates for the seller and guides the process to the closing table.  More importantly, the knowledge the agent provides in preparation fro marketing may save a seller thousands.  In this example the entire fee is 5% split equally.

Based on this example the real estate fees for an "MLS entry only" closing would be $3,000 while the full service arrangement would be $5,000.

The questions sellers must ask themselves include things like the value of their time.  Is the time required to handle calls, arrange appointments, be present for showings worth it?

And what is the sellers timetable?  If a real estate agent can handle the details and get a transaction closed in 45 days, is the savings worth it if they are making a mortgage payment?  [I have taken 45 day listings before, ask me.]

Further, is their knowledge of the process sufficient?  Are they going to pay an attorney as well to review the real estate contracts?   Is the savings of an "MLS entry only" listing worth the difference.

These are questions sellers must answer when they decide to sell their home.   Do they "FSBO" it?  Or maybe go with an "MLS entry only" arrangement or work with a full-time full service real estate professional?

If you are considering selling your Brevard County, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850.  Lets talk about the process.  You may in fact be an "MLS entry only" candidate or even a FSBO.