Gentlemen, this is a football.

We’ve all heard it before.  The words of Vince Lombardi to the Green Bay Packers on the first day of training camp in 1961 after a terrible conclusion to the previous season.  He realized the importance of getting back to the basics sometimes and mastering the fundamentals.  Also this audience continues to grow and some people reading here are not as experienced as others. So here we go.

What is an MLS entry-only listing?

Traditional, full-service agents, in return for a pledge of a healthy amount of commission, put your house in the MLS and then expose the house to prospective buyers.  They put out a sign.  Sometimes they take phone calls about the house and show it to prospective buyers.   Sometimes they hold an “Open House.”   They or their assistant can answer your questions whenever you wish, around the clock. They can make recommendations concerning the sale.  They receive and negotiate any offers on the house.   They are ‘Full-service.”  But, more often than not, the house is sold by another agent who saw the house in the MLS.

With an MLS entry-only listing, for a few pennies on the dollar, you have to answer the phone and set up the showings.  If there is an “Open House,” you do it.  You negotiate your own sale.  And the house is still often sold by another agent who is a member of the MLS.

Do I Still Use a Broker?

Yes.  Absolutely.  A broker who is willing to do this type of listing must meet the requirements of any other, plus some extra.  He also must make clear to the seller what tasks he does and doesn’t do.  In some ways, it is like calling a newspaper and placing an ad.  The paper promises to run the ad, but they don’t promise that people will read it, or that it will be effective.

In some ways, this type of broker is a highly regulated, insured, licensed clerk.  Even if the broker wanted to do extra, he has signed an agreement that he would not.  Therefore this type broker is probably not on call around the clock.  He may not work weekends.  Once the house is in the MLS, his job is done.

You Can’t Buy a Hamburger and Expect a Steak

Most people, and most sellers are quite accustomed to the old type, full-service agent, and naturally expect their ways are that of ANY agent.  But, in most cases, these new type agents may keep what is closer to “business hours.”  They may have even signed an agreement to give you no advice negotiating.  Sometimes customers don’t think about that and get mad when the agent is not sitting at his computer, waiting for their call Sunday night.  Sorry, “MLS entry-only” is not the same as “full service.”  Instead of spending all my time on one or two listings, I work with a LOT of customers.

And yet, even though this sounds pretty basic, last week one of my customers asked me quite seriously, “how do you make any money this way?”

Don Martin, Martin Properties (615) 973-8970  www.mlsDon.com


Photo credit: Lee Edwin Coursey via Visual hunt / CC BY


How could you possibly sell the house?

“How could someone possibly sell the house if there’s no contact number?  Why would someone list their home, but not want any contact information listed for potential buyers?”

Scathingly Bad Review

This was a quote from the scathingly bad review from a FAMILY MEMBER of one of my customers (not even the customer), and she posted that review everywhere she could find. That kind of stings.

Seven Items…

Item 1.  That is not what the MLS does.  The MLS is designed By Realtors FOR Realtors, so they might share information.  Any phone number or address that would direct a looker toward any non-Realtor is strictly forbidden.

Item 2.  Customers seek me out for their MLS listing.  I do not approach them or solicit them.  I do not promise any results or success to convince them to get a MLS listing.

Item 3.  I have notes ALL OVER my site that their contact number is not on the listing.

Item 4.  They must sign a “Permission to MLS” form to that effect, which I have on file and they have a copy of as well.

Item 5.  I send them a PDF copy of the listing when it becomes active, and they can see exactly where their phone number is (not in public areas, but in the agent comments sections.)

Item 6.  I don’t have any idea where they got the notion that the MLS was like a big Trader’s Post or newspaper.  To my knowledge, there is absolutely NO SITE ANYWHERE that says that.  Many buyers can end up buying a house without a Realtor involved, but they don’t get contact info off the listing.  If I were to talk to a buyer, I would be glad to give them the seller’s number, because it’s not a secret.  That would simply be a courtesy, and not a part of any listing the seller had purchased.


Item 7.  It works. That’s why.  At least with me, over three decades, with sales by the hundreds and saving by the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it works.

Time to Bail

Those seeds of doubt I have already dealt with here and a bit more here.  Everybody has some.  They are magnified tremendously when an agent tells you something to the effect of,  “we are just finding that in THIS economic and selling climate, houses at THIS price point are just not selling by owner without a traditional listing,”  It’s all personalized and very informed, so it must be right.

Some of my customers begin to feel unbelievable pressure at this point.  They are convinced they have made a mistake.  This may occur in the first week or after a month, but when the hopes hit the ground, they hit hard.   And just like when we slipped that time in the grocery store, the first thing you do is look to see if anybody saw you slip.  The second is to look at the floor to see what you slipped on and who or what you can blame for keeping you from looking graceful.

It is sometimes like that in my business, and if a seller hasn’t sold in a week or a month, then it’s obviously something I have or haven’t done,  It has nothing to do with the fact that the price may be too high, or the commission too low, or the pictures were dark and tiny, or the house was not accessible.  If it is me  who did something wrong, let me know and I fix it immediately- I am only human.

But the seller has to remember, in an MLS-entry only listing it is THEIR ONLY JOB to make their own listing accurate and effective.  I only use the info they give me.  And sometimes it is almost humorous when a first-time FSBO tries to make me change the whole industry to suit them better.  I guess it’s just human nature.


Call me if you if you have any questions.
Don Martin
Martin Properties
(615) 973-8970
Graduated Real Estate Services
TNFlat-FeeMLS.com or mlsDon.com