Flat Fee MLS

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a computerized list of homes for sale through the National Association of Realtors (NAR). When a Realtor® lists a home for sale they enter it into their local MLS. In South Central WI the local MLS is called the South Central WI Multiple Listing Service. It contains all of the homes listed with Realtors® in: Dane, Sauk, Columbia, Rock, Dodge, and Green Counties as well as portions of Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Grant, Crawford, Richland, Vernon, Juneau, Adams, and Marquette Counties.

Home buyers can view MLS listings through the websites Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, Wisconsinhomes.com, and most individual Realtor® web sites. The MLS is far and away the most powerful tool any agent can provide for a home seller. In addition to the MLS, many agents offer supplemental services such as: open houses, corporate office websites, yard signs, display ads in Realtor/Properties magazines, newspaper classifieds ads, property flyers, inter-office flyers, flyers distributed to other agents, cable channel ads, open house ads, "just listed/just sold" postcards, etc.

Anyone who has spent more than a day in the real estate business knows that these supplemental services are not cost effective. They are designed to promote individual agents and convince sellers that their agent is doing everything possible to sell the home. The MLS sells homes.

How Does Flat Fee MLS Work?

Our Base Listings provide MLS exposure without many of the supplemental services offered by traditional Realtors. It is up to you to handle showings, open houses, negotiation, closing, etc. Since we know where our responsibilities begin and end we can provide our services at a flat fee. We believe this is the natural evolution of the real estate industry. In fact, we're surprised the old system survived for so long without a serious challenge. To put it in perspective, imagine if plumbers in Wisconsin charged their customers a percentage of their home's value rather than an hourly rate to install a dishwasher.

Our Broker Assisted Upgrade provides you a dedicated broker/Realtor to manage your transaction from beginning to end. There are no upfront or ongoing fees associated with this service. And, like traditional Realtors, the fee is paid after a successful closing. It is still your responsiblity to handle showings and open houses, but we help with negotiation, closing, etc.

The services we provide account for the listing side of the transaction. They do not account for the buying side of the transaction. If an agent is involved (if they procure your buyer) you will have to pay that agent's broker a commission at the time of closing. This commission is commonly referred to as the co-broke. We recommend the co-broke be 3% of the sale price. However, you are free to offer a co-broke as low as 2%.

It gets better. Unlike most real estate listings, our packages allow you to retain your "for sale by owner" status. This means that you can advertise your property in any way that you think will help you find a buyer. If you find a buyer yourself you don't owe the 3% co-broke to anyone. For example, if a buyer sees your listing and contacts you directly, with no other agents involved in any way, then the co-broke commission does not apply. The same goes for any buyer who sees your yard sign or your listing on our site, so long as you deal directly with the buyer and not an agent.

Flat Fee MLS vs. FSBO?

Our services provide greater exposure than traditional For Sale By Owner (FSBO) marketing services. The cost savings can range from good (you pay our flat fee + agent commission) when an agent is involved in the transaction, to great (you pay only our flat fee) when you deal with the buyer directly. Listing your home on the MLS not only increases your exposure, it also opens up a large pool of buyers who use real estate agents and generally avoid FSBO listings.

Questions? Call Stuart at (608) 438-3150, or e-mail: