Selling a home is often a fraught process. There are more memories in a place you live than anywhere else. Even when you’re ready to pick up and move on to something that better suits your life, leaving a home behind carries enough emotional baggage without having to deal with the complexities of actually selling it. Many people just turn their home over to a realtor and let them work their magic. In an economy where every penny earned from the sale of the house counts, however, more and more people are realizing that the magic realtor’s work can be done by anyone willing to put in the hours. These people are turning to Flat-fee MSL (Multiple Listing Service) agents to get what they need from a realtor cheaply.
The Same Listing Places
One of the biggest perks to Flat-fee MSL is that you’re not compromising the most important thing: where your home is listed for sale. Real estate agents and savvy buyers go to computerized listings of for sale homes in order to find the properties that they need. If you can get your home listed in these services the selling process has officially begun. This is one of the services that a realtor offers; when you go with a flat-fee MSL you get listed in the same places. You just don’t have to get everything else that a realtor traditionally does.
More Control over What Services Your Home Receives
A traditional realtor is supposed to pull out the stops to get your home sold. However, in this day and age not everyone is up to that task. In fact, 15-20% of realtors don’t do any online marketing whatsoever. They also tend to host private viewings and open house events, both of which are things that someone can do on their own. Depending on the realtor, they might insist on professional photography, or packing up all your belongings before you’re ready just to give your home the model house treatment. This isn’t something that works for everyone; when you use a flat-fee MSL you get to pick and choose the services that you want to pay for.
Only Pay for What You Can’t Do Yourself
If you can organize an open house, get your home in shape to sell, and make sure that it’s up on every online real estate market in your area there’s no reason for you to pay for those services with a commission from your sale. You’re going to be doing a lot of that work yourself anyway; even if you get a realtor you’re going to want to be sure that there’s no real estate site without a picture of your home on it, and so forth. In fact, more and more realtors are banking on the owner’s taking on more responsibility for advertising their home. If you’re already going to putting in the effort, why pay someone else to do it?
Drastically Lower Costs
The biggest difference, of course, isn’t even how much control you have over your home’s treatments or how much effort you’re going to put into making it sell. The major difference is the bottom line. No matter how you sell your home you can basically bank on paying at least a 5% commission; sometimes more. If your home sells for $400k, that’s $20,000 for a realtor to list your property and show people around. Instead, you can pay prices ranging from under a hundred to a few hundred dollars (depending on the service and what else you’ve decided you’d like a realtor to do for you)—the kind of savings that make any marketing you undertake yourself more than worth it.