Whether you're selling a neo-classical home in Birmingham or a waterfront cottage in Mobile, paying 6% in realtor fees is a lot.
That’s why some sellers use a flat fee MLS company to list their home on the MLS — the main place where realtors find homes to show their clients — in exchange for a small one-time fee.
What’s the catch?
- Less support: You manage your own sale — without a full-service agent to handle pricing, photography, paperwork, and negotiations.
- Lower sales price: For sale by owner (FSBO) homes usually sell for significantly less than homes sold by agents — 6% less on average compared to agent-represented properties.
- You still pay a buyer’s agent fee: 88% of buyers work with an agent — who still needs to get paid. In Alabama, you’re on the hook for 2.36% to 3.09% of the final sale price.
If you want to save on fees but aren’t ready for a do-it-yourself experience, Clever can match you with full-service realtors who work for a low flat fee of 1.5%.
Clever is the best alternative to the full DIY approach if you're in Alabama! You'll save thousands on listing fees, while still getting the support you need to sell your home fast AND for top dollar.
If you’re still interested in finding flat fee MLS listing options in Alabama, read on! We’ve reviewed the best (and worst!) services in The Yellowhammer State.
The 4 best Alabama flat fee MLS companies*
List With FreedomList With Freedom
- If you know exactly what you need, you can go with a cheaper package and buy the extras on their own.
- There's no cancellation fee for live listings.
- You can pay a little more for showing and open house assistance.
- There's only one photo included in the base package.
- List With Freedom offers no built-in pricing support or home valuation.
Flat Fee GroupFlat Fee Group
- You can set up a free FSBO web page along with your MLS listing.
- It's easy to switch to a full-service agent if you decide FSBO isn't for you.
- This broker offers only one flat-fee MLS package. However, the company offers a higher-priced full-service option if you want help with facilitating your sale.
- The company's flat-fee MLS option allows fewer photos and changes to your listing.
Flat Fee RealtyFlat Fee Realty
- Your listing comes with all the state seller's disclosures that you'll need.
- You can pay a little more to post up to 25 photos on the MLS instead of the standard six.
- Flat Fee Realty doesn't offer any pricing or contract assistance.
- The company won't be your listing broker. Instead, they'll refer you to a Alabama-based broker who will list your property. If you have problems or questions, you'll end up talking to two companies instead of just one.
- You can fill out, sign, and submit all your seller's paperwork on the Houzeo app.
- When you enter your address, Houzeo auto-fills publicly available data about your property.
- Houzeo lets you buy additional services like contract reviews, agent showings, and professional showings a la carte.
- You have to pay extra for pricing assistance — several local competitors offer this for free.
- You're limited to 10 free changes for price, status, and description in their two most popular packages. Most competitors offer unlimited free changes.
Flat fee MLS companies in Alabama by city
In Alabama, you'll also find some smaller flat fee MLS companies that specialize in particular cities. These uber-local companies are more likely to offer flexible service packages and to bring more area expertise than the big guys.
Every Alabama flat fee MLS service is different. Always make sure to read the fine print when evaluating offerings to make sure you're getting a fair deal.
Flat fee MLS companies in Birmingham
The city of Birmingham shares many of the same companies as the state of Alabama. Basic MLS packages range from $89 to $399, with premium packages costing up to $999.
» EXPLORE: The Best Birmingham Flat Fee MLS Companies
Hidden costs of flat fee MLS companies
Some companies claim to offer flat-rate MLS services but charge hidden fees at closing. We've even seen some companies that claim to offer a free MLS listing only to charge you a percentage of the sale price at closing.
These predatory practices could cost you thousands of dollars when you expect to pay only a few hundred.
Always make sure to read the fine print for any service. Look out for "closing fees" or "admin fees" that you'll owe the broker in addition to an upfront flat fee.
Further, some flat fee MLS companies offer à la carte services like photography, paperwork help, and signage. These services can reduce some of your DIY work, but watch out. These add-ons can add up!
At a certain point, you may be better off finding a full-service agent who charges a clear and upfront discounted rate.
Selling your home is difficult, even with a flat-fee MLS company to handle your listing. Add in hidden fees, a la carte services, and premium service tiers, and you'll save a lot less than you planned, but still be stuck with most of the work.
There's a better option. Clever pre-negotiates lower listing fees with top agents in your area. You still save on commission, while getting the support of a full-service agent.
- Clever partner agents offer full-service support for a fraction of the traditional cost: a 1.5% listing fee instead of the typical 2.5-3%
- Choose from the best local agents representing top regional and national brokerages, like Keller Williams and Century 21
Ready to find real estate agents who can help you save thousands on your sale? Enter your zip code below to get started!
Frequently asked questions
How much do flat fee MLS services cost in Alabama?
Typically, you should expect to pay about $200-400 for a flat fee MLS listing in Alabama. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $89 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $1,000.
Do I still need to pay the buyer's agent commission?
Although you'll save some money by not having to pay commission to a listing agent (typically 2.35% to 3.08% of the sale price), we strongly recommend offering a commission to the buyer's agent. This will incentivize agents to bring their clients to your home.
How much to offer a buyer's agent is up to you, but most buyer's agent commissions in Alabama range from 2.36% to 3.09%.
How do I sell by owner in Alabama?
Sellers in Alabama are typically expected to disclose all important information about their property, including:
- Building and safety information, including lead paint
- Utilities and proof of repairs or renovations
- Environmental information, such as if it's in a flood plain
Alabama is a "buyer beware" state. Besides those required by federal law, sellers do not need to provide disclosures before their home is sold. Fortunately, it's common for sellers to make disclosures in order to give buyers peace of mind.
What are the alternatives to using a flat fee MLS service in Alabama?
Discount and flat fee real estate agents
Discount real estate brokers will list your property for as little as 1% — but keep in mind that you usually still have to pay a 2.6–3% buyer’s agent fee.
We’ve reviewed four national and regional discount brokers that operate in Alabama.
|Clever Real Estate||Read more|
In Alabama, Clever offers low rates, with an added advantage: Clever lets you compare multiple agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX.
Clever matches home sellers like you with pre-vetted, full-service agents for only a 1.5% listing fee. That's half the rate agents typically charge, letting you keep thousands more in your pocket when your home sells.
Your Clever agent will handle everything for you, helping you accurately price your home, get high-quality photography, negotiate with prospective buyers, and complete paperwork.
You'll pay only a little more than you'd pay a flat fee MLS service, but you'll save hours of effort by not having to do everything yourself!
Want to find a top local agent without overpaying on realtor fees? Clever negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top-rated realtors from trusted brokerages like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Berkshire Hathaway.
Get guaranteed full service for a fraction of the 3% rate agents typically charge. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a top local agent today!
Selling without an MLS listing
It's always possible to try selling your house by owner without listing on the MLS. But this makes sense only if you already have a potential buyer lined up.
That's because not listing on your local MLS means not getting the most effective exposure for your property. MLS listings are posted to every major real estate website. Plus, real estate agents access MLS listings to find properties for their clients.
If you don't secure an MLS listing, you'll be limited to sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and relying on a yard sign.
iBuyers are companies that buy homes for cash outright at what they claim are market prices. When you sell to an iBuyer, you could have a preliminary offer in as little as 24 hours.
The major downside of selling to an iBuyer is that these companies make money by charging steep service fees — typically 5–14% of the purchase price. So they're a good alternative only for sellers more concerned with convenience and speed than costs.
There are currently one iBuyers operating in certain Alabama markets. Click below to learn more.