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How To Maximize Your FSBO Marketing Dollars

Dec 15, 2007
The number one thing that you can do to improve the odds of selling your house in a timely manner is to get it listed in the MLS. Why? Because the multiple listing service is where most people find the home that they are going to buy.

Of course there are other marketing mediums, including billboards, classifieds, newspaper ads, fsbo websites, and more, however, none of them have the reach and power of the MLS. Why does the MLS work so well? Because it combines the two leading sources of homebuyers, the Internet and real estate brokers.

How does this work? The MLS is not just a database for real estate brokers, it is also the most widely syndicated real estate content on the Internet. What does that mean? It means that when you list your home in the MLS, you are not only letting the Realtors know about it, but it will also be included on thousands of real estate websites all across the Internet.

So what do you do if you cannot afford to hire a full service real estate broker? Well, one of the more interesting facts of hiring a real estate broker is that when you hire a listing broker, you are in essence hiring two brokers. The listing agent is the broker that represents you, and the buyers broker is typically a different person that you must also pay out of your proceeds.

Thus, if you are willing to do most of the work of the listing broker for yourself, then you can at least cut your commission fees in half. However, one of the listing broker's primary responsibilities is to market your house, and that is one of the many responsibilities that you will have to take care of.

Like many people, you can try marketing your house as an FSBO, but in many cases that doesn't work, because most buyers like to buy their houses through a Realtor. One solution is hire a flat fee MLS broker for your listing agent, because they only cost a few hundred dollars and take no commissions. In order to put your listing in the MLS, you still will want to offer a commission to the buyers broker, but using a flat fee MLS listing, you have effectively saved 50% on your real estate commission fees!

Does it work? Many frustrated FSBO sellers have opted to hire a real estate broker, however, flat fee MLS is a hybrid option that allows you to still market your home as FSBO, while greatly increasing your chances of success when selling your home by owner, because it gives you access to the #1 real estate marketing tool.

It's still a good idea to advertise your home as much as possible, using all available methods, and its critical to take great pictures of your home so that it shows at its best. Thus, if you're willing to go the extra mile to save some money, then consider trying flat fee MLS before you give up on selling your home by owner.
About the Author
J. Cole is a real estate broker and the author of the flat fee MLS Marketing blog. The site includes a free directory of Flat Fee MLS Listing Brokers.
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