Posting FSBO's on MLS for a flat fee

11 Replies

I am a realtor, and I am looking to offer For sale/For rent by owners the opportunity to have their listings posted on the MLS for a small flat fee. I know we're trying to win over the listing in this situation, but when all else fails, I think this could be a way to still generate business. I'd love to hear from brokers and other realtors that have had experience with this. Would I have to pay a split with my broker when doing this? Any other important details to know would be greatly appreciated!

This is something you need to run by your Broker as not all permit 'limited service' options! You also want to be careful not to devalue your services by offering something generally reserved for discounted Brokers., if, I'm assuming, you are a full service Realtor (i.e., there are plenty of options for FSBOs to pay to list in MLS). There are many other ways to approach a FSBO... meeting them, touring the property & offering advice, building rapport, bringing buyers to see the property, etc. Best of luck!

You can't do anything on the MLS without your brokerage's cooperation and a fee going with them. Also, what's the upside for them? They didn't hire a realtor for a reason and they know they will get less views. It's very unlikely that your brokerage would allow this and it could be illegal if you are not working for a specialized firm that offers limited representation MLS access. Most FSBOs don't want the foot traffic or realtor involvement so there isn't much here that will help them. It will just create more annoyances for them.

Well, the upside would be that they would be increasing the exposure of their listing without hiring a realtor for a small fee. If the reason they didn't hire a realtor is because they simply didn't want to pay commissions, then this would be a huge benefit. Appreciate the insight about "limited representation' and that I can't do anything on the MLS without my brokerage's cooperation/fee.

Hey Patrick,

  Ive used a number of firms such as, which offer a free listing for sellers and charge a nominal buyers commission only when the buyer doesnt use the faira platform. Otherwise, sellers would pay a nominal fee of 1% if the transaction is handled offline or via paper contracts, etc.. Here are my condensed thoughts on getting into this space: 

1. There is a lot of disparity in agent/firm quality leading me to question the high commissions across the board. Eventually, this space will be "disrupted" like the taxi industry and a number of firms are already making this happen. Redfin (data), Faira (free listings), Rex (half the normal commission), the list continues..

2. As a seller, would you show your own property and set up a supra to save 10k on a deal? I think 99.9% of warm blooded people would choose to do that themselves and I enjoyed hosting a few open houses and meeting folks when I did it. 

3. If a realtor or firm claims that the 6% commission is warranted, are they doing a listing presentation, aggressively marketing the home (outside of MLS), and getting traffic to your home and answering your calls immediately? From 10 years of buying and selling, most agents ive dealt with (my opinion) are looking for a quick commission and put in the minimum time required.

Im going to put my license under my buddy who is getting his brokers license in CA. I think the commission matters less than the quality of service provided, but with no quality standards or rating mechanism, its really a crap shoot and a marketing game today. 

PM me if you'd like to discuss in more detail.

@David Prentiss

Agents exist because the MLS is a monopoly on the industry. No buyers agent is going to show a FSBO property to a prospective buyer. Thats why the statistic is that 95% or so FSBOs end up choosing an agent because buyers agent are less likely to want to deal with FSBOs.

As long as the Realtor Association has a monopoly on the MLS, agents will continue to get paid ridiculously high commission. At the end of the day, if a property is priced right, it will sell. Open houses do nothing but bring buyer leads for agents for OTHER PROPERTIES.

@David Prentiss

Working with buyers is where real skill comes in. Anyone can take pictures, price it right and list it on the MLS.

Buyers agents deserve to be paid that commission because theres a lot more work that goes into being a buyers agent and scouting locations.


@Patrick J. undefined

Definitely agree, if you are a buyers agent and bring a buyer, you should absolutely get compensated. I dont think you have anyone disagreeing with you. The threads focus was on listing commissions which are the real sticking point.. 

Patrick Donovan, the obvious opportunity is..if you could find a way to get fsbo's to offer a buyers agent commission and be able to share that in description i suppose, you might solve part of the problem. But a very common / interesting topic nonetheless thats sure to come up more. I've been on both sides and its murky. Good luck!