Tag Archives: FLAT FEE


I want to have my house in the MLS with no agent or broker.

I want to have the super-charged exposure of the MLS to sell my house, but I don’t want an agent or broker involved.

While that may seem nice on the surface, it just doesn’t work, and you can’t do it.  Websites that use terms like “agent-less”, or “no more agents”, or “no-broker”  may be a little misleading. You CAN”T be in the MLS without one!

What you need to admit is that the brokers and agents themselves don’t necessarily offend you, but the commission they charge certainly does.  So why can’t we just do it ourselves?

The MLS is like a great big old country club.

The country club may have the best golf course in town or the finest restaurant in the state.  But the fact is, if you’re not a member, or WITH a member, you are not going to be able to enjoy either one.   (Click to Tweet!) When it comes to the MLS, the brokers are the members.  It was originally made by brokers and for brokers.  You can be a guest, but it takes a lot to become a member.

As guests, a lot of people have been satisfied without having to become a broker themselves.  You can always see some of their actual remarks here 

Moreover, the club has to be in your state

or licensed and active in your state.  Regardless of how catchy the name or website of a national company may seem, when it comes down to it, they will have to find a broker in your state who is willing to give you a MLS entry-only listing, and do it for even less than you are paying the national website.  My company, for instance, is in Tennessee, and I can’t help someone in Kentucky, even if they begged me.  But we do help people in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

So to sum it up, you CAN shop around and save money with a broker, but you will have to involve one in some way.  Some brokers are easier to work with than others, and some websites are easier to use.  On one of ours, you can start inputting your listing on-line any time of the day or night.


Don Martin is 30+ yr broker/owner of Martin Properties.

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

This real estate website design template is Copyrighted

Earnest Money

In a real estate transaction and negotiation, an important issue is how much trust the seller has in a buyer and how “strong” the offer is. The existence and size of an earnest money deposit can help put a seller at ease to some extent.

Join our merry band of peeps and get a FREE REPORT – click here!

Good Faith Deposit

If you are selling your home, you should always require a buyer to make an earnest money or good faith deposit. The deposit simply establishes that the buyer is serious and, to some extent, has the financial capacity to complete the purchase.

The amount of the deposit is often dependent upon the agreed sale price of the real estate. Although percentages vary from state to state, a cash deposit equal to three percent of the sales price is typical. For instance, the deposit would be $3,000 for home selling at a price of $100,000. As with most transactions, this percentage is negotiable.   The size of the deposit somehow reflects the “strength” of the offer by some yardsticks, as though a low offer may be offset somewhat by a high earnest money deposit.  I have, over the years seen $500 and $1000 earnest money deposits, and once I saw a rather nice wristwatch used as an indicator of good faith.

Once the buyer and seller agree to the amount of the good faith deposit, you have to decide what to do with the deposit. Importantly, the seller should not hold the deposit as doing so could make the buyer uncomfortable. Instead, the money should be held in an escrow account of a third party.  Potential third parties include escrow and title insurance companies, an attorney, as well as your agent’s company or your buyer’s agent’s company if there is one.  It should be somewhere safely protected from buyer and seller, because if the transaction falls through, and the disposition of the deposit is contested, the matter may eventually go to a legal interpleader hearing.

A good faith deposit can act like insurance for a seller.  A transaction can take 30 to 60 days, during which the property is off the market. The earnest money essentially compensates the seller for this time in the event the buyer is unable to complete the purchase of the property.

Depending on the laws in your state, a buyer who can’t close will forfeit his earnest money. Typically, the only exception to this is when the contract language indicates the deposit will be returned if the buyer can’t get a home loan. Of course, including such language can open the seller up to repeated frustration when bad credit buyers fail to get funding.

Earnest money deposits are just a fundamental part of a real estate transaction. Buyers should expect to pay them and sellers should demand them.

profileBroker Don Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Properties, besides helping hundreds of FSBOs save thousands of dollars, also delivers seminars, keynotes and motivational messages to real estate and sales professionals. His 30+ years of experience in sales, marketing, real estate, promotion, management and technology has empowered thousands to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals. Connect with Martin Properties on Facebook, TheReasonableRealtor.com, MLS-TODAY.com or Amazon.com.


New Premium Service Plan


It is odd to me in these days of great attention to spending, and in this industry where people try to save money by doing things themselves, I have received requests lately for a higher, more Premium “Yikes-I’ve-Got-To-Sell-NOW!!!”  level of my service.  I must admit I probably dismissed the first several requests because I saw my service as complete, and did not wish to give an impression to anyone that I was the type who kept trying to up-sell my customers.

Continue reading


After we uploaded all the info about his house to the MLS, one of my customers  asked me the other day, “Why can’t I see my phone number and name?”  And even though we had gone through explanations and looked at examples,  he still didn’t get it.  The answer is “You won’t.”     The MLS is for REALTORS, and until you become a REALTOR, you won’t see what REALTORS see.

Continue reading

How to make a house flyer that will WORK

One of my customers asked me the other day, “How do I make a knock-out flyer for my sign box that will REALLY sell the house?”  The answer is “You don’t.”  This is one of the times that an Independent Homeseller (or For-Sale-By-Owner) likes to concentrate their efforts hoping to do something for a faster, more profitable sale.  They often don’t remember that they are not involved in a flyer design or beauty contest.  I have to advise them to do something that is counter-intuitive.  “Never sell with “blah blah blah” when you can sell with “blah blah.”  I tell people that all the time.

Continue reading

The Reasonable Realtor adds Speaking and Coaching to Available Services

Underneath the Services area of the top of the page directory are two new areas including speaking and coaching, coaching one on one, and speaking to more than one.

The books are becoming available over time, with more coming by the end of the year.   We are getting the word out.

It is my intent to speak to a few audiences and work with a handful of coaching clients, in addition to my normal work load.  There are 75 days left in this calendar year to accomplish these items.  Wish me luck.

Now subscribe over here to the right and you’ll A) help save the world, B) be told when we publish a new article, and C) probably get some free stuff.  THANKS!!!  ———————>

Yes, I am the Reasonable Realtor, Don Martin, MARTIN PROPERTIES (615) 973-8970. Just make your comments here, or you can reach the Dean of Graduated Realtors at www.FSBO-GUY.com or “like” him at http://www.facebook.com/MartinProps

It’s Free Friday at Amazon.com/author/donm (Sat, too! 9/19 & 20)

5.0 out of 5 stars A Money Saver!, September 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The NEW REAL ESTATE: Ten SECRETS that will put MONEY in your pocket! (Even though, up until now, houses only COST you money.) (Kindle Edition)
“Whether you are buying or selling, the ten secrets will likely put money in your pocket or at least help you hang onto some of your money.It’s been a few years since I have bought or sold a house. Things have changed!
I liked the easy to understand explanation for some fairly complicated real estate terms and I would recommend this book to anyone who is considering buying or selling real estate. A lot of things you don’t know can sure cost you a bunch of money!”


I will keep you posted… Please go to my page at Amazon.com/author/donm and help yourself to the free kindle today, and I would love it if you would buy another of my books while you are there.  Please leave me a review, too!


Thanks to everyone-

Don Martin

Martin Properties

(615) 973-8970

More kind words for The NEW REAL ESTATE

5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely informative! Must have for real estate! September 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“The new real estate is utterly fantastic! My in-laws have decided to sell the house they are living in themselves and have been having trouble with it. We bought this book as a reference and it drastically has changed everything we first thought. We’ve used just a few of the “secrets” so far and it’s been incredible. I’m extremely thankful we came across this book and spent the money to get it because it’s easily going to save us tons of money. Highly recommend if you are ever thinking of doing anything in real estate in the future!”

Thanks, Amazon.com/authors/donm


Don Martin, Martin Properties, Graduated Services Real Estate (615) 973-8970

– See more at: http://donmartinbooks.com/good-words-new-real-estate/#sthash.ZSW54tPI.ziCsiymk.dpuf

Amazon.com/author/donm looking good!

“I remember how three years ago I was going through tremendous struggles to buy a house of my own – with a mortgage of course. The amount of houses that I have seen, some of them way below my requirements, some overpriced, some totally undesirable, the paperwork implied by this action plus all the fuss with getting the required money and loan – everything is a nightmare that just ended with a nice result – the house I live in.

Remembering those times, I got this book to see what kind of advice I can find on the topic, and what should I consider if I want to sell this one and buy another one in the future. The book details a lot of good to know aspects in real estate both for sellers and buyers – so it is an interesting reading and perspective for both positions in such potential future contract.

Easy, simple, tips & tricks- good to read.”

– See more at: http://donmartinbooks.com/blog/#sthash.xa0Uf7gQ.dpuf

This morning I discovered this review at amazon- what a great “good morning!”  I invite any of you to make a comment on my book.  It will help me correct items I need to address and get some attaboys from the old search engines.

I’ll keep you posted!

Yes, I am the Reasonable Realtor, Don Martin, MARTIN PROPERTIES (615) 973-8970. Just make your comments here, or you can reach the Dean of Graduated Realtors at www.FSBO-GUY.com or “like” him at http://www.facebook.com/MartinProps

Free Kindle Tweet

REVIEWS REVERED #KindleFreeBook #FreeBook “PLS HELP MY NUMBERS SATURDAY” 8/23 http://www.amazon.com/author/donm  FREE copies ALL MY KINDLE BOOKS – RT

<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”155-WAlNxfh7xE5z252WZ8QC-B08N4xw3JH4__TvMhU” />