When selling a house for sale by owner (FSBO) in California, posting on the multiple listing service (MLS) greatly increases the number of buyers who will see your listing. Agents use the MLS to find properties for their clients, and listings are automatically syndicated to real estate sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
While a traditional listing agent charges 2.5–3% to sell a home, a flat fee MLS service will list your house on the local MLS for just a few hundred dollars.
However, you'll need to consider the trade-offs before paying for this type of service.
Who should use a flat fee MLS listing service?
A flat fee MLS listing can work particularly well if you have the time and experience to sell a house on your own.
If you decide to sell FSBO, you have plenty of flat fee MLS listing services to choose from in California.
However, if you haven't sold FSBO before, keep the following in mind:
- You'll essentially be your own agent. You'll handle pricing, showings, negotiations, paperwork, and qualifying buyers on your own. While some flat fee MLS companies offer limited broker assistance, it'll cost you a premium, and the level of service usually falls short of what a listing agent typically provides.
- You'll probably still need to pay a buyer's agent fee, since most buyers use an agent and other sellers won't make them pay for their agent out of pocket.
- The biggest potential downside of a flat fee MLS listing is that your home may sell for less than it would with an agent, despite all the time and effort you put in. Homes sold without a realtor sell for about 6% less on average, canceling any commission savings. That may explain why the majority of sellers who try the FSBO route end up listing with an agent.
If you want a less risky way to save money, you may want to consider hiring a reputable discount broker. You'll still save on real estate commissions, but you'll have a dedicated agent by your side.
7 best flat fee MLS listing services in California
|Company||Price range||Avg. customer rating (1–5)||Availability|
|Congress Realty||$299 to $399 + 0.5% at closing||4.7 (110 reviews)||AZ, AK, CA, ID, LA, MT, NV, NM, OR, TX, UT, WA|
|HomeListers.house||$1,295||5 (10 reviews)||California|
|Flat Fee Group — Simon Mills||$299 to $500 + 0.75% at closing||5 (210 reviews)||California|
|Yager Realty||$299–699||4.7 (200+ reviews)||Nationwide|
|Houzeo||$329 to $349 +1% at closing||4.9 (1,800+ reviews)||Nationwide|
|beycome||$99 to $599 + 1% at closing||4.4 (530+ reviews)||AI, CA, CT, FL, GA, IL, MN, NC, SC|
|Homecoin||$95||4.9 (100+ reviews)||AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, MI, MN, MO, NC, NY, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI|
Why you should trust us
We spent dozens of hours researching flat fee MLS companies throughout the country. Our process included:
- Researching more than 140 national, regional, and local flat fee MLS services to compare services, contract terms, and fees
- Mystery shopping more than 20 flat fee MLS companies to understand the consumer experience
- Interviewing sellers and realtors who have direct experience with flat fee MLS real estate transactions
- Analyzing Google, Trustpilot, BBB, and Facebook reviews for each business
- Visiting user forums like Reddit and Bigger Pockets for additional perspectives on selling with a flat fee MLS service
Do you need an MLS listing?
If you decide to sell without a realtor, the only way you can get on the multiple listing service is with a flat fee MLS company. The MLS is where most real estate agents find properties for their clients, and posting on the MLS is how your listing gets on home-buying websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and Redfin. If you're not on the MLS, buyers will have a much harder time finding your property.
What to consider before hiring a flat fee MLS service
- You'll save on listing fees.
- You'll have more control over the sale.
- You can choose the services you need.
- You'll pay a buyer's agent to negotiate against you.
- You may miss out on leads.
- You'll likely encounter extra fees.
You’ll save on listing fees
Savings are a driver for many people who use a flat fee MLS company. You can pay a few hundred dollars to get your house listed instead of paying an agent a commission. On a $350,000 home, the typical 3% seller's agent commission would be $10,500.
You'll still have to pay a buyer's agent to negotiate against you
A flat fee MLS listing helps you avoid paying a traditional listing agent's fee, but you'll still need to cover the buyer's agent commission. Almost all buyers work with an agent, and since buyers already have to pay cash for a down payment, agent commissions typically come from the seller's proceeds.
Buyer's agents often have the upper hand in FSBO sales, simply because they have more experience with these negotiations. The typical FSBO seller pays more in concessions and sells for about $120,000 less than the median sale price for homes sold through an agent.
You’ll have more control over the sale
In a typical real estate transaction, a listing agent acts as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer's agent. You're often in the dark about what's going on behind the scenes. Listing your home yourself means you know what's going on at every stage of the sale.
You may miss out on leads
Flat fee MLS listings don't always get as many leads as they should. Buyer's agents may caution their clients against pursuing these types of listings because they worry FSBO sellers will be hard to work with or need extra help from the buyer's agent, which could cause a conflict of interest.
Additionally, MLS rules require a licensed agent to post a listing. So your contact information will only appear in the Agent Remarks section on the MLS — not directly on sites like Zillow and Redfin.
Most of the time, you'll depend on your flat fee broker to forward you inquiries and showing requests. If your flat fee MLS listing agent manages a lot of listings, they may not forward leads promptly, as this Houzeo customer found out.
You can choose the services you need
Most flat fee MLS companies have different packages so you can choose the level of support you need to sell your home.
If you're not in a hurry to sell, you may not need much more than an MLS listing and a way for buyers to get in touch. If you're on a tighter timeline or don't have much experience with selling real estate, you can choose a plan that features broker assistance with pricing, paperwork, and negotiations. While these plans cost more, they're typically still cheaper than a traditional real estate agent commission.
You'll likely encounter extra fees
Some companies may draw you in with a flat fee offer, only to charge additional fees or a percentage of your sale price at closing. Some may even retain a portion of the buyer's agent commission, which will impact your bottom line.
Some fees aren't necessarily hidden but can quickly add up. This includes charges for listing edits, price changes, lockboxes, and additional photos. For example, this Houzeo customer found out that they'd have to pay an extra $140 for the ShowingTime app in order to receive showing requests from agents and buyers — which is pretty essential to selling a house.
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 cheaper listing fees with the 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 full-service price: a 1.5% listing fee — half the typical rate.
- Clever sellers save an average of $7,000 on commission AND they get offers 2.8x faster than the national average
Ready to find real estate agents who can help you save thousands on your sale? Enter your zip code below to get started!
7 best flat fee MLS listing services in California: Full breakdown
Congress Realty: Best for sellers who want unlimited open houses
- The ShowingTime appointment tool is included in all plans.
- Automated lead forwarding is included in all but the Basic plan.
- DocuSign for forms, contracts, and disclosures is included in all plans.
- The Basic plan only allows up to four photos and doesn’t include automated phone lead forwarding.
- Basic and Plus plans don’t offer unlimited changes to the listing.
- Sales comps are only available on the Full Service plans.
Congress Realty fees and services
|Plus||$399||Basic package, plus:
|Premium||$499||Plus package, plus:
|Full Service||$399 + 0.5% at closing||Premium services, plus:
Congress Realty is a licensed brokerage that offers four affordable MLS listing plans with good customer service and no middleman. Basic and Plus have some restrictions not found with some competitors, such as the number of photos and limits on changing the listing. The Full Service plan is the only package that includes agent support, but the final price will vary based on your home’s sale price.
The company’s online reviews are positive, with reviewers expressing high-quality and professional customer service and prompt, knowledgeable responses.
We couldn't find a cancellation policy on the Congress Realty website, so we encourage you to talk with customer service first to make sure their plans work for your situation.
HomeListers.house: Best for inexperienced sellers
- The real estate agent is a member of over 20 MLS systems in California, so your listing can be placed on the right local MLS.
- They handle your listing — no middleman is involved.
- You receive almost full broker support throughout the selling process.
- You are in charge of all showings.
- If you cancel and your listing is referred to a new agent, that brokerage will owe HomeListers.house the full package fee upon closing.
HomeListers.house fees and services
|Flat Fee MLS Listing with Agent Support||$1,295||
HomeListers.house offers a single MLS listing package that includes realtor support with most aspects except for showings, making it a good option for inexperienced sellers. Additionally, you don’t pay the fee until closing. However, this service is likely not for more experienced sellers looking for basic flat fee MLS services only.
The company’s licensed realtor has extensive local experience. Online reviews note that he is professional, knowledgeable, and answers questions in a timely manner. They also describe the process as efficient and seamless.
HomeListers.house doesn't charge hidden fees, and its website explains how the buyer agent commission works.
That said, be aware of the cancelation policy. If you cancel and list with another brokerage, your new brokerage will need to pay HomeListers.house a $1,295 referral fee at closing.
Flat Fee Group — Simon Mills: Best for sellers who want options for agent support
- All packages include at least a six-month listing.
- Platinum and Diamond packages include realtor support, which can be helpful for less experienced sellers.
- While Platinum and Diamond plans state sellers receive full agent support, it’s unclear if you receive assistance with pricing, including a comparative market analysis.
- You receive free changes to your listing, but it’s unclear if you can make additional changes for free or if there is a fee.
Flat Fee Group — Simon Mills fees and services
Flat Fee Group — Simon Mills offers two flat fee services and two services with agent support, providing interested sellers with a variety of options. Both flat fee plans provide a good listing term length, and the Gold plan provides helpful marketing materials.
For sellers who want more agent support, the Platinum and Diamond plans may be good fits, though we encourage discussing with the broker exactly what those services entail, as there is no indication of pricing assistance listed on the website.
Online reviews are highly positive, with reviewers experiencing quality customer support and prompt service. Simon Mills is described as efficient, knowledgeable, patient, and easy to work with.
Gold and Platinum plans include a $25 shipping fee at checkout. You can cancel at any time, but it’s unclear if any fees are involved.
Yager Realty: Best for experienced FSBO sellers
- Basic local MLS services can be a cost-effective option for more experienced sellers.
- Basic+ provides a good number of photos and services to help FSBO sellers with all aspects of marketing.
- Sellers can cancel their listings anytime.
- The Basic plan allows only five photos.
- It’s unclear if sellers can make changes to the listing or for how much.
- Coaching and transaction coordination add-on is more expensive than similar services by competitors.
Yager Realty fees and services
|Basic+||$399||Basic plan, plus:
|Premium||$699||Basic+ plan, plus:
Yager Realty offers basic local MLS listing services throughout California that can be helpful for FSBO sellers with experience. The Basic plan only allows for five photos but includes a 6-month listing term. The Basic+ plan allows for more photos and also provides some marketing materials that may be useful for FSBO sellers.
However, we encourage sellers interested in the Premium plan to shop around. You may be able to find similar packages with more support at a comparable price.
The company also offers add-on packages, including a Full Service Representation option for 0.75% at closing. Sellers interested in agent support are encouraged to interview the broker to ensure they will receive the level of support they need.
Online reviews are positive, with reviewers experiencing professional, prompt, and responsive communication and service. Additionally, reviewers appreciated the honest feedback and that the broker was not pushy.
Sellers can cancel their listing anytime, regardless of the plan selected.
Houzeo: Best for sellers who want a national brand
- The process is 100% online, which is convenient for many sellers.
- You can complete and submit paperwork using its mobile app (except for the Bronze package).
- Unlimited listing changes and open houses are available on most plans (except for the Bronze package).
- Call forwarding service isn’t available on lower-priced plans.
- Sellers can only receive virtual support from agents.
- A $25 termination fee may apply.
Houzeo fees and services
|Silver||$399||Bronze plan, plus:
|Gold||$379 + 0.5% at closing||Silver plan, plus:
|Platinum||$349 + 1% at closing||Gold plan, plus:
Houzeo is a proven national brand, which may appeal to some sellers, but its plans aren't cheap when compared with competitors. For one, the higher-tier packages include an extra percentage due at closing.
Houzeo’s streamlined online platform is easy to use, and most plans include a mobile app. However, virtual support isn't a great value when more reasonably priced discount brokers offer local expertise for a similar price.
Online reviews are largely positive and indicate a professional customer service experience, though some negative reviews report unexpected fees and difficulties when canceling a listing.
You can cancel your MLS listing anytime as long as it’s not under contract. A $25 termination fee may apply.
beycome: Best for sellers who want an affordable entry-level plan
- The service is 100% online.
- Customer service is available in English and Spanish, seven days a week.
- All plans provide an active listing until you close, maximum photos, and free unlimited changes.
- A comparative market analysis (CMA) is only available on the Concierge Service package.
- Only the Concierge Service package provides assistance with paperwork.
beycome fees and services
|Enhanced||$399||Basic package, plus:
|Concierge||$599 + 1% at closing||Enhanced package, plus:
beycome allows you to upload photos, manage your listings, and receive and negotiate offers all within the online platform. The Basic package offers an affordable price for features like maximum photos, listing until sold, and an open house scheduler. These services often aren’t found in an entry-level package.
But sellers who need the support of the Concierge Service package may experience better value and savings with a discount listing service.
Online reviews are positive, with reviewers experiencing a high-quality, professional experience, quick responses, knowledgeable information, and no hidden fees.
beycome does offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. But if you close, are under contract, or receive at least two credible offers within 90 days, you won’t get your money back.
Homecoin: Best for sellers wanting à la carte options
- The process is completely online.
- Sellers can receive comparable sales, a home value report, and disclosures for free.
- All MLS listings come with free automatic email forwarding and email and text notifications.
- Add-on options allow for customization.
- Homecoin doesn’t provide a full-service agent option.
- The add-ons can add up quickly, particularly for less experienced sellers.
Homecoin fees and services
|Flat Fee MLS Listing||$95||
Homecoin offers an affordable flat fee MLS listing service with a 12-month listing term and unlimited photos.
Sellers can also select various add-ons, allowing for customization:
- Lockbox rental ($125)
- Professional photography (price varies)
- Forms help (price varies)
- Buyer commission rebate (25–50% when you go through Homecoin to buy)
However, the prices of some features vary per location, like help with forms, so sellers should contact each location first to determine the total cost.
The inexpensive package has features that can work well for experienced sellers. However, the lack of realtor support for many aspects of the selling process may be challenging for first-time sellers.
Online reviews are highly positive. Reviewers enjoyed Homecoin’s automated online platform. Additionally, people felt the process was easy to complete and the customer service was helpful and professional.
Homecoin makes it easy for sellers to cancel their listing, which is free anytime unless an offer hasn’t been rejected.
California flat fee MLS listing services by city
In California, you'll also find some smaller flat fee MLS companies that operate in certain cities. These uber-local companies are more likely to offer flexible service packages and to bring more area expertise than the big guys.
Find California flat fee MLS listing services near you
How to list on the MLS by owner in California
1. Educate yourself on the 'for sale by owner' (FSBO) process
When selling real estate FSBO, you take on all the tasks of a licensed real estate agent and their brokerage team. For instance, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with California laws and listing paperwork requirements.
You’ll also need to set a list price, handle showings and open houses, review offers, buyer financing, and contract paperwork, negotiate with and respond to requests from the buyer or buyer’s agent, and fulfill all of the seller's responsibilities according to the deadlines set out in the contract.
Learning the process and legalities of selling FSBO in California can help you determine how much agent assistance you'll need with the flat fee MLS service: none, limited, or full support. You may need to hire a transaction coordinator or real estate attorney at some point to help with the paperwork and closing.
2. Find the right flat fee MLS listing service for you
A growing number of flat fee MLS listing services in California give FSBO sellers plenty of options.
Start your search by checking out company reviews on third-party sites like Google or Trustpilot. Ideally, look for reviews posted within the past year to get a sense of the current functioning of the company.
Compare factors like the length of the listing term, fees for adding more photos or making changes to your listing, the MLS coverage areas, how leads are forwarded to sellers, and fees for adding more photos, making changes to your listing, or cancelation.
Also consider whether you want a large national brand, which may offer fancier online tools, or a local company that's likely to offer more direct and localized customer service.
3. Choose a service package
Before selecting a flat fee service, consider how much work you actually want to take on.
You have lots of options when it comes to service plans. Packages range from an MLS listing only to a full agent support service at a flat fee rate.
At a minimum, a flat fee MLS service should provide:
- A 6–12 month listing, syndicated to major real estate sites
- Easy changes to your listing
- A decent number of photos (25 is a good number to shoot for, but each local MLS has its own maximum)
- Paperwork and disclosures required to sell a house in your state
- Leads forwarded to your phone or email
If you know you’ll want some more support, look for companies that provide additional services, such as:
- Pricing assistance or home valuation
- Online tools to manage showings, offers, and contract paperwork
- Agent support for pricing, negotiations, contracts, and closing
- Electronic lockbox
If you have a property that will likely be hard to sell, you may also want to look for a plan that allows for a listing to remain active until it's sold.
Top alternatives to a flat fee MLS listing service in California
Sell with a discount real estate broker
The best discount realtors offer the same services as a traditional real estate agent, but at a much more competitive rate — as little as 1–1.5%.
For most sellers in California, Clever offers the best value. When you request an agent through Clever's network, Clever sends you multiple agent matches from well-known local brokerages like Keller Williams, Berkshire Hathaway, and RE/MAX.
Every agent in Clever's network is hand-selected based on experience, sales performance, customer ratings, and local market knowledge — so you know you're getting a quality agent in your corner.
Once you choose an agent, they'll take care of every step: pricing, marketing, showings, negotiations, and closing paperwork. Better yet, they'll sell your home for a 1.5% listing fee (about half the typical rate).
Why pay more in commission fees for less service? Clever offers you bigger savings without sacrificing the service you expect from a traditional realtor.
✅ You'll only pay 1.5% to list your home
✅ You'll work with a full-service realtor from a top broker
✅ It's free, with zero obligation — you can walk away at any time
Saving on realtor fees doesn't have to mean sacrificing service. Find a top local agent today!
Try selling 'for sale by owner' without an MLS listing
Technically, you can sell your house without listing it on the MLS. But unless you already have a buyer lined up, this method is unlikely to work
because fewer buyers will know your house is for sale without an MLS listing.
The MLS is the main way real estate agents find properties for their clients. It also syndicates your listing to popular home-buying websites, including Zillow.
If you don’t have an MLS listing, you’ll need to rely on sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist or get a "for sale" sign for your yard.
FAQ about flat fee MLS listings in California
How much do flat fee MLS services cost in California?
California flat fee MLS companies typically charge around $299–499 for more basic and entry-level plans. But the amount you pay depends on the level of service you want. Basic plans are as low as $95, whereas more comprehensive packages are as high as $1,295. Additionally, some full-support plans also include a commission at the closing, so be sure to check for all fees before signing a listing agreement.
Do I still need to pay the buyer's agent commission?
You should still offer a buyer’s agent commission. Not doing so could discourage agents from showing your home to their clients, leading to fewer buyers and a harder sale. Buyer’s agent commission in California is typically 2.00% to 2.82% of the final sale price. But you ultimately decide what to offer. Learn more about the average real estate commission in California.
How do I get access to the MLS in California?
Working with a licensed real estate agent is typically how sellers typically get their house on the MLS. Sellers can get their home on the MLS for a flat fee by working with one of the best flat fee MLS California companies.
What is the best flat fee MLS listing service in California?
The best flat fee MLS California company is Yager Realty, though Congress Realty is a close second. Both offer solid basic plans that include effective and affordable services to FSBO sellers. And each company has at least one plan that provides some agent support.