A multiple listing service (MLS, also multiple listing system or multiple listings service) is a suite of services that enables real estate brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers), facilitates cooperation with other broker participants, accumulates and disseminates information to enable appraisals, and is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to better serve broker's clients, customers and the public. A multiple listing service's database and software is used by real estate broker in real estate representing sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with other brokers who may represent potential buyers or wish to cooperate with a seller's broker in finding a buyer for the property. The listing data stored in a multiple listing service's database is the proprietary information of the broker who has obtained a listing agreement with a property's seller.
The MLS cannot be accessed by the general public and all changes and/or modifications must be made by either the member broker or their authorized staff. The listing, however, will syndicate to Realtor.com, zillow, trulia and thousands of other public sites like Windermere.com, JohnLScott.com, Remax.com, etc. Anyone with access to the internet can view your property. Note that the MLS does not allow the seller's phone number to syndicate to public sites. Any calls and/or emails we receive, we forward to the seller's email.
The advantage of the flat fee MLS system, is that you pay your fee upfront of $285 and offer whatever amount of commission you want to the buyer's agent, traditionally 3%, but its up to you. If your property is located in the NWMLS area, you may offer ZERO commission and negotiate directly with the Buyer's agent when you get an offer (read more about zero buyer's agent commission). By listing with List4FlatFee.com, you sign an Exclusive Agency listing agreement, which allows the seller to continue to advertise FSBO and sell to their own buyer. The seller is NEVER obligated to sell to a buyer brought to them by an agent or on their own and can cancel their MLS listing with List4FlatFee.com at anytime without charge to List4FlatFee.com.
One big advantage for the seller in listing their property in the MLS is accessing those buyers who work exclusively through a real estate agent and don't look for the "for sale by owner". Additionally, the MLS databases are downloaded to public sites such as Realtor.com and hundreds of real estate company websites, local and national which gives the seller much more exposure than just listing on a fsbo site or placing a sign in the front yard.
If you are ready to sell your home and get the most exposure possible without paying the traditional 6% commission, then the Flat Fee MLS program is for you.