Making the Best Decisions Start with Education. When you’re looking to sell your home, navigating the potential paths to sale can be frustrating and exhausting without guidance. That’s why Reeve has put together some useful information, which you can use to expand your knowledge about the benefits of listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) platforms compared to doing ‘For Sale by Owner’ (FSBO) listings. Before we get into the benefits, let’s discuss the differences between these two options.

What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

The Multiple Listing System, also called MLS, is a database that real estate agents use to list properties that are either for sale or rent. Agents and brokers are required to pay a membership fee to their local MLS in order to access the platform. When an owner is listing a property through the Multiple Listing Service, they must provide a commission for the real estate agent who finds a buyer or tenant, which they pay through the listing agent. This platform is one of the widest points of exposure you can get when you’re listing your home for sale, because for many agents, it’s their go-to resource when starting a search for their clients.

What Does ‘For Sale by Owner’ (FSBO) mean?

‘For Sale by Owner’ is essentially exactly what it sounds like – it indicates that your property is being sold directly through you; rather than using a real estate agent or broker. In many cases, sellers choose to go the route of FSBO because they want to avoid paying the commission fees to a real estate agent for managing the listing and sale of their home. FSBO listings can choose to cooperate with agents and pay them a commission, but they are in no way obligated to do this. However, ‘For Sale By Owner’ listings can NOT be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), as it is an agent-only system.

Who Can List on the MLS?

Individuals who do not have an agent or broker representation can’t list their properties on the MLS, because it’s considered an agent-only “database”, where agents share listings and provide compensation for other agents that find buyers or tenants. This means that sellers who are choosing to go the route of ‘For Sale by Owner’ will not be able to list their homes on the MLS without an agent’s help. Think of it this way – part of the reason that agents and brokers pay their membership fees is because of the exclusivity and financial compensation that MLS listings provide; compared to FSBO listings that anyone can set up on their own without any agent commissions.

Why Listing on the MLS is Better Than ‘For Sale by Owner’

The statistics don’t lie. 90-95% of properties that are sold each year in the United States are done through traditional real estate agents and brokers. Going through the MLS is the only way to assure agents that they’ll be compensated properly if they find a buyer or tenant, since the MLS listing is considered a form of contract for cooperation. Not to mention the sheer volume of exposure that a listing receives on the MLS vs doing a ‘For Sale by Owner’ listing. Every major agent is looking at the MLS to find reliable listings for their clients. If your listing isn’t part of that platform, you lose out on the automatic credibility that the MLS lends to any home seller. For sellers that want to be taken seriously by home buyers and their agents, it simply isn’t possible to give your listing the same kind of authority if it isn’t present on the MLS. Plus, with such a huge volume of listings on the MLS, a lot of agents simply don’t have time to go looking for FSBO listings or spend lengthy amounts of time on compensation negotiations with individual sellers. They need to make numerous relevant referrals for their clients, which the MLS platform makes quick and painless for them.

How Does Reeve Make This Process Easier for You?

Now that you understand a bit more about the differences between listing on the MLS vs doing ‘FSBO’ listings, you might be wondering what the best way to get your listing onto the MLS would be. That is where Reeve can provide the cost savings of FSBO listings, with all the support and guidance of an agency representative.
How? Through our “Limited Service Listing”, which allows us to list properties on the MLS for a flat fee on behalf of the owner – without actually representing them. It’s the best of both worlds. You get all the benefits and exposure of being listed on the MLS (and Zillow,, Trulia, and 750+ more platforms), without losing control of the sale or having to pay high agent commissions for managing the listing. If you’re ready to have your cake and eat it too, it’s time to list your home faster and start saving thousands of dollars in the process.