1. Who Is Joseph Walter Realty?
Joseph Walter Realty is a full service, State licensed Real Estate Company, Licensed in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, and Georgia.
We work with clients at all levels of service, from MLS Entry Only, to limited service, and Full Service.
One of our popular services is Flat fee, MLS Only Listings, these listings allow our clients to receive the benefits of getting their home on the State/County specific MLS without the cost of using a full-service Listing Realtor, while Maintaining Owner control of the sale as a For Sale by Owner.
The question most often asked is, does the MLS only listing system work? The straightforward answer is yes. Last year JWR listed over 1,400 homes as MLS Only – Flat Fee Listings.
Please continue to read to complete the top 10 things you should know about selling your home as a FSBO, MLS only, flat rate listing.
2. What Is The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
The MLS is an exclusive listing Service, available only to Licensed Realtors.
The MLS is important because 97% of all US home sales were listed on the MLS.
An Important point to consider is that over 80% of the homes listed for sale on Zillow, Realtor. Com, Trulia and 100s of others were imported from listings entered Into the MLS system.
Zillow, Realtor. Com, Trulia and 100s of others are simply Buyer marketing sites, Licensed Realtors almost never use the MARKETING sites to search for homes, the MLS system is much more powerful.
Agents with Qualified Buyers, set up custom, automated searches using the MLS that automatically alert their clients with lists of homes which align with the buyer clients ideal home search criteria. Agents almost never use Zillow or other marketing sites.
The MLS systems provide many more tools to aid in custom buyer searches and buyer showing scheduling.
A number of people we talk to believe sites like Realtor.com are the MLS, in fact they are not, they are just marketing sites which receive listings entered in the MLS.
If you are open to working with Buyer Agents who bring you Qualified Buyers, then being on the MLS is a must.
3. What Is An MLS ONLY Listing?
MLS Only Listings have been around since the 1960s, and are limited service, JWR will provide the following: enter your homes information, your contact information and activate the MLS listing, at this point we have completed our work.
As an MLS only listing, you, the owner, now take over, effectively acting as the listing agent. In most states, it is legal for a non-licensed person to sell the home or property you own.
- Don’t know about or understand MLS Only
- If they do know about the MLS Only, they won’t disclose this to you so they can maximize their Commissions.
- If you bring up MLS Only to an Agent, they will try to tell you horror stories, this is only to make you nervous and unsure, so that you then List with them, for 6%.
- Most FSBO have a buying agent involved, this is good, because the buying agent will provide a Purchase agreement, and most purchase agreements are written to not be biased to one side or the other, and if you want someone to review the PA for you, Our Transaction coordinators are available.
See Question #9 on Transaction Coordinators.
4. Listing Myths
6% is the standard Commission – False
THERE ARE NO STANDARD COMMISSIONs!!!!!! You as the owner can offer whatever commission you decide to offer on the Seller Agent side and Buyer Agent Side. To be on the MLS, you Must offer something to the Buyer Agent Side, anything from $1 to X% is acceptable.
Large Agencies Sell Homes Faster – False
10 years ago, this statement may have been true, but today there is no Data that shows that Large agencies sell homes any faster than smaller agencies, or even faster than For Sale By Owners, all, when on the MLS provide the exact same information to buyers.
Large Agencies have more buyers – False
Less than 5% of all homes sales were purchased through the company which listed the home. This is a misconception held over from before Real Estate hit the Internet.
If an Agent tells you that they have buyers, simply invite them to bring you one and offer to pay them a buyer Agent Commission.
Real Estate Teams are more productive sellers – False
Real Estate teams are very common today. They are simply groups of realtors who work under a common “Associate” Broker within an office, they do not work in the traditional definition of a “TEAM” by working together to buy or sell homes.
Real Estate agencies will not show discounted/flat fee listings – False
Buyer Agents don’t know if the listing side is discounted, the only commission information which is displayed in the listing, is for the buyer agent, which is based on the commission you chose.
Discounted Commission listings receive inferior service – False
An MLS only listing provides Buyers the same information as a Licensed Seller Agent.
Discounted Commission Real Estate Offices cannot survive – False
The key to providing discounted services is to do two things, reduce overhead, and reduce costs, that’s how Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s do it. The reason large Real Estate Agencies need to charge you 6% is to pay their bills, not to give you better service.
Zillow and other sites are Home Buying Sites – False
Zillow is a marketing site, less than 5% of the viewers of homes on Zillow are qualified buyers, approximately 80% of the homes you see listed on Zillow were initiated by an MLS listing and were automatically pushed out to Zillow.
5. What Are The Benefits Of The MLS?
The primary benefit of being on the MLS is that your home will appear on 100s of Home Sale marketing sites and will be electronically searchable from anywhere, anytime.
The MLS will list Your Name and Your Phone Number as the contact for showings, information and offers.
Also, by working with Buyer agents, who typically require their buyers to be PRE-Approved for a mortgage, so you will not be wasting your time with tire kickers, and decoy buyers.
Non-Pre-Approved buyers and Decoy Buyers will waste your time and in the end may not get qualified for a mortgage.
6. What Is The Process To Get On The MLS?
Following receipt of your online payment, an automated system will send you an Instruction Sheet, and the appropriate documents for YOUR local MLS.
Each Local MLS has its own forms and may emphasize certain listing information over other information, depending on if your home location is Rural, Urban, or Suburban.
When you receive the required docs, you will complete them on your computer or tablet and after clicking “Completed” they return to our offices.
The instructions also include a method to send us your photos, the key with photos is to name them properly so we show them in the order you select. The instructions for naming are also included. Photos, even of your home, are considered ART, and you must have permission from the photographer to use them.
Following receipt of all you docs and photos, we will enter the information and confirm with you that your listing is live on the MLS.
Your home will soon be showing up on the MLS, to be viewed by 1,000s of Buyer Agents and Buyer Agent Clients, as well as on 100s of Home Sale marketing sites.
7. What Do You Do Next?
Once your home listing is live, be prepared to receive automated Showing requests, by Text, Phone, and or Email. The Showing request will indicate the day and time of the request to see your home, to approve simply type Y for yes, and N for No.
Also be prepared to begin taking phone calls to answer questions.
Think about your Home Sale goals before you receive an Offer, once you receive an offer move as quickly as you can to, review, and set a plan to negotiate. In today’s market if you delay for too long, the buyer may continue to look for homes and decide against buying yours.
IMPORTANT – Once you sign an Offer, you must contact us that day to mark your listing as pending, failure to do so may incur DAILY fines, which you are responsible for, please keep us informed.
Once your listing is live, our primary job is completed, we are available to support you with minor listing changes such as updating Price, pictures, and the description.
Please note: A lack of Buyers requesting to see your home is rarely about the description and or the sequence of your photos.
Incorrect Pricing is the number one reason Homes don’t sell, Location, Condition and Price must be in sync to sell a home.
8. What Is A Transaction Coordinator?
Transaction coordinators help sellers review docs, negotiate with the buyers agent, and assist in choosing the best offer on their home. Transaction Coordinators also ensure that the details regarding the real estate Purchase Agreement are checked, prepared correctly, and meet your goals for the sale. This could save you time and money.
Transaction coordinators save the clients significant time by taking the transaction management off the plate of the property owner. By not taking on these tedious and time-consuming tasks, Homeowners can spend their time on other important tasks, like packing and moving.
Transaction coordinators can be the right partner for stress management. Sales of real estate can be complicated and do not always follow a set script. It takes years of experience and knowledge to get accustomed to the process, which, fortunately, every real estate transaction coordinator has.
9. Title Work, Who Should You Work With?
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A GENERAL DESCRIPTION, YOUR STATE MAY BE DIFFERENT, PLEASE CHECK YOUR STATES GUIDELINES.
Once you have a fully executed Purchase Agreement, the next step is to engage with a title company. Title companies typically have 4 key line items (there may be more items depending on how your sale is structured).
Title Insurance is State regulated and therefore the process in each State may differ, understand how your State works, and what your rights as a seller are.
The 4 typical items are:
Seller Closing Fee (Rates Vary)
Closing fees can be anywhere between $200 and $800, make sure you know what this cost is UPFRONT, if you wait until the closing, you could be surprised and overpay for the service.
Seller Title Insurance (Usually Published Rates)
Title Insurance is usually required on every home sale, it is always required when a mortgage is being used to purchase your home. Seller Title Insurance is for past occurrences, not future occurrences of liens and or claims against the property.
City/County Taxes –
Percentage of Sales Price, Set by City/County
State Taxes –
Percentage of Sales Price, Set by the State