Beginner Investors Limited Service Listing vs Full Service Listing: What’s the Difference? by Charles Mburugu August 2, 2021August 2, 2021 by Charles Mburugu August 2, 2021August 2, 2021 What is a limited service listing? A limited service listing is a kind of listing submitted to the multiple listing service (MLS) where the listing broker performs limited services. The service offered under a limited service agreement varies from one limited agency real estate to another. A full service listing, on the other hand, is one where an agent performs all the tasks involved in a real estate transaction. This includes listing on the local MLS, setting a price, marketing property, showing the home, helping with negotiations, and handling the paperwork. To get a better idea of how a limited service listing and full-service listing differ from each other, let us look at the roles of limited-service agents and full-service agents. What Is a Limited-Service Real Estate Agent? As the name suggests, a limited agent is one who provides fewer services than a traditional real estate agent. However, there is no standard practice or formula that determines the exact kind of services a limited service real estate agent should offer. The services offered vary from one limited service brokerage to another. Some agents give sellers the freedom to select and pay for only the services they need or want. Other agents, such as flat-fee MLS firms, provide packages with a few core services. In some places, however, the limited service listing agreement must be compliant with the state minimum service requirements. These state laws determine the minimum services a realtor must provide. Limited service agents are ideal for experienced sellers that only require help for a few tasks. However, they are not good for first-time home sellers, people with houses that are difficult to sell, or sellers in markets where buyers are few. What Does Limited Agent Real Estate Do? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a limited service listing agent does not offer one or more of these services: Organize listing appointments with other brokers Accept and present offers to the seller Advice the home seller on the merits of an offer to purchase Help sellers in developing and presenting counter-offers Negotiate on behalf of the seller Limited agents are also at liberty to leave out non-essential services from limited listing agreements real estate. This includes professional photography, comparative market analysis, preparing and filing paperwork, and hosting open houses. Limited-Service Agents vs Flat-Fee MLS Services Many people don’t know the difference between limited-service real estate agents and flat-fee MLS services. This is because many limited-service brokerages offer flat-fee MLS packages as one of their options. The NAR provides a definite, but subtle distinction between the two categories. Policy Statement 7.84 states that a flat-fee MLS company cannot offer any of the following services: Organize listing appointments with other brokers Accept and present offers to the seller Advice the home seller on the merits of an offer to purchase Help sellers in developing and presenting counter-offers Negotiate on behalf of the seller As you may have noticed, this is the same list that relates to the limited-service agent. The difference is that the limited-service agent doesn’t offer one or more of the services, while a flat-fee MLS company doesn’t offer any. In other words, a limited-service agent offers some support beyond just listing a property for sale. What Is a Full-Service Real Estate Agent? A full-service real estate agent is one that does everything from getting a home listed on the MLS, to marketing the property and handling negotiations. Here is a detailed description of what a full-service realtor does for clients. Comparative Market Analysis Listing is not just about putting up a sign in the yard or advertising a home on the internet. There is more to it. Full-service agents look at similar investment properties in the neighborhood that are listed or have recently been sold. They also pull stats from the neighborhood and use all this data to estimate the value of a home. This process, referred to as Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), makes it easier for an agent to price homes for sale effectively. Related: Learn How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis Like a Pro Taking Photos Next, the real estate agent will take photos of the home or hire a professional photographer for the job. The full-service agent will choose the photos with the best angles, best light, and the sharpest color and contrast. They will also choose photos that highlight the best features of a home. At times, full-service agents also hire the services of a home stager. Staging makes a home appear more attractive and grabs the attention of buyers. Listing on the MLS Once the price has been settled and great photos are taken, the agent can then list the home on the multiple listing service (MLS). However, having great photos is not enough. The agent needs to write a catchy description that will grab the attention of potential buyers. Here are some of the details that should be included in the MLS description: Type of neighborhood Proximity to local amenities and attractions Nearby school districts What makes the home unique Once the home is listed on the MLS, it will also be visible on major sites like Realtor.com and Zillow. Marketing Once a home is listed, the next step is to drive traffic to it. A full-service agent might use traditional marketing methods like placing signs in the yard, distributing flyers, placing newspaper ads, or even word-of-mouth. However, more savvy agents rely on digital marketing strategies like email marketing, webinar marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and mobile marketing. They use precise targeting techniques to get the home listing in front of the right people. Related: 7 Real Estate Marketing Trends to Expect in 2021 Scheduling and Holding Walk-Throughs and Open Houses A full-service agent is responsible for scheduling showings where potential buyers can walk through and see the home. The agent must do his homework in order to understand the home very well. For example, they should be able to tell potential buyers what year the remodeling was finished, as well as which windows the sun hits in the morning. Since buyers have many questions, the agent must prepare well beforehand to be able to provide the right answers. Offering Expert Advice Full-service agents advise homeowners on what improvements will generate more buyer appeal. They also offer guidance on changes that can be done to increase the value of a home. Besides suggestions about home improvement, agents also help homeowners with the paperwork. They peruse each contract and break it down for sellers. Negotiating the Sale Once an offer is made on a home, the full-service real estate agent will negotiate the terms of the sale. Using their experience in negotiating sales, they help homeowners get the best price for their properties. Related: 10 Best Real Estate Negotiation Tips for Sellers Differences in Cost The cost of a limited service listing is determined by the number of services the seller requires. Most limited-service brokerages offer a la carte packages that clients can choose from. Here is an example: MLS listing: $150 Contract review: $359 Price assistance: $249 Real estate forms: $200 Yard sign: $50 Professional photography: $165 On the other hand, a full-service listing agent typically charges between 2% to 3% of the final sale price. For example, the fee for a $200,000 home will be between $2,000 and $3,000. Conclusion As you can see, limited-service listing and full-service listing are very different from each other. Before choosing a real estate agent to work with, be sure to enquire about the scope of their services first. To learn about your options for signing up for our services, click here. Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL Investor AgentListing Agent 0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestLinkedin Charles Mburugu Charles Mburugu is a HubSpot-certified content writer/marketer for B2B, B2C and SaaS companies. He loves writing on topics that help real estate investors and agents make better choices. 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