5 Best Illinois Flat-Fee MLS Companies in 2021

By 

Trevor Wallis

Updated 

January 22nd, 2021

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The best MLS services | FAQ | Alternatives

Whether you're selling a greystone in Chicago or a townhouse in Carbondale, 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.
  • You still pay a buyer’s agent fee: 88% of buyers work with an agent — who still needs to get paid. In Illinois, you’re on the hook for 2.33%-2.73% 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 agents who work for a low flat fee or 1%. Find a low fee agent near you.

If you’re still interested in finding flat-fee MLS listing options in Illinois, read on! We’ve reviewed the best (and worst!) services in the Prairie State.

The 5 best Illinois flat-fee MLS companies*


Mentor Listing
Prello Realty
beycome
Flat Fee Realty
Houzeo

Price range

$299-399

$295-795

$99-299

$199

$199-499

Money-back guarantee

✅ 

❌ 

✅ 

Unlimited listing updates

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

💰 

Downloadable forms

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

For sale sign

💰 

✅ 

💰

❌ 

💰 

Lockbox

💰 

💰 

💰

❌ 

💰 

* 💰 indicates extra fee or premium purchase required

Mentor Listing

Mentor Listing

Best For

Sellers who like to keep things simple

Price Range

$299-399

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • You can add as many open houses as you want to your listing without paying an extra fee.

Cons:

  • The base package only includes one photo. Most other companies include at least six (if not more) in their basic listing package.
  • You'll have to pay an extra $200 at closing to cover Indiana's minimum service requirements.
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Prello Realty

Prello Realty

Best For

Inexperienced sellers who might need additional support from the listing broker

Price Range

$295-795

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The basic listing package allows up to 25 photos. Many flat-fee mls companies limit you to six for their basic listing.
  • If you spring for the MLS Plus package ($495), a professional photographer will come take photos of your property for your listing.
  • All listing packages include a yard sign with a unique phone number that automatically forwards calls to you.

Cons:

  • You don't have many choices for add-on options.
  • Prello Realty currently covers only the Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.
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Beycome

beycome

Best For

Tech-savvy sellers who want to manage their listings on an online platform

Price Range

$99-299

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • You can upload photos, manage your listings, and receive and negotiate offers all within the online platform. Great for people who don't like to talk on the phone!
  • If you need help pricing your home, you can check the two home value estimates that come with each package.
  • Sellers who opt for the $199 Premium version can use the platform to automatically list their homes on popular classified sites like Craigslist, Oodle, and Listanza.

Cons:

  • You'll get no assistance with paperwork, even as an add-on service.
  • Beycome's site doesn't make it clear that you may still have to pay a buyer's agent commission.
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Flat Fee Realty

Flat Fee Realty

Best For

Budget-conscious sellers who need a simple, affordable listing

Price Range

$199

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • `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 an Illinois-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.
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Houzeo

Houzeo

Best For

Sellers looking for a lot of a-la-carte options

Price Range

$199-499

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 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, professional photography à la carte.

Cons:

  • 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.
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Flat-Fee MLS Companies in Illinois by City

In Illinois, 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 Illinois 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 Chicago

We found the flat-fee MLS companies in Chicago to be quite diverse in both their pricing and services. You'll find basic listings starting at $175 and premium packages for up to $795 with a lot of a la carte options to choose from.

» EXPLORE: The Best Chicago Flat-Fee MLS Companies

Flat-fee MLS companies to avoid

Some companies claim to offer flat-rate MLS services but charge "hidden" fees 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 "closing costs" that you'll owe the broker in addition to an up-front flat fee.

We've even seen some companies that claim to offer a "free" MLS listing only to charge you a percentage of the sale price.

Paying a percentage of the sale price kills any benefits of using a flat-fee MLS company. At that cost, you'll be better off using a flat-fee broker like Clever for more service and transparent pricing.

Frequently asked questions

How much do flat-fee MLS services cost in Illinois?

Typically, you should expect to pay about $200-400 for a flat-fee MLS listing in Illinois. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $100 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $800.

Some flat-fee MLS companies offer services such as photography, paperwork help, and signage a la carte. However, watch out. These add-on services can add up! At that point, you might be better off using a full-service agent who charges a flat or discounted fee to handle everything for you.

» FIND: Full-service agents who don't charge an arm and a leg

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 2.62%-3.02% 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 selling agent commissions in Illinois range from 2.33%-2.73%.

» READ: Average Real Estate Commission in Illinois

How do I sell by owner in Illinois?

Illinois real estate laws require sellers to disclose all material defects about their property, including information about:

  • Building and safety
  • Utilities
  • Environmental concerns (like the presence of lead paint or asbestos)
  • Insects and pests
  • Flooding

You'll share this information with potential buyers using the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report. You can either get this form from your listing broker or download it here.

» READ: How to Sell a House for Sale by Owner in Illinois

What are the alternatives to using a flat-fee MLS service in Illinois?

Discount and flat-fee real estate agents

Discount real estate brokers will list your property for as little as 1% — keeping in mind that you usually still have to pay a 2.6–3% buyer’s agent fee.

We’ve reviewed five national and regional discount brokers that operate in Illinois.

Clever offers the lowest rates, with an added advantage: Clever lets you compare multiple agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX. However, if you’re selling a particularly pricey home, the flat fees charged by Homie and Trelora could offer significant savings.

Your Clever Agent will handle everything for you, from helping you accurately price your home to high-quality photography to negotiating with prospective buyers and filling out the paperwork. You'll pay only a little more than you'd pay a flat-fee MLS service but save hours of effort by not having to do it all yourself.

Sign up here.

Discount Broker
Listing Fee
Review

Clever

1% or $3,000

Assist-2-Sell

Varies

Redefy

1% or $3,500

Redfin

1.5% (minimum varies)

REX Real Estate

2%

Clever is a referral service that can match you with a pre-vetted full-service agent for a flat fee of only $3,000 (or 1% if your home is priced above $350,000), plus the typical buyer's agent commission.

Your full-service agent will handle everything for you, from helping you accurately price your home to high-quality photography to negotiating with prospective buyers and filling out the paperwork. You'll pay only a little more than you'd pay a flat-fee MLS service but save hours of effort by not having to do it all yourself.

Ready to start saving?

Learn more and match with top agents. It's free with no obligation!

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.