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What Level of Service Should I Expect from a Flat Fee MLS Listing?

Posted by hauseit on June 27, 2016
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It is important for NYC FSBO home sellers to realize that a flat fee MLS (RLS for NYC customers) listing is an “owner managed” option.

That means home sellers should not expect anywhere near the same level of service they would receive under a full service, full commission listing.

With that said, they will receive the same level of exposure to buyers as they would via a traditional full commission listing by having their home advertised in the RLS (REBNY Listing Service) broker database, StreetEasy, Zillow, Trulia, Brownstoner and other major real estate websites.

Moreover, since they are effectively paying nothing versus 6% in commission (equivalent to $120,000 for the average $2 million NYC home), the owner will be responsible for:

What level of service should I expect from a flat fee MLS listing?
  • Conducting, scheduling and coordinating all property showings

  • Hosting their own open houses (Hauseit offers 2 complimentary, managed open houses dependent on availability)

  • Responding to and following up later on all buyer and broker email inquiries

    • It is safe to respond if you are CC’d on a broker inquiry

    • It is safe to respond if you are BCC’d on a broker inquiry where our affiliate states that you will revert

    • If our affiliate forwards you an inquiry with specific instructions, please respond directly to our affiliate. This is usually because the inquiring broker has a history of wasting our various affiliates’ time and not having a real buyer.  It is for your own protection to respond to our affiliate and not reveal your contact information to such a troll (agent without a real buyer).  Here’s how to deal with trolls who may attempt to solicit and harass you.

    • It is okay to CC your affiliate on emails for increased legitimacy

level of service flat fee MLS listing
  • Texting or calling back phone inquiries (all voicemails and texts will be forwarded to you)

  • Handling all negotiations with potential buyers or buyers’ agents (how to deal with buyers’ agents)

Furthermore, the owner must acknowledge and fully understand that there is no phone support of any kind implicitly or explicitly promised by the terms of the limited service listing agreement they have signed.

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Have time to show your home yourself? Consider our self managed, For Sale By Owner listing option that gives your home the same marketing exposure as if you’d paid 6% commission to a traditional listing broker.

Excerpt from a standard listing agreement

Broker’s sole obligations under this Agreement in connection with the marketing of the Listed Property shall be limited to listing same on the MLS (or RLS and/or any other broker database at the sole discretion of the Broker) along with affiliated internet sites, and maintaining it until home is sold and closed out in the respective broker database(s) and 3rd party sites, or until listing has expired or has been cancelled.

The owner must also understand that Hauseit is a referral service.  Once a listing has been referred to an affiliate listing broker, Hauseit is no longer involved in the process at all.  That means all questions by home sellers must be directed to the affiliate listing broker versus Hauseit.

This means that all questions in any format directed towards Hauseit after a listing has been referred will not be answered by Hauseit.  Hauseit will tell the referred customer to direct all questions to the affiliate broker they are paired with.

Please note that per the terms of the listing agreement, the affiliate broker is not responsible for any advice or phone support of any kind.  Should you want the advice of the professional real estate broker you have been paired with, you can purchase our Professional Broker Consulting product for a low, one-time flat fee.

Why are we so strict on setting customer expectations?

Our intention is not to satisfy our customers.  Our intention is to amaze our customers.

In order for us to truly amaze all of our customers, we must be firm in setting expectations so that we are able to provide the same, equal level of service to all of our customers.

In a city like NYC full of aggressive, “Type A” personality working professionals, you are bound to meet some extremely demanding customers who are never satisfied and always want more value than they’ve paid for (Learn more: Why Agents Won’t Do A Flat-Fee MLS Listing in NYC).

Therefore, in order for us and our affiliates to continue serving the wider NYC home buyer and seller community we must be firm in setting expectations with the occasional customer of this type.

Sometimes people just need a reality check!  In one of the most expensive cities in the world, our NYC broker affiliates must be extremely efficient if they are receiving effectively nothing versus $120,000 in commission for the average NYC sale.  That means a reality check in terms of expectations for 24/7 help, service and phone support.

Will Hauseit take on all customers for the Agent Assisted FSBO option?

Absolutely not.  Our affiliates have no obligation to take on any or all of the customer referrals we direct their way.  This means that customers who abuse the essentially free service we are providing will likely be rejected by our affiliate listing brokers.

Moreover, in the event of abuse, disrespect or harassment of our affiliate listing broker by the customer, our affiliates reserve the right to cancel the listing agreement and refund a pro-rated share of the flat fee back to the customer.

Our affiliate listing brokers are all full-service, traditional REBNY Member Firms who also have full-commission, full-service clients to look after.  The benefit of this method is that your affiliate listing broker will have none of the reputational damage that a typical “discount broker” will suffer.

In return, our customers are expected to be respectful and behave professionally towards our affiliate listing brokers.  These traditional brokers have taken personal risk to break ranks with the rest of the brokerage industry to help you save money on your real estate transaction.  They are risking their own reputations to secretly help you sell your home for less than 6% in commission.

The upside for them is an enhanced reputation from having more listings and the potential for buyer and seller referrals to come from the additional business.  As a result, because you are getting the “steal of a lifetime” by selling through a traditional broker for zero versus 6%, you will be appreciative and respectful of the tremendous opportunity you have been given.

Don't have time to sell your home For Sale By Owner?

Sell your home for only 1% seller’s broker commission! We’ve negotiated private label discounts for full service with New York’s finest listing agents so you don’t have to. Work with the best for less!

Disclosure: Hauseit and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, financial and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The services marketed on Hauseit.com are provided by licensed real estate brokers and other third party professional service providers. Hauseit LLC is not a licensed real estate broker nor a member of any multiple listing service (MLS).

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  • Fully market your home on your local MLS and dozens of popular websites with Hauseit’s Agent Assisted FSBO Listing Service. We offer the REBNY RLS which covers NYC, the HGMLS which covers the Hudson Valley, and the MLSLI which covers Long Island. An Agent Assisted FSBO is so much more than a flat fee MLS listing. That’s because your home is listed by one of our reputable, traditional partner brokers who never openly discount their services. As a result, not only will you receive the same marketing exposure as a full commission customer, your listing won’t be treated any differently by other brokers!