FAQ's- Tips - Strategy:

OPTIONS 1, 2, & 3 INCLUDE THESE FEATURES - All options include the following base features: (Even during the free trial) 25 pictures, First Option for FSBOs URL/Web Link, Show Case Listing Status, 24/7/365 Add/Edit Capability, Open House Tool, Flyer Tool - Create 3 Types Of Flyers, Virtual Tour Link, Upload Documents & Forms, Classified Ad Creator, Syndicated to on line portals.

LOCKBOXES - SUPRA is the state of the art lock box system used by most of the Board of REALTORS and MLS services in the 900 different MLS systems. SUPRA is owned by General Electric and has the technology in place to allow access to your property through a secured network. Real estate agents subscribe to the E Key and this subscription allows them to go to a lock box, enter in their code, and obtain the keys and burglar alarm codes for a property. SUPRA DOES NOT issue these E Keys and codes to anyone. So know that if a person has a code they have been screened and approved. The lock boxes are smart and track who has opened the box. Their info is time stamped into the box for security purposes.

Here is a scenario when a SUPRA lock box is helpful:

It is Tuesday morning, you get a call from an agent they want to show your property on Wednesday. You will be at work, so you confirm the appointment and leave the SUPRA lockbox out by the front door. The agent is able to obtain the keys and show your property while you are at work. You are not hostage to be at the property for the showing.

Some MLS affiliates will allow you to use a lock box during the listing period, but will require a deposit. The lock box cost to be replaced is $150 - $200.  

It is recommended to place a lock box in and out by the point of entry when needed, versus attaching  on the door handle. For example, you know a showing is at 10 AM on Saturday. Leave the lock box at the front door to be used, and then take it back inside.

If your MLS partner ships you a lock box, make sure you do not place the plastic container inside the body until you place your keys, burglar alarm instructions and notification of pets and special showing instructions.  

GET READY TO BE INCONVENIENCED - Your property is "live", "on stage" and "in play" when it is on the market. Be prepared at all times for a buyer to want to view the property. Sometimes buyers and REALTORS will make an appointment and not show up, call, or re schedule. Other times you will have 10 minutes to get ready and drop everything you are doing because the buyer is outside in their car with a REALTOR. Be prepared to have people drop in at anytime and it is recommended to be polite, pleasant and not take it personally.  

SIGN FOR YARD OR WINDOW - MLS partners have yard signs they use for their properties. Most MLS partners will send via UPS a sign, and stand for the yard. There may be a fee associated with a face to face delivery or mailing. If you have a regular hard ware store sign, it may be a good idea to add "Broker Protected" on the sign so agents know they will be compensated for bringing a buyer.

ADD ON OPTIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY YOUR MLS PARTNER - Add on services are optional items of service that are in the customary scope of responsibilities with a traditional real estate office. You pay a full commission of up to  6% and many are included in the listing period. First Option FSBO and our MLS partners, can and will provide add on services for flat fees. Some of the add on services may include: flyers, flyer boxes, offer management and on line offer link, net sheets for all offers, deluxe sign, feedback, lock box use (Supra & Combination), incoming calls, multiple offer management, utility activation, property preservation, highest & best offer negotiations, incoming FAX, notary public,. Please check with your MLS partner if any of these additional services are of interest. 

MOVING/NEXT PROPERTY - When you sell your current property, what are your plans? Are you moving locally, or out of the area? Please consult with your MLS partner and inform them of your plans so they can assist you in strategy. Your MLS partner has contacts and can refer you to another person or handle your buying transaction themselves personally. 

REBATED COMMISSIONS WHEN YOU BUY - Some states allow brokers to rebate a portion of the commission when you buy directly to the buyer on the HUD 1 statement. Your MLS partner will represent you in the buying side of the transaction, and give you a portion of the fee as a credit on the HUD. Your MLS partner not only has helped you save money on the sale of your previous property, but will many times be qualified to do the same on the buying side. One scenario in the market is the following: Your MLS partner helps you sell your property, and you agree to commit to them to find a new property. You assist with the leg work and contact your MLS partner for the final choices. The MLS partner shows you the properties and you make an offer, etc. and close. Then you receive a rebate for doing the leg work and weeding through to the final choices. Consult with your MLS partner to see what may be available for your respective state. 

REAL ESTATE BROKERS & SALESPERSON - The structure of real estate companies is pretty simple for the most part and has been the same format for decades. All companies have a broker, and then agents working for the broker. So ABC Realty is the company name, and Broker X is the head broker licensed with the state. Agent X is hired by Broker X and works with buyers, sellers, etc. Most of the time the person coming to view your property is at the agent/salesperson level and working on behalf of the broker. Some companies are local mom and pop, and others are national franchises. Typically most will not reduce commissions like your MLS partner. So the strategy is to attract these people who may have buyers for your property. 

Your MLS partner, is a licensed real estate broker in your prospective state who has chosen to provide discount services. Your MLS partner is most likely a mom and pop broker due to national franchises not allowing discounted and flat fee commissions. The other companies must charge high commissions to absorb overhead which includes advertising, office space, bill boards, radio ads, etc. 

LISTING AGREEMENT - In order to "hire" your MLS partner, there will need to be a written agreement between the owner and their MLS partner. The MLS requires the registered owner to be the signor of the agreement. This agreement between the owner and the listing broker is called a listing agreement and usually in a pre printed form where blanks are completed. The listing agreement will allow the MLS partner to engage in the process of listing your property. You will need to send your MLS partner the listing back in a timely manner.

SELLER DISCLOSURE STATEMENT - If you were buying something, would you want to know the history or what repairs were done? Of course the answer is "yes". The seller disclosure statement is a document created for owners to inform buyers the history of their property. Your MLS partner will send you this document for you to complete, sign and give to buyers. It is recommended to make copies and leave out on your dining room table for people to review who come to look at your property. 

SYNDICATION - Syndication is the process of your property information and data being transmitted to on line web portals. Our packages provide different levels of syndication. Option 1 syndicates your property information to: Oodle, PropBot, By Owner MLS, Vast, Rent Jungle, RentBits, Rentals.com, Web Listing Broker, Regional REO Services, I-MLS, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Craigslist, Backpage and Rental Home Plus.

Options 2 and 3 syndicate the above portals and these through the MLS: Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo Homes, REALTOR.COM, HomeFinder, MSN Real Estate, Google Maps, AOL Real Estate, HGTV Front Door, CyberHomes, Hotpads, CLR Search, Homes.com, LakeHomesUSA, My Realty, Enormo, LandWatch, OpenHouse.com, Overstock.com, e real investor, MyNewPlace, OpenHousesInc, Home Away, HomeWinks, PropertyPursuit, RealtyTrac, Google Base, TimeHop, TweetLister, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare, E Bay Classifieds, CloudCMA, Classic MLS, ActiveRain, Brivity, TopProducer.

The syndication process is always changing and the ones listed here are the available ones as of 2015 and are subject to change with out notice.

BOTTOM LINE ON SYNDICATION:  First Option FSBO, and your MLS partner will send your data to as many portals available now. 

COMMISSION TO BUYER'S REAL ESTATE BROKER/CO OPERATING COMMISSION - This is the commission paid to a broker who brings a ready willing and able buyer to you. The co op commission to the selling broker is very important, and we recommend a 3% fee to them. Yes agents are motivated by money and commissions, and the way you need to look at it, is you are saving on the listing side, and might as well accept paying 1/2 a fee to sell by attracting a buyer's agent broker to show your property. Agents scan the MLS print outs and will by pass properties with less than 3%. As part of earning their fee, the buyer's agent will prepare a state approved form contract, and present it to you. Once accepted the buyer's agent will manage the buyer's side of the transaction which includes the inspection, lender, and closing. I recommend the 3% so you increase your changes of all agents to show your property. Bottom line, you want to get these people on your side. Remember, even though you are paying their fee, they represent the buyer 99% of the time. 

LENDER/LOAN OFFICER - On most transactions the buyer will obtain a new loan from a third party lender. Some loans are government insured like an FHA or VA, and others are conventional through traditional banks and mortgage companies. The buyer should be pre qualified and all they need is to find a property to buy, which will be your property. Once an agreement is negotiated and accepted, the buyer will deliver the accepted sales agreement to their loan officer, who is an agent of the lending institution. The lender will loan the money to the buyer based upon conditions. It will be important for you to obtain the information of the loan officer/lender to receive feedback on this process from under contract to closing. 

APPRAISER - An appraiser is a licensed professional in your state hired by the lender in # 11 above to obtain an opinion of value. The lender wants to make sure the money they loan to the buyer will fall into their guidelines for value, condition, and the loan to value based upon the sales price less the buyer's down payment. The only contact you will have with the appraiser will be to set up an appointment time for them to view the interior and exterior of the property so their report can be generated for the lender. Usually the appraiser represents the lender to provide this key aspect of the under writing process for bank. What happens if the appraisal is below the sales price? One scenario is for the owner to reduce the sales price. Another is for the buyer to pay the difference in cash. The third is to terminate and release the transaction and start over. 

INSPECTION PERIOD/DUE DILIGENCE PERIOD/INSPECTOR - Most purchase and sale agreements have an inspection period, or a due diligence period where the buyer has a certain amount of days from the acceptance date to inspect the subject property. An inspector is a third party professional called in to look at all of the aspects of the property and provide a professional opinion. The inspection results can be good and bad for an owner. Sometimes the inspector has items that he/she feels needs to be addressed. The buyer may request repairs or a reduction in sales price, or terminate and release. The inspection results are another negotiating situation for the buyer and seller. It is best to complete the Seller Disclosure statement and provide as much information as possible. 

PICTURES - The pictures of your property are where most problems occur with the flat fee MLS system. As the owner, you need to load your best pictures in LANDSCAPE format to your Flat Fee MLS portal from the start. It is challenging to revise pictures once they are loaded on the MLS and time consuming for your MLS partner. When you load the pictures, your MLS partner will be able to obtain them and in turn use them in the MLS system. It is very important to get the pictures right the first time because once in the MLS, they are syndicated and duplicated all over the place and harder to revise and change. Many owners do not understand the process and get easily frustrated with their MLS partner. You know your property better than anyone, and need to load the best pictures possible. We allow 25 pictures, so please take advantage of the high number we allow. 

COMMUNICATION - Real estate is a 24/7/365 day process. You will need to frequently check your e mail and voice mail. Your MLS partner will most likely communicate with you via e mail. If you have a specific request, it is best to state the property address and a detailed description of the request to anyone involved in the sale of your property. Buyers want to see properties when they are not working or on their leisure time. That tends to be weekends and holidays. So you must understand while your property is active, you must be on call for buyers. 

HOME WARRANTY PROGRAM -  A home warranty plan can be offered on most properties through your MLS partner. One of the preferred vendors is American Home Shield. If you commit to providing a home warranty at closing, the company will cover you for free during the listing period. The warranty is limited to certain items, but a good marketing tool for you to provide to a buyer. Let your MLS partner know if you are interested in this perk for your buyer. American Home Shield can offer a warranty in all 50 states, 

CANCELLING A LISTING WITH YOUR MLS PARTNER  - An agreement can be cancelled but with penalty. The MLS partner must pay a fee to with draw a property from the MLS. You will need to confirm the specific amounts for your case. In many markets the fee is $25.00 per MLS.

TITLE OF PROPERTY -  In order to subscribe to Option 2, the propeprty you are selling must be in the name of the person who signs the listing agreement. The MLS does not allow properties with assignment clauses and properties in escrow to go into the system. Flippers, and investors are unable to enroll a property in the MLS unless the title is in their name. 

OPEN HOUSE - What is the purpose of an Open House? Answer: To find potential buyers for a property. Open houses are effective if you are receiving activity on your property. An Open House will enhance your activity by creating a way for potential buyers to come inside easily with no strings attached. Taking the barriers of entry down by having a time frame to view is appealing to buyers. Ask you MLS partner about adding Open House information to the MLS services. Cookies, sprays, are all a myth. If a buyer is coming into your property, know that they would not be there unless some criteria were acceptable to them. 

SQUARE FOOTAGE -  Square footage is an area of concern for sellers. Owners do not agree with what is in the county records. Square footage is often miscalculated in advertising, MLS print outs, flyers, etc. and ultimately buyers feel deceived.  Your MLS partner will normally have the square footage merge into the listing through an automated feature from the county tax records. There is no way to have a 100% accurate square footage figure unless someone physically measures each room. There is also a discrepancy a lot of times with heated vs. un heated space. If you have an old appraisal or can measure, please let your MLS partner and buyers know the figures and the source.

WOOD INFESTATION REPORT AKA TERMITE LETTER  - Termites are prone to causing problems in most parts of the United States. A buyer for your property definitely wants to know if there are past or present evidence of termites. The "clear letter" is a negotiation point, but it may be a good idea to go ahead and have a report if your property is under bond. There are several types of warranties from termite companies. Mainly re treat and repair. If you have a contract with a termite company, you may consider calling them and ordering a report to have available for a buyer.

MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE -  The multiple listing service, AKA "MLS" is a database of properties with search features for the real estate community and members to share information on properties. As the member of an MLS, all parties agree to cooperate to sell properties. The systems are usually controlled and owned by local Board of REALTORS who are the trade organizations for the real estate industry. There are some systems that are more universal and not locally controlled. In the U.S. there are approximately 900 multiple listing services. 

STATE OF GEORGIA - In GA, there are 2 main systems. Here is a background of each:

FMLS - First Multiple Listing Service - Founded in 1957, FMLS now serves more than 30,000.00 real estate professionals in the state of Georgia providing them with state of the art technology, tools and training. FMLS was the first or one of the first MLS systems in the United States. FMLS charges a fee of .0012 X the sales price at closing. So if your proeperty is in this system, you will owe $120.00 per 100,000.00 in sales price.

GA MLS - Georgia Multiple Listing Service - Georgia MLS was founded in 1962 and has 25,000.00 member agents in GA. The agents are statewide like FMLS and charge broker members a monthly upfront fee to be a member. Whereas FMLS charges a fee only of the property sells and is closed. GA MLS is a bit smaller than FMLS but covers more of the rural areas. Regardless the system syndicates property information to the web portals.

Athens GA MLS - This MLS is owned by the Athens Board of REALTORS and provide services in the following counties: Clarke, Oconee, Morgan, Oglethorpe, Madison, and Elbert.   

Lake Country MLS - AKA Lake Oconee MLS - This MLS is owned by the Lake Country Board of REALTORS and covers properties in Morgan, Greene, Putnam, Baldwin, Jasper and Hancock counties.

STATE OF ALABAMA  - Coming soon.



STATE OF FLORIDA - Coming soon.











First Option For FSBOS
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