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