Flat Fee MLS Success Continues for FSBOs

The success of flat fee MLS listings continued for FSBOs in 2014.

It’s clear there continues to be a strong contingent of property owners selling their own homes without a Realtor by using entry only MLS listings, driving exposure to a home through the power of the Internet enabled MLS, all while saving thousands in real estate agent commission.

2014 Massachusetts Flat Fee MLS Entry Only Listings (SOLD)

According to MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN), Massachusetts’ official MLS system, the number of individual property listings sold during 2014 as entry only MLS listings was 1,502.

2014 Massachusetts Flat Fee MLS Statistics

Year to year, the number of sold flat fee MLS listings remained flat, however, if history is any indication of where the FSBO market may turn in 2015, flat fee MLS listings could be poised for substantial growth.

There appears to be a two year horizon in 2011 and 2012 where the number of entry only MLS listings sold in Massachusetts stayed level before experiencing nearly a 20% increase in 2013.

2013 and 2014 represent another two year horizon, when total sold entry only MLS listings seemed locked around 1,500.

If the past is any indicator of the future, 2015 may be another breakout year for flat fee MLS listings, perhaps surpassing a total sold count of 1,800.

Condo Flat Fee MLS Listings Increase

The flat fee MLS market typically tracks and drafts off the overall market, but condos bucked that trend in 2014.

The flat fee MLS market, in Massachusetts, represents approximately 2% of the overall number of individual properties sold. While it’s a small amount, it has grown in the past five years.

While the number of condominiums sold through a full commission Realtor in 2014 decreased, the number of flat fee MLS condos sold increased year to year.

Landlords Use Entry Only MLS for Rentals

One of the largest standouts of the 2014 entry only MLS statistics is rentals.

The number of apartment rentals in Massachusetts using flat fee MLS as the means by which a landlord finds a tenant increased by approximately 10% year to year.

The increase in flat fee MLS rentals far outpaced any other property type using entry only MLS listings.

While the increase in entry only MLS rentals tracked and drafted off the overall, and larger, market of rentals transacted using traditional real estate agents charging a larger commission (oftentimes half of one month’s rent), it’s clear that landlords are catching onto flat fee MLS realty services for rentals as a means to advertise, rent up their portfolio properties, and keep more operating income in their pockets.

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