Flat Fee Listings growing in popularity with do it yourselfers | BuySelfRealty.com


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BuySelf, Inc., Real Estate, Flat Fee MLS Listing Home Sales,Bloomington, MN

Flat Fee Listings growing in popularity with do it yourselfers

The past few years our flat fee MLS listing business has seen a huge influx of sellers who first tried to sell their home without any professional help and without a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing. Most of these people had put a sign in their yard, and maybe put an ad in a newspaper and maybe a few other things to try to sell their home.
Unrepresented sellers reach a point where they decide to have us list their property. That is when they contact us at BuySelf.com. Rather than just give up and pay the 6% commission, many of these sellers want to do a flat fee listing with us. Most of them have figured out that they need an MLS listing. These non MLS sellers have experienced first hand that 99% of buyers just don't know their home exists or is for sale if it isn't on the MLS.
Many of these sellers have spent lots of money on newspaper advertising to no avail. Let me be clear: Newspaper advertising isn't dying, it is dead. Actually, it has been dead for awhile now. Real estate classified ads don't work because people don't read the newspaper in numbers like they used to. Full disclosure: I am a big fan of newspapers, and read it every day. But not for real estate. Real estate advertising is what I call painful reading--you have to read through a bunch of content, 99% which is of no interest or relevance to you. Everyone by now has figured out that the internet is far easier, effective, and accessible--you simply put in your price range, number of bedrooms, neighborhoods, etc. and you will only see the relevant listings.
Now many of us, and many real estate agents are creatures of habit. We keep doing what we have always done, without thinking about whether it is worth doing. I recently read that 79% of real estate agents still spend more money on print advertising than on the web. The only explanation for such a waste of money is habit, or worse yet failing to educate a home seller that advertising dollars spent online are far more effective.
Another gripe we frequently hear from sellers who tried to sell without the MLS is all the calls they get. No, these aren't calls from buyers, the calls are from agents who want to sign the seller to the traditional 6% listing contract. The worse stories are about the agents that say they have a buyer that wants to view the property, but the seller never sees the buyer, but they do end up having the agent over and having to listen to a high pressure sales pitch to list with that agent. I wonder if sellers ever actually fall for the never-appearing buyer trick or if the agents realize it is a waste of everyone's time.
The last of the common complaints we hear from sellers who tried to sell without the MLS is about people who aren't buyers, they just like to look at homes. Many a rookie real estate agent have wasted hours and hours of time with people who have a hobby--they like to look at homes. They aren't qualified for a mortgage, they aren't planning to buy, but they would love to tour your home. This is why real estate agents quickly learn that a buyer must be qualified for a mortgage before they see homes. People like this belong at home tours, not taking up agent and motivated home sellers' time. This is another benefit of being in the MLS and working with BuySelf.com, we show our sellers how to effortlessly not spend any time on these people, so their time and resources are focused on buyers motivated to buy their home.
The part of this equation I want to work on and improve is the sellers who don't understand the MLS. If consumers in general better understood the MLS and how it is a necessity, home sellers wouldn't waste their valuable time attempting to sell without it. I haven't seen any good educational tools out there that explain the MLS in consumer-oriented language and without industry jargon. It doesn't need to be a secret.