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Williamsburg (WAAR)
by For Sale By Owner of Virginia

Q&A

What is the Realtor MLS?

The Realtor MLS is the Realtor database and network that real estate agents utilize when listing a home for sale. In years past the MLS was book that came out weekly and agents would refer to that book when searching for homes for their buyer/clients. Homes not listed in that book received little, if any, exposure in the real estate market - hence the failure of many Sell By Owners in the past to sell their homes without Real Estate Agents and commissions.

Most Sell By Owners eventually listed their homes for sale with a Full Service Real Estate Agent in order to utilize the benefits of the Realtor MLS. Today - Limited Service Brokers offer access to the Realtor MLS without the traditional commissions of the past.

Once a home is listed on the Realtor MLS, the listing displays on the Realtor MLS Network and its Sister Public Sites.  There are hundreds of sites associated with the Realtor MLS (some are added and some deleted as time goes on), Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com, Wall Street Journal.com and many more.

This exposure allows buyers access to the listings on the Realtor MLS and many buyers who are not working with Real Estate Agents can now go directly to the seller without the costs of a middleman. 

Access to the Realtor MLS without the high cost of commissions is changing the way real estate is bought and sold and allowing Sell By Owners the same exposure as those home sellers who opt for Traditional Full Service Realty.


How Do I List my Home For Sale on the Realtor MLS?

List2Move has made listing your home on the Realtor MLS a breeze! All that has to be done is to register and from there home sellers fill out their Profile Sheet and upload exterior and interior photos of their homes. Even signatures can be done online (no faxing!) and in less than in hour in almost all cases - List2Move moves the information over to the Realtor MLS and the new listing is Active!

All changes to the listing are made through your own account. We cannot accept changes via email. Price changes are free. All other changes are $15 unless you sign up for the unlimited changes when you first sign up.

Online access to accounts eliminates phone tag and other cumbersome methods of communication regarding your listing and your selling strategy.


How should I price my home?

Many venues exist for help in Pricing Your Home. Home sellers can utilize Broker CMA’s, online access to public records, websites like Zillow.com, and private appraisals.

Home sellers sometimes wish to price on the higher end of the scale and then reduce accordingly however we do not recommend this.  We recommend you price it a tad below your competition (since you are already saving 3% - you have that flexibility). A couple of weeks without buyer interest signals that the price is too high. Multiple showings without offers also indicates an asking price that is too high for the particular market.

It has been our experience that home sellers that linger on the market concern buyers.  They wonder "What is wrong with the property?". Some sellers fall prey to realtors regarding the issue of pricing and re-list on the Realtor MLS with Traditional Full Service Realty in the hopes of attaining their asking price. This strategy rarely works and in our 20 years in business - has never worked. The graph below demonstrates the clear fact that all home sellers who re-listed in the hopes of attaining asking price failed. Realtors only reduce until the home sells - the same thing that Sell By Owners ... can do for themselves.

This is a tactic that some Full Service Agents use in the hopes of converting Sell By Owners into Full Service/Full Commissions home sellers. We have heard a hundred stories about realtors instilling fear into Sell By Owners in the hopes of converting them.

Realtors tell Sell By Owners that their house should have sold “long ago” and they intimate that Sell By Owners are not utilizing all of the “marketing tools” available to them because they are not listed with Full Service Agents.

The bottom line is that price and location sells homes. Sell By Owners with the Realtor MLS have at their disposal every “marketing tool” that any realtor has - after all - you cannot list in the MLS without a Realtor and that is what we are. Realtors that play upon the fears and confusion that some Sell By Owners fall prey to, reduce home prices until the home in question sells - then they collect their commission.

(More about Home Pricing in the Best and the Worst Sell By Owner Experience Page!)


What Are my Commission Options?

In the old days of Realtor Control and Constraints, Sell By Owners were forced to convert into Full Service/Full Commissioned home sellers in order to access the Realtor MLS. This meant paying out commissions of up to or over 6%. 3% to the agent who listed the home on the Realtor MLS and 3% in commissions to the agent who brought  in buyers.

Today, Sell By Owners, list their homes on the Realtor MLS for a flat fee and save the initial 3% right from the starting gate. That is thousands of dollars!

With List2Move, Sell By Owners can also decide the commissions that they would like to offer to Buyer’s Agents however 3% is strongly recommended. This commission strategy signals to agents that you are willing to offer to them the full 3% - 31/2% in commissions fees. You want your home to be just as enticing as your neighbors home that is on the market for sale.  

The Flat Fee or Reduced Percentage Commission:

On average, it takes 40 hours of work as a buyer’s agent to close a house. Some Sell By Owners of higher end homes do not wish to pay more in commissions just because their home is worth so much more. This strategy helps to save them money.  Any flat fee or percentage amount can be offered in the Realtor MLS but again - if an agent can show 15 other homes at 3% they will.

Note: A couple of Sell By Owners have mistakenly believed that if they offered higher commissions , homes that are lingering on the market will sell faster. (One Sell By Owner even offered a multiple thousand dollar bonus to agents who could bring in an inflated asking price. He was counseled otherwise but was sure that commissions sold house. )This thought is erroneous.

Buyers do not care what home sellers offer in commissions to their agents. They are interested in the asking price and if they can afford the house and the mortgage...

Remember too that buyers do not see displayed upon the Realtor MLS Public Sister Sites commissions offered to agents. That number is only displayed upon the Realtor MLS.

If you are not in the MLS - then Sell By Owners can negotiate commissions with Buyer’s Agents.

Regardless of your personal commission strategy, Sell By Owners with List2Move can change their commissions at any time. Log into your account at List2Move.com and tweak your commissions according to your own strategy!


Will Real Estate Agents Blacklist my Listing?

Many Sell By Owners have recounted to us stories of flagrant abuse of anti-trust laws in the state of Virginia regarding blacklisting.

Yes, it is true that some agents are very open about their disdain for not only the law of the land but also their own Realtor Ethics. The National Association of Realtors is very clear that blacklisting is not only against the law but ethically wrong - but yes - the evidence of the past few years, at least in Virginia, makes very clear the “problem” of unethical realtors who will and do practice blacklisting.

As in every profession, there are the good the bad and the ugly.  Our clients experience the gamut of what agents have to offer. some are lucky to deal form the outset with the very good. Some too though, have been threatened by agents that, not only will an agent in question not show a home with discounted commissions, but that the entire “office” has been “instructed” to bypass the listing too.

If Sell By Owners wish to bypass the issue of blacklisting completely, the option of traditional commissions is always available. Agents receiving the traditional commission do not have a motive to blacklist your listing. They are getting paid a commission and happy to match a buyer to your listing!

As many buyers are perusing the Public Sister Sites of the Realtor MLS, Real Estate Agents are finding it harder and harder to blacklist listings. Real Estate information is public and easy for buyers to access. Realtor control of what buyers can and cannot see has dissipated considerably. (That is why some Sell By Owners decide to offer no commissions at all and to deal directly with the buyers who are searching for homes on the For Sale By Owner Home Selling Sites.)

Real Estate Agents who choose to blacklist have much to lose themselves. Most Real Estate Agents are the professionals that the National Association of Realtors wishes them to be and would never consider putting their own interests ahead of those of their own buyer/clients nor would they consider breaking the laws of the state. These are the agents that procure for themselves the reputations in the community that they deserve and Sell By Owners know them by the way in which those agents treat not only their own clients ... but you as the seller.

Realtor Power is now Consumer Power and while the threat of blacklisting continues to rear its ugly head, the reality is that it is of little consequence to Sell By Owners who list homes for sale on For Sale By Owner Home Selling Sites as well as the Realtor MLS.


How Long is my Listing Active?

All List2Move Realtor MLS listings vary depending on the package you select!
 


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