List Your 'For Sale by Owner' Property Using MLS
Going through the real estate process on your own involves going through many steps along the way that you might not have experience with. It can also entail lost opportunities that are missed solely because of a lack of information that would have otherwise been provided by a real estate agent. One way this lack of information can crop up is through the misuse of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by those trying to sell a home on their own.
The misconception comes in that only real estate agents have access to the MLS database and only they can add properties to the listing service. Another misconception is that it is prohibitively expensive to list a home on the MLS database without a real estate agent’s account. Both misconceptions have kept many homes for sale by owner properties out of the listings and out of the searches of many potential buyers who have either enlisted real estate agents to search for them or are searching online via the many web outlets that utilize MLS listings.
Myth: Only Real Estate Agents Can List
The Internet is full of websites that would be more than happy to list your home on the MLS, giving you the benefit of an exponentially bigger target audience for your property. Too many for sale by owner properties solely make use of classified ads and a yard sign, putting a lot of faith in someone simply stumbling across homes for sale in the course of reading the paper or taking a drive through town. Especially in a competitive real estate market, this kind of exposure will simply not turn up the activity you need to sell a property quickly and for full price.
The barrier to listing your property on the MLS should not be the misconception that you simply don’t have access; open access is what makes it such a valuable tool. That access gives other potential buyers the ability to search through homes for sale and find your home independent of any real estate agent. If a potential buyer has the ability to do a search on your property instead of being forced to stumble across it in a classified ad, you have a better chance of landing the right buyer for your home.
Myth: MLS Listings Are Too Expensive
Listing your property in the MLS database can be done by a variety of online providers with the ability to do so, all of which require a flat fee for your submission. That flat fee can vary and while it may seem to be a significant amount, doing so has more or less kept you from having to hire a real estate agent and paying a commission at the end of the process. If you feel that the only advantage of hiring a real estate agent is access to marketing tools like the MLS, this can be great savings and the flat fee, no matter what it is, can be viewed as a bargain.
Of course, a real estate agent is in fact used more through the process than just for MLS purposes, so going strictly off of that logic may not work for all sellers. However, nine times out of 10, a seller that has decided to go the for sale by owner route has their own unchangeable reasons and to them, adding an MLS listing through a flat fee still makes sense because of the amount of exposure it brings and the fact that it communicates to buyer’s agents with control over a buyer’s home showings that a commission on the buyer’s said is available. This will greatly increase showings.
The MLS is a staple of the real estate industry in listing homes for sale and utilizing it is one of the ways a for sale by owner-seller can emulate some of what a real estate agent is able to do with marketing techniques. While nothing can replace the guidance and expertise of an agent, access to the MLS at least offers an affordable outlet for your own marketing efforts that have been proven successful over time.