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How to list your home on the NYC MLS

So you’re a home owner ready to sell your NYC apartment yourself, and the next wise question you ask is how do I list on the NYC MLS (Multiple Listing Service)? Surely, NYC must have a MLS like every other district in the country?

What is the Multiple Listing Service?

Let’s first define what a MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, really is before we go into whether NYC technically has one or not.  A MLS is basically a database of shared listings (typically only “exclusive right to sell” listings) accessible only by member brokerages.  Typically there will only be one MLS per region which the vast majority of brokers are a part of.  The MLS is typically affiliated with the local Realtor association.

Member brokerages share their exclusive listings with other members in the MLS so that brokers representing buyer clients can cooperate in the sale of the property.

Listing brokers typically have secured 6% in commission in an “exclusive right to sell” arrangement; therefore, they usually offer to share half the commission with any broker who brings in a ready, willing and able buyer.

New York City does have a primary inter-brokerage database; however it’s not technically a MLS nor is it affiliated with NAR (National Association of Realtors).

So does New York City have its own MLS?

Although there is a Manhattan MLS operated by the Manhattan Association of Realtors (MANAR), it is not very popular and a large portion of the major brokerages have failed to join.  As a result, the primary inter-brokerage database is actually operated by a non-Realtor entity called the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) that seceded from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 1994.

The database itself is called RLS (REBNY Listing Service) which has no external interface.  Instead, member brokerages access and feed the data via several approved RLS vendors such as RealtyMX, Nestio, OLR (On-Line Residential) and RealPlus.

List on the NYC MLS and all major real estate websites for 0% commission

Sell your home FSBO in NYC without an agent via Hauseit's flat-fee MLS listing service

Therefore, be very careful when searching for a way to list your home in the NYC MLS.  Many of the large, “national for sale by owner” companies will advertise that you’ll be listed in your “local MLS,” however when it comes to NYC where there is no MLS the advertising is deceptive.  If you’re a NYC home owner looking for a flat fee MLS in NYC provider, work with a company like Hauseit which will make sure your home is listed in your relevant local inter-broker databases (our affiliate brokers use various RLS vendors such as RealtyMX, Nestio, OLR and Manhattan MLS) as well as relevant local consumer search websites such as StreetEasy.

Is there a flat fee NYC MLS listing option?

Though rare in NYC primarily because the larger, “national for sale by owner” chains have not been able to get access to the RLS, it does exist on a smaller scale.

There are a few smaller players here and there in NYC but make sure you work with someone reputable who will not pirate your buyer leads.  A lot of supposed NYC MLS flat fee listing brokerages are simply mom and pop shops with zero technology and dubious reputation.

They may in good faith be forwarding you your inquiries, but often times you can’t be sure the lag is due to their schedule or whether they are calling the leads first before passing them to you.

List on the NYC MLS and all major real estate websites for 0% commission

Sell your home FSBO in NYC without an agent via Hauseit's flat-fee MLS listing service

NYC Flat Fee MLS offered by Hauseit NYC.

Sell FSBO in NYC and Save Six Percent in Agent Commissions

Sell your home FSBO in NYC without an agent via Hauseit's flat-fee MLS listing service

NYC Flat Fee MLS offered by Hauseit NYC.

List on the NYC MLS and all major real estate websites for 0% commission

Sell your home FSBO in NYC without an agent via Hauseit's flat-fee MLS listing service

Why is flat fee NYC MLS uncommon?

We discuss this issue thoroughly in another article on why the typical agent won’t do a flat fee MLS listing in NYC.  The simple answer is that it’s simply too time consuming and not lucrative enough!  Think about it, operating costs are quite high (just imagine the office rent costs for a brokerage in Manhattan) and a flat fee of a few hundred dollars might as well be zero compared to the average NYC real estate commission check of over $100,000.  Moreover, most NYC home owners are relatively demanding, “Type A” personality people.  Therefore, a “flat fee” client who is extremely demanding and requires a lot of service is typically not only demeaning to the agent, but also highly uneconomical.

Fortunately, with Hauseit home owners are able to receive the same marketing exposure and a high level of personal service as a result of our highly automated systems.  Listing changes can be requested on our website and are typically reflected within 24 hours on all syndicated websites.  Phone support is available seven days a week during our extended business hours.

Flat fee MLS listings are simply not worth it in terms of time and money for most brokers in NYC

How does the NYC MLS restrict flat fee listing competition?

Inter-brokerage databases have traditionally restricted discount brokers from competing by only allowing “exclusive right to sell” listings.

An “exclusive right to sell” listing is the most commonly used type of listing agreement. It gives the listing broker the exclusive right to earn a commission by representing the owner and bringing a buyer, either through another brokerage or directly. The owner pays both the listing and cooperating (or buyer) broker fees (typically 6%, which may be equally shared with a buyer broker). The owner cannot sell the property herself without paying a commission, unless an exception is noted in the contract.  Keep in mind that a commission is owed when the listing broker has produced a ready, willing and able buyer at the seller’s terms.  If the seller wishes to back out after such a buyer has been found, the seller will still owe the listing broker the full commission.

Sometimes inter-brokerage databases also allow “exclusive agency” listings.

In an “exclusive agency” listing contract the owner appoints a real estate broker as his or exclusive agent for a designated period of time to sell the property, on the owner’s stated terms, for a commission. The owner reserves the right to sell without paying anyone a commission if he or she sells to a prospect that has not been introduced or claimed by the broker.  Essentially, this type of listing agreement allows the owner to not have to pay any commission if he or she finds a buyer directly.

List on the NYC MLS and all major real estate websites for 0% commission

Sell your home FSBO in NYC without an agent via Hauseit's flat-fee MLS listing service

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