MLS for free – A Complete guide to listing on the MLS for free

How to list your home on the MLS For Free as a For Sale By Owner and get access to the multiple listing services. A guide for homeowners.

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Table Of Contents

3 Ways to Sell Your Home

Selling Your Home with a Realtor

For Sale by Owner MLS Listing

Flat Fee MLS Services

How to Get on MLS for Free

How a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Works

What are the Benefits of Listing on the MLS?

How to List on the MLS by Owner

Paperwork

Information

How to List on MLS for Free

Take Photos of the Property

Write a Listing Description

Add the Final Touches

List on MLS for Free

📝 Editor’s Note

As technology advances, homeowners are baffled by the commission prices of Realtors when it comes to selling your home, especially with how easy it is to on the MLS for free, by owner.

In 1992, the average commission for real estate agents was sitting at 6%. Today, when interviewing full-service agents, you’ll likely be met with the same fee. But two significant differences are making the tech-savvy homeowner uneasy. One of them has to do with how easy it is for an MLS search.

Based on data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more than half of all home buyers — 52% — found their homes on the Internet, while 29% found them through their Realtor – who probably also saw it through MLS real estate listings.

So the big common denominator here is – getting your home on the public MLS for free. What if we told you there’s a way to do it for free? You don’t have to spend a dime, and we’re going to tell you how.

3 Ways to Sell Your Home

There are three standard practices when homeowners decide to sell their home on MLS and move onto bigger (figuratively speaking for our downsizers) and better things. It used to be that you couldn’t fathom going through the process without an agent. But now, you have some options so you can decide which one will suit what you’re looking for.

Selling Your Home with a Realtor

Pros

  • If you choose the right real estate agent, they’ll take care of everything for you.
  • You won’t have to pay a dime for advertising through social media, photography, videography or getting it on MLS.
  • You have someone dedicated to the sale of your home who is interested in seeing it sell for a high price. The higher the selling price, the higher their commission number.

Cons

  • You have to give up $13,000+ (based on the average Florida home sale) of your hard-earned equity to an agent that may just slap a couple of crooked cellphone photos on the MLS and make a post to their dwindling social media following.
  • Make sure when you’re interviewing agents, you know exactly what they’re going to do when marketing your home. Some are still old school, expecting them to sell once it hits the market without added work.
  • You don’t have as much control anymore. The agent is the first person to speak to any leads, negotiate deals on your behalf and make updates to the MLS. They also have Private Realtor remarks to share between brokerages.

For Sale by Owner MLS Listing for free

Pros

  • You don’t have to pay a dime to anyone if you don’t want to! There is often a buyer’s agent fee of 3%, but the ball is entirely in your court. You can entice buyers not to use an agent for a fair-priced home.
  • You’re fully in the driver’s seat. Any offer, inquiry or showing goes through you.

Cons

Flat Fee MLS Services

Pros

  • You know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with a fee agreement at the start. Make sure you ask about closing costs as those are typically the hidden pricetags of Flat Fee MLS Services.
  • You can market the home online through hundreds of websites. Depending on the Flat Fee MLS Service you use and package, you could be limited on photos or changing the description.

Cons

  • You likely won’t have a dedicated support concierge if you have questions that need to be answered promptly.
  • You’ll still need to pay a fee to get your home onto MLS.

How to Get on MLS for Free

Not so secret anymore! FSBOs have a “best of both worlds” opportunity to market their home on MLS for free. By using Richr, you can have an all-in-one service by promoting your home online for free and paying for an upgrade to take care of the Title Settlement. If you don’t want to upgrade, you’re still able to use MLS for free.

Sell Your Home Smarter for 1% and save $10,000.

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How a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Works

When you sell your home, you want to reach any potential buyer. From global, to national, to a neighbor down the street, you never know who could be in the market looking for a home just like yours.

To have the maximum exposure reach, you need to advertise your home with a Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as MLS. But it’s not as easy as signing up directly on some master for sale by owner MLS site. You can’t pay them directly or sign up if you aren’t a licensed Realtor. But there are ways around it! You have a couple of options that range from a 6% commission price tag to absolutely free. But wait- isn’t there Kijiji for this?

According to realtor.comⓇ, the MLS is a “huge database of home listings,” with a “suite of approximately 580 regional databases.” That means each region has its own database that connects to the bigger MLS pool.

Agents often pay a fee to their “board” to post listings on these regional databases that get distributed to websites you may be familiar with, like Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.

There are a couple of risks involved that you should know about if you chose not to list on MLS, even using a Free MLS Listing Service.

When you post your home on non-MLS selling services, it may show up on some familiar sites, but not having your home on MLS is kind of like sending letters instead of emails. What’s the point when everyone’s communicating that way anyway? People want information quickly and in a digestible way.

Thousands of Realtors are using MLS to browse local real estate listings for their clients. Anyone using their local board will miss your Craigslist Ad without the official MLS posting.

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What are the Benefits of Listing on the MLS?

The goal here is to sell your home without having to pay an agent. But even though buyers are browsing homes online themselves, many lean on their agent’s expertise to confirm that the house is “good” for them. Agents may even steer their clients away from any FSBO listing on MLS, knowing they probably won’t get a pay cut.

Also, the statistics don’t lie. 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001. So even with the technology boom, we’re still relying heavily on experts during the buying process.

According to NAR, 64% of these Realtors stand by the MLS as one of the most valuable technology tools they use in their business.

Even with the best “Flat Fee” MLS Companies, you still have to pay a fee to get on the board. To list completely for free, you need a service like Richr that can allow you to post it to MLS and upgrade for a title settlement. This is the ultimate MLS by owners system that you can utilize to your full advantage.

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How to List on the MLS For Free by Owner 

Paperwork

When listing your home for free on MLS, you’re in charge of gathering the paperwork. If you were working with an agent, you’d have to get this for them anyway! Here is a list of everything you’ll need on hand to market your listing using the Free MLS Service.

  • Copy of Survey (if you have one).
  • Copy of Floor Plan (if you have one).
  • Copies of Permits and Inspections (if applicable).
  • Anything that must be assumed with the sale of the property.
  • Copy of Mortgage Information.
  • Copy of all contracts entered before closing (i.e. Roof to be installed, new fence agreement with neighbour).
  • Annual Cost of Water.
  • Annual Cost of Gas.
  • Annual cost of Electrical.
  • Annual Cost of Home Insurance.

Information

Remember, purchasing your home could be someone’s most significant investment. They’ll be asking a lot of questions. Rather than calling them back later, have these at the ready in case it comes up:

  • The year the home was built.
  • Age of the roof.
  • Age of the furnace.
  • Age of the windows
  • Age of the doors.
  • Age of central air conditioning.
  • Age of hot tub (if applicable).
  • Garbage/Recycling days.
  • Shut off valve location.
  • Contractors used for lawn maintenance (if applicable).
  • Last time the septic was pumped (if applicable).
  • Last time the septic was serviced (if applicable).

How to List on MLS for Free

These are the absolute basics of what you’ll need to sell your home on MLS for free. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the best price, but we’ll tell you about what steps you can take to ensure that happens. Millions of people are searching MLS homes for sale every day.

Take Photos of the Property

The latest iPhone and Androids compete with high-end camera brands, capturing detailed photos with a wide range of zoom capabilities. Here are some tips if you’re doing this as a one-(wo)man-show, which you would need to do when choosing the best flat fee MLS company. Bonus if you have a professional camera!

  1. Use a 10mm lens for wide angles of small rooms to make it look as spacious as possible without distorting it. If you have the latest cellphone with triple camera technology, you can zoom out for a similar effect.
  2. Declutter! Don’t point and shoot without looking around the room. Open the blinds, put away the charging cords and remove the countertops. Make sure every light is on to make it as bright as possible.
  3. Don’t take unnecessary photos. Nobody needs to see closets unless they’re spacious or stunning. The light switch shot or narrow hallway can be left behind.

Write a Listing Description

If you notice you’re using the word “beautiful” too often, it may be time to break out the thesaurus. You’ll want to highlight the best parts of your home in a way that will attract potential buyers. Don’t think about the rooms as a piece of the transaction – think about the lifestyle they can have after buying your home. Remember, people aren’t just searching MLS home listings. They’re searching for the next stage of their life.

Try not to embellish. Some common real estate buzzwords are open concept, contemporary, modern finishes, backyard oasis, etc. MLS real estate listings can get tiresome if they see “bright, spacious living room” a hundred times over.

Add the Final Touches

People need to know your home is for sale. Put up a yard sign and keep things clean for potential buyers that may want to pop in for a quick showing. Sometimes serious buyers will doorknock a neighbourhood they want to move into rather than checking the active MLS listings.

Sell Your Home Smarter for 1% and save $10,000.

Get My Free Home Valuation

List on MLS for Free

By using the Best Flat Fee MLS Company, Richr, you’ll put your photos, description, and home details on MLS for free, appearing on over 750 websites such as Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com and Zillow. These sites have millions of monthly visitors every month.

Any real estate website will scare you by telling you that an agent is the best way to sell your home. They may use a common statistic, like NAR’s statement: FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2020. The typical FSBO home sold for $217,900 compared to $295,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

They don’t tell you that 46% of those FSBOs admitted to not actively marketing the home. As long you list on MLS for free and take on the market tips we’ve told you about, you don’t have to go with a Broker. Go Richr.

Get free advice from Richr’s Concirege service

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house and would like to discuss your option, Richr can help you!
Our fully licensed Concierge Team is here to answer questions and provide free, objective advice on how to get the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

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