If you're a savvy Madison area home seller, you've done your homework and you know that Flat Fee MLS providers can save you a bundle. What you may not know is that there are vast differences between Flat Fee MLS service providers. We always recommend that you do your homework, but here are a few things to look for: 

1. How long has the company been around? Some of us have been at this for over a decade, listing and selling hundreds of homes every year. You get pretty good at it when you do it all day, every day. This includes things like photography, negotiating, description writing, etc.

2. If is sounds too good to be true, it might just be. New comers to the Flat Fee model might try just about anything to gain your business, including offering the cheapest rates. Sometimes you get what you pay for. A business which has no business will typically try to undercut the actual seasoned Pros, by offering outrageously cheap fees. Usually, this means a one-man show with zero support staff. It probable also means zero support.

3. How many Active, Pending and Sold listings can you find out there? Try looking up a Zillow profile to see how much business the company has done. Cheap fees and no current or prior business should equal a big red flag. 

4. How many positive reviews does the Broker/Agent have out there? check Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Zillow. Know who you're dealing with before you commit. 

5. Say you're lured in by the cheap fees...What happens when your listing goes live and you have questions, you need to make changes, or you receive an offer at 10:00pm on a Sunday night? Does your cheap Flat Fee MLS service provider offer support staff? Who updates listings in the MLS and online? Who handles offers, negotiations, ordering title, reviewing closing documents, ordering signage, writing descriptions, photoshopping your pics and all the other details? 

6. Is the agent local? This is by far one of the very most important things to consider when hiring a Flat Fee MLS service provider. Only a local can provide you with the best comps and advice for pricing your home. Only a local knows what's happening in the market and can guide you appropriately when you receive an offer. Only a local knows what's important when constructing your listing, like where the schools, parks and shops are located. 

It's up to you to decide whether you want to trust your home sale to a Pro or a Con. Choose wisely, Madison.