Since 1998, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in flat fee home sales. There is much more good than bad and ugly, and it is easy to see that the bad and ugly are more common with certain players in the flat fee MLS industry. It is frustrating to see some of the most questionable flat fee websites continue to operate, knowing the problems they have, and knowing the low chance of success sellers who uses these companies actually have. I hope the web 2.0, also known as social media, will help consumers avoid the problem brokers.
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The remarks on the property listing should have one goal: to motivate buyers to want to see your property in person. Here are my suggestions to achieve that goal:
Quick review of Realcomp MLS Case:
An MLS creates rules that hide discounter/innovator brokers' listings,
the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigates,
the MLS (called Realcomp) refuses to change rule,
the FTC sues the MLS for restraint of competition,
the MLS gets NAR funding to fight the FTC,
the Case is tried in Washington, DC, Albert Hepp testifies as a flat fee MLS Broker, then
the MLS wins the FTC case.
While Flat Fee MLS Listings are new to most people, they have been around since the late 1990s and the industry is starting to mature. Most consumers are not aware of flat fee MLS as an option, but that awareness is growing. How do you decide where to get your flat fee MLS listing? This simple checklist will help you make the smart decision:
There are so many questionable flat fee MLS listing websites out there, it is essential that sellers do their homework to avoid a bad experience. Many sellers fail, not because they went with a flat fee multiple listing, but because they chased saving the last dollar and got burned. Don't sign up for a listing until you have taken a couple of minutes for due diligence:
Two seemingly unrelated events happened in the past week, but actually they were a beginning and an end of a cycle that is beginning to feel a repetitive like that old movie “Groundhog Day...”
Showing Scheduling by Email: Having a broker who ignores this powerful buyer showing generator will cost you: Ignore it at your own risk!
We just had a seller call us who was comparing us to a different flat fee brokerage, one we happen to know has a not so good record with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It seems a number of their past flat fee MLS listing sellers have been so unsatisfied that they complained to the BBB, and as a result their rating at the BBB is not so good. We know the big difference in track record and hope that home sellers comparing us do the essential research so they can avoid a bad situation.