Disclaimer: This post is meant to be used for educational purposes. Links and mentions of Michigan flat fee MLS companies in this post do not constitute an endorsement. Individual program details can change — please visit a provider’s website for the most current information on rate packages, fees, service areas, and more. HomeLight always recommends doing your own research to determine which selling option is best for your situation.
If you’re selling your house in Michigan, you’ll want to keep costs as low as possible. With inflation hovering high and real estate sales slowing, you might be thinking about selling your home on your own and skipping out on agent commission.
However, if you try to sell completely on your own in Michigan, you’ll be locked out of the multiple listing service (MLS) – which populates major websites and displays your sale to potential buyers. Using a flat fee MLS service may be your best option if you choose the for sale by owner (FSBO) route.
Still, there may be more to using a flat fee MLS provider in Michigan than you realize. In this guide, we examine how flat fee MLS services work, and we compare six flat fee MLS companies in Michigan.
What is a flat fee MLS listing service?
Flat fee MLS companies are built to help for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers who want to list their home on the MLS without hiring a full-service real estate agent. Listing your house on the MLS is essential if you want potential buyers to see and consider purchasing your home. The MLS is a database that real estate agents use to locate potential homes for buyers, and it also populates many of the biggest home search websites.
Even when the real estate market was red-hot, most sellers relied on the MLS to reach buyers. In fact, according to a Bright MLS study, 83% of home sales happened on an MLS throughout the last three years.
However, only licensed real estate agents and Realtors® can post on the MLS. That means you’ll need to pay an agent, or be a licensed agent yourself, to place your home in this critical database. With flat fee MLS services, you pay a lump sum and a real estate company will list your home on the MLS.
Which Michigan sellers benefit most from a flat fee MLS service?
Flat fee MLS services may seem like a simple home-selling tool, but they aren’t made for all sellers. According to Justin Glover, a top-selling real estate agent in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the sellers who benefit most from flat fee MLS services are already comfortable selling homes on their own – and understand the work that goes into FSBO sales.
“I would say someone who maybe has some background in real estate and contracts would be better suited to do a flat fee MLS listing than someone who has no experience with reading contracts, negotiating, and buying and selling homes,” he explains.
At the same time, Justin Glover says flat fee MLS services aren’t a good fit for sellers who don’t have plenty of time or knowledge about selling homes.
“If you’re willing to give up the service to do a flat fee and just get it on the market and deal with everything yourself, then just be prepared for that,” he says. “And if you’re willing to give up the quality of the way the listing looks, and how it’s presented to the market to save money on a flat fee, be prepared for that.”
Pros and cons of using a flat fee MLS listing service
Here are a few of the biggest pros and cons of using a flat fee MLS listing service:
- You can save on real estate agent commission.
- You have more control over your home sale.
- Your home is listed on the MLS and major search sites as an FSBO seller.
- You’re usually still responsible for paying a 2-3% buyer’s agent commission.
- To sell on your own successfully, you need to do market research, set pricing, prepare for the sale, field calls from potential buyers, negotiate, fill out paperwork, and more.
- If you don’t understand local disclosure requirements and laws, you could expose yourself to legal risk.
How much does a flat fee MLS service cost in Michigan?
Flat fee MLS services vary in price, depending on the perks you want and how much assistance you need. Most companies will offer a basic package that lists your house on the MLS. From there, the company might charge for everything from longer time on the MLS and higher photo allotments to broker assistance, yard signs, lock boxes, or other features. In general flat fee MLS services in Michigan cost approximately $95 – $2,000.
6 Michigan flat fee MLS listing companies
Here’s a comparison of some local flat fee MLS listing companies in Michigan:
Modern Way Realty
About: Modern Way Realty is a highly-rated flat fee MLS company that’s based in Michigan. Sellers can choose from a basic flat-fee service and a full-service package.
Reviews and rating summary: Modern Way Realty has 5 out of 5 stars (90 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s value and responsiveness.
Rate package overview:
- $375 Basic – This package includes a six-month listing on the MLS and up to 25 photos. It also features forms and disclosures, a personal property page, buyer lead forwarding, and access to their online showing tool.
- $795 Premium – This choice upgrades your listing to include a dedicated agent, closing and sale support, negotiations, title work, and a settlement statement review.
About: Kermath Realty has been in business for more than 20 years. The company holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and provides a wide range of flat fee MLS options.
Reviews and rating summary: Kermath Realty has 4.3 out of 5 stars (66 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s responsiveness and communication.
Rate package overview:
- $399 Bronze – This package lists your home on the MLS for six months and includes six photos. It also features a printable flier, buyer lead forwarding, and a yard sign.
- $499 Silver – This package includes Bronze perks and ups your MLS listing to one year with 35 photos. It also adds on contracts, addendums and disclosures, as well as three open house postings, a key box, virtual tours, and access to a showing app.
- $998 Gold – This package adds on phone and email support, pull sold comparables, negotiations, and a Facebook posting.
- $349 (+ 0.5 % at closing with $1,500 max) Platinum – This package includes the same features as the Gold package, but it presents an alternative payment option.
Service areas: Serves Macomb County, Oakland County, St. Clair County, and Wayne County.
About: Although Coverage Realty serves fewer areas than other MLS companies on the list, it’s a highly-rated real estate company with a straightforward MLS listing service.
Reviews and rating summary: Coverage Realty has 5 out of 5 stars (48 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s knowledge and responsiveness.
Rate package overview:
$395 Flat Fee MLS – The company’s solo flat fee MLS package includes a one-year listing and 35 photos. It also features listing forms and disclosures, lead forwarding, unlimited price changes, and access to a showing app.
National Flat Fee MLS Companies Serving Michigan
Here are a few national MLS companies that provide service in Michigan:
Service areas: Serves all of Michigan.
About: Houzeo offers nationwide FSBO support and provides flat fee MLS services in Michigan. It’s known for its high-tech approach to selling homes.
Reviews and rating summary: Houzeo has 4.9 out of 5 stars (789 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s value and customer service.
Rate package overview:
- $329 Bronze – The Bronze package gets you a three-month MLS listing with six photos.
- $349 Silver – This package upgrades you to a six-month listing and 24 photos.
- $399 Gold – This choice upgrades your six-month listing to include unlimited photos. It also includes federal and state disclosures, and access to Houzeo’s showing and offers platforms.
- $429 (+ 0.75% at closing) Platinum – This package upgrades you to a one-year listing, includes a yard sign, and gives you access to a virtual full-service broker. Broker services include contract review, pricing assistance, help with forms, and consulting.
About: ISoldMyHouse.Com is designed to assist FSBO sellers, and has been operating since 1997. It’s a nationwide company that allows you to list your home on the MLS through a fully-online process.
Reviews and rating summary: ISoldMyHouse.Com has 4.7 out of 5 stars (60 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s ease and responsiveness.
Rate package overview:
- $299 Get Listed Package – This package gives you a six-month listing on the MLS and 10 photos. It also features open house scheduling, lead forwarding, and online customer service.
- $399 Get Sold Package – This package includes the “Get Listed” perks and upgrades you to a one-year listing with 30 photos or the maximum number allowed on the MLS.
Service areas: Serves all of Michigan.
About: Homecoin is a 100% online flat fee MLS company based in San Diego that serves 11 states, including Michigan. The service is designed to let you manage your entire listing and selling experience digitally.
Reviews and rating summary: Homecoin has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s service and prices.
Rate package overview:
- $95 Basic – Homecoin provides a single basic package and allows you to add on features for separate prices. The Basic Package includes a one-year listing, state and federal disclosures, and 10 free listing changes.
Alternatives to a Flat Fee MLS Service
Flat fee MLS services can be great for experienced FSBO sellers, but they aren’t the best option for everyone. Fortunately, if you’re unsure about using a flat fee MLS company to sell your home, you have options. Here are some alternatives to flat fee MLS services:
Alternative 1: Flat fee real estate agents
With Flat fee real estate agents, you gain the help of a licensed agent and can avoid paying a listing agent’s traditional commission. Instead of taking commission, a flat fee real estate agent asks for a one-time payment up front.
You’ll still be paying for the agent’s services, but this route lets you pay a chunk of money at the beginning of your sale. That way, you’ll know how much money you’ll be pocketing at the end of the sale.
However, it’s important to realize that flat fee agents don’t have the incentive of commission to motivate them. That means they may not work as hard to negotiate or land the most profit possible from your home sale.
Also, keep in mind that you may still have to pay the standard commission for the buyer’s agent, reducing the savings potential.
Alternative 2: Selling Your House for Cash
If you want to sell your home fast and aren’t as concerned about receiving top-dollar for your house, you can seek a cash offer from a house-buying company. When you sell for cash, you can sell quickly without having to handle much of the prep work that typical home sales require. The downside to selling for cash is that you may not receive as high of a price as you could if you listed your home on the market.
One easy and convenient way to sell your home fast for cash is to use HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. This tool allows you to bypass repairs, showings, and commissions and presents you with a cash offer in as little as 72 hours. You’re under no obligation to accept offers, but if you do, this method makes it possible to close in as few as 10 days.
Alternative 3: Discount real estate brokers
If you go with a discount real estate broker, you’ll likely still need to pay commission. However, discount real estate brokers tend to take lower commission than full-service real estate agents. They usually provide basic real estate services, such as listing your home on the MLS, marketing your home, and managing paperwork.
These low-cost brokers can be a solid choice if you want to trim costs. Just remember that they tend to make up for low commission by plowing through as many jobs as possible. That means they may not give you the same attention and support that a full-service real estate agent would. They also don’t shield you from the buyer’s agent’s commission, so don’t forget to factor in buyer-side commission when you’re crunching the numbers.
Alternative 4: Full-service real estate agents
A final, and often most cost-effective, alternative is hiring a full-service real estate agent. If you hire a full-service real estate agent, you’ll end up paying commission. However, top-selling agents will handle marketing, market research, pricing, negotiations, paperwork, and other critical home-selling tasks.
Even though you pay commission to these professionals, they usually can secure a higher price on your home than you might receive with other options.
Jay Glover, another top-selling agent who works in partnership with Justin Glover in Grand Rapids explains, “If we can get your home listed and do all the things that we do, and use all our tools, we might be able to net you an even higher amount – even after paying a higher commission – because we’re going to reach a broader audience, we’re going to prepare your home better for market, point out things that we might think are flaws in the home before even putting it on the market, and just make sure it’s a 10 out of 10 when it’s time to actually list it.”
Data suggests sellers who lean on a real estate agent’s help often end up making more money on sales in the long run. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the typical FSBO home sold for $260,000 compared to $318,000 for an agent-assisted home sale.
What’s more, experienced real estate agents may be able to increase your profit even more. Homelight data found real estate agents that perform in the U.S.’s top 5% sell homes for as much as 10% more than average real estate agents.
One of the easiest ways to find a top-selling agent in your area is to use HomeLight’s Agent Match platform. This free tool searches your local housing market and finds real estate agents who have a proven track record for selling homes in your area.
Sell your Michigan home with confidence
Regardless of the selling option you ultimately choose, you’ll want to list your home on the MLS to reach serious buyers. Using a flat fee MLS allows you to list your house without much outside help. Still, if you’re new to selling on your own, it’s important to understand everything that goes into a FSBO sale and to consider your options carefully. By digging into the specifics of your situation and understanding all of the tools you have at your fingertips, you’ll be ready to sell your home in Michigan with confidence.
How to Sell a House By Owner in Michigan: A Great Lakes State FSBO Guide
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How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor: 14 Steps to Selling FSBO
Header Image Source: (Aaron Burden / Unsplash)