Top Virginia Flat Fee MLS Listing Questions

What Virginia MLS Areas do we cover? 


What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?  

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a computerized list of homes currently for sale. This is an exclusive tool with listing access available only to Realtors is the primary tool used by Realtors to find homes for their buyers. Realtors set up auto-email searches in the MLS for their Virginia Home Buyers.  The Realtor will plug in the criteria in a home that is important to the home buyer to find potential matches for their buyers. When new listings are entered, they are immediately evaluated by thousands of Realtors with prospective buyers, making your house rapidly popular.

Each area in Virginia has its own MLS system. Once your property is listed on your local MLS, your property feeds to thousands of websites including Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and and thousands of other websites.

This kind of exposure to buyers is not available anywhere else except the MLS. You maximize your property’s exposure when it is listed in the MLS. Your property receives broad coverage to all Virginia Realtors and their clients showing them your home's availability, price and features.
Being listed on the Realtors MLS enables you to take advantage of the power of thousands of Realtors in your area. That means more exposure for you!


How much can I save selling my home For Sale By Owner (FSBO) in Virginia FSBO?

If you sell strictly as a Virginia For Sale By Owner Home Seller, you will save the entire list side commission and the entire buyer side commission.

How much can I save selling my home with a Virginia Flat Fee MLS Listing option using a Discount Broker?
If you list your Home For Sale By Owner in addition to doing a VA Flat Fee MLS Listing and the buyer comes from the MLS with a Buyer Agent, then you saved the full list side commission but will just pay up a fee to the buyer agent.
Keep in mind if you sell your own home,
you do not pay any buyer agent fee.
You decide the fee you are paying.
Selling Price Traditional Realtor
6% Realtor Fee
Flat Fee Listing 3% Fee Your
$100,000 6,000 3,000 $3,000
$125,000 7,500 3,750 $3,750
$150,000 9,000 4,500 $4,500
$175,000 10,500 5,250 $5,250
$200,000 12,000 6,000 $6,000
$225,000 13,500 6,750 $6,750
$250,000 15,000 7,500 $7,500
$275,000 16,500 8,250 $8,250
$300,000 18,000 9,000 $9,000
$325,000 19,500 9,750 $9,750
$350,000 21,000 10,500 $10,500
$375,000 22,500 11,250 $11,250
$400,000 24,000 12,000 $12,000
$500,000 30,000 15,000 $15,000
$600,000 36,000 18,000 $18,000
$700,000 42,000 21,000 $21,000
$800,000 48,000 24,000 $24,000
$900,000 54,000 27,000 $27,000
$1,000,000 60,000 30,000 $30,000

More than just a listing! Our Virginia MLS Flat Fee Listing includes:

What are the Benefits Listing With a Virginia Flat Fee MLS Real Estate Company?

Some sources estimate the MLS is responsible for 75% of home sales

What many people don't know is that they can have all the benefits of the MLS without paying a high MLS listing commission. Our clients can also advertise their home For Sale By Owner and if you find your own buyer - you do not pay any fees to Realtors. You can take advantage of this powerful advertising medium without paying high fees to real estate agents with our Virginia Flat Fee MLS listing service!  Our fees to list your home for sale start out with the basic MLS on up to our Full Service package all for one low fee. 

How does the Virginia Flat Fee MLS Process Work?

Decide on a Local Reputable Company that has been around for a long time.
Pick a Flat Fee MLS Package that is right for you, complete paperwork and upload your photos.
This process takes the average seller 2-3 hours which is what is saving you up to the list side fee to an realtor. 
Once you completed all the above, the listing agent will key in your home for sale listing within 1-2 business days for most MLS systems.
You will proof your listing.
Once listed in the Realtor MLS, you will be responsible for answering agents questions on your home, holding open houses, negotiations if you didn't pick a package that offers countering and negotiations.
The listing broker acts is your listing agent, but does not collect a fee at closing.
Due to MLS rules, the listing agent's name and phone number will appear on your MLS listing as well as some real estate websites, such as
If a Realtor brings you a buyer and you accept an offer, you will pay them the fee you agreed to.
Fees are negotiable, but the average is 2.5 - 3% to buyer agents.
If a Realtor brings you a buyer and you accept an offer, their fee will be collected at closing on the closing documents.
Please Note: You are not FSBO in the MLS. You are only FSBO on the FSBO website.


Is this the same Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to which all area Realtors belong?

Yes. Our listings go into the same MLS just like any other agents listings.  There are different MLS systems in different areas so you want to pick your local MLS for your area.  All participating MLS Realtors belong to their Local Association of Realtors. We belong to most of the MLS's in the Virginia, Maryland and DC area.

Will my listing appear on the Web Sites of other local Real Estate Companies?

Yes, Broker networking is where brokers give each other permission to share their listings on each other's web sites.  Your listing will be displayed on other local real estate company active listings personal websites. Thus, a buyer working with another real estate company who does a search for homes for sale on that agent's website, will see your listing on that website.

Are pictures important or can I just do a few pictures with my MLS Listing?
Pictures are very important when selling your home.  If you post just a few pictures on your Flat Fee Listing, home buyers will wonder what’s wrong with the rest of the house.  Home Buyers want to see photos photos of the interior/exterior. Most buyers do not want to make the drive to tour your home unless they have seen the entire home online. If you are not displaying photos of all the rooms, the buyer will assume there is something wrong with the rooms/house and move on to another listing with more photos.Luxury Virginia suburban home on large lot listed for sale with flat fee mls listing service

We are true believers in walking away with the maximum amount of money in your pocket from the sale of your home and in not wanting to spend more than is necessary to accomplish that goal. You want and need the maximum amount of exposure when trying to sell your home. Post lots of pictures of your home for sale and help alleviate the guesswork for your potential buyers. When a home has as much to offer as yours does, let the pictures speak volumes. The narrative is a nice summary, but most buyers prefer to look at the photos than read.  A picture truly does speak a thousand words.

We’re here to help you be successful in selling your home as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Experience has helped formulate the nuggets of advice we offer in order to help our customers not only be successful in selling their home, but also to help make it a less stressful event.


If I find my own buyer, will I still have to pay a selling (buyer agent) commission?

No. You still maintain the right to sell your home on your own. If you find your own buyer, you will not be obligated to pay a commission on the sale.  

Will Realtors show my home even though I listed my home with a Flat Fee MLS Listing Company instead of traditional Realtor?

Yes. There is no way to tell how much you paid to list your home on the local Realtor MLS. Regardless of whom you listed your home with or what you paid to have your home listed in the MLS, your listing will look no different from any other listing in form and style.  Your are listed with a fully licensed Realtor who belongs to your local MLS.

Will Realtors contact you or me for a showing?

Realtors are instructed in the agent remarks to call you to show your home or they can use showingtime service that is included with some of our Flat Fee MLS Packages.  If they happen to call or email your us, we forward that lead to you.  If you have showingtime, you will set up how you want to be contacted when someone wants to show your home.

How long will my Virginia home for sale be listed in the Realtor MLS?

The Listing term varies upon the plan you select from 6 months to 1 year to Until sold.

Do I have to get a Realtor lockbox?

No, but Realtors depend on quick access. Realtors show many homes within a very short period of time so easy access to your home is important.  The Realtor prefers you are not at the home when they arrive with their client.  The Realtor Lockbox also keeps track of all who have entered your home.  We strongly recommend a Lockbox

How do I make changes to my listing?

You make all changes to your listing in your account on our website.

Will my listing look the same as a full service listing to a traditional Realtor?

Yes. Your listing will look like all the other listings on your local MLS. Listings never show how much the listing agent is paid whether Flat Fee or %.  The key is that you offer a commission to the buyer agent that is equal to your competition.

Is it true my home will have more exposure in the MLS?

Yes, it's true. Buyers using Realtors will look for your home on the Realtor MLS sites. You gain about 60% more exposure adding the Flat Fee MLS to your marketing package.
The MLS will give you 24/7 exposure and access to thousands of other realtors to sell your home. More exposure is the key to a fast and successful transaction.


What does the MLS Packages include?

There are several packages to chose from.  Each package shows what is included with that package. Some of the Flat Fee MLS packages include yard signs, lockboxes, brochures, Countering and Negotiations, Electronic Document Signing, Contract Review and Assistance Meeting the Terms of the Conract and Closing Support.  You may also order items a-la-carte from the FSBO Store once you begin your order purchase.  

Can I get a Post Sign Installed?

Most home Sellers want a Professional Post Sign delivered and installed in their yard.  You want your nosy neighbors to spread the word.  You want your home to stand out just like any other home that is for sale in your neighborhood.  The Post Sign Company will call Miss Utility.  Miss Utility will come out and mark your yard within 1-3 days and will then alert the sign company.  The sign company will then come out to install your sign.  When your listing is close to closing, you will make arrangements a couple weeks prior to closing to have the company come out and pick up the sign. 

Can I get a For Sale By Owner Sign in my yard when listing in the Realtor MLS?

Most MLS's do not allow For Sale By Owner Signs when you have listed your home in the MLS.  It doesn't matter if it is a Flat Fee MLS Listing or a Traditional MLS Listing.  Please check with the listing agent regarding signage to see what the rules are for the local MLS you want your home listed in. REIN MLS, WAAR MLS and CVR MLS do NOT Allow FSBO Signs.

Should I offer a Home Warranty?

Many home sellers offer a home warranty.  A home warranty will cover your heating, air conditioning and appliances for the buyer for up to a year.  If something breaks down, the buyer will call the home warranty company and they will come out and repair or replace whatever is necessary.  The buyer will then pay a small deductible.  A home warranty give a buyer piece of mind.  Some home warranty companies also cover small roof repairs. .

May I add more photos or make changes to my FSBO and Flat Fee MLS listing?

Yes, you may add additional photos or the Maximum # of Photos (which is strongly recommend) or make changes to your MLS listing at anytime.
Price Changes are ALWAYS free - all others are for a small fee unless you purchased a package that included “Unlimited Changes" or ordered it a-la-carte when you first signed up. 


When will my MLS listing post on

In most areas, your MLS listing will feed through to, Zillow, Redfin, etc within a few hours after being active in the MLS.
These sites feed from the MLS on their own schedules. The listing agent has no control over how long it takes to feed to these websites.  Some MLS's, like REIN in Virginia Beach & Hampton Roads area delay their listings for up to a week before allowing other sites to feed them to their website.  They only show their new listings on for the first week.


May I cancel my Flat Fee MLS listing early?

Yes, you may cancel your MLS listing at anytime during the listing period AFTER you have returned all signs and lockboxes. 
Then you simply fill out a withdrawal form and submit it to us to pull your listing.


How do I determine the commission amount to offer to a buyer’s broker?

You always want to offer whatever your competition in the neighborhood competition is offering.  We can run comps for you to see what is being offered.  Obviously, the more you offer to a buyer agent, the harder they will work to show your listing first.  The commission amount will be on your MLS listing for all buyer’s agents to see.  Please Note:  Often the Buyer's Agent is referred to as the Selling Agent.  They are one in the same.  The Listing Agent is the Seller's Agent not the Selling Agent.

What are my responsibilities when I am in the Flat Fee MLS?

Each Virginia MLS system has their own rules and regulations.  When your home goes under contract, you must provide the listing agent a copy of that contract within 12 hours of signing it.  When you go to closing, you must provide the seller signed closing document to your listing agent within 12 hours of signing it and then provide the buyer signed copy once the title company recieves it.  Many MLS systems do not allow FSBO signs once you go into the MLS.  Agents that key your listing into the Realtor MLS are bound by the rules and regulations of the Real Estate Board and the MLS systems so the seller does have a few responsibilities.  Our company guides our sellers through all of this.

What is the Difference between Dual Agency and Designated Agency In a Virginia Real Estate Transaction?

There are different forms of representation to you that include Buyer Agency or Selling Agency (when an Agent represents a Buyer) or Listing Agency or Seller Agency - NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH Selling Agency - (when an Agent represents the Seller) or Non-Agency (when the Party in question is not represented by an Agent at all).

When you hire me to help you buy or sell real estate, you are really hiring my brokerage, Cottage Street Realty. I am merely the designated associate to help you through your transaction. Cottage Street Realty has many licensed real estate agents working for the brokerage.

If you hired me as your Cottage Street Realty representative to sell your Virginia home, another Cottage Street Realty agent bringing you a buyer would be a form of DESIGNATED REPRESENTATION. The brokerage, after all, is handling both sides of the transaction, but each party has their own representative. If you hired me to help you purchase a home in Virginia, and you wanted to buy a home listed by another Cottage Street Realty agent, that would also result in designated representation.

DUAL REPRESENTATION would occur if you hired me to sell your home and I also represented the buyers that wanted to buy it. You would also run into dual representation if you hired me to help you purchase a home and you wanted to buy one of MY listings.

Dual representation means I cannot advise either party to things like price so some sellers and buyers do not like this and some don't care. So if you do have a problem with this, I can always refer you to a very competent professional in our company that will be able to actually represent you.

When you decide you are ready to list you home for sale, review our listing plans or give us a call with any questions.