It looks like one of the biggest hurdles for home sellers who want to go it alone has been removed.
That’s right – FSBO can now get listed in MLS for free. Zip. Zero. Nada investment. No dinero exchanging hands.
WTH? How does this happen, you are probably wondering. So we’ll fill you in – we ran across the news in an Inman email alert a couple of days ago, and while it’s not earth shattering news, it’s just one more thing for agents and brokers to have to overcome.
USRealty.com, whose CEO previously founded and sold one of the most popular for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) websites, is now offering MLS listings to sellers in dozens of states for no upfront cost or fees upon closing.
Does this give homeowners who are on the fence about getting an agent more reason to skip the agent and try to do it on their own?
Possibly so. Ok, likely so in some cases. Is it the end of the world? No. Is it just one more thing that needs to go on the checklist of objections to be overcome at a potential listing presentation? Of course.
Part of why USRealty.com can offer free MLS listings — along with listing packages that actually cost money but are nonetheless cheaper than many competing FSBO products — is because USRealty.com doesn’t list properties on the MLS through outside brokers. Instead, the firm employs around half a dozen in-house brokers to list properties on the MLS.
“We’re turning the MLS into a ‘freemium’ model on the internet,” said CEO Colby Sambrotto, referring to pricing models that offer a free version of a service with optional upgrades.
Is this the point in the conversation where we should be reminding everyone that top producing agents and brokers who want more listings are getting tech savvy and using things like mobile wallet marketing to add an extra element into their listing presentations?
Smart agents are not waiting to be left in the dust by their tech savvy counterparts.
Is this the part where we say (yet again for you non-believers) that roughly 90% of prospective property transactions involve the internet – and specifically MOBILE – and that if you don’t get onboard the train, you are going to be left behind because it’s pulling out of the station soon and it’s not making a round trip?
What’s the #1 thing that successful agents need? We’re going with referrals for the win here, because we know we are right. It’s a close battle with listings but converting a referral into a customer is so much easier than going out and finding new customers we simply can’t discount it.
This is how your competition (tech companies, not other agents and brokers) think about the market –
Sambrotto says that the free plan is not a gimmick.
“My hope is that the free sellers will avail themselves of additional products and services,” Sambrotto said. “However, I guarantee that we will get a lot of people sold right off the free listing.”
It’s nice to tell yourself that this won’t happen. How many in the industry sat around saying that Zillow wouldn’t turn into the 800 pound gorilla occupying the HUGE space that it currently does?
FSBO is not for everyone; and it’s probably not for many people more than once, especially in states with tons of disclosures and paperwork and hurdles to making it easy to self-sell a property. But it could be for a lot more people, at least for the first six months that they’re putting their property on the market if they don’t have a need to get a quick sale.