The real estate market is booming and people are rushing to buy and sell their homes – condos, apartments, single-family homes, and more. There are several options when it comes to selling your home: hire a real estate agent for full services at 6% of the final sales price as commission, go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route and do everything yourself, or use a flat fee MLS listing service.
In Maine, hiring a full-service agent can be rather expensive although you get a professional real estate agent to manage everything related to the sale of your home. However, if you are not willing to part with the hefty commission fees, you can try the FSBO route. The downside is that many people will not be familiar with the steps involved in selling a property and this can lead to you missing out on the proper exposure designed to enlarge your pool of potential buyers. Flat fee MLS listing, on the other hand, offers the best of both worlds as it grants you the flexibility of a For Sale By Owner sale as well as the guidance of a professional real estate agent for select services during the sale.
So, what exactly is a flat fee MLS listing service? In the simplest terms, it is a type of real estate contract in which the seller agrees to a predetermined charge in return for a real estate agent listing his property for sale on the local MLS (which only an authorized agent can do) and other additional services like open houses and professional photography. MLS or Multiple Listing Service is a database that contains all relevant information regarding a property for sale. Most buyers and other real estate companies tend to search the local MLS when looking for properties and homes on sale. Therefore, your home must be listed on the database to ensure maximum exposure to potential buyers.
Why opt for flat fee MLS?
Flat fee MLS Maine offers several advantages to sellers that enable them to sell their homes quickly and for a neat profit.
- Save on commission costs: the most obvious advantage is that instead of paying a hefty 6% commission fee, you need to pay only a relatively small amount which is agreed upon in advance of the actual sale.
- Listing services: flat fee MLS listing in Maine ensures that your property will be listed on the local MLS with appropriate descriptions that provide maximum information to potential buyers.
- A la carte services: almost all flat fee MLS companies in Maine offer additional services like professional photography, open houses and showings for no extra cost.
- Access to listing tools: most companies will provide access to your online listing page so that you can control the minute details like descriptions and photographs. You will also be given access to listing tools like MLS key boxes and marketing documentation that are typically made available only to licensed real estate agents.
- Comparative market analysis: flat fee MLS listing services in Maine also offer a comparative market analysis of your property which can help you decide on the appropriate listing price for your locality. You will also be provided with other marketing assistance like flyers and other related documentation.
- Planning your budget: since you will be paying only a predetermined charge or flat fee, this enables you to plan your budget and limit your expenses. However, if you were to hire a full-service agent for a commission, the final charge you pay would be determined by the final sales prices which will fluctuate according to the market, thereby increasing the difficulty in calculating an exact budget.
- Professional assistance: not everyone knows the ins and outs of carrying out a property sale smoothly. Opting for the flat fee MLS listing services, you will be able to call on the expertise of a licensed agent throughout the process of your sale and ensure that everything is carried out to your advantage.
How to identify the best flat fee MLS companies?
While Maine has some of the best flat fee MLS companies in the country, you must make sure to choose the company or agent that best fits your unique needs. For instance, if you have prior knowledge of selling homes, you may only require assistance in listing your property on the MLS and not much else. On the other hand, you may be a first-time seller who wants additional services from a professional agent.
That being said, there are also a few key points to keep in mind while selecting a flat fee MLS company. One of the first points to check is whether the company or agent you choose has access to the local MLS in which you want your property to be listed. After all, it would not serve your purpose if your property in Maine is listed on the MLS for Florida. Another point to check is the review and feedback being given for a particular company and agent by their previous customers including their enthusiasm in showcasing their customers’ properties on other local websites.
It would also be advantageous to choose a company that has a strong local presence over a company that has branches all over the country as their agents might know of unique ways to showcase your property to its best advantage.
Listed below are some of the best flat fee MLS companies in Maine
1. Discount Realty
Best for those sellers who only need basic guidance and have prior knowledge in selling properties
2. Flat Fee Realty
Best for budget-conscious sellers who need affordable listing.
Offers a lot of a la carte services and uses friendly technology that further eases the sales process.
4. Landfall Properties
Their basic plan includes listing your property on Realtor.com for 2 months and 40 photographs as opposed to the standard six. They also provide a dedicated website and escrow deposit holding services.
Also read: Sell Your Property with or Without an Agent What is the Best Choice