This is a tough market for home sellers. Many need to conserve every dollar in order to get their home sold.

The biggest expense is the commission (~5-6%) paid to a traditional agent. But how does one get the same marketing exposure as a traditional agent without paying that high commission?

With a Flat Fee MLS program you can get not only get exposure with a local MLS listing but also on the major websites like, Trulia, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Zillow as well as top real estate brokerage sites.

Without this exposure it is very difficult to get a home sold going the for sale by owner route. Why? Because real estate agents control most of the buyers (70-80% are sold through agents). Buyer's agents need to get paid and usually that comes from the listing agents/sellers via the MLS. Buyers agents typically see commissions of 2.5-3% but this range can vary depending on many factors including local custom and the price of the home.

Services offered through flat fee companies vary widely as do the types of companies offering this service. Some websites offering this type of service are only referral companies. They do not fulfill the mls listing and related services but end up using a third party to do it. You never get to speak or interact with the end company until you actually place your order.

Others are the provided by a locally licensed broker that you can speak to prior to listing. This is probably the best option as you have the opportunity to really understand their experience level with providing this service, what exactly is being offered and how the service fits your needs.