Before you pay hundreds of dollars for an MLS listing I want to give you a behind the scenes look at how these listings work.
The first thing you need to know is that the MLS, or multiple listing service, is a regional service provided to real estate agents. There is no national MLS. Each of these MLS regions are completely separated from the others.
You may be wondering, how can one site sell MLS listings all over the country?
Here’s how they do it:
- You log on to their website and purchase the MLS listing.
- They take your geographic information and find a real estate agent in your area willing to list your home.
- A large chunk of what you pay the MLS listing service is kept by the website. The real estate agent only receives a small amount of what you paid.
- The real estate agent logs into their MLS system, which serves your area, and uploads your home’s information and pictures.
- The agent will enter his phone number as a contact number for other agents.
- When a buyer is interested, their agent will contact your MLS agent to set up a showing.
- Your MLS agent will contact you to coordinate the showing time, or put you in contact with the other agent.
You may ask, what’s wrong with this model?
Since the agent is paid very little for his work, you are not his top priority. You may not receive information about showings quickly. On some occasions, I talked to homeowners who feel that their agent did not pass along all buyers to them.
So how can you protect yourself?
The easiest way to protect yourself, is to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable company. One of my favorites is Fizber that offers MLS listings for about $300.
Do I really need an MLS listing?
I’ve created a decision tree that holds the necessary questions for you to ask yourself. There’s a good chance you don’t need to spend money on an MLS listing yet, or even at all. Click here to get your decision tree and see if you can save a few hundred dollars by skipping the step.