Question: What is the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)?
Answer: The MLS is localized database of all homes listed for sale with Real Estate Brokers in a particular area. In the MLS, a Listing Broker offers compensation to a Buyer’s Broker in an effort to induce the Buyer’s Broker to bring their buyer-clients to view and potentially purchase the listed home. The compensation offered is called the cooperating commission. All commissions are paid by the home seller. In the Madison area, the typical commission is 6%, which would be split between the Listing Broker and the Buyer’s Broker.
Question: How much does a Flat Fee MLS Listing cost?
Answer: We charge $399 and do not take any additional commission when your home sells. Our $399 fee covers the Listing Broker side of the commission. You would offer a 3% cooperating commission in the MLS to any Buyer Broker who brings you an offer which you accept. This is an automatic savings of 50% versus being listed with a 6% Realtor. Note: If a home buyer, without a Buyer Broker, calls you directly and you accept an offer from them, then you would pay no buyer-agent commission whatsoever.
Answer: YES! Although our Flat Fee MLS Listings are marketed and advertised exactly the same as a 6% Commission Listing, there are a few notable differences. One of the biggest differences: If you sell your home to a buyer who is not represented by a real estate agent, you will not pay any commission. With a 6% broker, you owe a commission to the broker no matter who sells the home (you or your agent). With a Flat Fee MLS Listing, you will save a MINIMUM of 3% commission, and you retain control of the selling process.
Question: Is it true when I hear a 6% Realtor say that they can do more than a flat fee company to sell my home?
Answer: NO. We are sometimes referred to as “Limited Service” brokers. In truth, our services are limited, but our focus is entirely on marketing your home. Because marketing is all we do, we are able to offer extremely comprehensive services, at an affordable price! In addition to placing your home in the MLS, we offer all the same services as a 6% broker: Internet Advertising, Lockbox, Professional Yard Sign, Photo Brochure, Offer Negotiations, Document Drafting, Contract Administration, & Closing Coordination.
Question: Why are Real Estate commissions so high?
Answer: Real Estate commissions have not been adjusted over time as home prices have increased, and they have not been adjusted for properties of different values. If your house sells for $100K, you pay $6,000; and if your house sells for $1M, you pay $60,000...for the exact same amount of marketing. We started Madison Flat Fee Homes as an alternative to paying high commissions, providing sellers with the option to pay only for the services they use. Our marketing plan is the same for every property, and it is both economical and effective.
Question: Are Flat Fee MLS Listing companies licensed Real Estate Brokers?
Answer: YES! We are Real Estate Brokers, licensed by the State of Wisconsin. We are members of the Wisconsin Realtors Association & the National Association of Realtors. The owners of our company have been licensed for over 20 years.
Question: A 6% Commission Realtor is trying to get me to cancel my Flat Fee MLS Listing, telling me that they can sell my home better and faster, should I cancel my current listing and hire the 6% Realtor?
Answer: You are free to list your home with any Realtor you choose. Assuming that you were aware and informed of the differences between a 6% Commission Realtor and a Flat Fee Realtor when you listed your home, it would not make any sense to cancel your Flat Fee MLS Listing and go with a 6% Commission Realtor. You would receive no additional benefits by paying 6% commission. Note: It is unethical for any Realtor to contact you and attempt to obtain your listing while you are currently listed with us. Our Realtor's Association has specific rules and guidelines about this. The formal term for this is called “jumping a listing”. Be very leery of Realtors who exhibit this type of behavior.
Question: How long will my home be listed in the MLS?
Answer: We will list your home in the MLS for 12 months. If you need longer than 12 months, any and all renewals are always free of charge. You may cancel your listing at any time. There are no cancellation fees.
Question: How long does the Listing Appointment take?
Answer: Our typical listing appointment takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. During that time, we’ll do a walk-through of your home, review comparable sales data to assist you with setting your asking price, complete the necessary paperwork, and professionally photograph your home.
Answer: We guarantee that your listing will be live on the MLS within 24 hours of our listing appointment.
Answer: Yes, we handle everything for you, no different than any traditional real estate firm. We assist our clients with negotiations, drafting documentation, scheduling inspections, ordering title work, and coordinating the closing. These services are an additional $550, payable at closing.
Question: Can we call you during our listing if we have a question?
Answer: YES. If you ever have a question, feel free to call or email us. Your questions will be answered promptly. We are here for you throughout the life of your listing, and can offer advice and expertise as needed.