How do I choose a flat-fee MLS listing service (FSBO)?

blog_post_houseI recently listed my Massachusetts home on MLS, but I’m not using a real estate agent to sell my property. Since I wanted to list on MLS without a realtor, my biggest question was "What MLS listing service should I use?" Doing a listing For Sale By Owner (FSBO), I want a flat-fee MLS listing service that has a good online presence as well as a history of quality person-to-person customer support. It seems like none of the flat fee MLS listing services have any 3rd party reviews online.

There also seems to be a general divide between key offerings – companies that offer barebones, no feature service for under $200, and other companies that offer a variety of packages and features starting at $300. The sub-$200 packages seem extremely risky and could wind up being useless if you enter your listing information wrong. The $300 and up packages tend to allow you to make updates at no or low extra cost, and include features like including your open house listing along with your for sale listing on MLS. These are important considerations when doing For Sale By Owner.

Long story short, I ended up using buyself.com and was very pleased with them. Read below for my details of my process in searching for a service provider.

Below I will briefly discuss some of the other companies that I also researched. You can find a list of URLs to more reviews for flat fee MLS services here: http://www.flatfeereviews.com/index.php?topic=2.0.


I was extremely tempted to use bloomkey.com – I even starting going through the checkout process with their MLS package. Their site seems to offer all the right features and in a timely manner, too. However, I could not find any real reviews of the company online (other than what the website posts on its own pages). Additionally, their Alexa web traffic ranking was pretty bad at 1,948,035 (with a rank of 1 being the best). Although these Alexa rankings often can be misleading, they are still usually a good indicator of how mainstream a company is. Bloomkey’s ranking of nearly 2 million means that they get about as much web traffic as a typical personal blog does, and probably means that the company has only a couple of people working for it.

I also found other sites like flatfeemls.com and flatfeelisting.com, which were my next 2 choices since I was able to find 1 or 2 user reviews for them (although that’s still not great). My hesitation with these companies was that there was never any information regarding what forms you need to fill out (especially with flatfeemls.com), or extremely slow process for getting the paperwork, submitting it, and getting the listing to be active. At least flatfeelisting.com has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The flat fee service getmoreoffers.com has a lot more reviews online, all of them positive. However, getmoreoffers.com is primarily only for listing in Florida, even though they offer their services for all states. For me this uncovered another consideration that I needed to make – does the offered service change depending on which state you live in? Indeed it does. For example, if you want to list your open house details on your local MLS, then you might be out of luck with some of these services that are based in other states. This is the case with realmartrealty.com (also an A+ BBB rating, but based in New Jersey).

When I was trying to find online reviews for one of the above companies, I actually found a YouTube video for a different company – buyself.com (apparently operated by parent website flatfeemlslisting.com, but not to be confused with the similarly named flatfeelisting.com that I previously described). They also have an A+ rating on BBB. This seems to be the company with the longest history that I could find (they have been offering this service since 1998), best customer service responsiveness, supports same-day rush listing if necessary, has a few online user reviews (all positive) and includes a lockbox. click to go to it) and for sale sign as part of their "Standard Package". This immediately became my favorite choice. However, I noticed that they had different versions of their website, like having open house options available in Tennessee (even though they are based in Minnesota… ?) For my state of Massachusetts, the web site gave no indications of being able to schedule my open house as part of the MLS listing. I called the number on their site (several times, they starting answering their phone after 10:30am EDT) to ask about this – and apparently they don’t list an open house option as a separate add-on because it already comes for free with their "Standard Package". I called them several times, each time they picked up the phone immediately.

I decided to go with buyself.com. I liked that I was able to get them on the phone, receive more options for a lower price ($299), get same-day rush processing (no extra cost), and have a company with a long history and good BBB rating. Sure enough, I ordered their package at 10:45am (EDT), and by 6:00pm the same day I had an active MLS listing and open house scheduled for the upcoming weekend. After ordering, they contact an MLS entry-only agent local to my area to handle the listing, and this person was also always immediately available on the phone without being placed on hold (and I called them about 10 times throughout the day, too!) The lockbox they sent me is pictured here, it is the kind you see at a lot of homes and was good quality (click to go to it). The “for sale” sign was not very professional looking, I would suggest getting a beefier, metal sign at your local hardware store.

I’ve only covered these companies briefly. You can find a list of URLs to more in-depth reviews for flat fee MLS services here: http://www.flatfeereviews.com/index.php?topic=2.0

If you have more information about any of these companies, any other companies, or have any other questions or comments about this topic, please add to the forum at www.flatfeereviews.com and we’ll try to get more information available to everyone!

82 thoughts on “How do I choose a flat-fee MLS listing service (FSBO)?”

  1. I’m so glad I read the comments here before listing my home. I ended up going with NoMoreAgent and was very pleased. Positives: Their customer service was great, they protected my phone number and email address so I didn’t get spammed when I was done, they seemed secure (although I’m not very savvy with that aspect of the web), they made it easy to edit my price and property information, and there was a plethora of additional features (too many for me to even use them all). Negatives: The agent I was assigned to list my home on the MLS didn’t seem like he really cared, but that didn’t bother me too much because I got on the MLS and I sold my home. That was all I cared about any way. If I had to do it again, or if I sell my new home in the future, I’ll be using NoMoreAgent again.

    1. I tried nomoreagnet.com and I was not at all satisfied. They offered an MLS.com listing but, after I paid, they told me that they could not offer the MLS.com listing because there were no cooperating brokers in my area and I would likely not find one. They offered a partial refund for a Realtor.com listing. I agreed. BIG MISTAKE. They provided no partial refund and the Realtor.com listing was useless. People were going to the Realtor.com listing which contained several buttons for “Contact Agent”. So the buyers would click the “Contact Agent” button and be referred to an agent. None of the agents that the potential buyers were referred to contacted me or referred the potential buyers to me. Kind of useless, don’t you think. I asked for a refund. NoMoreAgent.com emailed that they would provide me with a full refund if I would agree not to write a review. They emailed to let me know that the refund was done, but, when I looked at my credit card activity a few days later, there was no refund initiated, although all of the other account activity for those days appeared in the activity statement.

  2. Great site. Thanks for posting your experience of researching a MLS listing site. I came across MySecretAgent.com, a listing site with and a very robust portfolio of sold listings with positive owner reviews, BUT, all the listings were exclusively in the Seattle area so, like your experience, I decided to pass for a co. that marketed their services to a more generic geographic area, my being in so. Calif. I’ll be checking out the site you recommended. Thanks again for helping out.

    and like you, began wondering whether was reading one

  3. Hello- thank you for the reviews and recommendations. We are looking to list for sale by owner and I’m researching now how to get a MLS so it will hit realtor.com and all the local realtor databases. I have seen someone mention having to pay a brokers fee, how do I know what that fee will be and is it in addition to the flat fee I’ll be paying for the MLS? Thanks!

    1. Hi,

      Yes. As a seller, you will be paying the buyer’s broker fees. It has always confounded me that this is the arrangement. I learned this when I bought my home, and it also caught the sellers off guard — they did not realize this would happen until after they had signed everything and we were at closing. It made them break even financially, when they had previously been expecting to get some extra cash from the sale.

      So even though you are not using a broker to sell, if the buyer is using a broker then you will be paying their fee, which is usually somewhere between 2.5% – 4%. In some really fancy neighborhoods, the fee can be even higher. If the buyer doesn’t use a broker then those fees will go away, but the buyer usually has a broker because it doesn’t really cost them anything.

    2. Brokers fee is paid only to a buyers agent if they bring you the buyer. You pay the Flat Fee a single Fee an that covers your listing agents fee to put you on the MLS and Realtor.com If you find a buyer on your own you pay nothing above the flat fee. BEWARE some flat fees groups are charging fees on the back end, an also only giving for 1 to 8 photo’s on MLS an their goal is not to help you but to convert you to a full listing for more pictures an exposure, and/or harvest buyer leads from marketing your home. I own a nationwide small family owned flat fee we Don”t refer you off to a local broker who’s main business is full listings an selling to buyers. We do only flat fee with photo’s up to 30 or max of your LOCAL MLS allowance, 1st six photo;s to realtor,com an give you a website to host up to 50 photo’s with a virtual tour all for $249. We use a nationwide broker who’s primary business is flat fee and not looking to bait an switch. We have been in business of MLS flat fee for 4 years an if you google our names you wont find negative reviews. You can also see our listings on our site an call any of our satisfied flat fee MLS listings. We work most hours an ays when we are not sleeping an even then check in. At the worst it would take 6 hours to return a call but if not instantly we usually call back within an hour. 206-218-7187 Unlimited changes at no charge ! We have bought an sold over 150 of our own by owner homes an know how this works! You choose buyers fee from 1-4% with us an for a 6 months listing at $249 we offer a lot of pictures as compared to some of the other flat fee services. Happy Selling! Jamie an Kyle Mattingly

  4. Thanks for the quick response, so essentially I’m not saving anything then, right? I’ll be paying the buyers agent 3%, MLS fee of $400 and a brokers fee of 2-4%?

      1. Oh, and I should also mention that most of these flat-fee services allow you to specify what % you will pay for the buyer’s agent fee. So you do still have some control, but you have to be fair, too, or no agents will show their clients your home.

  5. Ok- so excuse my naiveness, but realize I truly appreciate your insight! Sooo, looking at buy self.com for MI, it says $399 and recommends a commission amount between 2-3.5% to be paid only if we accept an offer from a buyer with an agent. Sooo… Am I correct to make the assumption the aforementioned fees will be the only a ones other than my attorney fees to draw up, review and execute documents?

    The $399 is all I, as the seller, am expected to pay to list and sell my house and then an additional 2-3.5% to the buyers realtor- correct?

  6. Using NoMoreAgent was wonderful. From my first viewing of the site I was contacted by helpful support staff who got me through creating the listing . Using the local agent assigned to generate the MLS was truly a godsend. The agent made sure we had everything in compliance each step of the way. Every change we made he walked us through and made sure changes went through quickly and we always knew the legal requirements. I would suggest anyone looking to sell their home without a commissioned agent use this service. It is the only way I got to keep any of my equity at sale. Thank you for such a great service.

  7. Buyself.com has since changed their ‘no fees for changes’ policy (at least in my state) — apparently mid process with my home. They’re allowing 2 changes to be charged back to them from the local place. Buyself.com claims they were unaware about recent MLS changes but that’s not really my concern, I purchased a service with the expectation of zero fees for changes. Just getting it through their head that an agreement for services has already been established and you cannot change the agreement mid stream without both parties in agreement.

    Kerry from Michigan, you could skip the attorney and his/her fees entirely — especially if the buyer has his/her own agent — they would draw up the purchase agreement. That is why you’re paying them the commission after all because they’re drafting the purchase agreement. It’s generally pretty boiler plate and you can review for any funny business or have a lawyer review. If there is no agent involved, there are boiler plate forms available or have your attorney draft it. But if it’s not a real estate attorney, you’re better off finding your own purchase agreement and handling it as they’re not any more versed in real estate transactions than you are.

  8. We own a small flat fee service as a family business an have been doing this for about 4 years. We haven’t paid any huge fees to the BBB to be members but we also don’t have any complaints with them an if you google our names you won’t find any othrer complaints either. We don’t ask or put out false reviews of ourselves, but your welcome to see any of our listings on our site an ask a customer how they were treated. We are not agents! We are people who have bought and sold over 150 homes mostly by owner with a background in Real Estate, Mortgages, Investing, Marketing, and Law. Unlike Agents we only do For Sale By Owner Marketing of Flat Fee MLS with Realtor.com ! We have no interest in getting a full listing, being a buyers agent, or referring to a buyers agent for a fee. Rest assured there is NO “bait and Switch” here! We take our customer service seriously and care about your order. We are not out showing a house or signing up full listings while you wait for us to call you back. We are a marketing company selling For Sale By Owner Websites and marketing services that include flat fee mls and realtor.com services. We do contract the MLS and Realtor.com portion of our service out as only a broker that subcribes to the local MLS’s can post you on the MLS and Realtor.com . However, we only use one broker for this and he has multiple state licensing and does this full time as well, so he has no interest in converting you to a full listing or referring buyers to buyers agent when they inquire about your property. All buyers contacting us or him without an agent are referred to you. You retain the right to sell buy owner and never pay a commission if you sell the home without a buyers agent bringing you the buyer. As a for sale by owner marketing firm when you purchase your flat fee mls advertising through us you will also cover the for sale by owner market and those websites so you are exposed to both sides of the market. Many local brokers offering flat fee mls services are doing it for lead generation of buyers, or to convert you to a full listing and some of the other national flat fee services are referring some of these local brokers you flat fee mls order to these local brokers, who have another goal when taking your order than being paid a very small portion of your flat fee. Many small brokers offices are doing flat fee in other states and are referring to other local brokers in your area as a lead generation tactic to bait and switch you to a full listing. We don’t refer your order to local brokers we use a national broker who’s primary business is like ours selling flat fee mls and realtor.com listings! Our website has lots of information because we believe in full disclosure and sometimes that means offering more information than some may request, but others needed to know. We also give you max photo’s permitted on your local MLS up to 30 and the first 6 of those on your Basic Realtor.com listing. We also don’t charge you to make changes to your listing. It’s that simple we are here to help you sell your home and save money! Still have questions? “Ask us” No Smoke and Mirrors here!

    Happy Selling and Most of All Happy Closing!

    Jamie and Kyle Mattingly
    SellyourhousefastMLS.com
    206-218-7187

  9. Try zerotolist.com the country’s first free MLS service. Full support and owner is allowed to change information as needed. The broker has 18 years experience as a full listing broker and found ways to offer this service for free.

    1. i was looking over this FREE FLAT FEE zertolist.com service and it looks great if you are not worried about being in your local MLS but a Florida MLS and fed into the realtor.com with a showcase listing and if you dont mind that all your prospects are pre screened for a loan and buyers agent referral? Meaning if the buyer has a lender or buyers agent that the flat fee FREE service isnt being paid by they wont get access to you to see your listing?

  10. If you are looking for the BEST and MOST ATTENTIVE company/person in the UNITED STATES look no further than http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com and Jamie. She will be there to answer questions, give guidance 24 hours a day. I am not sure when she possibly sleeps. I am on the East Coast and she is on the West Coast…..however, she has consistently answered or helped every single time I have needed her to within an hour or so. Do not waste your time looking elsewhere…this is the only place you need to go. Do not hesitate…..visit http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com and let Jamie help you sell your home.

    1. Thank you Ronn !!!
      We have nothing to hide but great service and if you don’t believe the reviews go to our site hit search and don’t choose a state and see ALL our listings call anyone randomly and ask them about the service they received!
      206-218-7187 We have advertising services for MLS and Realtor.com in 31 states and covering over 580 counties in your MLS that the local realtors use in your area!

    1. You know the saying you pay for what you get and unfortunately there are alot of MLS companies out there that are not only trying to sell the least expensive package but they do so by not providing good service, or answering their phones, giving for sale by owner seller Minimal tools and charging for every little so called frill, and then referring the sellers listing to a local agent in their area based on the cheapest broker out their willing to enter it into the MLS. This does a dis-service to the seller because they usually get frustrated and then go with a full listing or the cheapest local broker that list them uses their listing to get buyer leads all the while the seller sits there with 4 or 6 photos and no service to speak of from the listing agent. Fortunately there are some advertising companies that provide superior service by giving the sellers maximum tools like up to 30 photos, unlimited changes to description or photos, and they explain the full process completely and answer their phones. My husband and I have bought and sold over 150 homes and sold them by owner, I also was a virtual mortgage branch manager nationwide for nearly 10 years, and I did all our advertising to sell these homes. From that experience in 2011 I created a local advertising business that helped for sell by owner sellers sell their homes, and started offering flat fee mls services as part of my advertising package. In 2013 I branched out to offer flat fee MLS listing service nationwide in 31 states covering over 500 counties within those states. I teamed up with a company with two brokers that between these two they have licensing and MLS memberships in these 31 states. I offer first class customer service to my clients, and handle all their concerns directly. I help them understand the whole process and answer my phones, and I also offer the maximum tools available to help for sale by owner sellers be successful in selling their home by owner and only pay a commission if a buyers agent brings buyer. All for a reasonable flat fee. http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com

  11. The most important factor is picking a site that will get you on the RELEVANT local sites for where you live. For example, I live in NYC, fortunately I studied up before buying a $1000 fsbo package from a big national brand that claims to put me in my local “MLS.” NYC doesn’t have a MLS and the most popular local search site is StreetEasy which wouldn’t have been included. So I can’t speak for other locales but as a resident of NYC I went with Hauseit.com — whomever you use work with someone you’ve heard of before and who will get you in the right local sites!!

  12. NoMoreAgent.com helped us sell our home with their flat fee MLS service. A guy named Tracy with this company helped us with a few questions we had and was available to talk on the phone. I used another flat fee company in the past but the customer service was non-existent. NoMoreAgent.com blew us away with their service and it was super easy. I saw a review above for NoMoreAgent saying that they only serve the Seattle area, but that is not the case. We live in Tennessee and they served us here so I’m pretty sure they are national.

  13. http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com is set apart from the rest by offering world class service and attention directly from the owner and founder. I am Jamie Mattingly and I started this business in 2011 as Homes by Owner Ozarks, which then became http://www.SellYourhouseFastMLS.com in 2013 when I expanded the business to offer flat fee MLS nationwide . My website can be verified on http://www.whois.com as registered in 2013, and not set to expire until 2020. My website is also one of very few flat fee mls site that are on a secure server site wide, not just at check out! This is my business and my customers mean everything to me and my girls. I treat my customers like family because my customers keep this 48 year old Single Mom business owner with 7 year old Twins working from home and homeschooling. You will not be treated like a number when you use my marketing agency for your advertising and flat fee MLS package. I will answer my phone, and returns calls ASAP when unable to answer right away. I get paperwork out usually instantly after receiving an order and always within 24 hours, because I only contract one brokerage which has licensing in the 31 states that I offer coverage for flat fee MLS and the brokerage holds licensing and MLS memberships in these states which cover several hundred counties. When you have questions i’ll help you with the answer or find the answer for you as soon a humanly possible. I believe that my background and experience in buying and selling over 150 homes with my ex, and my 9 years as an online website based Nationwide Mortgage virtual loan officer/branch manager, along with my background in b2b sales with Lucent technologies, MCI Telecommunications, and Verizon wireless gives me a unique set of skills to help you market your home. When you order from http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com for your flat fee MLS services, along with my marketing package it includes a website within my site with its own Unique URL, a flyer creator, and many other tools and it also includes maximum photos for your MLS up to 30. Best of all when you use http://www.sellyouhousefastmls.com you will know who is behind the name and have a person to talk to about your marketing package, and that person is a proud Single Mom small business owner whose, face (photo),Home office address, personal wireless phone number, and socail media links are public and who is not playing smoke and mirror games ! When you choose my business I promise that I will not hide behind a corporate mask or a voicemail system, and I will be accountable and upfront and candid as I can possibly be!

  14. I just sold my home using Faira.com – free MLS, professional photos and home inspection plus online offers so I did not need to negotiate with buyers. I got 20k above listing!
    Good luck!

  15. http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com is set apart from the rest by offering world class service and attention directly from the owner and founder. I am Jamie Mattingly and I started this business in 2011 as Homes by Owner Ozarks, which then became http://www.SellYourhouseFastMLS.com in 2013 when I expanded the business to offer flat fee MLS nationwide . My website can be verified on http://www.whois.com as registered in 2013, and not set to expire until 2020. My website is also one of very few flat fee mls site that are on a secure server site wide, not just at check out! This is my business and my customers mean everything to me and my girls. I treat my customers like family because my customers keep this 48 year old Single Mom business owner with 7 year old Twins working from home and homeschooling. You will not be treated like a number when you use my marketing agency for your advertising and flat fee MLS package. I will answer my phone, and returns calls ASAP when unable to answer right away. I get paperwork out usually instantly after receiving an order and always within 24 hours, because I only contract one brokerage which has licensing in the 31 states that I offer coverage for flat fee MLS and the brokerage holds licensing and MLS memberships in these states which cover several hundred counties. When you have questions i’ll help you with the answer or find the answer for you as soon a humanly possible. I believe that my background and experience in buying and selling over 150 homes with my ex, and my 9 years as an online website based Nationwide Mortgage virtual loan officer/branch manager, along with my background in b2b sales with Lucent technologies, MCI Telecommunications, and Verizon wireless gives me a unique set of skills to help you market your home. When you order from http://www.sellyourhousefastmls.com for your flat fee MLS services, along with my marketing package it includes a website within my site with its own Unique URL, a flyer creator, and many other tools and it also includes maximum photos for your MLS up to 30. Best of all when you use http://www.sellyouhousefastmls.com you will know who is behind the name and have a person to talk to about your marketing package, and that person is a proud Single Mom small business owner whose, face (photo),Home office address, personal wireless phone number, and social media links are public and who is not playing smoke and mirror games ! When you choose my business I promise that I will not hide behind a corporate mask or a voicemail system, and I will be accountable and upfront and candid as I can possibly be!

  16. Thanks for sharing your story, every homeowner who would like to sell their property as FSBO will definitely learn from your experience.

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