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 You are here: FSBO Online U.S.A. > For Sale By Owner > U.S.A. Flat Fee MLS Listing Service 

FOR SALE BY OWNER 
$299 FLAT FEE MLS LISTING SERVICE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Why Is Your Service So Inexpensive?
  2. Do I Have to Tell You When I Have A Contract or When I Have Sold My Home?
  3. Who Sets the Commission a Buyer's Broker Can Get?
  4. How Do I Target Just Consumers, not Brokers?
  5. What Should I Do with My FSBO Yard Sign?
  6. How Else Can I Save Expenses?
  7. What Must I Do When I Get an Offer?
  8. Why Won't Brokers Boycott Me?
  9. How Do I Pay For Your Service?
  10. Can I Have a Featured Listing on Realtor.com?
  11. Do You Take Credit Cards?
  12. Why Don't You Use the Mails?
  13. Why Don't You Advertise?
  14. Can I Have a Personal Referral?
  15. What If I Move, What Happens Then?
  16. What Is An Exclusive Real Estate Listing?
  17. Why Don't You Use Exclusive Listing Contracts Like Other FSBO Brokers Do?
  18. Can I Have a Discount, I Spent Money on Ads?
  19. What Will Realtor.com Show?
  20. What If I Need To Sell A House In Another State?
  21. When Will My Listing Be Available to the General Public?
  22. How Do I Get A Virtual Tour?

Why Is Your Service So Inexpensive?

That is simple. We don't advertise and don't use the mails. Sure a lot of people never hear of our service but for those who do it means saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We don't agree with corporate America that our customers should subsidize advertising costs.
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Do I Have to Tell You When I Have A Contract or When I Have Sold My Home?

Yes and Yes. The reason is that the MLS Rules require both. And the MLS Rules also require that a listing be changed when the contingency in a contract is satisfied. A contingent contract is present in 99.99% of real estate contracts. Typical contingencies are the receipt of a mortgage, your attorney's review and approval of the contract, the sale of the buyer's home, a property inspection, a 48-hour pre-closing inspection, or any other condition that can allow the buyer to not proceed to closing. The MLS requires that all such events be reported immediately or else there is an automatic fine. The MLS Rules apply to everyone, every broker, every sales agent, every realtor, every home seller...everyone. Compliance is simple: just call us! We'll do the rest. 
 
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Who Sets the Commission A Buyer's Broker Can Get?

That is you. You tell the brokers in our Property Profile what commission it is that they will receive when their client buys your home. You set it. If you want our advice it is there for the asking. But one thing is now clear under the law. There is no such thing as a standard fee. That would be price-fixing. You are thus free to set any commission you wish. The only requirement is that the set commission is always reduced by $100 in order to defray the listing agent's closing expenses. Thus, if you set the buyer's broker commission at 2% and in your case that would be equal to $8,400, the buyer's broker would receive $8,300 at closing. Such allowances are customary.
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How Do I Target Just Consumers, not Brokers?

If you put in our Property Profile a commission less than 2% it will be hard to find a broker who would be willing to show your property to his or her client. Brokers are human and if he or she can earn $10,000 versus $5,000 when the client buys a home guess which one the broker will recommend. This of course is not appropriate behavior and in fact it violates the law. A realtor stands in a fiduciary relationship with his or her client and must always put the client's interest ahead of his own. That means if he finds home that is perfect but the commission is less he is still obligated to show it. Reality, unfortunately, may be a different thing.
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What Should I Do with My FSBO Yard Sign

To the brokerage world the term "fsbo" or "for sale by owner" means that nobody gets a commission, not the buyer's broker and not the listing broker. So if a broker sees that sign you can be sure he or she won't come back. Thus purely as a practical matter the continued use of your FSBO sign can only adversely affect your chances of sale. Also up until now the FSBO sign has really not done you alot of good, even if the traffic patterns in your neighborhood means many cars pass by your home. Otherwise you would not have visited our site. That is a second reason why an FSBO sign makes little further sense. So historically using an FSBO sign once listed was almost never done. The third reason is the most important: it can cost you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS though you don't know it now and won't be told until it is too late! That is because many so-called "flat fee" brokers offer you a "free" yard sign. But that yard sign prominently displays THEIR COMPANY AND THEIR PHONE NUMBER. There is a good reason why they do this. If a passer-by calls them, they will bring that buyer to view your home. And if that person in fact buys your home, that "flat-fee broker" makes a killing--off of you! We are the only flat fee broker in the country that absolutely and totally refuses to play this game. We will never accept a fee from a buyer for one of our flat fee listings. Don't be fooled by the "free sign" trick: it is nothing but a gimmick, one that can cost you like it has many others, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Buy yourself a "For Sale" sign at Ace or Home Depot for $5 or $10 and put your own phone number on it. The "free yard sign" will likely cost you alot more! Lastly and on a purely theoretical legal basis an FSBO sign is permitted even on listed properties. While the MLS regulations are unclear on this we have discussed the issue with senior MLS representatives who have told us that FSBO signs are permitted but that due to our concern the MLS regulations will be changed to make it clear! The key though is to remember: you are listed. You are no longer "for sale by owner." And that means you don't want to tell brokers that you are. But that is exactly what an FSBO sign means. Practically it should be avoided if at all possible.
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How Else Can I Save Expenses?

We can and do recommend title companies, moving companies and mortgage lenders. All have agreed to a minimum cost reduction of $100 off their standardized charges. When you call them just mention For Sale by Owner USA. Then ask them to call us to confirm. The cost savings will be there. And if you think they are not, make sure to let us know. We take seriously those whom we refer to our clients--and there are no exceptions!!
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What Must I Do When I Get an Offer?

First of all the MLS Rules mandate, without exception, that all offers must go through the listing broker, who is us in your case. While we will leave all negotiations and changes up to you and your lawyer it is critically important that all offers go through us. We will of course immediately contact you with the offer and if the offer comes from a broker direct the offering broker to present it to you directly. But as a seller you are bound by the MLS Rules and must comply. This is never a problem since all you have to do is call us for information. That's what we're here for.
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Why Won't Brokers Boycott Me?

It is illegal. They can go to jail for three years. It violates the trust imposed upon them by clients. And they can lose their license in a snap. Brokers are fiduciaries. They must act in the best interests of their clients. If they do not present your property and it is within their client's wants their licenses are in jeopardy. Furthermore, it is strictly against the law (which every realtor and broker must study and understand to pass the test required to become licensed). Every broker is free to charge whatever he or she wants for the listing services rendered. If a broker tells you he will not show FSBO properties because he does not like them, he is telling you that his office is engaged in price-fixing and group boycotting. That violates United States Anti-Trust Laws and there can be both civil and criminal penalties. HE CAN GO TO JAIL FOR THREE YEARS. HE CAN BE FINED TREBLE DAMAGES. If you even suspect this is happening just keep his card and call us. We take any such threats very, very, very seriously. (That is why we have heard of this happening only once). Want to read more on this topic. Here is an informed article on this exact topic. It should have been entitled "Don't Tread On Me!"

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How Do I Pay For Your Service?

We accept MasterCard and Visa. We also accept checks or cash if your Property Profile is delivered to us in person or by overnight delivery service. Payment is credited only after your listing appears on the Multiple Listing Service. 

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Can I Have a Featured Listing on Realtor.com?

Realtor.com is the premiere FSBO listing site on the Internet. All MLS listings appear there and are available for viewing and research by members of the general public. You do not have to be a broker to search that database. This is why all of our listings are included there (plus many other places). Your listing thus includes at no extra cost a two or three sentence description of your home.  You can also have 25 photographs of your home (interior and exterior). And the description of your home can be as long and detailed as you want up to 2,500 characters. As if this were not enough your home is classified and highlighted as a "Showcased" home. The cost for all these extras is just $199. If you want to increase your chances of eliminating all brokerage commissions it is highly advantageous to be featured prominently on Realtor.com. Many of our clients feel that the chance to save not only 50% but 100% of their brokerage fees is worth it. And remember, your premium "Showcase" listing lasts until your home is sold.

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Do You Take Credit Cards?

Yes,  MasterCard or Visa. No foreign accounts or corporate accounts please.
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Why Don't You Use the Mails?

Postage is exorbitant. The cost of xeroxing is exorbitant. The time involved to prepare mailings is exorbitant. We prefer to pass all cost savings on to our clients. And we do.

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Why Don't You Advertise?

Advertising is a big money item in today's world. If we were to start advertising we would have to charge hundreds of dollars more than we do, in line with our competition. That would not be fair to you. We know there are people who will wind up paying more for the services we offer but there is not alot we can do about it if we want to keep our fees as low as they are. But since over 50% of our business is referral we hope to keep the unhappy people to an absolute minimum.

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Can I Have A Personal Referral?

Yes but only on two conditions. We obtain the approval of the client first and you agree to accept a reference call from a stranger as well.

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What If I Move, What Happens Then?

That is simple. You will have to obtain a full-service broker who can show your property. And we will not act in that capacity. We will not let our FSBO service bring us full-service clients. We have, however, assembled a national broker-network and would be happy to bring you a qualified professional. All have been pre-screened by us and are part of our Affiliated FSBO Broker™ network. They have all agreed to do a free market analysis for our clients.
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What Is An Exclusive Real Estate Listing

That is an agreement where the broker obtains a commission no matter who sells the home, you, he or another broker.

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Why Don't You Use Exclusive Listing Contracts Like Other Brokers Do?

It is unfair and creates conflicts. Let's say you move. Then you sell your home. Since the broker has an exclusive agreement he will still be entitled to a fee and could actually take you to court if you refused to pay. Or else for you to get out of the contract he will require compensation, like a percentage of your sales price. That is grossly unfair but unfortunately the way many of our competitors do business.

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Can I Have a Discount, I Spent Money on Ads?

But all of our customers have. One of our purposes is to avoid such advertising costs (hundreds per week) through a one-time payment. Your discount is our service.

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What Will Realtor.com Show?

Unless you choose to be featured as discussed above, your Realtor.com listing will contain only the basic information that those who own Realtor.com permit. The six-line write-up you prepare and all of the other data in the Property Profile is sent to the MLS. But neither the MLS nor any broker has control over what Realtor.com does with it. And clearly they take a whole lot of information and water it down significantly. We have no control over what they do.

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What If I Need to sell a House In Another State?

Just call us. We have assembled a nationwide team of top professionals to assist you.

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When Will My Listing Be Available to the General Public?

The instant we submit the information on your Property Profile to the MLS it is accessible to brokers. On numerous occasions we have received calls even before we could notify our client of the listing number. The information is posted on the public sites after the MLS has had a chance to review it. This takes a day or two.

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How Do I Get A Virtual Tour?

You can get a virtual tour of your home included with your listing. There are two types of  virtual tours available. One puts your virtual tour on the MLS. The cost is $100. The second includes your virtual tour on that site as well as realtor.com and others. The cost is $150. Both virtual tours include four virtual shots and one still shot. We can also link your virtual tour to our own home page as an alternative to linking your own website to our homepage.

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