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Posts Tagged ‘Flat Fee MLS’

  Home sellers and investors are a happy bunch this spring.  Homes are selling quickly and for very near their asking prices.  If your home is on the market and you haven’t had success…you should consider an MLS listing and here is why.

Washington Post writer and real estate expert, Iilyse Glink weigh about why the MLS is the key to home sales and why it works so well.

Studies indicate that most homes sell with the help of a real estate agent. The No. 1 tool to market those homes is probably the MLS. This listing service in most markets gives real estate agents the ability to see and review all listings in an area. If your home isn’t in the MLS, you’re missing the most effective tool to sell your home.

Twenty or so years ago, an FSBO seller would advertise his home in local newspapers and a lawn sign, with InfoTube or InfoBox, to market his home. Few if any of these FSBO sellers succeeded in selling their homes. More recently, the Internet has started to level the playing field, but many buyers still work with real estate agents to buy their home. Those agents rely on the MLS.

An FSBO service may offer various packages to sellers such as you. The more you want, the more you pay, with the top package giving you access to the MLS for six months. We guess you want to give your home the greatest exposure possible and that you wouldn’t want to exclude a major source of potential buyers.

As you decide whether you want an a FSBO package, you must understand what it will take to sell your home. If you overprice your home for sale, trying to sell it yourself isn’t likely to give you a good result.

You still will need to price your home right, make sure your home shows really well, both from the inside and the outside, take great photos for posting on Web sites, create a beautiful brochure for the home, and make sure the description of your home is succinct, emphasizes the good points of your home and accurately shows off its best qualities.

As the real estate market has improved in many areas, you likely have a better chance of selling your home today than you had a year or two ago. But home sellers can make the same mistakes in any market. Again, you need to decide whether you want to spend money upfront to sell the home yourself in a FSBO or try again with a real estate agent.

We think that listing your home on the MLS is a good step toward getting your home sold. Unless you find a buyer that is searching for a home on the many sites out there that carry listings, you might miss out of that one buyer truly looking for a home like yours. offers low cost MLS and listing packages that will get your home noticed by millions of homebuyers, who wouldn’t otherwise know your home is for sale.  Call 800-858-6000 for more information or visit our website.


We finally have an avalanche of positive news regarding on the real estate and housing market for 2012.   

  1. Foreclosure activity in 2011 is down more than 50% lower in several states, including New Jersey, Maryland and Florida.  Realty Trac
  2. The much feared “shadow inventory” of foreclosures declined dramatically in 2011.  In December 2012, 2.2 million properties were in some stage of foreclosure.  In September 2011, that number dropped to 1.5 million units…or a whopping 32% in nine months.  Realtytrac
  3. Realtors in some hard hit area’s, such as Michigan and southern California, are reporting a shortage of housing inventory and a return to bidding wars in tight markets.  
  4. Wall Street thinks the worst is over.  Stocks of the nation’s five largest, publicly traded, home builders are at 52 week highs signaling an upswing in home construction in 2012.  In addition, the home builders have been snapping up deals on land and abandoned subdivisions in anticipation of increased buyer demand.  CNBC
  5. Realtors and home builders are getting a boost from rising rents, as Americans realize that owning a home is often less expensive than renting one.   And, while future rent increases have no ceiling on how high they can go, ownership locks in housing expenses and equity is created as the loan balance decreases each month.
  6. Legal issues, property maintenance and other issues complicating the foreclosure process will push banks and lenders to approve more short sales in 2012, further reducing housing inventory.
  7. Interest rates will remain at historical lows in 2012, which allows more people to qualify for a home and cheap money buys more house for the same monthly payment. 
  8. Foreclosure activity was down more than 30 percent in 2011.   Fewer than 2 million properties foreclosure notices were filed in 2011, down from 2.9 million property filings in 2010.  Realty Trac

InfoTube believes that this news spells OPPORTUNITY for home buyers, home builders, investors and real estate agents.  Home prices and affordability are excellent, yet buyers and investors can still find good bargains.   Today’s smart home buyers will feel like geniuses in ten years when the see what inflation has done to home prices. 

If you have a home to sell, we can help.  Visit to place a FREE home listing about your property or to buy an InfoTube or InfoBox to advertise your property to drive by customers.  Or, supersize your marketing efforts with an MLS listing.  The MLS and reaches millions home buyers each day that otherwise would not know your home is for sale!!!

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

Thursday, April 21, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

In today’s’ super-competitive housing market, it is essential that homebuyers picture themselves living inside the home you are trying to sell.    

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

  • For starters, take down the Wallpaper – Trust me when I say, “Buyers just do not like wallpaper.”   If you doubt how personal wallpaper is…just walk into any wallpaper store and stare at the thousands of available patterns.  Chances of your tastes matching are at least a thousand to one.  Don’t risk it!  Pull that paper down!
  • The Clutter HAS to Go!  Living in a house is alot different than Selling a house.  It is easy to get blind to your own clutter.  Ask a friend, neighbor or neutral party to be honest with you.  Then, pack away every single thing you don’t use.  And, clear the kitchen counters completely.
  • Smelly Homes Will NOT Sell.  Agents have an old saying, “If I can smell it, I can’t sell it.”  Pet smells, musty odor’s, etc will kill a sale everytime.
  • White is not a Color.  But, paint is your friend.  Every room should have a fresh coat of paint in a warm, neutral color.
  • A Spot of Color.  Everyone loves flowers.  Place pots with colorful annual flowers by the front door or plant seasonal color in the beds to make your home inviting and memorable.
  • Househunting Begins on the Internet.  If your property is not exposed on the internet, your chances of a buyer finding you are very small.  Tip the odds in your favor by advertising your home on the MLS and all the major search engines for real estate.  InfoTube also offers FREE property listings on its website.   Also, make sure your listing includes at least 10 good photo’s of the interior and exterior of your home.  If possible, also include a video tour of the house and neighborhood.
  • Forget About Comp’s and Sold Properties.  Study your competition, which means homes currently For Sale.  If your home is priced too high when compared to your competition, it is going to sit for a long, long time.

Homeowners should please keep in mind that Buyers have a lot of choices.  The homeowner who can make their house stand out among the vast inventory of “For Sale” signs will the one who wins the selling game.

Thank you for visiting homes for sale and rent website.  For up to the minute real estate news and tips follow InfoTube for Real Estate on Facebook.

    While Wall Street wrings its hands and pulls its hair over the banking problems and foreclosure moratorium, home seller’s and home builder’s have a BIG reason to celebrate.  Their competition dropped the ball!!!

The moratorium on foreclosures effectively removes ONE THIRD of all the homes For Sale from the market!!   33 Percent of the competition is GONE!!!   For how long, we don’t know…but, we do know that this is a RARE opportunity and all property seller’s should take full advantage of it.

What can home seller’s and builder”s do to take advantage of the Bank Error?

  • Realize that Time is of the Essense!  The banks will work hard and fast to get their inventory back on the market.  And, when they do, they will no doubt offer special incentives that individual seller’s can not compete against.  The clock is ticking…….
  • Price Right and Show Well!   If your home is priced right against its remaining competition, and it is staged, depersonalized and shows well, Your House Will Sell.
  • Marketing to the Masses is Key!    The MLS sells over 90% of all the homes in the United States.   If your home is not on the MLS, your chances of selling are less than 10%.   If money is tight, know that you don’t have to pay 6% for an MLS listing.  You can purchase an MLS listing for your Home for only $399.

                                                              believes that “a bank moratorium on foreclosure competition” is a very unique opportunity and the window is open for a short period of time, only.   We are here to help you . “The clock is ticking”.  Don’t let this unbelievable opportunity pass you by!! 


How Much Does It Cost to Sell a Home?

Monday, June 14, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Whether or not you use a real estate agent, the process of selling a house will involve certain costs. 

Please note that some of the figures used in our examples will vary depending on the state or county a house is sold in, as well as the settlement company used and any other unique provisions that may be contained in a contract of sale. Additionally, the real estate broker commission is typically 6 percent of the sales price, but it is not a set amount.  It is a sales expense negotiated between individual sellers and brokers.   For the purposes of our example, a $250,000 sales price was used. 

Transfer taxes

As you might expect, most state and local governments make sure they profit when someone sells a house.  In most states, one-time transfer taxes will be due when a sale takes place.  It is customary for transfer taxes to be split 50/50 between the buyer and the seller, but there is no set requirement that they be divided in that manner.

Some states, like Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, have no transfer taxes at all. In other states, Colorado for instance, the transfer tax is nominal – the state charges only one tenth of 1 percent ($40 on a $400,000 house) in transfer taxes. The so called “Free State” of Maryland falls on the other end of the spectrum with some of the highest transfer taxes in the nation.


As we stated earlier, real estate commissions are not a set amount. They are a point of negotiation between the seller and the broker. For illustration purposes here, we are using the industry standard of 6 percent, or $15,000 on a $250,000 sale.

Another seller expense you may run across in some area’s is a listing broker administrative brokerage commission.  It’s usually adds another $250-$500 expense on top of the 6 percent commission fee.  The seller will see it as a separate expense on their closing statement.  So, what is this fee for? By law, brokers must keep records of all their real estate transactions for a period of years. And they must produce those records if asked for them.  Although it’s a ridiculous added on fee, the listing broker administrative brokerage commission is an expense passed along by some brokers to help defray the cost of this requirement.

Settlement fees

The buyer is responsible for hiring the settlement or title company to perform closing, so the buyer will usually pay most of the fees associated with settlement. But, the seller does have some settlement expense.  If the seller has an outstanding loan on the property, the settlement company will take care of paying that loan off out of the sales proceeds. They’ll charge something for the service, plus the cost of overnight fees to quickly get the loan payoff to the mortgage holder. In our example here, we’ll use $250.   And, since interest in collected in arrears, the seller will be responsible for any interest charges that accrue after the last payment thru the day of closing.

The Bottom Line

If you sell your house for $250,000, you can probably expect to walk away with around $230,000 after taxes, real estate commissions and fees.  If no real estate commissions have to be paid out, the seller could expect to walk away with approximately $245,000.  The real number will depend on exactly what it says in the sales contract and where the property is located.

Thank you for visiting homes for sale and rent website.  We have over 20,000 active home listings on our website.  Please take a moment to search for great deals, often seen no where else on the web.

Cut Real Estate Fee’s and Foreclosures

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Cut foreclosures by slicing real estate fees

Al Lewis

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

President Obama has often said that it would be a shame to waste this economic crisis. Nowhere is that more true than in residential real estate. Federal home-buyer tax credits up to $8,000 designed to increase home sales and reduce foreclosures are having little impact. Sales of existing homes fell a record 17 percent in December, while foreclosure petitions are rising. Instead, let’s use this crisis to try a new approach: permanently slashing the 6 percent real estate brokerage commissions prevalent in most markets.

Unlike commissions paid for buying cars, stocks or insurance, these hidden commissions include two payouts – about 3 percent each to the seller’s broker and the buyer’s broker. But there’s no need for two brokers in real estate transactions. These hidden fees survive only because real estate brokerage is a cartel. Forty years ago, you needed one broker to buy a house – today you need two. In law and medicine, fee splitting is illegal. In real estate, it is required.

Most people would not hire commissioned brokers if they had to pay for them directly – that’s why the brokerage industry wants them hidden. So let’s eliminate hidden fees for the buyer’s broker. We could then drop the homeowner tax credit, since the buyer is saving three grand, and replace it with a $1,000 incentive credit. This cash bonus would go only to home buyers whose purchase prices include a total commission of 3 percent or less (or none at all).

The selling brokers will naturally complain: “We can’t afford to split a 3 percent commission with the buyer’s broker. That’s how much we need to make ourselves. So buyers will have to make their own arrangements if they want assistance.”

And that is exactly the point: Instead of allowing the 3 percent commission to be hidden in the sales price, this tax incentive would encourage home buyers to pay openly for whatever level of assistance they want, if any. Given those other options and the chance to collect $1,000, few buyers would opt to pay a 3 percent out-of-pocket commission – about $15,000 on a median-priced Bay Area home. Faced with the prospect of paying that bill explicitly, most Internet-savvy buyers would probably opt for personal advice just a few times during the home-buying process, and pay by the hour or by the showing.

Even with only $1,000 of tax credit, these buyers will be better off financially than first-time buyers who collect a hefty home buyer credit, but who still pay hidden commissions. And taxpayers are better off, too. Any buyer could still opt to pay the traditional commission at closing – but would have to forgo the incentive credit.

This temporary incentive credit could permanently alter the structure of real estate brokerage, because there would be no going back once the credit expires. As happened when stock commissions were allowed to decline, much lower transaction costs would create more transactions and hence more liquidity. Liquid markets will allow people to sell houses more easily before they go “underwater,” thus reducing foreclosures.

Of course the real estate brokerage industry, which has strongly endorsed home buyer tax credits, will oppose this incentive credit. Fortunately, an equally powerful coalition of builders, bankers, mortgage brokers and consumer advocates will be lined up supporting it.

Much lower transaction costs would not just reduce foreclosures by facilitating transactions, but would also increase people’s net equity in their existing homes. Homeowners would be better off and, at least in real estate, this economic crisis would not be wasted.

Al Lewis is author of “OOBonomics: 12 ‘Outside Of the box’ Ideas to Improve the Economy.”

This article appeared on page A – 10 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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The housing market has been sending some serious mixed signals for months now.  The one certainty is that the real estate market is in flux, and will likely be for months to come. 


  • Although interest rates have been increasing, they remain at historical lows.  This is good news for buyers who act quickly, as none of the experts expect rates to remain this low later in 2010.
  • The $8000 tax credit for first time buyers was expanded to include existing home owners, as well.  The timing of this offer is crucial.  Buyers must close on or before June of 2010 to collect their free cash.
  • Home prices and demand have steadily increased month over month throughout October of 2009. 
  • Although some markets may slide a bit further, we are definitely in the last innings of the crash.  Even if we have a bit more downward pressure, 2010 will be the bottom of the housing crash.
  • Home seller’s who use the power of the MLS and the Internet to realistically market their properties, will see more buyers and will have much more pricing power than they’ve experienced in years.
  • In markets, such as Phoenix, you can buy a new home for $800 a month, making it cheaper to own a home than rent it.


  • According to Bob Curran, director at Fitch Ratings, a mountain of foreclosures will hit the market in 2010.  And, a 10.5 percent unemployment rate will cause a surge in new homeowners that will fall into default.
  • Per Lawrence Yun, chief economists with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) expects a record 3 million foreclosures in 2010, up from 2.1 million in 2009.
  • John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, is even more bearish.  He thinks 50 percent more people will lose their homes to the bank than they did last year.  Why?  Lenders were under pressure to postpone foreclosures in favor of loan modifications.  And, the banks weren’t staffed to handle all the defaulted loans, as they now are.
  • The Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervison released  a report that said the results of the loan modification program was disappointing.  61 percent of the loans that were modified are now in default again.  The offices predict another wave of foreclosures in 2010, which could cause prices to fall another 5 – 10 percent before the market stablilizes.
  • The Federal Reserve plans to end the program that has kept mortgage rates so low for so long.  Rates have already passed the 5 percent mark in anticipation.
  • The first time buyer and existing home buyer tax credit program expires in early 2010.  To qualify for the stimulus, buyers must purchase by April and close no later than June of 2010.  This program has certainly lured buyers into the market place and its expiration will take a toll on demand in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

InfoTube Prediction:  Since the housing market peak in the summer of 2006, home prices have dropped over 30 percent on average.  Prices in some markets such as Las Vegas, Phoenix and parts of Florida and California have fallen more than 60 percent.   Some markets have further to go, but we are in the final innings of the crash.  Even if we go lower, we will see the bottom in 2010.  But, don’t look for a rebound off the bottom.  The damage was too deep and too systemic for a “V” shape recovery.  The housing market will skate along the bottom for quite a while and it will probably be 2013 before most people notice any rebound.

Thank you for visiting  There hasn’t been a better time to buy or sell a home in 4 years.   Check out our website for over 20,000 fresh home listings and feel free to place your property on our site for FREE.  We’ve been helping buyers and sellers connect since 1988.  We can help you, too!!


Thursday, October 16, 2008 posted by Tommi Crow

The new, US economy brings with it, a whole new set of rules for investing in real estate.   In the past, real estate has been a tried and proven method for quickly building wealth, but the current rules for successful investing have changed.

Making money in real estate is still a possibility, but investor’s must pay very close attention to the changes that this ecomonic cycle brings.  Today’s investors need to reexamine their criteria for buying, selling or holding property.  They also need a lot of patience and flexibility, along with complete and detailed research, before they jump in and take advantage of some of the best bargains seen in years.


NEW RULE #1:  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.   For the baby boom generation, the suburbs were “the” location for profit and life style.  Fuel was cheap, commutes were short and the ‘burbs’ offered the big house, with picket fenced yards and the image of the Leave It to Beaver lifestyle.   Not so much, today.  Today, it is the urban scene that is making a comeback.   While homes in downtown area’s are generally more expensive on a price per square foot basis, buyer’s today are willing to pay a bit more money for less square footage.   Urban center living eliminates long commutes, urban sprawl, expensive fuel bills and provides nearby ammenities without the need to drive.

NEW RULE #2:  STAY PUT AND DO NOT REMODEL WHEN THE MARKET IS SLOW.   In the past, many homeowners gained equity by renovating their old home while the market was slow.   The improvements added value to their real estate, while they waited for more favorable market conditions.  In the 2008 housing market, any major renovations should be analyzed purely from a return on investment perspective.   According to Remodeling Magazine, which just published its Cost vs Value Report, homeowners should be warned that they will not recover as much of their costs for remodeling as they did in the past.   The best investment today’s homeowner can make in terms of renovating fall in the category of paint, landscape and green, energy saving features. 

NEW RULE #3:  Technology and Networking are the Key to Locating Great Properties.   Home listings, valuations and other crucial information for real estate investment used to be available only through a real estate agent.  Now, the genie is out of the bottle and the best sources for real estate information can be accessed with nothing more than the click of a mouse.   More technology has also made it possible for home seller’s to list their property on the powerful, national MLS, without listing with a agent.  Companies like Why 6, and its national network of broker’s, list property for seller’s, investors and builders who want the exposure the MLS provides, but do not want to pay 6 percent of their sales price for the priviledge.   Technology has changed the way buyer’s and seller’s connect, and the way that property is advertised.   Smart investor’s should take advantage of this new alternative, as it offer’s accuracy, speed and control unmatched by the traditional route of buying and selling through agent’s only.

New Rule #4:  BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.  In the past, agent’s and home builder’s advised buyer’s to purchase as large of a home as they could possibly afford.  As a result, home size in the 1970’s averaged about 1700 square feet, with 3.1 people in the average family.  In 2004, the average size of a home was around 2400 square feet with only 2.6 occupants on average.   Today’s lending and energy crisis has changed our thinking and bigger is not necessarily the best investment.  Buyer’s are looking for a home that meets their needs without paying for space they don’t need.   Today’s investor needs to adapt their thinking and focus on useable living space, energy saving ammenities, security and conveniences instead of targeting the over blown McMansion.  Another demographic also backs up the theory that smaller may be better.  For the next two decades, retiring baby boomers will be scaling out of their McMansions, now that their families have left the nest.  The boomer’s will favor smaller homes with more ammenities, located in convenient neighborhoods that are clean and safe.

New Rule #5:  FLIPPING IS OUT. BUY AND HOLD IS IN.   Today’s falling prices and the huge inventory of unsold property means that potential bargains are plentiful.  Smart Investor’s will take advantage of the current market and lock themselves into a good deal now, and hold the property until stability returns.  Prospective investors should be warned that the crash we are experiencing will not turn around anytime soon.  Prices will continue to fall, though not as dramatically as we have seen in the recent past.  As prices firm and inventory is sold, the patient investor will see gains, but they should plan on waiting five years to ring the register.

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