Considering For Sale By Owner? Get Listed On The MLS For Free

Although I feel like they are a bit late to the party, a new site called Iggys House will allow people to list their properties on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for free in certain states. Currently 20 states are offered, with more to scheduled to come later. After looking around online, it appears this usually costs around $300 from other For Sale By Owner websites. I wonder what the wholesale cost for a listing is…

According to their press release, 12% of home sales in 2006 were sold by their owners without any agent assistance (or I guess MLS listings?). About 7% hired a ‘discount listing agent’ that performed few if any additional services beyond simply listing the home on the MLS.

How to they plan on making a profit? By using the publicity gained from this to promote their services as buyer’s agents. They figure if you are a do-it-yourself seller, why not be a do-it-yourself buyer? Their sister company, BuySide Realty, provides homebuyers 75% of the commission it receives as the buyer’s agent. They claim to be the largest online buyer’s agent company, with buyers earning an average rebate of more than $11,000.

I’ve never heard of an online buyer’s agent before. As a potential buyer, I’m very intrigued. (I guess their tactic worked!) Back of the envelope calculation: $500,000 home x 3% buyer’s agent commission x 75% = $11,250 rebate. Has anyone used one before?

Comments

  1. Jon Morrow says:

    Buyer’s agent rebates are illegal in North Carolina. I checked into it. I would check your local board of realtors. You won’t get in trouble, but they might.

    Also, I don’t think those numbers could possibly be true. I’ve done several experiments with flat rate listings, and I quickly learned that agents boycott them. It’s illegal, but they do it anyway.

    I’ll write a post about it

  2. in the bay area, you can find non-online agents that will give you 2/3 of the 3% commission. Even if they barely do anything, I think it’s a better deal than an online on that gives you 75%.

  3. Nony-mouse says:

    if u want to do it legally….go to upromise and find an agent thru their site…u will get up to $3000 back from upromise. I am currently using an agent found thru upromise.

  4. Nony-mouse says:

    well actually, i cheated….i found the agent first..then i found out about upromise and signed up thru them to the very same agent. He got an email from upromise and he was not too happy about it because that meant he had to give up 25% of his commissions. We struck a deal privately and asked upromise to get lost.

  5. In California, most agents offers 1% rebate regardless. You just have to ask. My agent is offering 65% rebate. It’s not 75% but I get the personal service too & shes is very good. There’s also on-line bidding sites where agents can bid for your service offering as much as 60% of their commission. http://www.homegain.com/ is one of the sites that does that.

    It’s legal here & houses here cost around 600k. So consider if housing market around that area is “hot” & buyers don’t have a lot of negotiating power, the buyer’s rebate can save you a lot of $$$ on a 600k house.

  6. I used BuySide Realty in December (2006) to purchase a home in Georgia and it was great. Everything went smoothly and I got my rebate check in the mail in 2 weeks as promised. I highly recommend this.

  7. Blaine Moore (First Time Home Owner) says:

    I wouldn’t use an online buyer’s agent, nor would I insist on getting a rebate from my buyer’s agent. We had such a good experience with our buyer’s agent and he did so much work for us that he fully earned his entire commission. A local agent will know your market, and a good one will talk you out of buying a house that isn’t right for you. Despite taking over a year to find a house, our agent kept looking for houses for us and never gave up on us as a waste of his time. He did a much better job of finding flaws that we would have had trouble working with in the houses that we looked at, and we are very happy with the house that we bought.

  8. Blaine Moore (First Time Home Owner) says:

    Jonathon,

    I found our agent by asking my boss for a recommendation. It turns out that the guy he recommended is one of his business partners. Our agent did send us listings, but for the most part we found the houses through MLS and the newspapers and then did a drive by to see if we liked the area and the outside. If so, he met up with us to take a look at it, sometimes a few times for the same house. On a few occasions, he would email us when a listing would go in that we might like or that he had shown to somebody else and thought of us.

  9. I, too, would much rather have an awesome buyer’s agent that would be worth the $10,000 rebates. My main problems is – how do I find such a hardworking, resourceful, local agent that will e-mail me good properties every morning?

  10. Nowadays you can search most houses online for free. If you wanna see what the right price it should be for the house you like, you can simply enter the house address on http://www.zillow.com , http://www.cyberhomes.com , http://www1.realestateabc.com/home-values/ , http://houseamerica.com/(S(050ni1bd55clwh55pmaoggbp))/index.aspx , http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/ . (The last one and zillow are, to me, the most useful one. From propertyshark.com, you can even get the house owner(s’) name(s). So why do you need an agent? DIY!!! Once you get the owner’s name, if they prefer, you can negotiate with them for a better price (They should be able to do so because they will save 6% commission without agents)! Otherwise, find any agent that will get you the most rebate. Hope this help for any potential home buyers! I’m a first-time home buyer and am still shopping for the best mortgage. If you guys know any good mortgage out there, PLEASE let me know. (I’m most interested in the first-time home buyer specials~)
    ^_^

  11. Does anybody know any real estate blog where people exchange info?

  12. Blaine Moore are you sure you aren’t a real-estate agent in disguise? :)
    Well to each his own… my experiences with agents haven’t been as good as yours I guess and I’ve bought and sold 3 homes.

    BuySide and other brokerages like them that understand that 6% commissions are a fading trend are smart. The internet has replaced the agent for finding and advertising homes. They still have their place but too many agents are fat cats waiting for the big pay day when their listings sell on the MLS.

    Just watch the internet will affect the real-estate brokers just like it did the stock brokers. It’s going to mean better choice and service and more money in the consumer’s pocket.

  13. Blaine Moore (First Time Home Owner) says:

    Nope, I’m not a real estate agent. I have never sold a home, and I have only bought one home. In fact, this weekend will mark my having been in my house for 1 year. I just happened to have a really good experience.

  14. i got my house listed on Iggy’s house beta, but I could not get it in the MLS

  15. I was glad to read this and joined Iggyshouse and will submit my MLS info tonight through them for MLS and Realtor.com..listed on Truila, Zillow, Google base, Craigslist,etc. Making fliers/posting in my “take one” box….I dont’ know but it seems with the cost of gas, realtors will not be enthused to just drive around like the old days showing you tons and tons of homes…it seems like they want you to list so low that it is a sure done deal and they can drive them there one time and take their commission and move on LOL ….just saying….

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