What is the Multiple Listing Service? Also known and referred to as the "MLS"?


The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a computerized list of homes currently for sale. This is an exclusive tool, only available to Realtors.
The MLS is the primary tool used by Realtors to find homes for their buyers. Realtors search the MLS daily to find potential matches for their buyers, thus 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 their own MLS system. 
Once your property is listed on your local MLS, your property feeds to thousands of websites including Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.

This kind of exposure to buyers is not available anywhere else. You maximize your properties exposure when it is listed in the MLS. Your property receives the broad coverage of a large number of realty offices that have access via computer to 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 will I save thousands by ordering the MLS option?
Keep in mind if you sell your own home,
you do not pay the 3% buyer agent commission
Selling Price Traditional 6% Realtor Commission Flat Fee Listing w/3% Commission Your Savings
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:

  • Flat Fee MLS Realtor listing

  • Many other web site listings

  • Expert guidance & consulting from our LOCAL real estate professionals

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


What many people don't know is that they can have the benefits of the MLS without paying a high MLS listing commission. Our clients can also advertise For Sale By Owner and if you find your own buyer - you do not pay any commission.  You can take advantage of this powerful advertising medium without paying high commissions to real estate agents with our Virginia Flat Fee MLS listing service!     List Your Home Now.  

How does the Flat Fee MLS Package Work?
Once you sign up for the Flat Fee MLS Package, you will complete 5 steps in your account on our website.  This process takes the average seller 2-3 hours (this is what is saving you the 3% list side commission). 
Once you complete all 5 steps, it all comes to us.  We then key in your listing within 1-2 business days (for most MLS systems).
We will then send you a copy of your listing/listing number.
Once listed in the MLS, you will be responsible for showings, additional marketing, open houses, negotiations,  etc. 
The broker acts as your listing agent, but does not collect a commission.  
Due to MLS rules, the listing agent's name and phone number will appear on your MLS lisiting as well as some real estate websites, such as Realtor.com. 
If a broker brings you a buyer and you accept an offer, you will need to pay them a commission. 
All commission is negotiable, but the average is 2.5 - 3% and will need to be stated up front upon entering the MLS. 
Please Note:  You are not FSBO in the MLS.  You are only a FSBO on the FSBO website.

Is this the same Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to which all area Realtors belong?
Yes. All participating MLS Realtors belong to their local association of Realtors. Wherever you may be located, we will have a Nationwide Network of Realtors and will place you in the proper MLS for your area.

Will my listing appear on the Web Sites of other local Real Estate Companies?
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 web sites. Thus a buyer working with another real estate company who does a search will have your listing in the database.

What is the Showcase Listing?
Some of the MLS packages come with 8 pics and some include the max number of pics on the MLS.  Showcase (Max # of Pics) is only included with a few of the packages.  It’s certainly understandable why the majority are of the pictures sellers send us are of their favorite rooms.  However, people will wonder what’s wrong with the rest of the house if there are no or too few photos of the interior/exterior.  Most buyers do not want to make the drive unless they have seen the entire home online.  If you are not showing all the rooms, the buyer will assume there is something wrong with the rooms/house.  
If your package did not include the Showcase - consider this one upgrade.  This will give you the MAX # of Pictures that your MLS Allows.  The Showcase homes with multiple photos always come up first!  We are true believers in walking away with the maximum amount of money in your pocket from the sale of your home and 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, especially if time is critical.  This is all the more reason you should take that exposure to the next level and help alleviate the guesswork for your potential buyers.   When a home has so much to offer as yours does, let the pictures speak volumes.  The narrative is a nice summary, but a picture truly does speak a thousand words.  Just something to think about.  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 went Flat Fee Listing instead of paying a high commission?
Yes. There is no way to tell how much you paid to get on the MLS. Regardless of whom you listed with or what you paid, your listing will look no different from any other listing in form and style.

Will Realtors contact you or me for a showing?
You. Realtor's are supposed to call you before a showing or previewing your home if you mark that in the show instructions.

How long is the MLS listing period?
Listing term varies upon the plan you select.

Must I have a lockbox?
No, but Realtors depend on quick access. Realtors show many homes within a very short period of time, access to your home may make a difference.
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 listing commission to a traditional agent?
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 %.

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 MLS sites.  You gain about 50% more exposure adding the MLS to your marketing package.

The MLS will give you additional exposure and access to thousand of other realtors on call 24/7 to sell your home.  More Exposure is the key to a fast and successful transaction

How do I get started? ... List Your Home Now. 

Does the MLS Package include any supplies?
Depends on the package? However, we do offer the Showcase Listingyard signs. brochures, home warranties, assistance option paperwork to closing support and more in the FSBO Store once you begin your order purchase.
Please check with listing broker regarding signage as certain MLS's have rules regarding signage.  REIN, WAAR and CVR do NOT Allow FSBO Signs.

May I add more photos or make changes to my MLS listing?
Yes, you may add additional photos or the Showcase Package (which is strongly recommend) or make changes to your MLS listing. 
Price Changes are free - all others are for a fee unless you paid for the Unlimited Changes" when you first signed up. Click here to see the package options

When will my MLS listing post on Realtor.com?
In most areas, your MLS listing will feed through to Realtor.com within 3-5 business days after being active in the MLS.
Realtor.com pulls limited information from the MLS and sometimes takes a few days to pull the photos.
The listing agent has no control over how long it takes to feed through to Realtor.com. 
If you didn't purchase the Showcase listing - Realtor.com will pick the photos randomly to go on their site - we have no control.

May I cancel my MLS listing early?
Yes, you may cancel your MLS listing at anytime during the listing period AFTER all signs and lockboxes, however there are no refunds.  
Signs and Lockboxes need to be returned during business hours by appt only.  
After all rented items have been returned, you can fill out the withdrawal form and submit it to us to pull your listing.

I have ordered the MLS package, what is the next step to get listed on the MLS?
You will receive an email with the 5 steps to list your home.  These 5 Steps take the average home seller 2-3 hours to complete (which is what is saving you the 3%).

How do I determine the commission amount to offer to a buyer’s broker?
You will state the percent commission you are willing to offer to the buyer’s broker (the selling agent) on the required MLS forms that come from the listing broker.
This commission will be on your MLS listing for all buyer’s agents to see. 

What are my responsibilities when I am in the MLS?  Only agents can put your listing in the MLS and those agents are bound by the rules and regulations of the Real Estate Board and the MLS systems.  Some MLS systems do not allow FSBO signs once you go into the MLS.  In Virginia, the REIN MLS does not allow FSBO signs.  Click here for your responsibilities.

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 borkerage, 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 their brokerage.

If you hired me as your Cottage Street Realty representative to sell your home, another Cotttage Street Realty agent bringing 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, 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.

List Your Home Now.