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What is a Flat Fee Listing Service?

Monday, March 2, 2020   /   by Sarah Graham

What is a Flat Fee Listing Service?

The real estate industry is changing, but one thing that hasn’t changed is sellers looking to save money on brokerage commissions when selling their homes.


In most markets, the brokerage commission is 5-7% of the sales price, split between the listing broker and the selling broker. The brokers then pay the agents that handled the transaction. 


Agents get anywhere from 50% to 90% of the commission, depending on the structure their broker has in place. 


Recently, there has been a rise in flat fee services and 1% commission agents. 


Flat fee agents generally charge one fee to list your home on MLS, the Multiple Listing Service agents use to market homes and find homes for buyers. Flat fee services are not usually full-service agents, which means the seller must handle a lot of the tasks an agent would normally cover:



  • Arrange for listing photos to be taken

  • Schedule showings and be available to show the home

  • Conduct marketing outside of MLS, such as open houses, social media marketing, flyers or mailings

  • Negotiate price and terms with the buyer’s or their agent

  • Execute the contract and necessary addendums

  • Make sure the buyer turns in the escrow deposit

  • Be available during the home inspections

  • Communicate with the buyer’s agent, lender and the title company to keep everyone on schedule until closing


Agents that advertise themselves as taking only a 1% commission operate similarly to a flat fee service, though they will tell you otherwise. The key is knowing exactly what comes with that 1% and what additional services will cost you.


The 1% commission is immediately misleading, as the seller will still need to pay the buyer’s agent their side of the commission, 2.5% to 3.5% of the sales price. 


Additionally, the 1% on the listing agent side may only cover certain tasks. The agents often have a menu of add-ons that raise the commission above one percent. You may only get the MLS listing and help signing the contract for that 1% and end up paying more to have help with showings, and all the work agents do to get you from listing to the closing table successfully.


If you are thinking of selling your home, I would love to have the opportunity to talk to you about how I can help!

EXP Realty - Justin Graham Team
Justin Graham
107 N State Road 135, Ste 307
Greenwood, IN 46142
317-800-0950
Approved Mortgage, A Winterwood Mortgage Group
107 N State Road 135, Suite 301 Greenwood, IN 46142
Phone: (317) 882-2255
Fax: (317) 882-2266
Email: smcgrath@approvedmortgage.com

The source of the Licensed Listings is BLC® listing service. The Licensed Listings are confidential information of BLC® listing service. The BLC® listing information is provided by the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS® from a copyrighted compilation of listings. The compilation of listings and each individual listing are © 2020 Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS® All Rights Reserved. The information provided is for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All properties are subject to prior sale or withdrawal. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate, and should be independently verified.
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