Flat Fee MLS Listing Service
- Why Is Your Service So Inexpensive?
- What Is Your Money-Back Guarantee?
- Do I Have to Tell You When I Have A Contract or When I Have Sold My Home?
- Who Sets the Commission a Buyer's
Broker Can Get?
- How Do I Target Just Consumers, not Brokers?
- How Do I Get My Listing On Your Homepage and Picture on Your Gallery?
- What Should I Do with My FSBO Yard Sign?
- Should I Get A Lawyer To Help Me?
- Who Will Negotiate My Contract?
- Who Are The FSBO Lawyers™?
- How Else Can I Save Expenses?
- What Must I Do When I Get an Offer?
- What Rules Am I Subject to When My Listing Goes on the MLS?
- Why Won't Brokers Boycott Me?
- How Do I Pay For Your Service?
- Can I Have a Featured Listing on Realtor.com?
- Do You Take Credit Cards?
- Why Don't You Use the Mails?
- Why Don't You Advertise?
- Can I Have a Personal Referral?
- What If I Move, What Happens Then?
- What Is An Exclusive Real Estate Listing?
- Why Don't You Use Exclusive Listing Contracts Like Other FSBO Brokers Do?
- Can I Have a Discount, I Spent Money on Ads?
- Where Will My Phone Number Appear?
- What Will Realtor.com Show?
- What If I Need To Sell A House In Another State?
- When Will My Listing Be Available to the General Public?
- How Do I Get A Virtual Tour?
- When Will My Picture Appear?
That is simple. We don't advertise and don't use the mails. Sure a lot of people never hear of our service but for those who do
it means saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We don't agree with
corporate America that our customers should subsidize advertising costs.
Our Money-Back Guarantee takes effect if
for any reason, such as you have moved out of town, you require a
full-commission broker to do your showings. If circumstances arise such that
you need to list your home with a full-commission brokerage firm the
Guarantee comes into play. If we referred you to a full-commission broker who is an Affiliated FSBO Realtor™ and he or she sells your home then at the closing of your sale the commission earned by the Affiliated FSBO Realtor™ will be reduced by the listing fee you paid us and reimbursed to you. In effect your listing with us is totally risk-free. Many have asked why we can do this. It is because we know our program works. Our Affiliated FSBO Realtor™ network includes well-known real estate brokerage firms throughout the country. You may use one of them
or if you wish simply pick one of your own choice and then let us make the
referral for you. In either event the Guarantee comes into effect.
Yes and Yes. The reason is that the MLS Rules require both. And the MLS Rules also require that a listing be changed when the contingency in a contract is satisfied. A contingent contract is present in 99.99% of real estate contracts. Typical contingencies are the receipt of a mortgage, your attorney's review and approval of the contract, the sale of the buyer's home, a property inspection, a 48-hour pre-closing inspection, or any other condition that can allow the buyer to not proceed to closing. The MLS requires that all such events be reported immediately or else there is an automatic fine--AUTOMATIC--of $100 with further continuing penalties if the $100 is not paid. The MLS Rules apply to everyone, every broker, every sales agent, every realtor, every home seller...everyone. Compliance is simple: just call us! We'll do the rest. For your information
typical MLS Rules are as follows. They may be different in
" REPORTING CHANGES OF STATUS AND CONTINGENCIES: There shall be a fine of $100.00 for failure to report contract pending, contingencies and deletion of contingency flags, and change of status of a listing if transferred to a different listing within 72 hours. Computer failure shall not be an excuse
for such failure. The 72 hour requirement shall include weekends and holidays."
" REPORTING PRICE CHANGES: There shall be a $100.00 fine for failure to report a price
change within 72 hours. Computer failure shall not be an excuse for such failure. The 72-hour requirement
shall include weekends and holidays."
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That is you. You tell the brokers in our Property Profile what commission it is that they will receive when their client buys your home. You set it. If you want our advice it is there for the asking. But one thing is now clear under the law. There is no such thing as a standard fee. That would be price-fixing. You are thus free to set any commission you wish. The only requirement is that the set commission is always reduced by
$200 in order to defray the listing agent's closing expenses. Thus, if you set the buyer's broker commission at 2% and in your case that would be equal to $8,400, the buyer's broker would receive
$8,200 at closing. Such allowances are customary.
If you put in our Property Profile a commission less than 2% it will be hard
to find a broker who would be willing to show your property to his or her
client. Brokers are human and if he or she can earn $10,000 versus $5,000 when
the client buys a home guess which one the broker will recommend. This of course is not appropriate behavior and in fact it violates the law. A realtor stands in a fiduciary relationship with his or her client and must always put the client's interest ahead of his own. That means if he finds home that is perfect but the commission is less he is still obligated to show it. Reality, unfortunately, may be a different thing.
That is easy. At the end of
the Property Profile there are checkboxes to mark if you want one or more
of these services. You can also have your own website linked to our
homepage as a third service. The fee for these services is $100 per
service. If a broker brings you the buyer, $100 is deducted from its
commission for each service at closing and credited to you so that you
receive the services for free. But since the amount involved is advanced
by you, it is included in your payment.
the brokerage world the term "fsbo" or "for sale by
owner" means that nobody gets a commission, not the buyer's broker
and not the listing broker. So if a broker sees that sign you can be
sure he or she won't come back. Thus purely as a practical matter the
continued use of your FSBO sign can only adversely affect your chances
of sale. Also up until now the FSBO sign has really not done you alot of
good, even if the traffic patterns in your neighborhood means many cars
pass by your home. Otherwise you would not have visited our site. That
is a second reason why an FSBO sign makes little further sense. So
historically using an FSBO sign once listed was almost never done. The
third reason is the most important: it can cost you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
though you don't know it now and won't be told until it is too late!
That is because many so-called "flat fee" brokers offer you a
"free" yard sign. But that yard sign prominently displays
THEIR COMPANY AND THEIR PHONE NUMBER. There is a good reason why they do
this. If a passer-by calls them, they will bring that buyer to view your
home. And if that person in fact buys your home, that "flat-fee
broker" makes a killing--off of you! We are the only flat fee
broker in the country that absolutely and totally refuses to play this
game. We will never accept a fee from a buyer for one of our flat fee
listings. Don't be fooled by the "free sign" trick: it is
nothing but a gimmick, one that can cost you like it has many others,
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Buy yourself a "For Sale" sign at Ace or
Home Depot for $5 or $10 and put your own phone number on it. The
"free yard sign" will likely cost you alot more! Lastly and on
a purely theoretical legal basis an FSBO sign is permitted even on
listed properties. While the MLS regulations are unclear on this we have
discussed the issue with senior MLS representatives who have told us
that FSBO signs are permitted but that due to our concern the MLS
regulations will be changed to make it clear! The key though is to
remember: you are listed. You are no longer "for sale by
owner." And that means you don't want to tell brokers that you are.
But that is exactly what an FSBO sign means. Practically it should be
avoided if at all possible.
This is the easiest question you could ask. The purchase and sale of real estate is an extremely complicated transaction involving numerous laws, regulations and court decisions. While there are tens of thousands of lawyers only a small minority have the knowledge to adequately represent a buyer of real estate. And far fewer have the knowledge to represent a seller!! It is crucial that you have not only a lawyer but a lawyer who specializes in this field. Just as you would not go to a podiatrist for brain surgery you should not hire a lawyer who is not a specialist in the real estate industry. Did you know that many lawyers study to become real estate brokers just to gain the knowledge and experience that brokers have? The point is no matter how you find your lawyer make sure he or she is highly qualified. The stories are famous where unqualified lawyers have been the cause of a failed closing. Don't let that happen to you. Many of our clients have asked members of our staff to be their lawyers. While we could do so we have made the decision not to on the basis that it might theoretically be construed to be a conflict of interest. But that does not mean that we cannot help. At the insistence of our clients we have established a carefully screened and monitored network of the most knowledgeable real estate attorneys to assist our clients. Our FSBO Lawyers™ will charge you fees which we have negotiated to be below market. We monitor our FSBO Lawyers™ very closely. And they know it!
That again is
your lawyer--a knowledgeable one. There are many issues involved in negotiating a contract.
Some are obvious, some are not. It is for the nuances that you need a lawyer. What is the
difference between a credit for costs and a reduced purchase price? Are there any tax effects?
What kind of contingencies are acceptable in an offer? What does the term "material" mean in the
context of a home inspection? What is the legal effect of an attorney approval rider? Can the
buyer's attorney ruin a deal by demanding a lower price? What happens to the earnest money deposit if
a contract does not close? As a seller will I get any of it? What is the effect of the earnest money clause?
Who holds the earnest money and why? Does the holder of the earnest money owe me any special duties? What
is a quit claim deed? What is a warranty deed? How should prorations be handled? And what the heck is a
proration? And what things
are prorated? What is the effect of a homeowner's exemption? Every sentence in a real estate contract
has legal significance. Most have been litigated numerous times in the courts. Every one must be analyzed
in the negotiation process. There is only one reason why trial attorneys make so much money. It is because other lawyers have made mistakes in the planning
process!!! A thoroughly thought out and negotiated contract will avoid that. GET A GOOD LAWYER. And if
you don't have one call us for an FSBOLawyer™ well before closing. Don't do it yourself. And don't use your
Each lawyer whom we designate as an "FSBO
Lawyer™ is on our select list of recommended attorneys as a
direct consequence of meeting our stringent standards of excellence
and review. Every one of our FSBO Lawyers™ must meet the following requirements.
One of our brokers must have personally been involved with them in a professional
real estate relationship at three separate times. Each must agree to a minimum reduction
of 10% of their standard fee when representing our clients. Each must do at least
100 real estate closings a year. Each must specialize in real estate with an
emphasis on real estate closings. Each must have been a practicing attorney in the State
of Illinois for at least 15 years. Each must be in good standing with the State of Illinois.
Each must not be subject to any disciplinary commission proceedings, inquiries or investigations.
Most importantly: no attorney remains an FSBO Attorney™ if a client has registered a
meritorious complaint with us as to the adequacy of the representation. With us there is
no "three strikes and you're out" rule. With us there is a "one strike and you're out" rule.
That is why it is considered a rare honor to be known in the legal community as an FSBO
Using an FSBO Lawyer™ is just the
start of how you can save costs. We can and do recommend title companies, moving companies and mortgage lenders.
All have agreed to a minimum cost reduction of $100 off their standardized charges. When you call them just
mention For Sale by Owner Midwest. Then ask them to call us to confirm. The cost savings will be there. And if
you think they are not, make sure to let us know. We take seriously those whom we refer to our clients--and there
are no exceptions!!
First of all the MLS Rules mandate, without exception, that all offers must go through the listing broker, who is us in your case. While we will leave all negotiations and changes up to you and your lawyer it is critically important that all offers go through us. We will of course immediately contact you with the offer and if the offer comes from a broker direct the offering broker to present it to you directly. But as a seller you are bound by the MLS Rules and must comply. This is never a problem since all you have to do is call us for information. That's what we're here for.
You become subject to all rules and
regulations of the Multiple Listing Service. A typical MLS Rule states as follows:
"LISTINGS SUBJECT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE SERVICE: Any listing taken on a contract to be placed into the Multiple Listing Service is subject to the Rules and Regulations of the Service upon signature of the seller(s)." Thus, as a seller you are bound by the MLS Rules and must comply. This is never a problem since all you have to do is call us for information. That's what we're here for.
It is illegal. They can go to jail for three years. It violates the trust imposed upon them by clients. And they can lose their license in a snap. Brokers are fiduciaries. They must act in the best interests of their clients. If they do not present your property and it is within their client's wants their licenses are in jeopardy. Furthermore, it is strictly against the law (which every realtor and broker must study and understand to pass the test required to become licensed). Every broker is free to charge whatever he or she wants for the listing services rendered. If a broker tells you he will not show FSBO properties because he does not like them, he is telling you that his office is engaged in price-fixing and group boycotting. That violates United States Anti-Trust Laws and there can be both civil and criminal penalties. HE CAN GO TO JAIL FOR THREE YEARS. HE CAN BE FINED TREBLE DAMAGES.
If you even suspect this is happening just keep his card and call us. We will refer the matter to the
appropriate Real Estate Agency and if appropriate to the United States Attorney for prosecution. We would take any such threats very, very, very seriously. (That is why we have heard of this happening only once).
A typical MLS Rule states as follows:
"NO CONTROL OF COMMISSION RATES OR FEES CHARGED BY SUBSCRIBERS:The Service shall not fix, control, recommend, suggest, or maintain commission rates or fees
for services to be rendered by Shareholder Boards' MLS Subscribers. Further, the Service shall not fix, control,
recommend, suggest or maintain the division of commissions or fees between cooperating Shareholder Boards'
MLS Subscribers or between Shareholder Boards' MLS Subscribers and non-subscribers."
If you even suspect someone of boycotting you, please immediately
contact us and your local state real estate agency. One of our links on our home page is to the laws they administer. Another is to U.S. Statutes. The Anti-Trust Laws are the Clayton Act and the Sherman Act. We are fully aware and
knowledegable about their impact on the brokerage community. And so is every other broker and realtor. Want to read more on this topic.
Here is an informed article on this exact topic.It should have been entitled "Don't Tread On Me!"
We accept MasterCard and Visa. We also accept checks or cash if your Property
Profile is delivered to us in person or by overnight delivery service. Payment
is credited only after your listing appears on the Multiple Listing
Realtor.com is the premiere FSBO listing site
on the Internet. All MLS listings appear there and are available for viewing and
research by members of the general public. You do not have to be a broker to
search that database. This is why all of our listings are included there (plus
many other places). Your listing thus includes at no extra cost a two or three
sentence description of your home and one picture. Unfortunately the realtors'
rules do not permit your own phone
number to appear ne the Realtor.com listing. But now your Realtor.com
listing can be far more beneficial. Now you can have 25 photographs of your home (interior and exterior). And the description of your
home can be as long and detailed as you want--up to 2500 characters. As if this were
not enough your home is classified and highlighted as a "Showcased"
home. The cost is just $199. If you want to increase your chances of eliminating
all brokerage commissions it is highly advantageous to be featured prominently
on Realtor.com. Many of our clients feel that the chance to save not only 50%
but 100% of their brokerage fees is worth the $199. They figure that perhaps
saving $10,000 by paying $199 is a bargain. (Sorry--not
available in all areas).
Yes, MasterCard or Visa. No
corporate accounts, governmental accounts or foreign accounts please.
We are charged a significant penalty if you do by our merchant bank. And if
we are so charged we will debit your credit card for the amount of the
penalty. When you submit your Property Profile and credit information you
are authorizing us to do so.
Postage is exorbitant. The cost of xeroxing is exorbitant. The time involved to prepare mailings is exorbitant. We prefer to pass all cost savings on to our clients. And we do.
Advertising is a big money item in today's world. If we were to start advertising we would have to charge hundreds of dollars more than we do, in line with our competition. That would not be fair to you. We know there are people who will wind up paying more for the services we offer but there is not alot we can do about it if we want to keep our fees as low as they are. But since over 50% of our business is referral we hope to keep the unhappy people to an absolute minimum.
Yes but only on two conditions. We obtain the approval of the client first and you agree to accept a reference call from a stranger as well.
That is simple. You will have to obtain a full-service broker who can show your property. And we will not act in that capacity. We will not let our FSBO service bring us full-service clients. We have, however, assembled a national broker-network and would be happy to bring you a qualified professional. All have been pre-screened by us and are part of our Affiliated FSBO Broker™ network. They have all agreed to do a free market analysis for our clients.
That is an agreement where the broker obtains a commission no matter who sells the home, you, he or another broker.
It is unfair and creates conflicts. Let's say you move. Then you sell your home. Since the broker has an exclusive agreement he will still be entitled to a fee and could actually take you to court if you refused to pay. Or else for you to get out of the contract he will require compensation, like a percentage of your sales price. That is grossly unfair but unfortunately the way many of our competitors do business.
But all of our customers have. One of our purposes is to avoid such advertising costs (hundreds per week) through a one-time payment. Your discount is our service.
It will appear in the MLS databank accessible by brokers when the data you provided in the Property Profile is submitted. But a homeowner's phone number is not permitted to be included on non-broker accessible sites under the MLS Rules. The information on consumer sites will be available to the general public in a day or two after the MLS receives your data. We also frequently receive calls from brokers and individuals despite your contact information being available. In such cases we immediately forward them to you. The reason we do this is simple. We want you to sell your home. Then you too will hopefully send us referrals: over 50% of our business is referral business--and it is growing every day.
Unless you choose to be featured as discussed above, your Realtor.com listing will contain only the basic information that those who own Realtor.com permit. The six-line write-up you prepare and all of the other data in the Property Profile is sent to the MLS. But neither the MLS nor any broker has control over what Realtor.com does with it. And clearly they take a whole lot of information and water it down significantly. We have no control over what they do.
Just call us. We have assembled a nationwide team of top professionals to assist you.
The instant we submit the information on your Property Profile to the MLS it is accessible to brokers. On numerous occasions we have received calls even before we could notify our client of the listing number. The information is posted on the public sites after the MLS has had a chance to review it. This takes a day or two.
Our company is a subscriber to the MLSNI recommended virtual tour company.
That means you can get a virtual tour of your home included with your listing.
There are tow types of virtual tours available. One puts your virtual tour
on the local MLS and other sites. The cost is
$100. The second includes your virtual tour on these sites as well as
www.realtor.com. The cost is $150.
Both virtual tours include four virtual shots and one still shot. We can also
link your virtual tour to our own home page as an alternative to linking your
own website to our homepage.
That takes approximately one to two days after it is submitted.