“A provocative new study shows that sellers who joined a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) Web site got at least as much for their homes as sellers who did their real estate business through the use of an agent and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Houses sold through the MLS were more likely to sell faster.
The recent study shows that the FSBO sellers ended up with a significantly enhanced net sale price because they didn’t have to pay the brokerage commission that real estate agents charge sellers, generally six percent of a house’s sale price — $12,000 for a $200,000 home.
There was no gain in price in selling a home through MLS vs. by owner, at least when it comes to Madison, Wis., during the relatively strong housing market in the period analyzed, the study concludes. (Though the research suggests national implications, the findings, at this point, cannot be generalized beyond the specific Madison housing market.)
While the MLS does not deliver a higher price, it does offer a higher probability of a quick sale, within 60 or 90 days. In addition, roughly 20 percent of FSBO listings end up re-listing in the MLS, which translates into a longer time on the market, roughly 68 more days. Thus, one of the advantages of MLS is a shorter time to sale, which translates into savings (on mortgage, taxes and insurance).”