What is a flat fee MLS listing service?
A flat fee MLS listing service will list your home on the multiple listing service (MLS) for a flat fee. The MLS is a directory of houses for sale that only people and companies with a real estate license can access. The MLS gets your home a lot of exposure. It's how agents find homes to show to their clients, and MLS listings are automatically syndicated to sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
Flat fee MLS companies usually charge $300–500 in Hawaii — significantly less than the thousands you'd pay in realtor commission. They can be a good option to save money if you're comfortable handling much of the home sale on your own.
However, there's lots to consider before choosing a flat fee MLS company. You'll largely be acting as your own real estate agent, and the amount of work involved can become overwhelming. Plus, homes sold for sale by owner (FSBO) tend to fetch much lower sale prices than agented homes, which wipes away the savings you'd otherwise get by avoiding a realtor commission.
If you're looking to save on realtor fees, there are alternatives to flat fee MLS companies. A discount real estate agent, for example, can get you the service of a traditional realtor, but at a rate of just 1–2% versus the typical 3%.
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 find the most up-to-date information on 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 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
What to consider before hiring a flat fee MLS service
A flat fee MLS has significant benefits when done right. You'll pay just a few hundred dollars upfront versus the average 3% commission traditional listing agents charge. On a $500,000 home, a 3% commission translates to $15,000.
But flat fee MLS listing companies aren't right for everyone. Before deciding to go this route, ask yourself the following questions:
- How good am I at negotiating with buyers and buyer's agents?
- How much do I know about the laws of selling a home in Hawaii?
- Do I have the time and know-how to handle pricing, marketing, showings, paperwork, and screening buyers' offers?
If you still think selling without a realtor is right for you, a good flat fee MLS service may be the right choice. But be sure to carefully weigh the benefits against the risks beforehand.
You'll get needed online exposure
If you're selling FSBO, a flat fee MLS service is the only way to get your home on your local MLS. An MLS listing will drastically increase your listing's reach, since it's where buyers’ agents find homes to show their clients.
Plus, all MLS listings are automatically syndicated to popular home-buying websites like Zilllow, Realtor.com, and Redfin.
Without the MLS, your home will be much harder for buyers and their agents to find. That ultimately means you'll get fewer offers for your property, which will likely result in a lower sale price.
You'll have more control
Without a real estate agent, you'll be doing most of the work of selling your home yourself. Marketing, showings, and negotiations will all be under your control. If you have a DIY mindset, this side of selling on your own can be appealing.
You may also appreciate communicating directly with buyers rather than going through your agent. This direct communication can make negotiations feel more personal and human for both sides, and it can occasionally decrease the risk of miscommunication.
You'll save on listing fees
If you're able to sell your house for close to what an agent could get for it, a flat fee MLS listing service will save you thousands of dollars. For example, on a $400,000 sale, a listing agent charging a 3% commission would set you back $12,000. But with a flat fee MLS listing service, you're more likely to pay just $300–500 in fees.
You can choose the services you need
Many flat fee MLS companies offer different pricing plans and flexible packages, so you can get the level of service that fits your experience. If you're an experienced seller, you can opt for a low-cost package that only gives you the necessities you need. If you're new to selling FSBO, you can upgrade to a more comprehensive plan that includes broker support for pricing, paperwork, and negotiations.
You risk a lower sale price
Homes sold without a real estate agent fetch much lower sale prices on average than those with an agent. The difference can easily wipe out any savings you'd otherwise get by avoiding realtor fees. For example, in 2022, the typical FSBO home sold for $225,000 — a full $120,000 less than the median price that homes with an agent sold for.
You may miss out on leads
Buyers' agents sometimes avoid FSBO homes because they're worried about inexperienced sellers creating a difficult sale. That means fewer potential buyers get to see your property. Also, MLS rules require your listing broker to be the main contact on your MLS listing. Unless you have automatic lead forwarding, you'll rely on your broker manually forwarding leads to you.
You'll still need to pay a buyer's agent
A flat fee MLS listing service doesn't get you off the hook for the buyer's agent commission. If a buyer has an agent — and almost all do — you'll have to offer a buyer's agent commission. In Hawaii, the average buyer agent commission is 2.04–2.87%. Many flat fee MLS companies require you to offer a minimum buyer's agent commission to ensure buyer's agents will be enticed to show your property to their clients.
You'll be on your own
You'll largely be acting as your own real estate agent when you use a flat fee MLS listing service. Everything that a professional real estate agent would usually do, like marketing, photography, pricing, negotiations, paperwork, showings, and reviewing offers and financing, will instead fall on your shoulders.
You may face hidden fees
Some flat fee MLS companies are notorious for charging extra or hidden fees. These can include fees for items that are all but essential if you want to sell your house, such as getting buyer contact information forwarded to you or "administrative fees."
Add-ons also tend to cost extra, especially for items like listing changes, lockboxes, and yard signs. While these aren't necessarily hidden, they can quickly add up.
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!
Best 7 flat fee MLS listing services in Hawaii
|Company||Price range||Avg. customer rating (1–5)||Availability|
|FlatList.com||$399||5.0 (55 reviews)||AZ, CA, GA, HI, ID, IL, NV, OR, WA|
|OahuRE.com||$3,500 or 2%||4.9 (98 reviews)||Oahu|
|ISoldMyHouse.com||$299–399||4.7 (60 reviews)||Nationwide|
|Unreal Estate||$99–249||4.6 (111 reviews)||Nationwide (except SD)|
|Houzeo||$329–999+||4.9 (3,048 reviews)||Nationwide|
|Flat Fee Group||$379–500||4.3 (17 reviews)||Most of Hawaii|
|FSBO.com||$400||2.9 (2 reviews)||Nationwide|
FlatList.com: Best overall value
- FlatList.com has excellent reviews online from past customers.
- The plan includes all the essentials most sellers need for a reasonable price.
- The plan includes offer assistance, which other companies charge hundreds extra for.
- The company offers only one plan.
- Your listing only appears on your island's MLS.
- There are no options to upgrade your listing or purchase add-ons.
FlatList.com fees and services
|Flat Listing Fee||$399||
FlatList.com operates throughout Hawaii and gets top marks from customer reviews online. It offers only one pricing plan, which makes things easy to understand. Although, if you're looking for a more customized plan or premium services, FlatList.com is probably not right for you.
Its plan is priced similarly to other flat fee MLS companies in Hawaii, but it has an edge over them in terms of value. Most importantly, you'll get the maximum photos allowed by your local MLS. FlatList.com also provides free cancellation and free, unlimited changes. It even boasts offer assistance from a licensed broker, which few alternative companies include in their standard packages.
However, one drawback is that your home will only be posted to your island's MLS, rather than statewide. While this is unlikely to be a dealbreaker for most sellers, other companies post your home to multiple MLS to maximize your listing's exposure.
OahuRE.com: Best for inexperienced sellers
- You get full service from a licensed agent for a flat fee.
- You only pay if and when your home sells.
- There's no listing term limit and 25 photos.
- You only communicate with your agent online with the Flat Fee package.
- While cheap for full service, it's the most expensive flat fee MLS company on our list.
- There's no option to buy a no-frills MLS listing.
OahuRE.com fees and services
|Full Service Selling Option||2%||Flat Fee package, plus:
OahuRE.com is unusual for a flat fee MLS company because it offers full service from a real estate agent for a flat rate. Granted, the price — at $3,500 — is far more expensive than any other company on our list, but in exchange you'll essentially have a realtor doing much of the work for you. Plus, just like with a traditional realtor, you only pay if and when your house sells.
However, this flat fee model comes with some important drawbacks. For one, you won't meet your realtor in person. Instead, communication is entirely online. You may find this way of selling too impersonal. And if your property has unusual features, there's an increased risk of mistakes, such as pricing the home wrong.
The company does offer a full-service selling option for 2% at closing — a slight discount compared to the 2.5–3% that traditional listing agents charge. However, other full-service discount real estate brokers offer more savings and the ability to choose your agent.
Overall, OahuRE.com is a good option if you're an inexperienced seller with a fairly simple home sale. But if you're just looking for a basic MLS listing and to handle most of the sale yourself, other companies will be better options.
ISoldMyHouse.com: Best for tech-savvy sellers
- Both packages are reasonably priced and include most of the essentials.
- ISoldMyHouse.com has positive online reviews from customers.
- Its online library of FSBO educational material can help you sell on your own.
- Its entry-level package only comes with a six-photo limit.
- You'll get more free add-ons with competing companies.
- The online focus makes it a poor option if you prefer phone support.
ISoldMyHouse.com fees and services
|Get SOLD!||$399||Get LISTED!, plus:
ISoldMyHouse.com is a nationwide flat fee MLS service that covers all of Hawaii. It offers two plans, the entry-level Get LISTED! plan and the Get SOLD! plan. While both plans are similar and include six-month listing terms, online customer support, and lead forwarding, we recommend the Get SOLD! plan. It includes a 25-photo limit, whereas Get LISTED! has a meager six-photo limit.
Overall, the Get SOLD! plan is a decent option for FSBO sellers. However, it does have some minor drawbacks. For one, customer support is entirely online. While online reviews say the company is generally quick to respond, you may prefer a service that offers phone support.
Also, ISoldMyHouse.com doesn't offer many options for add-ons and upgrades. If you need extra support, you'll want to look elsewhere since the company doesn't have a broker assistance option.
Unreal Estate: Best for extra services at a discount
- You'll only pay for your MLS listing if your house sells.
- Clever offers exclusive rates on the most popular plans.
- Customer service gets top marks in online customer reviews.
- The two cheapest plans don't offer enough features for most sellers.
- Unlimited listing edits are only included with the Premium package.
- Customer support for the two lower-priced plans is exclusively online.
Unreal Estate fees and services
|Starter||0.5% + $299||
|Basic||$99 upfront + 0.5% at closing (or just $99 through Clever)||Starter package, plus:
|Deluxe||$139 upfront + 0.5% at closing (or just $250 through Clever)||Basic package, plus:
|Premium||$249 upfront + 0.5% at closing (or just $450 through Clever)||Deluxe package, plus:
Unreal Estate has a wide range of plans to choose from at competitive rates. Its Starter plan is one of the few that will get your home on the MLS for free — you'll just have to pay 0.5% of the sale price if your home sells. However, it includes a five-photo limit, which is too low for most sellers.
The other three plans — Basic, Deluxe, and Premium — range in price from $99 to $249, with each charging an extra 0.5% at closing. However, Clever has partnered with Unreal Estate to get you a better rate. When you use code "Clever," Unreal Estate will drop the 0.5% upcharge on these three popular plans. You'll lock in a flat rate of $99, $250, or $450, depending on the plan you choose.
Overall, the Deluxe and Premium plans offer the best value for most sellers. They include much higher photo limits, and you'll get more free listing edits. These plans also include call forwarding, so you'll be less likely to miss out on a lead from an interested buyer.
Houzeo: Good for online listing management
- Houzeo's online dashboard makes it easy to manage your listing and showings.
- Most online reviews for Houzeo are positive.
- Most packages offer relatively little for the price.
- The entry-level package charges extra fees for listing changes and open houses.
- Customer service is the subject of several complaints in online reviews.
- Negative reviews also complain about hidden fees and listing errors.
Houzeo fees and services
|Silver||$399||Bronze package, plus:
|Gold||$379 upfront + 0.5% at closing (min. $999)||Silver package, plus:
|Platinum||$349 upfront + 1% at closing (min. $999)||Gold package, plus:
Houzeo is a national flat fee MLS company that covers almost all of Hawaii. It has a wide range of plans, with prices ranging from $329 to $999+. The entry-level Bronze plan is quite pricey given that it only includes a three-month listing, six photos, and no free listing changes. If you decide to use Houzeo, we recommend upgrading to the Silver plan, which is only $70 extra but includes maximum photos, a six-month listing, and free, unlimited listing changes.
The Gold and Platinum plans charge a flat fee and a percentage at closing, but they both have a minimum price of $999. For what you get, that price is too high to justify, and you’d be better off looking into finding a discounted broker.
Also, beware that while Houzeo has mostly positive reviews online, we did find some concerning complaints. Some customers noted that Houzeo's support team was difficult to reach and that listing errors were slow to be corrected. A few also complained about being subjected to hidden fees.
Flat Fee Group: Good for longer listings
- You'll get comparables to help you price your home accurately.
- The Full Service package offers good value if you want more agent support.
- Administrative fees make most plans expensive for a flat fee MLS listing.
- Add-ons are pricey compared to other companies.
- Upgrading from the Basic to the Limited plan provides few extra benefits.
Flat Fee Group fees and services
|Basic||$379 upfront + $250 at closing||
|Limited||$500 upfront + $250 at closing||Basic package, plus:
|Full Service||$500 upfront + 1% at closing||Limited package, plus:
Flat Fee Group is a nationwide organization of brokers who all provide different flat fee MLS services in their respective states. In Hawaii, that broker is Nathalie Mulinix, who offers three flat rate plans.
The cheapest plan is $379 plus a $250 "administrative fee" at closing, for a total of $629. For that price, you'll get a 12-month listing on one MLS, 25 photos, free cancellation, and comparables. Or you can upgrade to the Limited plan for an extra $121, which will get you on two to three MLS.
While the comparables ("comps") are useful in helping you price your home more accurately, overall these plans seem overpriced. You can get the same basic service elsewhere for much less.
Only the Full Service package, which costs $500 plus 1% at closing, provides real value. With this plan, you'll get a more traditional real estate agent experience at a significant discount.
FSBO.com: Good for statewide MLS coverage
- FSBO.com attracts buyers who are specifically looking for FSBO properties.
- There are few online reviews, and some of them are negative.
- FSBO.com offers only one plan, with no option to upgrade.
- You can find similarly priced plans elsewhere that offer more services.
FSBO.com fees and services
FSBO.com is a well-known national brand that operates throughout Hawaii. It only includes one plan, which at $400 is similarly priced to other standard flat fee MLS services in Hawaii. However, this plan is pretty basic, with not much more than a six-month MLS listing and a photo limit of 20.
Most other flat fee MLS services in Hawaii include many more extras for the same price. FSBO.com also doesn't include any option to upgrade your plan or purchase add-ons, so it's not a great choice if you prefer flexibility.
One benefit FSBO.com potentially offers is that your home will also be listed on its website. Since FSBO.com attracts buyers who are specifically looking for FSBO properties, this can be useful. But ultimately, it probably won't be enough to make FSBO.com a more compelling choice for sellers than most other options on this list.
How to get an MLS listing without a realtor in Hawaii
1. Educate yourself on the for sale by owner (FSBO) process
You'll mostly be acting as your own realtor when you use a flat fee MLS service, so you'll need to learn how to manage your real estate transaction. While the flat fee MLS company is technically your agent, they usually provide few of the services a traditional agent does.
When selling FSBO in Hawaii, understanding your local real estate laws and regulations is essential. You'll particularly want to know what disclosures you must make to potential buyers. You should also learn how to price your home, market it, negotiate with buyers, review offers, and handle paperwork.
If you need help, especially with paperwork and closing, consider hiring a transaction coordinator or real estate attorney.
2. Find the right flat fee MLS listing service for you
Compare multiple flat fee MLS companies before deciding on one. For each service package, you'll especially want to learn about photo limits, listing terms, MLS coverage, cancellation policies, fees for listing changes, and how buyer leads are forwarded to you.
Check out customer reviews online from third-party websites like Google and Trustpilot. If you need extra help with the harder parts of FSBO, find out what each company charges for broker assistance.
Also, be sure to read the fine print before signing. Some companies are notorious for charging hidden fees. Searching the contract for these potential fees beforehand can help you avoid unwanted surprises.
3. Choose a service package
Most flat fee companies offer packages with different levels of support, ranging from a basic MLS listing to hands-on agent support throughout the process.
At a minimum, a flat fee MLS company should provide:
- A listing lasting 6–12 months
- A high photo limit (ideally 25 or more)
- Free, unlimited listing changes
- Buyer lead forwarding
Some companies may provide add-ons such as:
- An electronic lockbox
- Assistance with setting a list price
- Professional photography
- Marketing materials, like a yard sign, virtual tour, and drone photography
- A way to manage showings, offers, forms, and contracts online Broker assistance for negotiations
The package you choose will ultimately depend on the value offered and level of service you feel you need.
Top alternatives to a flat fee MLS service in Hawaii
Sell with a discount broker
If you're looking to save on realtor fees but aren't ready to handle all the work that FSBO entails, a discount realtor is a good alternative. The best discount realtors offer the same services as traditional realtors, but at a much lower rate — usually 1–2% compared to the traditional 3%.
Clever offers the best overall value for most home sellers in Hawaii. With Clever, you'll get matched with multiple agents, all of whom have agreed to charge a listing fee of just 1.5%, potentially saving you thousands.
What sets Clever apart isn't just the savings you'll get, but the quality of the agents. Clever partner agents come from well-known brokerages, like Berkshire Hathaway and Keller Williams, and must meet stringent criteria in terms of experience, sales performance, reviews, and local market knowledge. You'll have a quality agent in your corner, all while paying half as much as you would with a traditional realtor.
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!
Sell with a flat fee realtor
Most real estate agents charge commission on a percentage basis, but a handful offer a flat rate instead. Some even offer both — a flat rate for limited service and a percentage for full service.
Flat fee brokers can be either national brands or local agents, but either way, they'll offer some (but not all) of the services of a traditional realtor in exchange for a set rate. The rate stays the same no matter how much your house sells for, meaning your savings could be significant if you sell a high-value home.
But there are trade-offs to working with a flat fee realtor. You won't get the same level of service as you would with a realtor who charges a percentage-based commission. Depending on the flat fee, you could even overpay in commission if your house sells below a certain price point.
Try selling for sale by owner without an MLS listing
It's technically possible to sell your house without listing it on the MLS. But this method isn't likely to work all that well unless you already have a buyer lined up.
Without an MLS listing, fewer buyers will know your house is for sale. The MLS is the main way real estate agents find properties for their clients. It also guarantees that your listing gets on popular home-buying websites, including Zillow.
If you forgo an MLS listing, you'll have to rely on less effective sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Or you can hope that a buyer sees the for sale sign in your yard.
FAQ about flat fee MLS listings in Hawaii
What is the best flat fee MLS listing service in Hawaii?
FlatList.com is one of the best flat fee MLS listing services in Hawaii because it offers a reasonably priced package that includes the essentials most DIY sellers require, plus a few extras. OahuRE.com, ISoldMyHouse.com, Unreal Estate, and Houzeo are also decent options for Hawaii home sellers. Find the best flat fee MLS Hawaii companies near you!
How much do flat fee MLS services cost in Hawaii?
Typically, you should expect to pay $300–500 for a flat fee MLS listing in Hawaii. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $100 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $3,500. How much does an MLS listing service cost?
Do I still need to pay the buyer's agent commission?
We strongly recommend offering a commission to the buyer's agent. This will incentivize agents to bring their clients to your home. How much you offer is up to you, but most buyer's agent commissions in Hawaii range from 2.04% to 2.87%. Some flat fee companies require a minimum buyer's agent commission, usually at least 2%.
How do I get access to the MLS in Hawaii?
Working with a realtor is the primary way to get your home listed on the Hawaii MLS because you must be a licensed real estate broker to access the MLS. However, flat fee MLS listing companies will post your home to the MLS for a flat fee. Learn more about flat fee MLS Hawaii companies.