Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan
Private Mortgage Insurance
Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan

    Flat Fee MLS vs. Traditional Realtor: Which is Better?

    Explore the comparison between Flat Fee MLS and Traditional Realtors when selling your home. Discover the pros and cons of each approach, including cost differences, service levels, negotiation skills, and success rates, helping you make an informed decision for a successful property sale.

    What is Flat Fee MLS?

    Definition and Overview

    A Flat Fee MLS is a real estate service model where homeowners can get their properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a fixed rate, rather than paying a percentage-based commission to a realtor. Ditching the old-school way of selling homes—where you'd often pay big bucks in realtor commissions—has gotten a lot easier, hasn't it? With technology at our fingertips, we're revolutionizing the real estate scene, especially with game-changing, cost-saving solutions like the flat fee model.

    Why Homeowners Choose Flat Fee MLS

    Homeowners often opt for Flat Fee MLS to bypass the traditional 5-6% commission that real estate agents typically charge. Flat Fee MLS services allow homeowners, particularly those pursuing a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) approach, to maintain control over the selling process while gaining wide exposure through MLS' local and online platforms. The cost savings with Flat Fee MLS are substantial, especially for more expensive properties. In addition, homeowners enjoy upfront cost visibility, crucial for effective budgeting in the home selling process.

    For more information, read Why More and More Homeowners are Choosing Flat-Fee Real Estate Services.

    Pros of Using Flat Fee MLS

    Flat Fee MLS has several advantages that make it an attractive option:

    • Cost-Efficiency: Flat Fee MLS provides significant cost savings by eliminating the traditional percentage-based realtor commission.

    • Control: It enables homeowners to personally manage the selling process. They enjoy more authority in decision-making, from setting the price to marketing and home showings.

    • Wide Visibility: The home listings gain extensive exposure on local MLS platforms, making them accessible to a larger pool of potential buyers.

    • Client Satisfaction: Agents, already sure of their earnings, may be more focused on client satisfaction rather than pushing for higher sales prices.

    Cons of Using Flat Fee MLS

    But it's also crucial to be aware of some potential downsides with this model:

    • Value for Property: Sellers may not get the full value for their property due to the broker's focus on volume over individual sales.

    • Extra Costs: While the Flat Fee MLS services promise cost savings, sellers might still be responsible for other expenses like the buyer's agent commission or additional costs for services not included in the flat fee.

    • Legal Risks: Handling paperwork and managing legal aspects require professional guidance, and any misstep might lead to potential legal issues.

    • Responsibility: Since the homeowner manages all aspects of the sale, unsatisfactory outcomes or unexpected issues become their responsibility to resolve.

    In light of the above factors, it's essential for homeowners to perform their due diligence when considering a Flat Fee MLS service. Fortunately, at Unreal Estate we’re committed to making the complex process of selling a home manageable and less daunting. For all your real estate needs, contact us today.

    What is a Traditional Realtor?

    Definition and Overview

    A Traditional Realtor is an industry professional specializing in providing comprehensive services associated with buying and selling real estate. Leveraging vast industry knowledge, negotiation skills, and access to market data, these Realtors offer personalized services, ranging from home pricing and marketing strategy development to handling contract negotiations and closing tasks. A key distinguishing feature of their service model is that they typically charge a commission, usually around 5% to 6% of the property's sale price. In the realm of land transfer, understanding the operations of Traditional Realtors becomes crucial as this person becomes your tether to the complex and often overwhelming real estate market.

    Why Homeowners Choose Traditional Realtors

    Homeowners opt for Traditional Realtors for numerous reasons. This decision is usually fueled by the convenience and ease afforded by the comprehensive service provided by the Realtor. With a professional handling various elements of the sale, homeowners can be free from the daunting process of managing viewings, negotiations, legalities, and paperwork. Another significant factor is the Realtor's expansive professional network. This facilitates increased exposure for the listed property, enhancing the chances of a quicker sale. Traditional Realtors can also access vital resources such as Multiple Listing Services (MLS), a powerful tool necessary for advertising your property efficiently and reaching a wider audience.

    Pros of using a Traditional Realtor

    • Full-service offering: A Traditional Realtor provides an end-to-end solution, taking responsibility for every step of the selling process. This includes staging, marketing, scheduling viewings, negotiating offers, and helping with closing processes.

    • Access to a professional network: Realtors often have extensive networks, including potential buyers and other real estate professionals, which can expedite the selling process.

    • Profound Market Knowledge: Traditional Realtors possess detailed knowledge of local markets and can effectively price and position your property, helping to attain the best possible sales price.

    • Skilled Negotiators: Equipped with negotiation skills, they can ensure you're getting the best price and terms for your property.

    Cons of using a Traditional Realtor

    On the flip side, the Traditional Realtor approach has some limitations.

    • High commission rates: The costliest aspect of employing a Traditional Realtor is the commission, which generally falls between 5% to 6% of the sale price.

    • Limited control over the process: Homeowners may have less control over the process, as many of the aspects are managed by the Realtor.

    • Long-term contracts: Homeowners often have to sign a contract locking them into a specific timeframe with the Realtor, typically six months.

    While we've covered the essentials here, it's crucial that homeowners research thoroughly to make an informed decision regarding their property sale. Remember, at Unreal Estate, we're here to help guide you on this journey.

    Comparing Flat Fee MLS and Traditional Realtors

    Cost Contrast

    When deciding between Flat Fee MLS and Traditional Realtors, one of the most critical aspects to consider is the cost. Flat Fee MLS typically charges a set rate for their services, which can range anywhere from $300 for a standard listing to potentially $5000 for more comprehensive packages that include additional services like marketing, paperwork, and final negotiations. This cost is known upfront, providing transparency and enabling sellers to budget appropriately from the onset.

    On the other hand, Traditional Realtors typically charge a commission based on the final sale price of a property, often around 5% to 6%. While this option might appear costlier, sellers should bear in mind that this fee includes a suite of personalized services, such as marketing strategies, open-house showings, and negotiation assistance. Additionally, it's important to note that sellers opting for Flat Fee MLS might still be responsible for paying the buyer's agent commission, which is typically around 2% to 3% of the sale price.

    Service and Support Comparison

    Another crucial point of comparison is the level of service and support provided by Flat Fee MLS and Traditional Realtors. One of the key benefits of using a Flat Fee MLS service is the level of control it provides. Sellers handle all aspects of the sale, offering greater autonomy. However, this increased control does necessitate a certain level of knowledge and understanding of the home selling process, potentially increasing the responsibility borne by the seller.

    You know, there's something to be said for Traditional Realtors too. They really roll up their sleeves and handle all the nitty-gritty for you. Think about it: they craft the perfect marketing plan, host those buzzing open houses, and even step into the boxing ring of negotiations on your behalf. It's like the VIP treatment in the real estate world! If you're pressed for time or feel a bit out of your depth, having them in your corner can be a game-changer.

    Negotiation Skills: Flat Fee MLS vs Traditional Realtor

    Negotiation skills can heavily influence the final sale price of a property. Sellers opting for the Flat Fee MLS service will typically handle negotiations themselves. This can potentially be beneficial if the seller is confident in their negotiation abilities. However, a lack of negotiation expertise could result in a lower sale price. Conversely, Traditional Realtors bring their negotiating expertise to the table. Their experience and understanding of the real estate market can be invaluable, particularly when dealing with complicated selling situations or particularly tough negotiations.

    Check out 5 Tips for Selling Your Home with a Flat-Fee Real Estate Service.

    Success rate: Flat Fee MLS vs Traditional Realtor

    Ultimately, the 'right' choice between Flat Fee MLS and Traditional Realtors can often come down to their success rate. Flat Fee MLS services, while providing a cost-effective solution, might not always garner the highest sale price. The data from the National Association of Realtors indicates that homes sold by owners (FSBO) often sell at a considerably lower median price compared to agent-assisted homes, which could counteract any savings made through the flat fee structure.

    On the other hand, Traditional Realtors, with their full suite of personalized services and industry knowledge, have generally demonstrated a higher success rate in achieving top market prices for properties. This success rate, combined with the peace of mind of having a professional handle each step of the process, may justify the higher cost for many sellers.

    If you're ready to sell your home, visit and learn more about our flat-fee listing packages and how we make selling your home simpler, faster, and more affordable than ever.

    We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article and our blog. Let us know how we did by completing the Unreal Estate Blog Feedback Survey.

    Unreal Estate stacked logo



    Updated January 2023: By using this website, you agree to our Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy.

    ⁠Unreal Estate holds real estate brokerage licenses under the following names in multiple states and locations:
    Unreal Estate LLC (f/k/a, LLP)
    Unreal Estate LLC (f/k/a USRealty Brokerage Solutions, LLP)
    Unreal Estate Brokerage LLC
    Unreal Estate Inc. (f/k/a Abode Technologies, Inc. (dba
    Main Office Location: 1500 Conrad Weiser Parkway, Womelsdorf, PA  19567
    California DRE #01527504
    New York § 442-H Standard Operating Procedures
    TREC: Info About Brokerage ServicesConsumer Protection Notice


    If you are using a screen reader, or having trouble reading this website, please call Unreal Estate Customer Support for help at 1-866-534-3726 
    Open Monday – Friday 9:00 – 5:00 EST with the exception of holidays.

    *See Terms of Service for details.

    LinkedIn Social IconInstagram social iconFacebook social icontwitter social iconYoutube Social Icon

    © 2023 Unreal Estate Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Unreal Estate certified trust badge
    LinkedIn Social IconInstagram social iconFacebook social icontwitter social iconYoutube Social Icon