Are Owner Plus Realty's listings FSBO listings?
Yes and no. Owner Plus Realty, LLC is a licensed real estate broker & business entity in the state of Wisconsin and a member of the South Central Wisconsin Multiple Listing Service, or "MLS". Many of our listings are Exclusive Agency Limited Service "Flat Fee" Listings, which allows for a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) feature. All listed properties that you can search from our site are listed with cooperating brokers in the SCWMLS. Our Limited Service listings can have the seller's name and number listed. You may call them directly to see the property and negotiate a sale without a broker. But MLS rules do not allow cooperating brokers to advertise FSBO seller information within the context of shared public information. Madisonflatfeehomes, McGrady Co. (representing FSBOMadison), and Madcityhomes, like Owner Plus Realty, are firms that offer FSBO Flat Fee listings. As a Buyer Agent, I can represent you with those sellers to your best benefit, and give you cash back at closing as an incentive. Or you may find their phone numbers on the listing company's site or wisconsinhomes.com. Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com are not allowed to carry the seller's information. The listing broker should give you the seller's information if you call them (and we do) but many will try to show you the property. One of the benefits of listing your home with us is that if you want to sell strictly FSBO we can list your home ONLY on our website and it will be picked up by Zillow and Trulia and the rest of the internet websites. If you allow only us to sell you home in addition to you, you can get the services of an experienced broker for a negotiated commission, always 3% or less if no other broker is involved, or you can hire us to help negotiate the sale for you for the $1,000 + $399 Flat Fee rate.
What is a Limited Service Listing?
The standard Wisconsin WB-1 Residential Listing Contract is an Exclusive Right to Sell service contract, meaning the broker has rights to be paid for any buyer purchasing the property. The contact can be modified to be an Exclusive Agency contract, also know as a Limited Service Listing, where the seller has a right to find a buyer and not be liable for paying the broker, basically selling their home FSBO. So that the broker is not out money marketing the home, the seller will agree to cover the broker's listing expenses. The Flat Fee listing is a set amount that the seller pays the broker upfront, versus a percentage of the sale price. It is a smaller amount than the percentage amount as it is an upfront fee that is usually non-refundable. In essence, the seller is buying down the commission when the broker does fewer basic marketing tasks, such as placing the listing in the MLS and placing a yard sign. Other services such as negotiation and closing services may be added-on to the base cost but it still will be less than a percentage basis. The listing contract also calls for the parties to agree in advance to an amount that would be paid to a cooperating broker should they bring a buyer in to the sale. That amount is usually a percentage and is offered in the MLS so cooperating brokers know what they can earn.
Is that the same as Flat Fee MLS?
Yes. That is a commonly used term for an Exclusive Agency Limited Service Listing. It is not a company or website name or a separate MLS, but a description of a service offered through firms that are members of a Multiple Listing Service run by Realtors®.
Are Owner Plus Realty's listings on the real MLS?
Yes. As a member of SCWMLS, our listings are uploaded to cooperating broker sites like Stark, Firstweber, Century 21 and RE/MAX. Approved advertisers like Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com and others can post all cooperating member listings for greater marketing coverage. Zillow is a little confusing in that it does upload MLS listings for the bulk of their advertised properties, but they also let FSBOs advertise on their site. Locally, the SCWMLS uses Madison Newspapers to list member listings on Wisconsinhomes.com. Owner Plus Realty features listings from cooperation brokers on our site so that the public can find all properties that are for sale by Realtors®. Members are restricted from using the term MLS - it cannot be used in the name of a broker's website or company so as to avoid confusing the public into thinking it's the "real" MLS. Any firm that uses MLS in their website name is not a Realtor®-member and does not have authorization to post MLS listings. Avoid them at all cost. They are scams to take your money. All MLS's are local but all do not share. In Wisconsin we have Broker Reciprocity with the Greater Milwaukee MLS and share listings with them and vice versa. There are only a few northern counties that do not participate in Broker Reciprocity. That being said, you need to know values to work in any market, so we rarely work outside of Dane, Sauk, Columbia, Iowa, Green, Rock & Jefferson Counties. We have listed in Richland and Dodge, but the costs associated with servicing that distance means it's hard to make money on a listing there.
Can anyone list their property in the MLS?
No. You must be a dues-paying member of a local board as well as state and national boards. In Madison, we belong to the Realtors® Association of South Central Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Realtors® Association (WRA), and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). You must pass state board exams to become a real estate agent and a real estate broker.
Is a real estate broker or real estate agent the same as a Realtor®?
Not always. A real estate agent must work for a real estate broker, but the real estate broker is not a Realtor® unless they belong to a state and local board and the NAR. In addition to brokers being subject to their state's regulation and licensing board rules, a Realtor® is subject to a Code of Ethics, and each board's rules and standards of practices. As practicing real estate involves limited legal authority to write binding contracts, each state has attorney review to insure the public is protected. Continuing Education is required every 2 years for all licensees in the state of Wisconsin and there are Arbitration Boards to settle disputes.
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