MLS Listing Services

14 Replies

Does anyone know of an MLS listing service other than Propelio or FlipComp?

Propelio's too pricey and FlipComp doesn't work half the time.

You can do a Google search for companies that do "MLS entry only" listing companies in your area. These are licensed brokers that only put it in the local MLS. They usually charge a flat fee to put it in the MLS and 1% when you accept and offer. You do all the showings, marketing and negotiating. It's not the best way to get maximum exposure directly to buyer because they see the house online first. Those MLS entry-only companies don't aggregate their data out to sites like Zillow or Trulia so you will want to create a lot of listings on those sites yourself if you decide to go that way. You might want to consider partnering with an agent and asking if they will do it for a reduced commission. You will end spending money on other marketing anyway if you do it on your own. Hope that helps!

@Lynette Braun , I just have to comment on your post to vote ratio.  WOW!  I'm IMPRESSED!  :-D  You post quality stuff!  lol  And this time was no different...  

Originally posted by @Jody Schnurrenberger :

@Lynette Braun, I just have to comment on your post to vote ratio.  WOW!  I'm IMPRESSED!  :-D  You post quality stuff!  lol  And this time was no different...  

 Thank you so much Jody! I've been reading the forums for a long time but just recently started contributing to forums.  I appreciate your kind words! :D

@Lynette Braun, Thanks for the info., but I'm mainly looking for a service that I can get access to the MLS to locate deals and for comping purposes, as well, e.g. services similar to Propelio and FlipComp.

Hi Clint, 

Ah, I see! I thought you were looking to list a property that you flipped. I don't know of any service like that, at least not here in California. Have you considered getting your real estate license just for that purpose? If not, I would still partner with an agent that help you with comps. You can reach out to a couple that work with developers, meet them for coffee and "interview" them about what they can do to help you. Not only, It can be risky to make an investment based on the ARV if you don't have access to all the information you need. But, you might also be surprised on the value a real "go-getter" of an agent might be able to bring to your business. I partner with developers to help them find off-market property. They pay for the marketing pieces that go out and I do the work of door, knocking, cold calling, following up, etc. When a good lead comes up they can flip, I send it to them to analyze first. If there is a "retail" seller (a home that doesn't need to be flipped and wants to get top dollar on the MLS) then I will take that lead and help them sell in exchange for the work that I have been doing. You might suggest a similar arrangement with some of the agents that you meet with and set up a couple geographic farms. While the agent is out door knocking like they would normally do, you invective them to keep an eye out for distressed properties and so they are bird-dogging for you and everyone wins. A good title rep might be able to help with access to recent sold comparables based on the tax assessors records. But that will still be limited. I haven't tried some of the other sites that you mentioned to know how reliable their data is. Hope that helps! But, yes, to protect your investment in the property, knowing comps is crucial. Especially in a cosmetic rehab where profit margins tend to be relatively low. It doesn't take much for you to be off in your value on the purchase or the resale or for anything to go wrong during the project to put you out of business. I realize a lot of investors resist working with agents to avoid paying a commission when you buy. But, there are a lot of ways to structure a deal so everyone wins. If I find one of my developers and off-market property and the seller is not able to pay me a commission without it breaking the deal, the developer and I will create a joint venture partnership agreement and I will get a percentage of equity on the backend when they re-sale instead of a commission.

Happy Investing! :)

@Lynette Braun - Thanks for all your good advice. You aren't considering a move to Texas anytime soon are you? I could use a good Agent. ;)

@Lynette Braun To clarify on the "MLS entry only" listing companies:

1. You can find plenty of companies that will enter a property into the local MLS for only an upfront fee and no commission at close.

2. In regards to "not the best way to get maximum exposure to the buyer", can you clarify what that means? Assuming a seller is offering a reasonable commission to buyer agents, "MLS entry only" does basically the same job as listing through a 6% broker. The vast majority of buyers find homes either through the internet or their agent. Listing agents rarely find the buyer. Offer a fair commission to buyer agents and let them do their job.

3. In regards to MLS entry-only companies "don't aggregate their data out to sites like Zillow and Trulia". This is not accurate at all. Most MLSs syndicate listings for their agents/brokers automatically. An "MLS entry only" listing is syndicated like any other listing on an MLS.

@Clint Weir haha! Thank you Clint! No plans to move to Texas anytime soon but thank you for your kind words. Feel free to DM anytime if I can help with anything. 

@Jon Minerick Thanks for sharing Jon! In the interest of full disclosure, I think it's fair to share with the forum that you are one of those MLS entry only brokers here in San Diego. So, I totally understand that you believe in your business model, just as believe in mine. Thank you for also correcting me about the data aggregation. I am aware that some companies like yours are able to aggregate to a handful of sites. Currently my listings will go out to over 1,100 sites internationally, translated in to the local languages. I don't think it's necessary for me to share the entire comprehensive Global Luxury marketing program that a powerful brand like Coldwell Banker can offer. What I can say is that when sellers are shown the differences between almost no marketing for their property and what agents like me can offer, there is one reason why they are willing to pay a 5% or 6% commission; it's because they see the value.

The job of a larger, traditional brokerage is not to just be more expensive. But, to provide more exposure, which leads to more potential buyers, more offers, and a higher closed sale price. In some markets, as many as 30% of buyers are coming from another country, especially in higher price points. Without international marketing, you're missing exposure almost a 1/3 of potential qualified buyers. Your company only charges $95 to enter the property in the MLS. Which, might seem like a great deal. But, since you don't have any marketing budget built into the commission, how will you pay for $1,500 it cost to put it on sites Juwai? China has an internet firewall against sites like Zillow so not all buyers are shopping online that way.

Also, to clarify your statement that the listing agent never brings the buyer and just put it in the MLS and let the buyer's agents do their job... First, most agents are not strictly buyers agents OR listing agents. Most take listings as well as work with buyers. Some tend to lean in one direction or the other but unless you're on a team that dictates you job title, we work with both. Yes, it's a statistical probability that when a listing agent puts a house on the market that they will cooperate with another agent that brings the buyer. But it's more common than you may think that a listing agent is the one to bring the buyer. I don't know the exact statistic, that's a personal observation from watch the closed listings in the MLS hotsheet daily. Probably 1 out of every 10 that I see is dual agency.

Either way, I believe it's the listing agent's responsibility to drive traffic to the listing through their marketing efforts. In today's global market, I don't believe the MLS and a handful of websites is doing a seller justice to get them maximum exposure and therefore the highest price. One way a potential seller can gauge whether the listing agent is worth their commission is to ask about their list to close price ratio. Mine is currently 98.1%. Which means when I list a property that it closes, on average for 98.1% of the asking price. If you're talking to an agent that usually only sells property for 91% or 93% of the asking price (which is the average here in San Diego) then you can see they would they house for 5-7% more with a traditional agent. They don't have to do the work of an agent and still end up netting more from the sale.

There are times that I have actually recommended companies like yours to people. Like in the case of an experienced flipper that wants to quickly list a house in a hot market and it will get multiple offers within a few days just by being on the MLS. But, most sellers have full time jobs and aren't doing themselves a favor by taking on the time consuming and constant work of marketing, showing and negotiating the sale of a home only to end up selling for less. Not to mention the skills & experience it takes to negotiate the highest price and best terms. When other agents or a potential buyer sees my listing in the MLS, they can call me and I'll always answer the phone or be available to meet them on short notice because this is my full time job. The sellers who are doing showings themselves take on a lot of stress and potentially miss showings that need to happen on short notice. Just like in the case of a For Sale By Owner listing, if the buyers agent knows the seller is not having to pay commission to the list side, they will often reduce the offer price by the amount of that commission to result in the same cash-at-close as if you would have hired an agent.

If MLS entry only or discount commission brokerage models were effective in every situation and market, I'm sure I would be out of a job by now because everyone would be using them. But, I believe that what I offer is pretty valuable.

Off my soap box now... :) Thanks again for your feedback. Have a great week! 

@Lynette Braun , thanks for that info about the 98.1% vs. 91%.  I didn't know anyone even kept such stats and I never would have thought to ask.  What exactly do I want to ask for if I want to know this?  (And is it appropriate for me to ask?)

Also, sort of joking and sort of not, but would those stats you mentioned mean I want to SELL with you because you're likely to get me almost all of my asking price, but BUY with someone who has a 91% so I'm more likely to be able to buy at a lower price  (assuming I know what I'm doing)?

Thanks!  As usual, I learned something from your post!  ;-)

Okay, this discussion has gone off it's original topic. I was strictly inquiring as to if anyone was aware of a service where I could access MLS listings from. If anyone wants to talk about something else, please start a new topic because I still haven't received an answer to my question yet.

Thanks

@Jody Schnurrenberger The 98% vs 91% list to close price ratio, like all statistics, can be misleading. For example, lets say you have a home you want to sell for $500,000.

If Agent A convinces you to list the home at a lower price of $480,000, using the logic that a lower price will create a bidding war. The home then gets 5 offers on day 1 and you accept an offer for $490,000. In this case, the list to close price ratio of Agent A is higher.

If Agent B lets you list at the higher price of $500,000. You accept an offer 14 days later at $495,000. In this case, the list to close price ratio of Agent B is lower…. but you ultimately made more money by using Agent B.

In short, the statistic doesn’t necessarily say anything (and could be construed as good or bad).

@Lynette Braun Thanks, have a great week!

@Clint Weir Sorry to take your thread off-topic Clint!! Hope you get the answer you're looking for here. 

@Jody Schnurrenberger Of course it's okay to ask! That's often part of the listing presentation of an agent. If it's not you can ask them to prepare that for you before you meet with them. @Jon Minerick is correct! The initial price that the property is listed for makes a big impact on the ratio.  If you start with an over-priced listing, it may sit on the market until you get a fair market value offer.  But, if the property is priced appropriately from the start, it should sell for close to asking. Knowing how to competitively price a property is also a skill of a good listing agent. My ratio is a mix of higher-price points that take longer to sell which will drag my ratio lower and lower price points that I price aggressively and get over asking.  For example, I just recently listed a condo and my sellers were looking to get $469,000. They trusted me enough to list it for $449,000 and we got 16 offers in 4 days. We countered and the got $479,000, $30K over asking. Listings that sell over 100% of asking drive the ratio up. 

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