Tag Archives: Multiple Listing Service


Why can’t you just put my telephone number on my MLS listing?

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 created by brokers 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.

My customers ask me if their phone number will be on the listing.  The answer is YES…  and NO.  It’s on there in three places, but just not where they can see it unless they are a Realtor.

So let’s look at why the MLS was set up in the beginning.

The MLS was set up to SHARE INFO between brokers!

Period.  A broker could use another broker’s info to sell the house directly.  A broker could use another broker’s info to publish as their own in order to sell it.  In fact, they each spend a considerable amount of money to have that privilege.

A Tale of Two MLSes

People don’t generally realize that there are two.  All the information that exists regarding a certain listing is on the master MLS listing.  That is the one that we, as Realtors use to input details of the house.  That is also the one that we, as Realtors use to get the info we need to set up showings and to make offers.

There is also a sanitized version that does not contain information about commissions, or contact information for showings.  This is the public version.  Some websites that offer search engines available to the public use this sanitized version.  If the public has questions or wants to make an appointment, the only point of contact there is the Realtor who put it there.

If a Realtor wants to give a print-out of listings to a prospective buyer, he gives them the sanitized version so the only number they have to call is that of the Realtor who gave them the info sheet.  In the agreement with all Brokers is permission to take that information concerning a house and fit it into their own template, so that it looks like one of their own listings.  They can then make money by being the buyer’s broker.

None of this would be possible if the information included directions to call someone else.  But remember this is a tool that belongs to Realtors.  You can use it if you do it correctly through a broker.  But if you need to drive a nail, you can borrow a carpenter’s hammer, but you can’t  put YOUR name on it.  All you can do is drive the nail and give it back to the carpenter.

You can’t out-smart the MLS!

So don’t even try.  Spend your energy on something more productive.  They will see it if you try to photo-shop your phone number on the house, the roof, the lawn or in the sky.  They will detect even the faintest of watermarks. They will see it in the text, even if its backwards or encoded.  They will see it even if you have a small “For Sale” sign in the yard that can be magnified to reveal the number.

I don’t mean for this to sound like the voice of experience, but I do know what I’m talking about.  If you’re a newcomer, it’s easy to think that you have thought of something equally new, but don’t spend too much time on it.  They just don’t allow your contact number on the listing.

So do it right, and get it done now!  Call me at 615-973-8970

or go to mlsDon.com to get started.

Don Martin

Martin Properties

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




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


Flat-Fee MLS Testimonials

I stumbled over some testimonials the other day and decided to share them with you!

“Don did a great job for us and helped us save over $12,000 on the sale. He made it simple and easy to close the sale with his suggestions and support. Thanks again.”
-Barry Durham

“I highly recommend Martin Properties to anyone wanting to sell their house. Don helped us with the entire process, answered tons of questions and most importantly, saved us a ton of money. He makes the process so easy and is awesome to work with. Our Buyer even came without a Realtor and Don helped answer all our questions and provided us with the appropriate documents to get the deal done. Thank you Don!”
-Sarah Wills

“I highly recommend working with Martin Properties to sell your house if you are considering for sale by owner (FSBO). I wanted to do FSBO to save money, but I was unsure of the process. I found out about Martin Properties when I was searching for our new house and saw a property on his website. Don made the process so easy, telling us what steps we needed to do — and what not to do — and I could call him whenever I had a question, so we were never alone during the process. Within 7 days of Don listing our house on MLS, we had 3 offers! Don gave me advice on how to handle multiple offers, and within a couple of days we accepted the best offer, which matched our goal of what we wanted to get out of the sale. All I had to do was show the house and coordinate details with the buyer’s realtor (we chose to pay a buyer’s agent commission) and Don as needed. It was so worth the modest fee we payed to Martin Properties! We’re even buying our new house from one of his clients!”
– Pam Hull, Nashville, August 2013

“Don presented with a very warm and professional manner. He spoke with good knowledge of the subject and answered my questions with patience. He never seemed to be in a hurry but allowed me time to understand the paperwork, which I always need in a situation. I would highly recommend him to work with clients and be helpful. It was good and a very positive experience.”
– Frances C. (Worked with Don Martin in 2012 in Nashville, TN)

“Our home buying experience was an exciting one! Don was great!! He was always there when my husband and I needed his time or input regarding us buying a home. He never rushed us but had a great deal of patience and information to share. He was with us every step of the way, and we are very thankful and grateful that he was apart of this experience!!!!”
– Eustalyn (Bought a home with Don Martin in 2012 in Nashville, TN)

“You are number ONE! Very understanding and professional. Thanks for everything!”

Mrs. Elizabeth Harper
Brentwood, TN

THANK YOU to Don Martin and Martin Properties for providing this innovative and invaluable service. Don’s years of experience and expertise in real estate and simple straight-forward approach is the perfect formula for anyone considering selling by owner. Exactly what we were looking for.

M. Dailey

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Thanks Don for helping us sell our home so quickly.  Listing on the MLS certainly made a difference in the number of calls we received to see the house and we received 3 offers after you listed it.  We accepted the 3rd full priced contract within a month of the listing.  Thanks so much for all of your help and assistance.  You can be sure that we’ll use you again next time.

Bobby and Gayle Williams

“Having owned a marketing and communications firm for over 13 years, I have a high appreciation for excellent customer service and measurable results.  I’m pleased to share that my experience with Don Martin has hit top scores on both marks.

Don’s high level of professionalism and straight shooting answers provided us with strategic insight and the foundation we needed to handle the sale of our home by ourselves.  Don was more than willing to answer all of our questions and help in any way he could.  I highly recommend Don Martin for your MLS  listing needs should you choose to sell your home ‘by owner’.”

Mike Keil
The Resource Agency

June 8, 2008
I could not have had a better experience and better results with Don Martin and Martin Properties. Don made it easy to get started with his no-nonsense listing agreement and the sample forms he gave me to assist in the process. I took all the calls and did all the showings and all the negotiations. My closing attorney took it the rest of the way with the details of the payoff and HUD-1 Buyers/Sellers settlement sheet. And to top it all off I PAID NO SELLER, OR BUYER AGENT COMMISSIONS AT ALL!!! ZIP, ZILCH, NADA, NOT A DIME!!!! That was a total SAVINGS OF MORE THAN $11,000.00!! Even in a slumping housing market (2007-2008) and less than stellar economy my FSBO listing through Don Martin did the trick. Additionally, doing my own market research, I priced my house for $10,000 more than the agents I visited with had told me they would price it at–and I got it!!! Statistically, 83 percent of buyers find their house on the internet. Now that I’ve done this myself, I really do wonder what a conventional agent does for the outrageous commissions they are asking. The Martin Properties way works!
Thanks Don,
Jim Piekarski

“As a former Realtor I heartily recommend Don’s service.  Don made it possible for our home to be posted in the MLS for a minimal amount of money. As a result our home sold in less than a month and we saved $$$!!! He was great to work with, always ready to help in any way possible. We would not hesitate a minute to call him again.”

Ray & Jan Rains

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


“From the moment that I met Don I knew that this program would work for me.  We had spent a couple of weeks preparing our house to sell.  Touching up paint, removing all of the clutter, just making it a showplace for potential buyers.  Taking the time to prepare you home for selling and not for living will make your home more desirable for potential buyers, so make sure you take the time to do those things.

I tried the old fashioned FSBO and had a couple of Open Houses, but had no offers or even any serious prospects.  After a couple of weeks of this I decided to call Don and get my house listed on the MLS, Realtracs, and realtor.com, and within 2 weeks I had a solid contract from a qualified buyer, making it possible for us to buy the house that we had been hoping to buy.

If you are thinking at all about selling your home please give Don a call.  It is a phone call that will save you thousands!!!!!

Thanks for everything Don!!!”

Robert Bedenbaugh

Yes, it sold in a week w/2 contracts!!  Should have listed it for more $$$ 😉
Lynne, Franklin (December 2007)

“Thanks for your service. It was a very fast process. Two weeks on the MLS and I had a contract with a full price offer. Two weeks after signing the contract I closed saving thousands in realtor commission fees. I will definitely use your service the next time I sell.”

Mark Sherrell

“He makes us feel like we’re his only customers.  I mean, I know we’re not, but we feel that way… Thanks!”

We contacted Don after business hours on a Monday night.  He met with us Tuesday morning to complete the paperwork for listing our house.  It was on line Tuesday night and by that Thursday we had a full price offer.  Don was available for questions regarding the sales contract for our home and provided thoughtful and insightful advice.  We came to an agreement with the sellers by Friday and had a binding contract before our first open house.  SOLD IN 48 HOURS AT FULL ASKING PRICE!!!  We couldn’t be more pleased.

Erin and Jason Parker

“I remember your kindness and help to us in our transition.  Thank you.”
Billy Sprague, Music Ministry
Franklin, now Colorado

New in the business of real estate investing, we turned to Don to help us list our first rehab house. Don not only listed our property, he showed the house for us while we were out of town, and gave us very valuable guidance when we got an offer. Don was instrumental in us being able to sell our house for full asking price. Thanks Don.
Lee & Pamela Nelson
Red Square Properties

Dr. Martin,

“Our neighbors just recently listed their house through you as a FSBO and it sold for the asking price in 5 days after being on the market without you for 3 months.  My wife and I are getting ready to put our townhouse on the market around the beginning of September.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.”

“We had two homes to sell and wanted to save the extra % of the sale price and needed to get the MLS exposure.  Don was recommended and within a few days he met with us and outlined the process.  We were impressed and immediately made the decision to go with him.  As soon as we got the sign in the yard and the posting on MLS we had calls to show the house.  The first house sold in five days and the second home sold in two.  Don used the MLS and his web site to give us the exposure we needed, which included pictures of the house.  He also went above and beyond to help answer contract questions.  It was important for us to have a local contact and someone we could rely on.  Martin Properties was exactly what we were looking for and the experience exceeded our expectations.”

Kevin and Cindi Applegate

“I used to sell real estate in California, and I saw your ad in the Christian Classifieds.  I just want to ask you one question.  Is this legal?”

-Anonymous lady telephone caller, Mar 3, 2007

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Thank you very much for your assistance.  Your price for your service was well worth it.  I paid only one percent to the realtor plus my cost for your service which allowed me to save about $6,000 in commissions over having gone the typical route of listing with a realtor.  That is a GRANDIOUS savings in my book.  It also made it so much easier with the MLS lock on the door.  It saved me even more time not having to run to the condo all the time for a showing.
Thanks again and you are already being referred by me to others.

Max Sanders
A Magical Wish

“Martin Properties allowed me to obtain an MLS listing at a small fee in order to reach more potential buyers for my “For Sale by Owner” home in the West End area. Don was always available by phone or email to answer any questions and help as much or as little as desired during the process.
I would recommend Martin Properties to list your FSBO home on the MLS to anyone who wants to save thousands of dollars on realtor commissions – it is well worth the small amount of extra effort required on the part of the owner. This service is long-overdue! Thanks, again Don!”
Constance Sinclair
Nashville, TN

“Doc Martin,

We sure appreciate the job you did.  You were a pleasure to work with.  We will definitely be recommending you to others!”

“Hi Don:

We are very pleased with the results of listing our home for sale using your reduced fee program.  We averaged about 6 showings per week” … “The interesting part is that the buyers had been on a mission trip for several months in Bolivia and had been tracking our home by internet until they returned home.  Very satisfied with the service–thank you again.”

Bob & Candace
Franklin, TN

“I have used Martin Properties personally to help me and my wife sell our home as well as purchase a new one. I also refer my clients that do not have a Realtor because I know they will give my clients the same attention they gave me when I needed the help. I would recommend anyone that is looking to purchase or sell a home to consider the personal attention you will get when using Martin Properties.”

Lehman Hailey, Jr
President Evergreen Mortgage

“I recommend Martin Properties. As a former customer, I found their service and performance to be exemplary.

We sold our house for the amount we wanted, in less than twenty-four hours, then found our current home at an incredible price. Everything about the deal was smooth and simple, with every twist and turn navigated with ease.

We have been living in our current home for about six years and could not be more satisfied, but should we ever want or need to relocate, the first call goes to Martin Properties.”

Kirby W. Allen
Brentwood, TN

“Cindy and I would like to thank you for your help in selling our home and for the purchasing of our new home. You showed incredible poise keeping all parties calm when the buyers for our home became difficult. In the end we sold high and bought low. Who could ask for more?”

Richard and Cindy Furman
Southwest Lawns

“My compliments on the professionalism, knowledge and patience that you provided while representing me in both the sale of my former home and the purchase of my new home. I would unequivocally recommend you to anyone needing professional real estate representation.”

Michael Smith
Former treasurer Harpeth Trace Homeowners Association

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


“Thanks for all your help. This was a great experience for me. Please feel free to refer anyone in the future to me for a referral on your service.”

Alex Simpson
Fredericksburg – Brentwood, TN

“I look forward to a continued relationship with you and your company.  We will be looking for a new project (house)…”
Lynne Weeks
Smyrna, TN

“Thanks for all your help!”
Carless Dance
Mt. Juliet, TN

“Thanks again for representing us!  I am so glad that you called me and that we decided to use you as our agent.  You literally saved us thousands of dollars!  I wish you the best of luck and truly hope that you succeed in this venture.  I don’t know how you can’t!  I will recommend you to anyone looking to sell their home.

Thanks again!”
Harrison Hudnall

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“We had attempted to sell our home on our own by using directional signs and listing it in the Tennessean.  After several weeks, we had no offers and no one really interested.  Don Martin approached us about listing our home on the MLS while still being able to sell it by owner.  Within a couple of weeks we had several interested lookers and by the third week we not only had one offer but two with a third one waiting to see if the sale would go through.  I would highly recommend the service Don provides.  We had our house listed in the MLS for a reasonable fee and saved thousands on real estate fees.  We will definitely use this service again if selling a property and would encourage anybody else to do so as well.”
Jim and Elizabeth Wash,
Brentwood, TN

“Thank you for all your help on the sell of our condo.  We listed it on a Wednesday, and we had a signed contract by Monday.  I do appreciate your help.  We could not have done it without you.

Thank you,”
Scott Cone
Nashville Mortgage Company, LLC

November 6, 2005
Dear Don,
We have to write and thank you for helping us quickly sell our home this year. We tried Marketing the house ourselves but it soon became obvious that most of the “lookers’ were exactly that- “lookers”. We had one serious homebuyer but he kept dragging his feet about the actual offer to buy. That is when we decided to call you. After meeting you and totally understanding your unique service, we made the decision to let you help us. That evening the information regarding our home was on the Internet! We found it hard to believe when the next morning brought a qualified buyer to our home, which resulted in an offer to buy our home at our asking price that afternoon! We feel so fortunate in finding you and want to thank you as well as compliment you on your professional and very efficient service. Best of luck in the future.
Bob and Claudette Walsh

Just a brief note of thanks for your help in selling my home.  Your service is very valuable for anyone who is in the position to market and show their home on their own.  Getting access to the MLS and Realtor.com is invaluable.  I appreciate your willingness to meet with inspectors, etc. when I was out of town to ensure the process continued forward in a timely manner.

Kim G.

Hi Don,  I have about 3 people who will be calling you within the next few months to use your services. thanks.


“We sold our house with Martin Properties. It was really pretty effortless. Don Martin explained the program, took some photos, got us on the MLS and the next thing we knew agents started calling to set appointments. We had an accepted offer in 48 hours. There’s just no need to pay an agent 1-3% of the value of your home to list your property when it’s just as easy to go with Martin Properties at a fraction of the cost.”

Dave Gallagher

The sale went fast, cheap and smoothly.

Mike Dioguardi
Robin Hill Rd.

We thank you for giving us the courage…
Ann Olsen

“I want to thank you for all your help and consideration in the sale of our Robin Hill Road property in West Meade.  Once we finished the remodel on this house, listed it with your company and appeared in Multiple Listing, I was inundated with phone calls.  On the first weekend we had so many appointments for Realtors to show the house that it appeared to be an open house.  The lock box made that task very easy for us.  By Sunday we had 2 contracts both as over bids.  The following week I was asked if we could accept another.  With the substantial savings on commissions our deal was most gratifying.

We will definitely use your service again.”


Michael J. Dioguardi
James Michael Halloran

“Martin Properties is the perfect solution for the do-it yourself with the MLS exposure. Mr. Martin was always approachable and willing to answer questions. I was able to sell a difficult property fairly quickly. I was very pleased with the service and plan to use this formula again in the future. Thank you….”

Thank you Don for the help..

Stephan Francois

“Thank you for all your help.  Without your service I don’t know that we would have ever sold.  FYI we sold on our 46th showing.  This is a remarkable number because we took a week off and didn’t show the house when we went out of town and had five agents call to setup a showing on the day we sold. So our number of showing would have been around 55 in just over six weeks. Wow!.”

Jason Obester
Spring Hill


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

Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

Maybe there is NO free lunch, but in Tennessee, there IS Free MLS!

Yes, we can give you a FREE MLS listing.

The real thing.  Not just an MLS wanna-be, the REAL thing.  FREE.

Here’s what you do…

We have a new website, at the url www.TNflat-feeMLS.com and you need to go there.  You can enter some info about your house and upload your pictures and build your free listing.  But wait!  That listing is GOOD, but it’s not the MLS.

At this point, you have the option of picking a plan you like and paying for it, but don’t pay for it right now.  You just email me at donmartin711@gmail.com and I will get you a free MLS listing.

Yes the regular pricing is ultra-cheap, but free is ridiculous! All normal state laws and MLS regulations apply.  Free listing is for a month, just about enough time for you to see if it is the kind of thing that interests you.

This is me giving you a free MLS listing. www.TNflat-feeMLS.com

This is me giving you a free MLS listing.

This is you happy about your new MLS listing. www.TNflat-feeMLS.com

This is you happy about your new MLS listing.

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



No offers or low offers

Ten showings with no offers

Getting your house ready to be shown is not always easy.  Sometimes it’s quite a job.  if you are living in the house, and if there’s more than one of you, especially if there are children living in the house with you, it can be a daunting task to get ready to show it.  It’s not just having company visit, it’s having company visit who will inspect your house.  Closely.

Sometimes going to see a house is also a chore, especially if there is more than one involved in the tour.  And I mean if you have a spouse and children involved and I also mean if you’re involved in seeing more than one house on the same trip.

So showing is not a piece of cake for buyers or sellers but especially sellers.  If there is excitement,  if there is interest and a lot of questions, and if there are offers, this time is more exciting and enjoyable.

But to get ready for and sustain several showings with no offers is disheartening.  In fact, some brokers and trainers say if you have 10 showings with no offers, then it is time to change your price. You may be certain that you’re priced correctly, but you should have an offer by this point.

There is a group of people some call bottom feeders, who make it their business to continually make low offers on properties.  Sometimes they buy one and can make money by reselling it.   Those people are sporadic enough that I don’t really count their numbers in the numbers that I use, so if you get a bottom feeder offer,  then I don’t give that the same value as a serious offer.

So when something needs to be changed, the price is probably the easiest thing about your house to change

If you receive three offers that are serious…

If on the other hand, you do receive offers and they are not necessarily bottom-feeder type offers, but they are too low, that is disappointing.  If it becomes evident that this is a trend, and you receive more offers that are too low for you, some say after three offers of that nature it’s also time to drop the price.  You may have your sights too high.

In other words, if either you get no offers or you do get offers and they are what you consider to low, then something needs to change.  If the low offers are close enough for you to counter offer at a higher price, we are assuming for the purpose of this article that you did counter and were not successful.

It’s time to bite the bullet and drop the price.

Click HERE to put my house on the MLS !

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.


Commissions, bonuses, and buyer incentives

 Price boldly, reward modestly

I have found that many people, after they have owned their house for a while, don’t always realize the value of their house has grown significantly.   They keep thinking of their house in terms of what they paid for it when they bought it originally, but the times change and the housing markets change, and it’s good to be fairly sure of the value of your house before you put it on the market.

People who live in your neighborhood can usually tell you what houses are selling for in that neighborhood, so you don’t really have to pay for an appraisal, or necessarily have a real estate agent run the comparable sales for you.  You already have a pretty good idea of what your house is worth.

Moreover, you have a pretty good idea of what you owe on the house and what you have spent on the house. Therefore, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you would like to receive for your house.

This is the point where sellers get a little shy and think that maybe nobody would pay that kind of money for their house. The trick is to get past that feeling.   I propose that my customers go ahead and price their house boldly.  The market value of your house will tend to seek its own level, but if you start out too low but you may lose money quickly that you may have otherwise have received.  So I suggest you select a strong figure for your house, and evaluate the showings over the first two or three weeks.

If you put your house in the Multiple Listing Service, you have to offer a specific amount to a participating broker who brings a buyer to the transaction.  That is a large piece of your price considerations.  This amount varies in different parts of the country.  We can’t just pick an amount, and call it standard, because nothing is standard.

But if we say that different areas of the country pay slightly different commissions, then we are not trying to fix their price at any particular level.  Each commission is determined by each real estate company.  In a traditional listing, the commission is paid by the seller to the listing company. The listing company often offers a portion of that to a selling company. sometimes it’s 50% of the total commission. sometimes its less.  This also varies within a state and within the country.

If you are selling your house FSBO, then what you are offering is the half or portion that is offered to a selling broker.  So let’s do some quick math.  If the Commission in your area were 5%, and if it were split 50% to listing and 50% to the selling broker, then you would just offer half of 5% or 2.5% to a selling broker to bring you a buyer.

With my customers, about half of them sell to someone who is working with a Realtor and half sell to someone who is not.  What that means is, if you are selling a $100,000 house as a FSBO in the MLS , you may end up owing an agent $2,500 in commission.  You may also owe nothing if the buyer used no agent.

The fact is that in many areas of the country a more standard commission total commission is 6% and in some areas of the country the total commission is 7% or more.  The thing to remember is that it varies.   It’s not written in stone

Many of my customers start off offering 1 to 2 percent.  Some of them offer a specific dollar figure.  This gives them a pretty good handle on their cost of sale from the start.  Always remember that an agent could bring you an offer that is good enough that he may get you to negotiate your commission figure to a higher rate.  But that is your call, not theirs.

Right place right time

There was a time earlier in real estate when someone who wanted to buy a house would talk to a real estate agent, and explain what they were looking for in that new house.  The agent would then go to his books or even his computer, and search through houses that were on the market to find a house that was suitable for this buyer. Sometimes the agent would give the buyer reports and lists of houses that qualified so that the buyer could drive by or tour those houses.  That system was Realtor driven.  The agent picked out the houses to see.

Now in real estate, when someone decides to buy a new house, they make themselves comfortable on their sofa, get online, and surf web sites looking for a house they like that suits their needs. When they find a house they like, if they are working with a Realtor, they call that Realtor and ask him or her to get them in a particular house. This system now is customer-driven.

Whereas in the old system, the agent worked to find the correct house for the buyer, the new system, commissions are often earned by the agent who is in the right place at the right time.

Half and half

We talked already how whatever standard traditional commissions are offered, they’re often split half and half between the listing and the selling companies.  There are other splits involved.  Individual agents must split commissions with their companies.  Commissions are always paid to the broker (company,) and then the broker pays the agent. there are many different splits with different companies, some 50/50, some 75/25, some 90/10, depending on the company, the experience and production of the agent, and the amount of support the company provides to the agent.  There are some companies good pay 100% of the commission to the agent, and the agent in turn pays monthly fees to the company.

So the amount of money you’re offering as a condition is not just handed to the agent who is doing the work. just remember a lot of people share that amount.

Commissions vary

I already mentioned that many of my customers start their listing offering 1 to 2%.  It varies and it is negotiable.   Also remember that each agent is usually working for a broker that determines an acceptable level of commission for that company.  I work with one or two builders and house slippers who just call me and give me the address of one of their houses that is ready to be on the market.  Some of my sellers I know to start out at 5% to the buyer’s broker. This is a high figure, but some of my builder customers have decided they are not in business to inventory houses, and they like to move them quickly.  So you determine commission level partly by how quickly you need or want to sell your house.


 Smetimes it’s a nice incentive for buyers’ agents to offer them a bonus for an acceptable offer on the house.  That is good proactive marketing.  Have the listing agent mention it in the listing, preferably in all caps,  and for a specific period of time so you can measure the results.   In other words, “$1,000 bonus for an acceptable offer by May 10th.”  Make it a two week window of opportunity, and then decide if it was worth while.  If not, drop the bonus or change the bonus for the next period.  Always be experimenting.  Don’t let your listing get stale.

The 26-week plan of action

Plan of Action for Your Listing Don Martin  (615) 973-8970

Notes from Chapter 8 of Guerrilla Real Estate including incentives for agents – %, bonus and Joe Public wide-screen TV etc. Hypothetical $100,000 house.

Week 1 and 2 – Honeymoon, full price,1 or 2% commission ($100,000-2%)

Week 3 – Drop price by $1000 ($99,000 – 2%)

Week 4 and 5 – Raise back price $1000 – add $1000 agent bonus for acceptable offer ($100,000 – 2% and $1000)

Week 6 – Buffer period ($100,000) (OPEN HOUSE)

Week 7 and 8 – Wide screen TV with acceptable offer ($100,000 – TV)

Week 9 – Buffer period ($100,000) (OPEN HOUSE)

Week 10 and 11 – Original price with 3% commission ($100,000 – 3%)

Week 12 and 13 – Drop price $1000 with 3% commission ($99,000 – 3%)

Week 14 and 15 – Add $1500 bonus commission for acceptable offer ($99,000 – 3% and $1500)

Week 16 – Buffer period ($99,000 – 3%) (OPEN HOUSE)

Week 17 and 18 – Wide screen ($99,000 – 3% and TV)

Week 19 Buffer ($99,000 – 3%) (OPEN HOUSE)

Week 20 and 21 – Drop price another $1000 w/ 3% ($98,000 – 3%)

Week 22 and 23 – Add $1500 bonus commission ($98,000 – 3% and $1500)

Week 24 – Drop price another $1000 ($97,000 – 3%)

Week 25 and 26 – 3% W/$1500 bonus & wide-screen ($97,000 – 3% and $1500 and TV)

Click HERE to put my house on the MLS !

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.

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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.

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