Here are some commonly asked questions people have about our service. If you have more specific questions, not answered in these FAQs, Contact Us and we’ll quickly do our best to answer them for you!
What is the MLS?
The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a cooperative listing service among licensed real estate agents and brokers. Members of the MLS input detailed information regarding properties available for sale into a database that is distributed to all participants in the MLS. All members of the MLS have a right to show/sell an advertised property and are promised a commission should they present an offer that results in the successful sale of an advertised property. The vast majority of home sales are made through participation in the MLS.
Why list on the MLS?
As a For Sale By Owner, your exposure to potential buyers is limited. Your choices for advertising are generally confined to: yard signs, newspaper ads, for sale by owner and classified websites, open houses, and word of mouth. This is often not enough to attract buyers, most of whom are working with agents. Real estate agents consider the MLS as the inventory of homes to sell and use it to locate properties for their clients.
Are there any additional fees?
There are no other listing fees other than the initial fee you pay us. If there are any exceptions to this, they are noted on the Purchase page.
There may be additional fees after your listing is completed. For example the broker may charge a fee for optional upgrades for your listing, or a fee to advertise your open house, or a fee to make “non-required” changes to your listing (ex: text or photo changes beyond the initial setup of your listing). These services are optional and are not included in the cost to list.
Do you list Rentals on the MLS?
Yes, rental properties are able to be listed on the MLS the same as a “for sale” property. The cost to list is the same.
Do you list Commercial properties?
No, You should consider hiring a traditional local broker who specializes in commercial properties. We are not aware of any “flat fee” commercial brokerages.
Will the seller’s contact info be available?
On the MLS, yes it will be available for agents so they can contact you directly for showings. In some cases your broker may also be able to include your email address. On “public” websites, such as Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com, only the listing broker contact information is allowed to be displayed. The MLS has rules about what information is allowed on 3rd party websites. Neither you, nor your broker can do anything about this, and these rules are strictly enforced.
How are inquires handled for my listing?
Our brokers refer all inquires they receive directly to the seller. In most cases leads come in through email, but in some cases our brokers may receive calls. If a buyer says they are represented by and agent, they may suggest to them to have their agent call you and set up the showing.
Keep in mind that all websites operate differently, so not all inquires will go to your listing broker. In many cases (like Realtor.com) inquires are sent to agents that pay for buyer leads for certain zip codes, so those leads will not go to your listing broker. In other cases (like Trulia or Zillow) buyers can choose who will be receiving the inquiry. These situations are completely out of our control, and there is nothing we or your listing broker can do to prevent this.
Do I need to pay any commission?
Yes, real estate agents do not work for free. To be listed in the MLS, you must offer a commission to the agent who represents the buyer (the “cooperating broker” or “selling agent”). If a real estate agent presents an accepted offer and it goes to closing, you must pay the commission offered on the MLS listing. The commission is paid directly by you to the buyers brokerage firm at the close of escrow.
If you sell your home to a buyer that is NOT represented by a broker or agent, then you pay NO commission!
Do you provide assistance with offers?
Illinois passed a law requiring listing agents to provide a minimum level of service to their clients. The law requires all agents to accept and present offers on the clients behalf and be available and assist them throughout the negotiations and closing process. This applies to offers submitted by licensed real estate agents only. If we receive an offer on your behalf we will notify you via email and phone in a timely manner.
Can I cancel my listing?
You can cancel the listing at any time by providing your broker with written instructions to do so (assuming there is not a contract pending on the property involving a buyer who was procured by a cooperating broker). There are no termination fees or other penalties in the event that you wish to cancel your listing before the expiration date. However, no refunds will be provided after your property has been listed by our broker.
Is the listing fee refundable?
If you purchase a listing with us, then decide not to list with the broker we assign you, you can cancel and get a full refund within 30 days of your initial purchase (less a $10 credit card processing fee). Once the listing process has been completed by the broker, you can request to cancel your listing on the MLS, however the listing fee is non-refundable. View our refund policy here Terms.
Who do I contact with questions?
For all questions about our service you can Contact Us online or call us toll free at (800) 588-9325.
What does a Buyer’s Agent Commission mean?
Any Buyers represented by an agent bringing a ready, willing and able buyer with a satisfactory contract will be due a “selling” commission of your choice. This commission must be determined by you the Seller when completing the Listing Agreement. This Commission paid to the selling agent or selling agent agency is advertised to agents on the MLS. Once advertised it is usually non-negotiable.
How much commission should I offer?
The commission the Seller pays the Buyer’s Agent is totally up to the Seller. Real Estate commission fees are not FIXED. However if you want to take full advantage of the MLS the amount you offer should be competitive with other listings in your area. Typically the amount is a percentage of the selling price of the property and can range between 2% & 3%.
Will homeownersrealty.com try to sell my property with the goal to earn the Buyer’s Agent Commission?
No, our goal is to assist you in selling your property by owner, so all calls or inquiries we receive from potential buyers will be forwarded directly to you.
Is Realtor.com the same as the MLS?
No, they are separate and distinct services with different websites and usage. Realtor.com is run by The National Association of Realtors. The MLS is regulated by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.
Who uses Realtor.com?
Anyone can access and use Realtor.com NOTE: Realtor.com is rarely used by Real Estate Agents. It’s designed for and mostly used by private parties who want to search for appropriate properties throughout the nation.
Why do I have to submit the disclosures?
The MLS requires we upload the disclosures into the MLS system at the time of listing. When a Realtor has a buyer interested in your home they can look at the disclosures and print them when making an offer.
Are property photos mandatory?
At minimum and in order to list a home in the MLS we require a photo of the front of the home.
What can I do if I have additional photos?
The number of photos you can place on the MLS are based on the package you purchased. However we do offer an upgrade package for a minimal fee.
What if I want to change the photos?
Once a home is listed we can make changes to the photos. However this is based on the package you purchase. A fee to change the photos may apply.
Why is this service so inexpensive?
With advances in technology, realty agents are able to do in one hour today, what would have taken ten times that five years ago. This has led to the advent of “Flat Fee MLS Listing” or “Discount Listing Brokers” and real estate companies throughout North America that offer the similar services as traditional brokerages, with the resulting reduction in costs being passed on to you, the home owner. Home sellers everywhere are retaining higher equity in their homes by refusing to pay high real estate commissions. We provide professional flat fee listing services which can save you thousands of dollars on the sale of your home.