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

Archive for the ‘Flat Fee MLS’ Category

Ventura County, CA being added to our Flat Fee MLS coverage

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, October 31st, 2019

By the end of the year, we will have local coverage for the Ventura County, CA MLS system. Property owners in Ventura County will now be able to list properties on the local MLS through Congress Realty. We are excited about this expansion and look forward to working with homeowner’s and land owners in this area of Southern California.

Showing Time in Texas is coming!!

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Showing Time, the very popular showing service used in Arizona, NV, etc.. is coming to the state of TX. Showing Time has already launched in the DFW Market and is launching in early November for San Antonio. Showing Time allows Realtors to schedule showings through the Showing Time App. Homeowners receive an email notification when a Realtor wants to show through the App. (Text notification is also available) The homeowner with one click can accept or decline the appt. If the owner declines the appointment, the homeowner can propose a new showing time that automatically is sent back to the Realtor who requested the showing appt. Showing Time is an extremely powerful tool for both Realtors and Homeowners. Homeowners can actually set pre-determined showing dates and times that are acceptable or even black out certain dates through the Showing Time App. More info to follow in the upcoming weeks and how this affects CSS in Texas.

How do I review my listing with Congress Realty?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, September 30th, 2019

Once your listing is activated on the MLS, we will send you an email with access to what we call the Private Client area. The subject of this email will include the MLS#. When you open up the email, your login and password to the private client area will be near the very top of the email. Once you login, at the top of the screen you will see a welcome message and a blue hyperlink to download a copy of your MLS listing.

What is the difference between your MLS listing and sites like Zillow or Realtor.com? The MLS listing will be much more detailed and contain information that Zillow and Realtor.com will not publish. For example, your MLS listing will have your buyer’s agent commission listed along with the expiration date of the listing. In addition, the MLS will have detailed showing instructions.

Why do I want to review my MLS listing? It’s imperative that you review your listing as quickly as possible so that you can submit changes to your listing if needed. Not only is the MLS by far and away the most important site to market your home, but it also is responsible for feeding the data that is posted to Zillow and Realtor.com

 

Congress Realty Reviews

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Click to Read Congress Realty Reviews from Google

We are incredibly excited and proud of our many 5 star reviews on sites like Zillow and Google. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature a few of the reviews we have received recently from our customers. Much of our business is repeat business and word of mouth. The following review was posted to Google in the summer of 2019 by one of our clients:

 

I have used and attempted to use many discount and flat-fee brokerages over the past two decades of buying and selling real estate. Congress Realty has an awesome website, useful state RE forms you can download, and their response time is incredible and accurate. I just sold my home by using Congress Realty and they just saved me over $6K in commissions. This was my second home I’ve sold at a flat fee and Congress Realty is hands-down the best service out there! They just need to spread to all fifty states now!! The professional pictures service and your own For Sale sign is a bonus and well worth the money. Great job Andrew and thank you! You guys are true professionals! Congrats on gaining a faithful customer for life.

Mechanical versus Electronic Lockboxes

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, July 22nd, 2019

An Electronic Lockbox is a lockbox that is accessible to all Realtors through the use of their key fob or smart phone. The Electronic box is sometimes referred to as a Supra Box or Sentrilock box. (depending upon your area) This is the type of lockbox that would be used by any Full service traditional Realtor with a listing on the MLS. The advantages of using an Electronic box include a more professional appearance during a showing, tracking who goes in and out of the property, tracking how long someone is in the property, and greater security in that a non Realtor(R) can not access the box.

 

Mechanical lockboxes are accessible via anyone who has the code to that lockbox. This includes Realtors and members of the public. Advantages of mechanical boxes include being able to get contractors in and out of the property easily and a much lower cost when compared to the Electronic boxes. Disadvantages include: They can be much easier to break into. Most banks and REO vendors utilize mechanical lockboxes, which some sellers do not want to be associated with. Anyone with the code has access  to the box and mechanical lockboxes will not track activity. Lastly, some MLS’s will not allow a code to be published in the MLS. Thus, each showing agent may have to contact you and speak with you to acquire the code. This could result in missed showings in you are unavailable to answer your phone.

 

Other notes – For the markets of NWMLS in the Seattle area, Prospector in the Sacramento area, and NNRMLS in the Reno area, the MLS will only allow a mechanical box to be on the property if an MLS issued Electronic box is also on the property. These particular MLS’s claim this is for the safety and security of the property. It is important to note that this is not our rule. These 3 MLS’s enforce this rule for all listings from all agencies who list a property in that particular MLS.

Showing Time –

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Showing time is an application used by agents to set up and manage showings electronically. It has become extremely popular in Arizona and New Mexico over the last year. In addition, it is gaining traction in part of NV, ID, and AK.

On the MLS listing, an agent can click on showing time to make an appt on a particular listing. When the agent does this, showing time will send us the showing request via email. We then fwd the email to your email address. When you receive this email, you will see a blue icon that says “Action Required”. When you click this, showing time will give you the option to accept, decline, or propose a new showing time.

At the request of the homeowner, we can add your email to showing time. This will allow you to receive the showing time request in real time versus having our firm fwd the request to you manually.

Another positive of showing time is the app will automatically ask the showing Realtor for feedback after the showing is complete. We are happy to fwd this feedback to you upon receipt.

If an owner does not want to use showing time, we can shut it off completely but would need written instructions from the owner to do so. We highly recommend against shutting off showing time but will do with a written request from the owner.

Showing Time is included at no additional cost on all of our MLS listings. (in areas where showing time is offered by the MLS)

 

 

Forwarded Emails

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

From time to time, a seller will receive a forwarded email from our firm during the duration of their listing. The most common occurrence might be a Realtor emailing to ask a simple question about the property. For example, what level is the master bedroom located on? When this happens, we fwd the email to the seller. As a seller, when you receive a forwarded email, you want to reply to the original party who made the request. You don’t want to reply to Congress Realty directly. By replying to the inquiring party directly, you will be providing the information to this party in the most timely manner possible. While the MLS listing does instruct agents to contact the owner, it does happen where the agent will email us with this type of inquiry on rare occasion. As a part of our service at no additional cost, we will always fwd these types of requests to the owner that same day and many times within just minutes of receipt.

The same is true if we fwd a lead from a 3rd party website like Zillow. You always want to reply to the prospective buyer directly. The buyer info will be included in the forwarded message.

 

Step By Step Tutorial of our listing process

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, December 28th, 2018

We are excited to announce the publication of a new video via Congress Realty. This video will allow a first time user of our program to virtually walk through our listing process. We have created a new video that will show you exactly what to expect through our online platform when placing a listing with Congress Realty. The video is similar to a tutorial. The video can be viewed in the top left hand corner of the order page by clicking on the video. A direct link to the video –  https://list.congressrealty.com/product/flat-fee-mls-listing/

Temporarily off Market versus Cancelled Status

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Often around this time of year, a seller considers taking their property off the market and bringing it back during the spring. This brings up 2 options in most MLS’s. Do you want to  cancel the listing entirely or just take it temporarily off the market. A few pros and cons to consider.

Temp Off market – The listing stays in the MLS but doesn’t show up under an active search. When you bring the property back to market, the MLS # will stay the same and the days on market will not reset. Congress Realty does not charge a fee for this service.

Cancelled – We are literally cancelling the listing entirely. The listing will show cancelled in the MLS. To bring the listing back in the future under a new MLS # and new listing, there is a fee for doing so. The positive of this status is that the Days on Market will reset to 0. (assuming the listing is off the market for the proper amount of time. This amount of time varies by MLS. For example, in ARMLS, it is 90 days. In some markets like Vegas, it is just 1 day)

Advice on Selling your home?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, November 5th, 2018

It never fails. Each week we receive multiple emails commending our flat fee service and thanking us for the quick sale of the clients home. At the same time, there is always someone on the opposite end of the spectrum. They want to know why they aren’t getting phone calls, showings, etc…  The truth is that we use the same platform and techniques for each property. We constantly are marking properties under contract and/or sold each week. So why do so many properties sell through our system and some do not?

The property itself is the # 1 factor. Certain markets are hotter than others. However, let’s dive deeper into this and look at a few mistakes that a seller wants to avoid.

  1. Overpricing the property from the start. Understandably, a seller might overprice the property at the start with the idea that they can always come down on price later. The problem with this is that historically, you will get the highest price and best terms for your property within the first 3 weeks of listing. By overpricing your property, you are potentially losing out on your best possible foot traffic.
  2. Offering a lower buyer agent commission at the start of the listing with the intent of changing it later if needed. The problem with this is simple. To see the MLS stated commission, a buyer’s agent has to physically go into your listing and view the details. Once they have done this, there is no guarantee they will go back into your listing in the future to see if the commission was changed.
  3. Photos – I have seen it all when it comes to photos. I have seen a seller change photos weekly to a seller uploading over 100 photos, etc… When it comes to photos, nothing shocks me. A few notes to consider. Buyer’s often look for a reason to say “no”. As a seller, you want to have a solid # of high quality attractive photos, however, too many photos can work against you. In addition, you don’t want to constantly change your photos. There are many reasons why but one reason is that you wind up confusing 3rd party sites like Zillow. This can lead to duplicates, missing photos, etc.. on 3rd party platforms. Photo size is also important. You really want bright, clear photos. Submitting photos that are too small can appear grainy and distorted. Lastly, keep pets and people out of photos.
  4. Not being available to show. Lockboxes are your friend. The easier you make a property to show, the more likely it will be shown. I can’t tell you how many times a seller has told me that they “are always home”… and don’t need a lockbox. It is absolutely ok to not use a lockbox. You should only use a lockbox when you are comfortable with using a lockbox. However, there is a lot of evidence to support the idea that houses with lockboxes get shown more often than those without.
  5. Too many phone #’s in a listing. Don’t confuse buyer agents. Use your best phone # in the listing to contact you and leave it at that. I have seen listings with 4 different phone #’s listed and it caused extreme frustration for a buyer’s agent.
  6. Remarks – Your remarks should describe the highlights of the property and provide your best marketing pitch. You really really really don’t want to write a 3 page essay. Why? Because buyer’s simply won’t read it. Make your remarks short and sweet but impactful.

We will add to this list in the future to try and help any way that we can. In addition, I will examine a few properties that sold within a few weeks of publication and provide specific examples of what the seller did right in that instance and what factors contributed to the sale.