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Hawaii Flat Fee MLS

Feb 23, 2008
Island homeowners many times are not aware that discount listing options are available when they are ready to sell their home. A novel concept that was already taking hold on the mainland in places like California and Nevada is now available in Hawaii: flat fee MLS listings. They way that it works is simple: a homeowner lists his or her property on the MLS for a pre-paid flat fee. All Realtors can now see the property is for sale and is aware of any co-op commission being offered. Not only does the listing show up when a Realtor is pulling data on a particular subdivision and price point, for instance, Ewa Beach, $700,000 to $800,000, the listing can be confidently shown by that Realtor to his or her clients because the Realtor knows in advance that a particular compensation is being offered in the event that their buyer purchases the property, for instance two percent. Because only a buyer's agent would need to be paid at closing (the listing broker was already pre-paid a small flat fee), the commission savings is typically about one-half of what some full service agents charge. In the event that the marketing power of the MLS and its related websites was able to sell the property directly to an unrepresented buyer with no Realtor, the homeowner would end up paying nothing at closing; this represents an enormous savings over virtually every other listing out there.

Flat fee listings on the MLS are available virtually anywhere in the state: Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and Niihau. However, the state is divided up into three different MLS systems. The major islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and Kauai are divided as follows: Oahu's MLS is the Honolulu Board of Realtors MLS, Maui's MLS is the Realtor Association of Maui MLS, and Hawaii and Kauai are both a part of the Hawaii Information Service. It is important to be listed in the correct MLS system and some sellers actually list in more than one system to increase their exposure. One of the added benefits of an MLS listing is that a number of Internet sites such as broker websites and agent sites pull in a portion of the listing data. This allows one's listings to be seen by the general public, albeit without the full detailed information, at numerous websites. Fees for MLS listings range from a few hundred dollars to one thousand dollars or more. Often times the MLS listing provider offers optional upgrades and other services for an additional fee. This might include virtual tours or other tools to help market or sell the home. While real estate lockboxes are often available, they are not as commonly used in Hawaii as in other states. As with any real estate offering, homeowners will want to closely examine what is being offered for the money and the track record of the flat fee listing company that they go with. Done correctly, a flat fee listing on the MLS can save a homeowner thousands of dollars and allow a sale to take place in quick fashion.
About the Author
Donald Plunkett is a flat fee listing broker. His company provides Hawaii flat fee listings on the MLS. For more info: http://www.congressrealty.com
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