Flat Fee Listing Model vs FSBO (For Sale by Owner)
Plenty of our clients ask what's the difference between these two methods. Some people even think they're the same. What are the differences? Which one is right for me?
Let's get down to a few important factors:
1. There are no FSBOs on MLS.
Contrary to popular belief, a flat fee listing does not get a FSBO get listed on MLS. FSBO by its definition is a property that has no representation by any real estate agent. Therefore, the Flat Fee Listing would need a listing agent. This listing agent does not charge the full amount of a typical listing agent, but it would show up as the responsible agent for the listing. Therefore, the Flat Fee Listing on MLS would not be a FSBO.
2. FSBOs are very ineffective compared to Flat Fee Listings
Because of the nature of MLS (Multiple Listing Service), the listings can be seen by all participating agents within the area. This means that if the property was placed on HAR or MetroTex , all the agents that work in the area would know about your listing. Between these two MLS regions there are about 10,000,000 people. Also, other sites like Zillow.com, Trulia, and Realtor.com show the listing automatically. As a FSBO, only the exposure for that single property by the owner would be beneficial.
3. Flat Fee Listings are more trusted by the industry
Zillow.com has a section for FSBOs. However, this section is segregating the FSBOs for a reason. Zillow has no way to verify that the information of the seller placed FSBO is accurate. This is why all the MLS pulled data listings in Zillow get most of the attention and traffic. Zillow prefers these type of verified data MLS listings, since Brokers have verified the data. Appraisers, agents and even buyers tend to trust the Flat Fee MLS service data over most FSBO.
4. FSBOs are related to Scams
A common scam in the real estate industry relates to FSBO. Some federally reported scams show that overseas websites list FSBO properties, and act as the seller of the home. While there has been scams involving MLS listings, this is much harder to do with a formal MLS verified listing.
Hope this information helps!
Will Puente, MBA
Broker of FlatFeebyyou.com