Flat Fee MLS Entry Only Listing Basics
Why do a flat fee MLS entry only listing?
Simply put, an entry only MLS listing, paid for with a one-time flat fee, is an ideal way to get your property listed for sale or rent in the official Massachusetts MLS system, drive exposure for your property, and do it all by owner without an agent so you can save thousands in real estate agent commission. For sale by owner (FSBO) sellers leverage this flat fee MLS model to list on the MLS without an agent, and by doing so, they avoid paying a commission to both a listing brokerage and a Buyer’s Agent.
Is it possible to do an entry only MLS listing when we’re already on Zillow and Trulia?
Yes. If we were to enter your listing into the MLS, it would eventually overwrite your existing claimed listing on Zillow and/or Trulia. While we, of course, do not have control over third-party websites like Zillow and/or Trulia, much of the syndication process from MLS PIN to third-party websites is near real-time and typically completes in “hours”.
Historically, we advised FSBOs to not claim their listing on Zillow ahead of using an entry only MLS listing because it seemed to cause delays in the syndication process, however, it does appear Zillow’s January 2021 business model change in becoming a real estate brokerage and the resulting change in how they technically integrate with, and get their listing data from, MLS systems across the country eliminated syndication errors, blocks, and/or delays in syndication to Zillow.
Who is Entry Only New England?
Entry Only New England is a member of the Stuart St James family of real estate related brands. Stuart St James is a residential real estate brokerage with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Entry Only New England is a website platform that Stuart St James created to assist for sale by owners (FSBO) list their Massachusetts property in the MLS for a one-time flat fee. Should you proceed with an entry only MLS listing, Stuart St James will be the licensed real estate brokerage which enters your property into the MLS system itself and will be the listing brokerage cited on third party websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. to which MLS listings are syndicated.
What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a database directly accessible only by licensed real estate professionals to list property for sale or rent. The MLS is not a “website”, however, it is used ubiquitously by licensed real estate brokers and agents, and serves as the ultimate system of record or source for a property’s information, and its information is syndicated to thousands of third-party websites (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.). Entry Only New England exclusively uses MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN), New England’s largest multiple listing service. MLS systems are directly accessible only by licensed real estate agents and brokers, yet data within MLS systems are in part shared and/or syndicated with thousands of third-party real estate websites.
What is a Seller’s Agent?
A seller can engage the services of a real estate agent to sell his/her property (called the listing agent) and the real estate agent is then the agent for the seller who becomes the agent’s client. This means that the real estate agent represents the seller. The agent owes the seller undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality and accountability, provided, however, that the agent must disclose known material defects in the real estate. The agent must put the seller’s interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the seller. (The seller may authorize sub-agents to represent him/her in marketing its property to buyers, however, the seller should be aware that wrongful action by the real estate agent or sub-agents may subject the seller to legal liability for those wrongful actions).
What is a Buyer’s Agent
A buyer can engage the services of a real estate agent to purchase property and the real estate agent is then the agent for the buyer who becomes the agent’s client. This means that the real estate agent represents the buyer. The agent owes the buyer undivided loyalty, reasonable care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality and accountability, provided, however, that the agent must disclose known material defects in the real estate. The agent must put the buyer’s interests first and negotiate for the best price and terms for their client, the buyer. (The buyer may also authorize sub-agents to represent him/her in purchasing property, however, the buyer should be aware that wrongful action by the real estate agent or sub-agents may subject the buyer to legal liability for those wrongful actions).
Will Buyer’s Agents show my property to their clients?
Yes, your entry only MLS listing will be shown by Buyer’s Agents.
You may be concerned that, because you’re not using a traditional real estate brokerage that charges a full commission, your property is not going to be shown by licensed real estate brokers and agents to their clients.
It’s important to understand that, to the general buying public, your flat fee MLS listing looks no different than any other listing entered by a traditional real estate brokerage charging a full commission. In the MLS itself, directly accessible by licensed agents and brokers only, entry only MLS listings are required to have an entry only flag and oftentimes carry details in a Special Showing Instructions field (neither of which is visible to the general buying public).
Our flat fee entry only MLS listing option gets your property on MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN), the largest MLS system in New England, and the very same official MLS used by licensed real estate brokers and agents.
Further, Buyer’s Agents carry a fiduciary duty to their clients as a licensed professional, and it is in the best interest of their clients, to show all properties on the market that meet their client’s search criteria – if your property matches the search criteria of a buyer represented by a Buyer’s Agent, it’s the fiduciary duty of a Buyer’s Agent to show your property to their client.
What’s the length of the MLS listing period you offer?
All listing packages we offer come with a MLS listing period duration of twelve (12) months, which means your property will be active on the MLS for 12 months following your signing of the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure and Listing Advertisement Agreement. You’re welcome to utilize a Temporarily Withdrawn status during your listing period, cancel at anytime should you choose, and, if after 12 months your property has not sold, it will be your choice whether you allow your listing to expire or renew for an additional listing period for a fee (we do not automatically renew listings).
How many photos can my MLS listing have?
Forty two (42). 42 is the maximum number of photos the MLS system itself allows. Entry Only New England uses MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN), New England’s largest multiple listing service. For additional guidance on entry only MLS listing photos, see the FAQ called Can I get more information on property photos for my Massachusetts MLS listing?
What type of property can I list for sale or rent?
In the state of Massachusetts, we help for sale by owners (FSBO) list Single Family, Condominium/Co-op, Multi-Family, Land, and Residential Rental properties in MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN) for sale or rent.
What cities and towns do you serve?
We list property for sale and rent exclusively in Massachusetts using the largest MLS system in New England, MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN). MLS PIN gives us the ability to list property for sale or rent across every city in the state of Massachusetts. Further, once your property is listed in MLS PIN, which is directly accessible only by licensed real estate agents and brokers, it will be syndicated to popular third party real estate websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, and literally hundreds of others, at no additional charge to you and without any action needed on your part.
Can I review your listing agreement before signing up?
Yes, of course. There are two documents in the clickwrap agreement you will review and accept in conjunction with your entry only MLS listing. First, the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure, and second, the Listing Advertisement Agreement. Feel free to review the terms of each here.
Should I hire a real estate attorney?
While it’s certainly possible for you to sell your property without hiring a real estate attorney, we strongly suggest that you, as a FSBO, hire a real estate attorney. The Offer to Purchase and Purchase & Sale Agreement are legally binding contracts which outline the rights and responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. These documents should be reviewed, and in the case of the Purchase & Sale Agreement, prepared by a licensed attorney. Moreover, in Massachusetts it is the obligation of the seller, or their representative, to prepare the first draft of the Purchase & Sale Agreement. FSBOs are advised to retain a licensed real estate attorney for the preparation of all legal documents and to serve as escrow agent. Lastly, the buyer and/or the buyer’s creditor (i.e. lender) will most certainly be represented by counsel. The peace of mind that a licensed real estate attorney provides throughout the FSBO selling process will far outweigh the cost. So should you hire a real estate attorney? Yes, limit your liability and exposure and hire a real estate attorney.