(NAPSI)—In the past, selling your home for sale by owner (FSBO) meant trying to reach buyers on your own by posting a yard sign or running a classified ad. With over 80 percent of buyers using agents to find homes, however, FSBO sellers were locked out of "the club" because they could not get on the agents' Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or on popular sites like Realtor.com. Without hiring a full-commission agent, FSBO sellers' chances of being seen by qualified buyers were slim.
Now, however, a revolution in online real estate has shifted power into the hands of FSBO sellers and leveled the playing field. There are websites that hook up sellers with agents who offer MLS listings for a low price and without any commission for the "listing agent." The National Association of Realtors calls this "Minimal Agent Service" and, according to its latest research, flat fee mls listings are the fastest-growing segment of the market.
"I don't know how it could be any easier," says Dale R. of Texas, who sold his home using the flat-fee service at Owners.com. At first he was skeptical, but within 24 hours of listing on the local MLS, he had two competing offers on his home that were over the asking price. His home was sold within three weeks. "All day the phone was ringing...there were 20 cars parked outside."
Just remember, a seller listing on the MLS for a flat fee is responsible for showing his or her own home and negotiating directly with buyers. The flat-fee agent who listed the home on the MLS is only responsible for maintaining the listing.
Although listing on the MLS for a flat fee bypasses the listing agent's commission (typically, 3 percent of the sales price), you will have to offer a commission to buyers' brokers, which typically ranges from 2 to 3 percent. On the other hand, if a buyer who isn't working with an agent wants to buy your home, you are free to sell to that buyer and owe no commission to any agent.
Selling "for sale by owner" might not be for everyone but it's much easier today than it was 10 years ago. At a site such as Owners.com, you can level the playing field and get the same exposure for your property as traditional agent-listed homes.
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