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New Mexico Flat Fee MLS

Jun 27, 2008
New Mexico homeowners do not have to pay steep commissions of around six percent to sell a home. They have many options. Sellers are free to negotiate a lower rate. Some agents do reduce their fees or negotiate, subject to the approval of their broker. Other agents simply do not reduce their fees for anyone. Some sellers opt to sell for sale by owner and pay no commission. Some of these sellers do still offer a buyer's agent a commission of perhaps three percent if they bring a buyer. Many sellers are not aware of perhaps the best option out there: flat fee MLS.

Basically rather than trying to sell by owner or listing with a traditional agent, the seller lists with a flat fee listing company. The seller pays a small flat fee to be listed on the MLS; this is the same MLS that local real estate agents use to locate properties. The seller also offers a commission to any buyer's agent who brings a buyer that successfully purchases the property.

The MLS is incredibly powerful for two reasons. First, it is the best marketing platform out there. Properties can be found by buyers and buyers' agents directly through the MLS or associated websites. Second, the MLS is a binding contract between brokers to offer compensation. A buyer's agent shows properties on the MLS knowing that whatever amount is specified on the listing will in fact be paid out of the seller's proceeds at closing. This important concept basically enables hundreds, if not thousands of agents to potentially sell the home and earn money if their client is the buyer.

In New Mexico, there are a number of different local MLS systems around the state. For instance, Albuquerque real estate agents are members of the Southwest Multiple Listing Service while Santa Fe real estate agents are members of a Santa Fe based system. The same applies for Las Cruces, Deming, Farmington and many other cities. They are members of an MLS system that is unique to their areas. As such there is not a statewide MLS per se (although some MLS systems do cover a relatively large area of multiple cities). It is important to list one's house on the correct MLS system. Not being listed on the correct MLS basically eliminates the benefits previously mentioned.

New Mexico homeowners around the state and at various price points have benefitted from flat fee MLS listings. From luxury homes in Santa Fe to middle price ranged homes in Rio Rancho to relatively inexpensive homes in Deming, homeowners have elected to list flat fee rather than pay a listing commission. As the previously red hot real estate market softened, sellers became more aware of the fact that cost-saving options were out there. When the market turns upwards, it is a fair estimate that many of these sellers will simply continue to use the flat fee MLS program, seeing how successful it has been in generating showing activity and selling homes, even in a slower market.
About the Author
Donald Plunkett is a New Mexico flat fee listing broker and also covers a number of other Western states.
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