The multiple listing service, or MLS, is the place where real estate brokerages cooperate and put their houses that they’re selling so they’re all in one place. That’s where the brokerages agents go to list the houses that they’re selling or to look for homes for the buyers that they’re representing. But do you need the MLS if your selling your house?
The short answer is no. You don’t need the MLS.
In this post I’m going to talk about the more complicated answer. Why you don’t need the MLS to sell your house and different ways you can use the MLS if you do feel it’s necessary.
Full disclosure: I am a real estate agent in the state of Kansas and have been since two since 2009. I do use the MLS to put the homes that I’m selling on. I’m also not currently selling my house myself. When it is time to sell my house I will not post it on the MLS because I don’t want to pay a buyers real estate agent.
The houses for sale that I see on the MLS, you can actually see on 3rd party real estate websites like Zillow, Realtor.com and agent corporate websites. Home buyers have the same access to viewing real estate listings as I do.
The difference between realtor.com, the agent websites and Zillow, is Zillow will post for sale by owners while the other two will not. So buyers have more homes for sale to choose from when browsing Zillow. In all honesty you will get more exposure putting your house on the MLS because it will syndicate out to Realtor.com and the agent websites.
Why Use Zillow?
Zillow.com is the most popular and widely used real estate website. They get about 36 million visitors a month. 36 million! That’s a lot of eyes.
As mentioned you won’t get as much exposure on Zillow alone simply because the mls distributes your listing to more websites. Keep in mind though Zillow is the most popular place where home buyers search for homes. Zillow is a huge multi-billion dollar company that incorporates other businesses under it’s umbrella. They have a mortgage business, a showing service and an Ibuyer department. Zillow will buy your house directly from you. Zillow an all encompassing one stop shop real estate public company.
Most of my clients end up finding their home themselves on Zillow and simply forward that information to me. Then I set up showings for them through the sellers’ agent. Granted the agents will take care of paperwork for you but at what cost? That transaction could easily have happened without real estate agents in the middle.
Zillow.com will let you list your house on there popular website for free as a for sale by owner. I’ll show you how to do that right here. That is the cheapest way to sell your house where you’ll find the biggest return. You’ll get to keep the most of your money that way.
If you feel like you have to put your house on the MLS, you can hire me or another real estate agent. There’s literally millions of us around the country and we’ll charge you anywhere from 4% to 7% of the contract price to put your house on the MLS. We only get paid if it sells but what a nice paycheck it is.
Housing prices have risen dramatically in the past year. It’s going to cost you a bundle more than it would have just a year ago. It’s really expensive to list your house with an agent, but it’s more than likely that it will sell a little quicker than if you sell it on your own.
A realtor will do just about everything for you. They’ll help you to price your house. A real agent will let you know what you need to do to get your home ready for market (and then you have to do it). Sometimes staging is a benefit and your realtor will get that done for you. The most useful thing a real estate agent does is to guide you through the process and everything involved in such. Everything from choosing an offer once your house is on the market to getting that contract to the closing table.
The other option to get your house on the MLS is to use a flat fee MLS service. These are companies that will list your house for a fraction of the cost that a real estate agent charges. If you use a flat fee service you get that extra exposure for a lot less money. By using a flat fee service you generally have to do all the work an agent does yourself. You’ll have to learn to price your house and how to get it ready for market.
You Choose The Method and The Returns
You can list your house on the MLS by paying me or paying a flat fee service. If that doesn’t appeal to your financial sense of well being list your house for free on Zillow. Sell it yourself saving those real estate commissions.