Many people thinking about a For Sale by Owner transaction believe they cannot list a FSBO on the Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (MLS) without signing a listing agreement. They believe this because this is what they have been told by Realtors.
They also believe they cannot receive an official Realtor Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA) without signing a contract with a Realtor. This is another fallacy spread by the realty community.
The truth is that you do not need to sign a contract agreeing to pay a Realtor commission in order to receive either the CMA or a listing on the MLS. There is one type of program you can enter into that will provide you both of these valuable services.
The Flat Fee Brokerage Service
In recent years a new type of real estate brokerage his sprung up all over the country. These brokerages do not receive commissions, but instead are paid a flat fee (such as $500) to provide a limited scope of services to the FSBO home seller.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the flat fee broker requires a different type of contract than a traditional broker. The flat fee broker asks for an agreement that pays them a certain dollar amount in exchange for listing your home on the MLS and providing a CMA.
Generally the flat fee broker will not perform any other services, unless asked to do so. In these cases a separate fee is agreed upon with the home seller.
By paying a flat fee you are able to get two of the significant services provided by Realtors without paying a commission. You will still need to develop a marketing plan for your home, but you should do that even if your home is listed with a Realtor, since their marketing plans are limited.