Disclaimer: This post is meant to be used for educational purposes. Links and mentions of Illinois flat fee MLS companies in this post do not constitute an endorsement. Individual program details can change — please visit a provider’s website for the most current information on rate packages, fees, service areas, and more. HomeLight always recommends doing your own research to determine which selling option is best for your situation.

If you’re thinking about selling your home in Illinois, you likely want to pocket as much money as possible. And you can avoid paying your seller’s real estate agent’s commission if you sell on your own. However, if you’re thinking about taking the for sale by owner (FSBO) route, your home won’t just automatically show up on online listings.

That’s where a flat fee multiple listing service (MLS) may come in handy. These services let you show off your home online without having to enlist the help of a full-service agent.

Still, before you jump on the first flat fee MLS service you see, it pays to do some research. Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re considering these services, along with a breakdown of six flat fee MLS companies in Illinois.

What is a flat fee MLS listing service?

Flat fee MLS listing services are designed for FSBO sellers who want to feature their home on the MLS without paying for a full-service agent’s help. The MLS is a database that’s only accessible to real estate agents. It’s built to help agents display their client’s homes and locate available houses for clients who want to buy.

Listing your home on the MLS is important because it exposes your listing to buyers’ agents. This database also auto-populates many of the most prominent property search websites. Flat fee MLS listing companies ask you to pay a one-time fee, and they’ll post your listing in this valuable database. In turn, your house’s listing will pop up on multiple home-search sites and reach more buyers.

What Illinois sellers might benefit from a flat fee MLS service?

Rafay Qamar, a top-selling real estate agent in Chicago says that he believes flat fee MLS services are generally not a good option for luxury sellers because selling your home for the right price requires careful home preparation and marketing.

“There’s too much that goes into it,” says Qamar. “There has to be a story. There has to be a picture for quality, qualified buyers to come through.”

However, he does think sellers in Illinois who are investors who know what they’re doing, or those who have experience selling on their own, could benefit from a flat fee MLS.

What are the pros and cons of a flat fee MLS listing?

Here are some pros and cons of using a flat fee MLS listing service in Illinois:

Pros:

  • Sellers retain more control over a property transaction.
  • It’s a way to access the MLS as a FSBO seller.
  • It allows you to avoid paying real estate agent commission to a listing agent.

Cons:

  • Sellers may still be on the hook for the buyer’s agent commission.
  • Selling a home on your own requires heaps of time, expertise, and energy.
  • Sellers will need to navigate paperwork and legal issues on their own.

How much does a flat fee MLS service cost in Illinois?

Flat fee MLS services aren’t one-size-fits-all. In Illinois, these services cost more or less, depending on the company and the perks you choose. As a whole, flat fee MLS services in Illinois range from around $100 – $800. Some packages may include expanded services at an additional cost, such as professional photography, yard signs, lock boxes, or broker support. Others may offer basic MLS access and limited photo uploads.

6 flat fee MLS listing companies

It’s important to understand that not all flat fee MLS companies provide the same services. It’s a good idea to examine each MLS listing company’s options and make sure the company fits your personal selling situation before you commit. Companies may also deliver more or less hands-on service, depending on whether they’re a local, regional, or national company.

Here are a few local flat fee MLS companies in Illinois:

Prello Realty, Inc.

Website: prellorealty.com/flat-fee-mls-listing
Phone:  773-472-8900
Service areas: Serves the Chicago Metro Area

About: Prello Realty is a discount real estate brokerage that offers flat fee MLS services. It has been operating since 2001 and is locally owned and operated.

Reviews and rating summary: Prello Realty has 4.8 out of 5 stars (28 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s experience and communication.

Rate package overview:
$295 MLS Basic – Includes a six-month MLS listing and a yard sign.

$495 MLS Plus – Upgrades you to a nine-month MLS listing with a yard sign and professional photography.

$795 MLS Pro – Includes a one-year MLS listing, and adds on a lockbox as well as showing scheduling assistance. 

Circle One Realty

Website: circleonerealty.com
Phone: 630-528-2300
Service areas: Based in Yorkville. Serves the greater Chicago area.

About: Circle One Realty is a top-rated, locally-owned real estate company that offers flat fee MLS services.

Reviews and rating summary: Circle One Realty has 5 out of 5 stars (177 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s ease and responsiveness.

Rate package overview:
$145 MLS Entry – This package is only for vacant land. It includes a three-month listing on the MRED MLS with one photo and full-service Realtor® support. 

$295 MLS Basic – This package includes six months on the MRED MLS, up to 25 photos, a yard sign, and full-service Realtor® support.

$495 Classic – This package upgrades you to a 12-month listing, professional photographer access, and a lockbox.

$495 (Marked down from $645) MLS Elite – This package adds on showing appointment scheduling. 

Mentor Listing Realty

Website: mentorlisting.com
Phone: 866-269-1006
Service areas: Northern Illinois, including Boone, Will, DuPage, Kane, Cook,  Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Grundy, and DeKalb Counties.

About: Mentor has been in business for 16 years. It operates in both Illinois and Indiana. In addition to the company’s traditional packages, Mentor Listing Realty also offers add-ons and choices you can pick and choose from.

Reviews and rating summary: Mentor Listing Realty has 4.4 out of 5 stars (7 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s experience and attention to detail.

Rate package overview:
$299 Basic – This package includes a six-month MLS listing, one photo, broker assistance, state contracts, and disclosures. 

$349 Standard – This option upgrades your plan to include six photos.

$399 Premium – This package lifts your photo allotment to 25 photos. 

National flat fee MLS companies that serve Illinois

Here are a few national MLS companies that operate in Illinois:

Houzeo

Website: houzeo.com/flat-fee-mls/illinois
Phone: 844-448-0110
Service areas: Serves MRED MLS, including Boone, Bureau, McHenry, Clark, Cook, De Witt, DeKalb, DuPage, Kankakee, Ford, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, Champaign, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Marshall, McLean, Ogle, Putnam, Stark, Vermilion, Logan, Whiteside, Will counties.

About: Houzeo is a tech-focused website geared toward FSBO sellers. The platform lets sellers choose from simple flat fee plans as well as more individual service options.

Reviews and rating summary: Houzeo has 4.9 out of 5 stars (780 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s value and customer service.

Rate package overview:
$299 Bronze – This package includes a three-month listing with six photos. 

$349 Silver – This option upgrades your listing to six months with 24 photos.

$399 Gold – This plan allows maximum photos. It also adds showings, disclosures, and access to Houzeo’s offers platform. 

beycome

Website: beycome.com
Phone: 844-239-2663
Service areas: Serves all of Illinois

About: beycome operates in both Illinois and multiple other states. It provides MLS services and allows you to upload details and manage your listing on the company’s online platform.

Reviews and rating summary: beycome has 4.5 out of 5 stars (368 total reviews) on Google. Reviewers praise the company’s customer service and professionalism.

Rate package overview:
$99 Basic Package – This package includes a listing on the MLS that lasts until your property is closed or you cancel and maximum pictures. It also features an open house scheduler, legal forms, customer service, and disclosures. 

$399 Enhanced Package – With this package, you receive the perks of the Basic Package plus 25 professional photos, a photography session, flyers, a brochure, a lock box, digital advertising, and a virtual tour video.

$599 Concierge Service – This package adds the assistance of a dedicated professional, assistance with negotiations and paperwork, Comparative Market Analysis, 3D tour, drone photos, valuation and pricing assistance, and access to a closing coordinator. 

FSBO.com

Website: fsbo.com/mls/state/show/name/IL
Phone: 800-690-5802
Service areas: Serves all of Illinois

About: FSBO.com is a national flat fee MLS service that’s been in business for more than 20 years. The company offers a single, basic flat fee MLS service for Illinois.

Reviews and rating summary: FSBO.com has 4 out of 5 stars (2 total reviews) on the Better Business Bureau® website. Reviewers praise the company’s support and process.

Rate package overview:
$399.95 Flat Fee – This basic package includes a six-month MLS listing with up to 20 photos. 

Will I save money with a flat fee MLS listing service?

You may be wondering, “Will my home sell for less if I use a flat fee MLS service, or will I really save money?” The answer is that it depends.

While you’ll be skipping your real estate agent’s commission fees, using a flat fee MLS service also means you’ll be selling your house on your own. So you’ll be investing substantial time and work doing everything from marketing, determining a price, and negotiating, to staging your home, managing repairs and upgrades, juggling paperwork, and more.

Qamar says the seller often doesn’t have time to handle the work that goes into selling a house on their own.

“Maybe the seller isn’t able to cater to all the buyers appropriately during their timeline, and they probably don’t have the experience of buying and selling real estate – especially during difficult times, navigating through ups and downs, or negotiating and handling multiple offers,” he says. “They might also be exposing themselves to litigation by not filling proper disclosures forms, things like that.”

Sellers who aren’t experienced also often end up netting fewer proceeds when all is said and done. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price for a FSBO sale is $58,000 less than the median agent-assisted transaction. What’s more, HomeLight data found the top 5% of real estate agents in the U.S. sell homes for as much as 10% more than the average real estate agent. Here’s how the NAR says those costs might break down on average:

Selling FSBO = $260,000
Selling with an average agent = $318,000
Selling with a top-rated agent = $349,800

Unsure About Selling FSBO in Illinois?

Connect with a top-rated real estate agent near you for a consultation and price estimate for your home.

Alternatives to a flat fee MLS services in Illinois

Not sure you want to use a flat fee MLS service? You still have alternative options. Here are a few:

1. Hire a full-service real estate agent

Full-service real estate agents are experienced at selling homes and tackling all of the tasks that go into landing a successful sale. That includes things like marketing, pricing, negotiations, fielding calls from potential buyers, and more.

Qamar says that, especially in the current market, it can pay to go with a real estate agent that has experience.

“During a seller’s market, at certain times, [a flat fee MLS] makes sense, but when the market is shifting and we’re approaching talks of recession, and fear and markets cooling off, then it’s even more important to find a local area expert who has done this many, many times and has been through these recessions,” says Qamar, who works with over 78% more single-family homes than the average Chicago agent. “[Real estate agents] have experience and understand how to navigate through choppy waters. ”

If you’re looking for an experienced real estate agent in your area, try HomeLight’s Agent Match platform. This free tool scans your local area and finds the top-selling agents that fit your selling situation.

2. Flat fee real estate agents

Rather than taking a commission, flat fee real estate agents agree to help you sell your house for a lump sum. This route can make it easier to budget for a property transaction because you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll be pocketing after the sale. At the same time, flat fee real estate agents don’t have a compelling reason to sell your house for a high price. That means they may not work as hard on negotiations, marketing, pricing, or other tasks that full-service agents prioritize.

3. Sell for cash

If you want to expedite the home-selling process, you can also seek a cash offer from a house-buying company, such as an iBuyer or a We Buy Houses investor group. If you sell your home for cash, you likely won’t receive as high of an offer as you would if you listed your home. However, it is a way to cash in on your home quickly, without having to spend time and energy prepping for a sale.

One easy and convenient way to sell your home fast for cash is to use HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. This tool allows you to bypass repairs, showings, and commissions and presents you with a cash offer in as little as 72 hours. You’re under no obligation to accept offers, but if you do, this method makes it possible to close in as few as 10 days.

Weigh your options and sell your Illinois home

Listing your house on the MLS is crucial if you want to sell your home in Illinois, and a flat fee MLS is one option to help you do it. Still, you have plenty of choices when it comes to selling your Illinois house. The key to landing a successful sale is weighing your options and finding the best solution for your situation. With that strategy in mind, you’ll have what you need to secure a smooth home sale in Illinois.

LEARN MORE
Selling a House ‘As Is’ in Illinois
5 of the Top We Buy Houses For Cash Companies in Illinois
How to Sell a House By Owner: 2022 FSBO Guide

Header Image Source: (Steve Enoch / Unsplash)



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