Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington

New Coverage – Southeastern Idaho

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
December 11th, 2020

In Idaho, we have covered the Snake River MLS, Intermountain MLS, and CDA MLS for years. On the Utah side, we have and still do cover the WFRMLS. Often, clients in Southeastern Idaho inquire about putting their Idaho properties on the WFRMLS system. As of Dec 1st, we now can add Idaho properties to the WFRMLS. This is considered to be the local MLS for cities like Malad City, Preston, Paris, and Soda Springs. These include Bearlake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida counties.

So why is this something new that Congress Realty now offers? The main reason is the addition of myself becoming an Idaho broker. My partner Donald has been the Congress Realty Idaho broker for the last 15 years. I have been the Utah broker and direct member of the WFRMLS system. This prohibited myself and Congress Realty from advertising an Idaho property in the WFRMLS system. With the addition of the Idaho broker license under my name, I can now advertise Idaho properties. This allow us to now cover the Southeastern part of Idaho with local MLS coverage. This is quite unique, as to do so, you need and ID and UT broker license under one specific broker. (which I now have both UT and ID under my jurisdiction)

We are extremely excited to add these new counties to our local Idaho Flat Fee MLS coverage.


Vacant Land MLS Listings

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
November 2nd, 2020

In the last few years, we have seen a substantial increase in the # of vacant land parcels we list for investors. This seems to be true of other Realtors as well. More and more vacant land owners are turning to the MLS to market the parcel. Of relevance, 3rd party land websites are now pulling in listings from the MLS and marketing these parcels to the general public in a much more efficient way than before. In addition, Zillow is becoming a more popular choice to search for vacant land b/c of the map search option through Zillow.  We list vacant land parcels where the seller is looking for a traditional sale and to cash out, in addition to seller’s looking to carry the note/owner financing. Both are viable options via our MLS listing service.

Contingent Offers

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 29th, 2020

As a follow up to our most recent blog entry, I wanted to follow up on what we are seeing the last few weeks. The # of cancelled escrows is skyrocketing. This should lead a seller to think twice about accepting a contingent offer at this very moment. First, let’s define a contingent offer. A contingent offer is an offer that is contingent upon the buyer’s own property selling before they can close on your property. With the # of deals falling apart increasing, with a contingent offer, as a seller you are not just relying upon your own buyer to perform, but  you are also waiting on your buyer’s buyer to perform. In today’s market, that means 2 appraisals, 2 loans, 2 inspections, 2 sets of buyer’s retaining employment.. etc… etc… Historically, contingent offers are risky, however, in today’s market the risk is exponentially higher. The market is always changing and sellers should pay careful attention to the current marketplace before considering any offer.

Cancelled Escrows

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
August 12th, 2020

Recently, we have seen a very strong uptick in the # of properties going under contract. This is true of both our firm and other listings on the Multiple Listing Service. However, we are also seeing a rise throughout the MLS in escrows that are falling apart. The # 1 and #2 reasons escrows are falling apart right now relates to appraisals and loans being declined. While interest rates are incredibly low, more and more lenders are declining loans for buyers for one reason or another. While it is still very feasible to obtain a loan and close, lenders are tightening up. As a seller, be prepared to protect yourself in markets that allow you to protect yourself. For example, in TX, take advantage of the 3rd party financing addendum by limiting the # of days the offer is contingent upon financing. The same is true in CA. Utilize the hot market and purchase agreement language to best protect yourself.

A step by step guide to how I sold a rental property through our Flat Fee program

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
July 15th, 2020

Recently, I sold one of my own properties through Congress Realty. The property was located in NM and sold during the month of June 2020. I used the exact same systems that we offer our sellers through our Flat Fee MLS program. Below is an exact chronological list of how I did so.

  1. Served 30 day notice to my tenant to vacate. My tenant was on a month to month lease at that time.
  2. Acquired all keys, remotes, etc.. from my property manager.
  3. Installed a mechanical lockbox on the property so that I could get laborers into the property
  4. Received 3 bids on re-painting the interior. Chose a company, made payment and had them use the lockbox to complete the work
  5. Received 3 bids from carpet installers. Chose a company, made payment and had them use the lockbox to complete the work.
  6. Hired a handyman to run through the property to repair any small items, such as blinds, etc..
  7. Hired a photographer to take 20 photos of the property. (Note, I didn’t have 100 photos taken. I am a big believer in not over photographing the property)
  8. Listed the property on the local MLS through Congress Realty. At the time the listing went active, all of the interior work was complete, the photos were ready. I listed the property on a Thursday night. I offered the buyer’s agent 3% in the MLS listing.
  9. By Saturday, I had 4 offers and countless showings.
  10. Sunday, I chose a cash offer at list price with the quickest close. I provided the seller disclosures to the buyer’s agent with my acceptance of their offer.
  11. During the inspection period, I offered a small credit to the buyer in lieu of making any repairs.
  12. I made sure I was in contact with the escrow officer at all times. I ensured the buyer earnest deposit was deposited on time.
  13. I signed my docs remotely via a mobile notary. I chose to have my funds wired to me.
  14. Upon recording, I made arrangements with the buyer’s agent to pick up all of the keys, remotes, etc..
  15. The total time from the date my tenants vacated my property to the time I received my final wire from the title company was 30 days.

All 4 offers I received came from buyer’s agents who found the listing on the MLS. Had I chosen to wait an extra day or 2, I may have received multiple more offers. However, the quick closing cash offer at list price was appealing to me. A few things to note: In my opinion, offering 3% to the buyer’s agent helped bring in multiple offers. Making the property easy to show via a lockbox was helpful in bringing multiple offers.

As you can see, if you do things correctly and keep things simple, rarely is there a need for a full priced Listing Agent. You can save thousands of dollars using our Flat Fee Listing program. Upon request, I can provide the full property address that I am referencing in this blog post. This will allow you to verify it was owned by myself and sold through Congress Realty in less than 30 days.

Things I did not do: I did not use a Real Estate Sign. I did not post the listing on any FSBO related websites. I did not use Flyers/Handouts. I did not send out an email blast to Realtors.

Congress Realty – June 2020

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
June 26th, 2020

The summer of 2020 has brought on a bombardment of offers on our listings. Markets like Phoenix, Flagstaff, Las Cruces, ABQ, amongst a few others have seen an astronomical rise in activity. To put this in perspective, in Flagstaff as of this writing, I have only 1 active listing. Every other listing I have in Flagstaff is under contract. In Phx, nearly half of our listings are under contract. In Las Cruces, I listed one of my own personal properties through our firm and it had 4 offers the very first weekend.  Without a doubt, buyers are taking advantage of insanely low interest rates. In the coming weeks, I will write a more detailed blog outlining exactly how I prepped my Las Cruces property and what techniques I used to gather 4 offers on the very first weekend of publishing to the MLS. I will map out an outline that will help our sellers mirror some of my personal techniques in their own listings.

Congress Realty Reviews

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
April 19th, 2020

We have created a page on our site to link consumers with accredited review websites. As more and more Fake Review websites come to light, we want customers to be able to access reputable review sites. This allows consumers to compare companies side by side. Google and Zillow especially do a wonderful job of removing “fake reviews” from their platform.


Should I take my home off the market? Is anything selling during COVID-19?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
March 31st, 2020

First and foremost, whether you want to allow people into your home is a decision that you should make along with your medical professional. In the event you are willing to allow showings, homes are still selling in many states. One state that we have seen multiple properties go under contract in during the last 10 days is Arizona. Since March 20th, we have had multiple AZ properties go under contract. Including 5 in the last 3 days.  Outside of AZ, we had a CA listing that went under contract within 48 hours of listing. We have also seen multiple properties that we have listed go under contract in NV in the last few days. In DFW, TX, a new listing yesterday already has an offer today.

This is not to suggest that now is the most ideal time to list your home. However, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Right now, many seller’s are pulling their homes off the market. When they will return these homes to the market remains to be seen. However, if you pull your home off the market or you wait to list your home, you have to consider the possibility that the market may see a flood of inventory when this pandemic passes.


CA MLS – CRMLS Open House update – 03/21/2020

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
March 21st, 2020

Statement from CRMLS – “In light of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order and CAR’s recommendations, CRMLS is in the process of removing open house options from all CRMLS systems.”

At the moment, this means than CRMLS is removing the option for any Realtor to post an open house notice in the CRMLS in California. We will continue to post updates as more information is made available.

Las Cruces – Congress Realty Review

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
February 28th, 2020

Las Cruces, NM is still booming. According to the local association of Realtors, just under 1500 homes were sold in Las Cruces in 2015. 4 years later that # boomed to over 2100 in 2019. The 2100 number is the most homes sold in Las Cruces since 2005. The driving force behind this surge? The local economy is strong coupled with younger home buyers getting into the market for the first time. Our own listings have seen a strong uptick in activity. Properties we have listed in Las Cruces have seen a substantial decline in days on market, with a handful of listings selling the very first weekend on market.