is the MLS?
Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a
centralized computer database used
exclusively by real estate brokers and
agents to search and list properties in a
common place. All brokerages/companies use
the same MLS database in a geographic area.
The listings are then shared with the other
agent/broker members no matter which
brokerage company they are with. Members can
search the database for listings and show
other member listings with full cooperation.
In other words, any company can show and
sell any other company's listings and
receive a commission. Studies have shown
that almost 90% of home buyers bought a
house that was listed in the MLS. There are
over 6,500 real estate agents and brokers in
the Syracuse, Rochester, & Buffalo regions
that have access to the MLS (Matrix)
since the regions were combined for 3 times
the exposure. In the separate Albany and
Capital Region, the MLS (ENYRMLS) is used by
all members of the Greater Capital
Association of RealtorsŪ and many other
local subscribing brokers and agents.
Who is this Flat Fee MLS service designed
for people who want to save alot of money in
commissions like "for sale by owners",
people with little equity who can not afford
to pay a full 6% commission, people with
really expensive houses where 6% would be
way too much money to pay, people who want
to be in control of the sale process, or
just anyone who wants to save at least
approximately 50% vs. the traditional full
service listing. In other words, sellers who
don't mind paying the buyer's broker a
commission but don't want to pay a listing
commission. Also for those who want the
exposure the MLS gives them but want to try
selling on their own to save the whole
What is the total cost for the Flat Fee MLS
The total cost is a one time $295 (Silver
MLS Program) or $395 (Gold MLS Program)
payable up front and there are no other
hidden charges or other listing commissions
at all..... none! That alone saves you the
whole 3% listing commission minus the flat
fee. We offer a few optional extras but none
What about the buyer broker's commission?
You have to decide how
much commission to offer the buyers's broker
when you list. It's totally up to
you..2%...2.5%...3%...a bonus to the selling
agent???? It's your decision and
that's payable at closing. Note: the more
you offer the buyer's broker, the more
showings you will get.
Can I sell by myself and not pay a
YES... Absolutely! If you sell
on your own to a buyer who was not brought
there by a Realtor, there is no commission
at all. None. Try doing that with a typical
full service listing...you can't. This is
one of the main selling points here is that
you can continue to sell on your own and
also have maximum exposure through the MLS.
It's the best of both worlds FSBO & MLS.
Will all the local Realtors have access
to my listing ?
agents (over 6,500) in Western/Central NY &
Finger Lakes region who are MLS members will
have access to your listing and that is
virtually all active agents and brokerage
companies. The same holds true for the
Albany and Capital Region with over 3,000
local agents and brokers having access.
What do I the
homeowner have to do with this service?
doing what you are already doing as a " for
sale by owner" including appointment setups,
answering questions about the house, doing
your own open houses, marketing, showing the
house, follow up, etc. This is a limited
service agreement so you will need to do
some of the work. If an agent sells it, they
will then do the remainder of the duties.
Northern Star Realty will get you in the MLS
and on 60+ major real estate websites
including Realtor.com for all the exposure
you need to sell. You may sell it on your
own and pay no commission or a RealtorŪ may
sell it for the commission you decided to
What if I have a
expensive house, is it still just the flat
houses are just the flat fee to get in the
MLS regardless of the price. The more
expensive the house, the more you save.
When I get a
written offer am I on my own ?
unlike some services we will look at your
offer (Gold MLS Program), give you our
opinion, answer any questions, do a seller's
net sheet and possibly offer some
suggestions. We do not negotiate for you
however with this service. We strongly
recommend an attorneys approval with any
Who will get the
get all calls from RealtorsŪ per the MLS
instructions. Your owner's phone number will
be shown wherever MLS rules allow. Some
sites do not permit it but only allow
RealtorŪ numbers. If our office receives any
calls or emails, we will immediately forward
them directly to you. You will get 100% of
your leads! You can trust us and feel free
to test us anytime! Your telephone number is
on the yard sign (if you choose one) so you
do get calls from that directly. The MLS
logo is also on the sign so Realtors will
know you are cooperating. Remember the MLS
is designed for Realtors, so when you are in
the MLS there's a pretty good chance one of
the thousands of agents in the system will
sell the house. Any leads that come in on
the house are 100% yours so you still can
sell it yourself and not pay a commission.
What if I decide I
want a full service broker instead of Flat
Fee MLS after awhile?
problem, you can cancel your listing at any
time and for any reason. We will even give
you your money back if we refer you to a
full service broker (usually your choice but
we make the first call to them). Basically
we would be receiving a referral fee and
would reimburse you from that when the house
Are you a licensed
NY Real Estate Broker ?
Robert J. Piazza of Northern Star Realty is
a licensed real estate broker in NY, a
member of the NYS Association of Realtors
and the National Association of Realtors.
Robert has 33 years experience in the real
estate business and knows the local markets.
Northern Star Realty is a local business so
you work and communicate with us directly as
there is no middleman.
How much money can
I save ?
200,000 house at 6% commission the total
commission would be $12,000 if you used a
full service broker. If you used Northern
Star Realty's Flat Fee MLS service on the
same 200,000 house, it would be $395 (Gold
MLS Program) + $6,000 to buyer's broker
(assuming you offered 3% commission) for a
total of $6,395 total...for a savings of
If you had a more expensive
house, you'd save even more and you'd save
almost the whole commission (less the flat
fee) if you sold it yourself. Also if you
offered less than 3% commission on the above
example, you'd save even more.
Why should I list
using Northern Star Realty's Flat Fee MLS?
.....with us..... you know who you are
hiring. We are locally owned and Robert
Piazza/Broker has been a member in good
standing of the NYS Association of
RealtorsŪ, National Association of RealtorsŪ
and the local real estate board for over 33
years. You will work with Robert, a FSBO
specialist who has sold multi millions in
his real estate career, coached real estate
techniques to thousands of people for a
nationally known seminar company and is a
Sales Master Gold & Platinum Award winner. He knows the
local trends, customs, forms and pricing.
We do not try to lowball you on price then
try to sell you add ons for your service.
Don't be penny wise and pound foolish! We
include everything you need to sell. We are
reputable, local and professional. We give
you a great value and can save you thousands
of dollars on your sale as we have for many
others. We offer a special money back
guarantee and we offer a "cancel anytime"
policy. Even though our program is a limited
service agreement, we still offer
professional local broker support whenever
needed. We can offer valuable tips to make
your transaction smoother, prevent you from
making costly mistakes, and give you
negotiating tips with our 33 years
experience. Knowledge is everything in real
estate and with us you have it. You will not
be on your own. Our testimonials are growing
for a reason!
What is the difference between Northern
Star Realty's $395 Flat Fee MLS and
is a marketing group that will list your
house on their own personal marketing site.
Properties do not
go on the RealtorŪ MLS for $495. If you want
your property to go on the MLS with
America's Choice, first you pay the $495
then you must list with their sister company
called "2.5% Real Estate Direct" and be
willing to pay them an additional 1% listing
commission where you still do much of the
work. So to put it in the MLS with them, it
will cost you $495 PLUS 1% listing
commission PLUS the buyer's brokers
commission (2.5 - 3%). Do the math, it's no
comparison plus we have more experience (33
yrs) and better customer service.
Click here to see example.
I thought when I
listed a property with a Realtor I would
still have to pay a commission if I found my
terms, with a traditional full service
listing called an "exclusive right to sell"
you would have to pay a commission if either
a broker sold it or if you found your own
buyer. This is the type of listing full
service brokers use. We don't use that type.
Instead, Northern Star Realty's Flat Fee MLS
program uses an "exclusive agency" listing
where you would still owe a buyer's broker a
selling commission if he/she sold the house
but not if you found your own buyer.
In either case Northern Star Realty does not
collect a listing commission when the house
sells other than the flat fee that you have
already paid. With either type of listing,
both go into the same exact MLS for maximum
other agents show my property with this type
of Flat Fee MLS listing?
Yes...Absolutely! They are getting paid a
commission just like any other MLS listing,
that's why we do a listing agreement. All
listings are in the same MLS with the
commission specified and as long as you are
offering a fair and reasonable commission
(usually 2-3%), you will get showings. Keep
in mind most listings in the MLS are
offering 3% commission to the buyer's
broker, not all but most, so that is what
agents are used to. We have a very good
relationship and reputation with all area
brokers and get constant showings from other
brokers on our listings because they know us
and they know our listings will pay a fair
commission (2-3%). We do not abuse the MLS
and other brokers/agents by allowing sellers
to pay ridiculous low commissions (under 2%)
so agents willingly and readily show our
Can I sign up
online or does someone come to my house ?
service is designed to be used online so as
to keep costs down. You can also use the
Is there any NYS
sales tax on the flat fee?
I want to use the
service, what do I do to get started ?
to the "buy it now" button at the bottom of
the Flat Fee MLS page for your city (see
below) and order using credit/debit cards,
Paypal, or you can send a check. As soon as
we receive your payment we will send you a
link where you can download the paperwork or
fill out online. Your listing is entered in
the MLS usually within 24 hrs. upon receipt
of the listing paperwork and you will be
sent a copy of your listing to verify.