Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a commission based and flat fee based listing?

A commission based listing is the traditional model for a real estate agent. They are paid a percentage of the sale price for the property and they handle the complete sale transaction. A flat fee based listing is when an agent charges a fixed rate to market a property in the MLS, whether or not they sell the property.

The flat fee based listing may be more favorable to sellers because it offers them peace of mind knowing they have an experienced agent who will work hard to sell their home and bring them a higher sale price. The flat fee model may be more attractive to experienced sellers because it allows them to save on the listing side of the commission.

What is a flat fee MLS listing?

A Flat Fee MLS Listing refers to the practice in the real estate industry of a seller entering into a “limited service agreement” with a real estate broker who accepts a flat fee instead of a percentage of the sale price for the listing side of the transaction. A Flat Fee MLS Brokerage lists the property for sale in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) without the added tasks or representation that is typically provided by a seller’s agent. The seller handles the sale from showings to closing, as if it were a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO). This type of listing is also known as a Limited Service Listing, Entry Only MLS Listing, or a For Sale by Owner MLS Listing. The benefit of a Flat Fee MLS Listing is that you get the same exposure that the real estate professionals do while eliminating the listing side of the commission. The seller saves half of the traditional commission and maintains complete freedom to sell on their own. In some cases, the seller pays NO commission and sells their home directly to a buyer without an agent.

How long have you been in business?

Simply Sell Realty’s broker/owner, Lisa Berry, has over 21 years of experience in the real estate industry. Since 2008, Lisa operated her own real estate company, Lisa Berry Properties. In 2019, Lisa rebranded her office as Simply Sell Realty and welcomed new agents to join her company.

How soon will my property be listed?

We typically have our commission based listings on the MLS within 3 days and our flat fee based listings within 1-2 days.

Which Multiple Listing Service are you a member of?

We are a member of MA – MLSPIN and NH – NEREN. We are not a member of the specialized Multiple Listing Service that serves Massachusetts towns: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wareham, Wellfleet, Yarmouth, Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, and Nantucket.

Where will my listing be seen online?

Your listing will be automatically syndicated to Yahoo, Realtor, Zillow,, Banker & Tradesman, The Boston Guardian,,, Distinctive Homes, GeoHome, GoLocal, Homefind,,, Homesnap, House Value Store, The IMLS, ListHub,,,, RASEM,, The Real Estate Book,,, Redfin, Relola, RPR, South Boston Today,, South Shore Realtors,,, Trulia, USA Properties, Wicked Local, and many other brokerage and real estate sites. Note: Rental may not syndicate to all sites.

What are some safety tips when selling For Sale by Owner?

Items such as tablets, cell phones, laptops, legal weapons, jewelry, medications, credit cards, and checkbooks should be hidden or removed for showings and open houses.

Be sure to fix or block off any entrances with broken steps or railings, and shovel and sand walkways in winter months.

Remove or crate pets for showings.

You can visit the MA or NH real estate commission’s website to verify if someone is an agent. Also, most brokerage sites have photos of their agents.

Do not give prospective buyers/tenants any access codes, this includes vacant properties.

Have someone you know accompany you at open houses and showings, or alert a neighbor to keep a watchful eye out.

We recommend you have an attorney look over all contracts before you sign them and have them available for any questions you may have throughout the transaction. You will also need an attorney to prepare the new deed for closing or you may have the buyer’s closing attorney do this.

What costs do I have to pay as a seller?

  • Tax Stamps: MA $4.56/$1000; NH $7.50/$1000
  • Newly Prepared Deed: $100
  • Attorney Fee: $1,000
  • Mortgage Discharge: $100
  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Fire Dept. Inspection: $50
  • Record 6D Certificate (condo): $75
  • MA Title V Inspection: $600-$800

This is meant to be a general guide and will vary with each transaction. Your attorney or the buyer’s lender will be able to give you a more accurate estimate.

How are inquires handled with your flat fee MLS listing?

Your contact information is in the ‘Showing Instructions’ field on the MLS for agents to call you directly. We will provide your information to buyers, forward them to you, or direct them to where they can find your information online. This web address is also on our voicemail greeting so they can contact you 24/7.

What rules does the MLS have?

  • At least 1 photo must be submitted
  • A buyer’s agent commission must be offered
  • They must be notified within 24 hours when the status of your property has changed (under agreement, sold, or leased)
  • All listing edits must be in writing
  • Showings cannot be deferred more than 7 days
  • No individual, contact, or open house (NH) information can be put in the property remarks field
  • Yard signs must not say “for sale by owner”

Why are your flat fee MLS listings priced so low?

We save seller’s money because we handle everything ourselves, including inputting the listing, forwarding lead notifications to buyers, and providing customer support.

Why are your commission based listings priced so low?

We are able to offer a lower rate because as a broker, we do not need to split our side of the commission. Also, we are a smaller brokerage and we don’t have as many overhead costs as larger firms.

Are there any hidden fees when listing with you?

No, there are no hidden fees when listing with us.