Everyone knows how to advertise, right? Take some pictures of your home, call some newspapers, pull out the credit card and you’ll be in next week’s paper; piece of cake.
Hundreds will see your home but there stands one inherent problem to this scenario – hardly anyone actually buys the home advertised in the ad. When it comes to buying a home people rely on their real estate agents to show them multiple homes. This is what makes the multiple listing service (MLS) so invaluable.
The MLS is a large comprehensive database of home listings, shared among real estate professionals. This online database contains all the specifics about a home, from the address, age, square footage, and number of bedrooms, baths, upgrades and schools districts to types of financing the seller will consider, and more.
Houses listed in MLS have higher visibility and exposure than homes advertised in the daily newspaper or internet. The MLS also offers the benefit of detailed information with pictures. Real estate agents find out what homebuyers are looking for and query the MLS to get a list of homes the prospective buyer should visit.
Multiple Listing Services also has the added benefit of third party syndication. This syndication is when the MLS sends member listings to a third-party website to increase exposure to potential homebuyers.
Homebuyers and sellers who view listings on the syndicated site are provided with links to the listing agent or MLS site for additional information. This is a huge benefit because the home seller is receiving added exposure, free advertisements to millions of potential homebuyers that would not be cost effective with print-only marketing.
Why Flat Fee MLS sells short of what you really want
Many brokers with access to MLS sell their services for a flat fee but in the end, the home seller will not fully benefit from the MLS features. You see, when you are not represented by an agent or broker your MLS listing will direct prospective buyers to contact the seller directly. This is a red flag which is usually snubbed by other agents. In a nutshell, when you are represented by an agent it means all the groundwork has been done and the home is usually priced well in comparison of surrounding homes. Agents know all of the work that must be completed before a listing. So that red flag could mean doing business with a novice, un-yielding and tough to deal with. Agents shy away from this type of business and prefer dealing with agents.
So although a flat fee MLS listing might seem like a doable bargain, it’s probably a waste of time.
The primary benefit of MLS is that it provides a great platform for maximum exposure of homes that are marketed by seasoned professionals.