When not to use a Flat-Fee MLS Listing Service

When not to use a Flat Fee MLS listing service

Dave Ramsey absolutely 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt nailed it in his article titled “2 Crazy Ways to Sell Your Home (That You Should Avoid)“.  Dave made some excellent points in his article (it’s worth the 5 minute read), we’re here to give a little color commentary on some of the key points.

Take Full Advantage of The Power of The Internet

Thanks to the internet, selling your home is a lot easier than it was even a decade ago.

The internet is responsible for a whopping 50% of all home sales, another 28% comes from licensed agents, 7% from yard signs, and the rest of the numbers are less impressive from there but that’s 85% of all sales.  The catch is that FSBO website that charges $99 for a “listing on their website” isn’t going to cut it – you need the power of the local MLS (HAR.com had over 850 million page views in 2019).

Let that sink in for a bit – 850 million page views, and that doesn’t even take into account the curated searches set up specifically for qualified buyers by Realtors®.

Don’t Get Stuck With A Limited Service Listing

With a flat-fee MLS listing service, you’ll be on your own when it comes to the nitty gritty aspects of a real estate transaction.

Most budget priced flat-fee MLS listings available on the internet are what’s called a “limited service” listing – nothing more than a way to get your property listed in MLS. After that you’re truly on your own. The trick is they don’t call it a limited service listing, instead they spell out what they will do and just don’t mention what they won’t do. Sneaky sneaky.

We only offer full service listings – that means we do everything a traditional agent does except visit with you in person or anything that requires physically appearing at your property. We’ll help you negotiate the terms of your contracts, formulate counter offers, answer all your questions, give you pricing assistance, staging advice, help with showing scheduling, and whole a lot more.

Limited Service Listing? Brother Can I Interest You In A Yard Sign?

Some flat-fee services even charge you an extra fee to load more than six photos on the MLS site.

You got a stellar deal on your limited service flat fee MLS listing – the lowest priced one out there.  Get ready for all the hidden fees for everything else you’ll need to get your property sold.  Most budget priced flat-fee MLS listing services also charge you for listing changes, yard signs, lockboxes, open house advertising, photo descriptions, eSignatures for contracts, extra listing photos over the minimum required, and even to add required docs like your Seller’s Disclosure to the listing. Talk about death by paper cut.

By the time you’re done adding all the extras to your listing from one of those other brokers, you could have just purchased one of our listings where that’s all included included and more.

Don’t Leave Money On The Table By Using An AVM

Online home value sites often miss the mark when it comes to accurate pricing.

This one gets us right in the feels and Dave hit another home run with this statement. Using an AVM (Automated Valuation Model) is foolish at best even in states where the AVM has access to actual sales data. In Texas, for example, where Zillow (a very popular AVM site) doesn’t have access to actual sales data it’s like giving money away. You’ll either be over-priced by so much that you’ll sit on the market for-ev-er or you’ll be underpriced and sell so fast that you’ll realize after closing how much you could have made.

Thankfully, with us, you’ll be dealing with a certified Pricing Strategy Advisor (a NAR recognized professional designation). We’ll use actual sold data to determine a list price for your house that should get you the best price given your current market and property condition.

Pick A Pro The First Time You List

It pays to work with a pro.

Yes it does, Dave.  Yes. It. Does.  We also can’t recommend working with a broker that’s not willing to put in the time and effort to help you price and market your house.  You can always find less expensive “deals” out there, but are they really deals if you can’t get ahold of an agent when you have a question or you wind up leaving money on the table or spending forever waiting for your house to sell?

Order a Creekstone Real Estate flat fee listing from us today and let us wow you with our service from contract to close.

How To Get Your Home Ready To Sell (Without A Realtor®)

FSBO, basically referred to as for sale by owner, applies to a situation where the owner of a home puts their house on the market without enlisting the services of a real estate agent or Realtor.

These kinds of listings are becoming extremely popular in the current real estate market.

With the availability of Flat Fee MLS Listing companies, putting your house up for sale is now much easier.

If you’re looking to prepare your home for sale as an FSBO or a by-owner sale, read on as we give you the steps to take to increase the likelihood that your property will sell as quickly as the market will allow.

Price your property appropriately

One of the best ways to determine the right selling price for your home is to carry out local market research.

Find sales amounts for homes that are comparable to yours and review their sold price as well as the condition of the home when it sold.  Take care to analyze homes that have similar interior and exterior features to your home.

Your objective should be to set a price that is competitive enough to get your home sold.

The Internet can give you a good idea of what similar homes in your area are currently listed for that you can use as a starting point for determining your list price.

Step up your curb appeal

The front of your property plays a huge role in how interested buyers will see your house.

Get rid of any objects or structures that obstruct your property’s front view.

A house that is not clean enough on the outside will be a turn-off for would-be buyers.

Never forget how important the exterior of your house is.

Hedges should be trimmed and shaped, the lawn should be mowed and edged, mulch flower beds should also be refreshed.

Do you have older siding? It would be a great idea to get it pressure-washed.

Do the same for walkways as well as driveways.

Buyers are very sensitive and consider every detail as important.

You can also make the front of your home more appealing by planting some brightly colored flowers.

Clean, clean, clean

Never underestimate the importance of getting your house thoroughly cleaned before you put it up for sale.

Your objective should be to declutter and depersonalize your house as much as.

Depersonalizing is almost as important as cleaning, it allows a buyer to more easily envision themselves living in their soon-to-be home.

Move extra furniture, personal touches, family photos or portraits, anything that says “I live here” to a temporary storage unit.

You can also declutter by holding a garage sale for items that are no longer of no use to you.

Buyers love homes where they can move in without having to clean first, so go ahead and give your house a good scrubbing.

Professional cleaners are a great as they’ll clean the areas you’ve gotten used to looking at over the years.

They can typically do a deep cleaning on your house in less than a day – money well spent.

Ensure that carpets are shampooed, floors are cleaned, shelves are dusted, appliances wiped clean, and burned out bulbs are replaced.

Marketing your home

One of the best channels for listing your home should be in the Multiple Listing Service.

This service can be accessed by agents as well as prospective buyers who need to find homes in areas such as yours.

In fact, homes listed in MLS or through Realtors who use MLS are where 90% of buyers locate their properties.

Homes listed in local MLS databases have the added benefit of being picked up by national property sites like ZillowTruliaRealtor.comRedfin, and many others.

Flat Fee MLS listing service is definitely worth the money to get market exposure.

Apart from making use of the MLS, there are other channels that can provide you with some home marketing opportunities.

You can use yard signs, magazine ads, brochures or flyers, and even do some paid online advertising.

Word-of-mouth advice also helps, and you can tell your friends and family about your desire to sell your home.

Creating a website that showcases your home for sale might also be a good idea if you have the time and money to spend on it.

All of these may only cost just a fraction of the original amount that would be charged by an agent as commission.

Schedule and manage your showings

Hardly anybody out there will make you an offer without seeing the house for themselves.

As soon as you list your house for sale, you should prepare for private showings.

If you’re handling showing scheduling by yourself, you’ll need to be prepared to meet buyers and answer their questions at times that are convenient for them.

If you’re using a flat fee listing service and they have you signed up for CSS (Centralized Showing Service), then CSS will handle scheduling your showings for you – this makes managing showings a lot easier.

Once a prospective buyer initiates contact with you, ensure that you verify who they are.

Getting a copy of their driver license texted to you is a good first step for your safety.

Once you are satisfied with their identity and intent to purchase, you can schedule a showing time with them.

From experience, most buyers prefer showings to take place on the weekends or in the evenings.

Just as a precaution, you’ll also want to lock up your valuables before letting strangers wander around your house.

Remember, nothing is off-limits to a buyer, expect that they will open every door and drawer to check functionality or see how large a closet or room is.

Equip yourself with top-notch real estate negotiating techniques

Prepare yourself to negotiate like a pro.

FSBO sales involve the homeowner handling negotiations that a Realtor would normally handle.

If the buyer is represented by an real estate agent, you’ll be up against that agent when negotiating your sale.

Educate yourself and build up your negotiation skills by adopting top-notch strategies.

Remember that you have no obligation to issue a response to offers that are low or not serious.

Even if you receive an offer, it is no guarantee of its quality.

You can always reject offers which you consider to be out of your acceptable price range.

Prospective buyers whose offers you reject may send you an improved offer, but this is not always the case and rejecting an offer outright might not be the best response – you might want to extend them an invitation to make a different/better offer instead.

Patience is the best negotiating tool you have at your disposal, don’t let anyone rush you into accepting an offer.


Preparing and selling your house by yourself without enlisting the services of a professional Realtor is possible, but utilizing a Flat Fee Realtor where you can choose and pay for only the services you want or need is a better option.

Happy home selling!