Can a For Sale by Owner List on the MLS? What are Your Options?

For anyone selling their property as a for sale by owner, getting maximum exposure for your home listing is key. The biggest benefit to selling as an owner is that you avoid paying hefty listing agent commissions. Selling as an owner can easily save you upwards of 3% of the sale price of your home. On a $400,000 home, that’s $12,000! But getting the exposure you need to successfully sell your home can be challenging.

The dilemma in selling as an owner is there is no MLS specifically for owners who are looking to sell real estate themselves. So what options do you have to list on the MLS if you want to list your property as a for sale by owner? Sites like BlueMatch allow you to access your local MLS without paying 3% in commission. Other options to list your home on the MLS as a for sale by owner include flat fee MLS listing sites.

For Sale by Owner MLS

You can Google “flat fee MLS” or “FSBO MLS” and find these sites rather easily. Prices can range from $59 to $299 or more. Many times these sites will use the flat fee MLS as a way to upgrade you to other services. These are the pros and cons however to listing your home as a for sale by owner on these MLS’s.

For Sale by Owner MLS

The Pros of Listing on a Flat Fee MLS:

  • Selling your home without paying a listing commission is obviously the biggest pro. The savings can add up to tens of thousands if you can find the right buyer.
  • You can sell your home at your own pace. You do not have an agent pushing you to do something you may not like or take a lowball offer.
  • There are some buyers looking to specifically work only with FSBO’s.
  • Getting on an MLS as an owner looking to sell his/her property would give you huge exposure across hundreds of consumer-facing sites.

The Cons of Listing on a Flat Fee MLS:

  • Getting your home exposure is just one small step in selling it. You will still need to follow your state guidelines. Many of these flat fee MLS companies do not provide anything more than a listing.
  • Some agents avoid working with for sale by owners because of the uncertainty and increased workload.
  • You still have to negotiate with an agent more than likely. Things like concessions, appraisal gaps, and other issues could have you leaving a ton of money on the table.
  • You do not have the professional guidance and advice of a trained professional.
  • You do not have a way of vetting who you are letting into your home. This can create a dangerous situation for you and your family.

Finding a way to list your home on the MLS as a for sale by owner is just one of many steps you will need to take to successfully sell your home. Many people choose this route because it is a great alternative if you are looking to save money. Remember, saving money and netting the most for your home are two very different things. Finding a good balance between not paying high agent commissions and getting professional guidance is key.

A for sale by owner MLS would ideally be great. Until there is one established, flat fee MLS and sites like BlueMatch are a great alternative. Good luck to all of you. Happy selling!

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