What is a flat fee MLS listing service?
A flat fee MLS service will list your home on the local multiple listing service (MLS) for a set rate (usually $100–500), saving you thousands compared to what traditional realtors charge. The MLS is a database of properties for sale that only licensed brokers and agents can access.
The MLS greatly increases the number of potential buyers who will see your listing. Agents use the MLS to find properties for their buyers, and listings are automatically syndicated to popular websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
Flat fee listing services can work well if you're experienced with real estate transactions and have the time to dedicate to selling a house on your own. You have plenty of flat fee MLS companies in Pennsylvania to choose from.
However, you'll need to consider the risks and benefits beforehand. While your listing will get more exposure, you'll essentially act as your own real estate agent, which is a lot of work. Homes sold for sale by owner (FSBO) also typically sell for less, negating any savings on realtor fees.
If you want a less risky way to save money, there are alternatives to flat fee listing companies. For example, some reputable discount real estate brokers offer traditional realtor services for as low as 1–2% (compared to 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 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 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 service could help you save thousands on your home sale. But it's not for everyone, and you need to be aware of the risks. Selling a home is a lot of work, which is why realtors typically work with a brokerage team to get it done.
Before deciding to use a flat fee service, ask yourself:
- How comfortable am I with negotiating?
- Do I know what the laws in my state are for selling a home?
- Do I have the time and expertise to handle pricing, tours, screening buyers' offers and financing, and negotiating contingencies, closing costs, and repairs?
When done right, flat fee MLS companies can benefit you in many ways. But if you're unsure about your answers to the above questions, you're probably better off hiring a real estate agent.
You'll get needed online exposure
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 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.
You'll have more control
If you're more of a DIYer, you'll appreciate the control that using a flat fee MLS realtor company gives you over marketing, showings, and negotiations. Some people also find that the lack of an agent can make the negotiations between buyer and seller more personal.
You'll save on listing fees
Most Pennsylvania flat fee MLS realtors charge $100–400 for a basic listing. A listing agent, on the other hand, traditionally charges 2.5–3% commission. Assuming all goes well, on a $400,000 sale, you could potentially save $9,600–11,900.
You can choose the services you need
Most flat fee MLS realtors let you choose from different packages or customize your package depending on the level of support you need. If you're an experienced seller, you can get a no-frills listing and save money on the stuff you don’t need. If you're less experienced, you can choose a package with more support, like offer reviews, contract paperwork, and pricing assistance.
You risk a lower sale price
Homes sold without a real estate agent tend to sell for a lot less than agented homes, which can more than wipe out any savings you'll make from not paying a listing fee. In 2022, for example, the typical FSBO home sold for just $225,000 — $120,000 less than the median $345,000 that homes with an agent sold for.
You may miss out on leads
Unfortunately, FSBO homes don't always get as many leads as they should. Some buyers' agents avoid these listings because they worry about FSBO sellers being difficult to work with or requiring extra help. MLS rules also require the listing broker to be the main contact for a listing. So, unless your pricing plan comes with automatic lead forwarding, your listing broker will have to forward leads to you manually. That can create a bottleneck and may result in you missing out on interested buyers.
You'll still need to pay a buyer's agent
Almost all buyers work with an agent, and the agent's commission usually comes out of the proceeds of the sale. While you'll avoid paying a listing agent commission, you'll likely still need to offer a buyer's agent commission. In Pennsylvania, a buyer's agent commission is typically 2.5–3% of the sale price. Many flat fee companies require you to offer a minimum buyer’s agent commission of 2% or more.
You'll be on your own
As a FSBO seller, you're essentially your own real estate agent. You'll be responsible for pricing, marketing, photography, open houses, showings, reviewing offers and buyer financing, negotiations, closing paperwork, meeting title and escrow requirements, and more.
You may face hidden fees
Some companies have a reputation for hidden fees, such as charging an extra percentage or additional fees at closing. One Houzeo customer, for example, found out that they'd have to pay an extra $140 to download an app to receive showing requests from buyers. Other companies retain a portion of the buyer's agent commission, which ultimately comes out of your pocket. Some fees aren't necessarily hidden, but they can quickly add up, such as extra charges for listing edits, price changes, lockboxes, and additional photos.
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 Pennsylvania
|Company||Price range||Avg. customer rating (1–5)||Availability|
|HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty||$399–749||4.9 (145 reviews)||DE, MD, NJ, and PA|
|ISoldMyHouse.com||$299–399||4.7 (60 reviews)||Nationwide|
|Flat Fee Group||$399–899||4.9 (145 reviews)||Most of Pennsylvania|
|Flat Fee Realty — Pennsylvania||$179||4.8 (18 reviews)||Most of Pennsylvania|
|Unreal Estate||$99–249||4.6 (111 reviews)||Nationwide (except SD)|
|Houzeo||$329–999+||4.9 (3,048 reviews)||Nationwide|
|FSBO.com||$400||2.9 (2 reviews)||Nationwide|
HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty: Best value for most sellers
- Even the basic plan comes with a 25+ photo limit.
- Both packages include free listing changes and cancellations.
- All plans include lead forwarding and disclosure forms.
- This company isn't the cheapest option if all you want is a no-frills plan.
- The Contract Review package includes only one free contract review (each additional one costs $100).
- The company retains 0.1% of the buyer's agent commission.
HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty fees and services
|Contract Review||$749||MLS Listing package, plus:
HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty offers two MLS packages, although the only difference between the two is that the more expensive one includes a contract review by a licensed agent. The company has very positive reviews, and it operates throughout most of Pennsylvania.
Overall, the basic MLS Listing package is good value for money, with a 25+ photo limit, free cancellation, and free listing changes. But beware that if you need the 12-month listing upgrade, it'll cost you an extra $99. Interestingly, you can hire HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty via Flat Fee Group and get the 12-month listing for the same price as HomeZu by Simple Choice charges for a six-month listing.
The Contract Review package is also competitively priced, but you'll only get a single review. Every additional contract review will cost an extra $100. If you need multiple contract reviews, you'll quickly end up paying a lot more than you would with an alternative company.
Also, HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty retains 0.1% of the buyer's agent commission. While you'll only have to pay this if the buyer has an agent, remember that most buyers use agents.
ISoldMyHouse.com: Best for online resources
- Both packages are good value for what you get.
- The company generally has positive customer reviews.
- The free online resources can help you learn how to sell on your own.
- The basic package includes only 10 photos.
- Some customers complain that customer service operates almost entirely online.
- Neither package comes with many free extras.
ISoldMyHouse.com fees and services
|Get SOLD!||$399||Get LISTED! plan, plus:
ISoldMyHouse.com is a nationwide brokerage with generally favorable online reviews. It offers two plans in Pennsylvania, which are very similar in their services.
The entry-level package is Get LISTED! Essentially a no-frills deal, you'll get a six-month listing and lead forwarding. While fairly cheap, the major drawback of this plan is that it only includes up to 10 photos. Since photos are an important part of drawing in interested buyers, that limit may be too restrictive for you.
The more premium Get SOLD! package includes 25 photos (or whatever maximum the local MLS allows) plus a 12-month listing. While it's a bit more expensive than Get LISTED!, overall it provides better value for money.
Also, while ISoldMyHouse.com generally has good reviews, some past clients complain that its customer service operates almost entirely online. If you prefer talking to a representative over the phone, you may want to look elsewhere.
Flat Fee Group: Good for customer service
- Flat Fee Group's main MLS package is excellent value for money.
- Customer reviews online are very positive.
- Both packages come with lead forwarding and phone and email support.
- The Broker Assist package is more expensive than similar packages elsewhere.
- There are no options for sellers who just want a bare-bones package.
Flat Fee Group fees and services
|Broker Assist||$899||Premium package, plus:
Flat Fee Group is an organization of brokers that operates nationwide, with a single broker covering each state. In Pennsylvania, the partner broker is actually HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty.
That means when you use Flat Fee Group, you get the same services as you would if you had hired HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty directly. But, interestingly, the prices are different.
Flat Fee Group's Premium package is better value than Simple Choice Realty's similarly priced package, since you get more photos and a longer listing term. But the Broker Assist package — which is essentially just Simple Choice's Contract Review package — is more expensive.
HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty has excellent customer reviews, so you can expect the same level of customer service if you use them via Flat Fee Group.
Flat Fee Realty — Pennsylvania: Best for a no-frills listing
- The company offers a competitively priced plan.
- You can upgrade to 25 photos for a reasonable price.
- Your listing's status and price changes are free.
- The photo limit is very low.
- Flat Fee Realty retains 0.25% of the buyer's agent commission.
- There's only one flat fee plan and no option to upgrade to a longer listing term.
Flat Fee Realty — Pennsylvania fees and services
Flat Fee Realty, like Flat Fee Group, is an organization of brokers, with each broker covering different areas and offering different rates and services. In Pennsylvania, Flat Fee Realty’s partner broker is Garth Bellows, who has mostly positive reviews online.
Flat Fee Realty only offers one package, which at $179 is one of the cheapest in the industry. However, it only comes with a six-month listing and six-photo limit, which will be too low for most sellers. Fortunately, you can upgrade to 25 photos for $50, which is still very competitively priced, although there's no option for upgrading to a longer listing term.
Beware that if the buyer uses an agent, Flat Fee Group will retain 0.25% of the buyer's agent commission. While this practice is common and helps cover transaction costs, 0.25% is much higher than what other companies charge.
While you won't pay this fee if the buyer doesn't have an agent, almost all buyers do have agents. So you'll probably need to increase the buyer's agent commission you're offering to cover the commission that that agent will otherwise lose to Flat Fee Realty.
Unreal Estate: Best range of plans
- You only pay for your MLS listing if you sell.
- With Clever, you can get exclusive, competitive rates for the most popular plans.
- Online reviews praise the company's customer service.
- Photo limits are low on the two cheapest plans.
- Only the most expensive plan includes unlimited listing edits.
- Customer support is available only via chat or email for the two lower-tier plans.
Unreal Estate fees and services
|Starter||0.5% at closing||
|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 operates in most of the country and has a variety of plans at competitive rates. Its Starter plan will get you on the MLS, and you'll only have to pay 0.5% when your house actually sells. While this plan is unique and may appeal to some, it has an extremely low five-photo limit.
The next level plan, Basic, is a bit better and costs $99 plus 0.5% at closing. The price is good, but the photo limit is still low at 15, and you'll have to settle for chat- or email-only support.
The Deluxe and Premium plans offer the best overall value, since they both have high photo limits.
However, Clever has partnered with Unreal Estate, so if you use code Clever, Unreal Estate will drop the 0.5% charge on its Basic, Deluxe, and Premium plans. So you'll pay a flat rate of $99, $250, or $450.
Houzeo: Best for managing listings online
- It's easy to manage your listing and home showings online.
- Most of Houzeo's online reviews are positive.
- Listing changes are expensive for the entry-level package.
- All packages are pricey for what they offer.
- Some customers complain that the mobile app is buggy and frequently crashes.
- Reviews note that customer service is often difficult to reach and slow to fix errors.
- Some customers complain about serious mistakes and hidden fees.
Houzeo fees and services
|Bronze||$329||3-month MLS listing 6 photos Listing changes ($25 each) Open houses ($25 each) Custom yard sign ($49)|
|Silver||$399||Bronze package, plus:
6-month MLS listing Max photos allowed by MLS Unlimited listing changes Unlimited open houses Houzeo mobile app Manage showings online
|Gold||$379 upfront + 0.5% at closing (min. $999)||Silver package, plus:
Custom printed yard sign Review and compare offers online Disclosure forms Personal concierge Rush service (draft in 12 hours) Call forwarding Contract and form review with a broker
|Platinum||$349 upfront + 1% at closing (min. $999)||Gold package, plus:
Houzeo is a nationwide company that offers four different pricing plans. Most are poor value for money, with the cheapest Bronze plan providing only a three-month listing and just six photos. Both of the premium plans will set you back a costly $999. Only the Silver plan, at $399, is comparable to what other companies offer, although the six-month listing term is still on the low side.
While Houzeo mostly has good reviews online, there are some serious complaints. Some customers said they felt pressured to provide positive reviews, while others complained that their listings contained errors — such as being posted to the wrong MLS or displaying the wrong list price. Difficulty contacting customer service was also a common theme of negative Houzeo reviews.
The one positive we can say about Houzeo is that its online platform makes it easy to create your listing and manage showings. However, for most sellers, that benefit doesn't outweigh the risks.
FSBO.com: A decent backup option
FSBO.com is an established brand with a nationwide footprint. Buyers on this platform are specifically looking to purchase FSBO homes.
The company offers only one plan with no upgrade options. The price is expensive for what you get.
FSBO.com fees and services
Extra 0.001% at closing in Allegheny, Blair, Centre, and Erie counties
Extra $296 at closing in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties
FSBO.com is another service that operates nationwide, including throughout Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, there's not much to recommend FSBO.com over most of its competitors.
For one, it only has one plan with MLS access. Unlike other companies, there's no option to upgrade any feature of this plan. While there's a cheaper FSBO package, it doesn't include a listing on the MLS, so we don't consider it worth bothering with.
What's worse, the MLS Package doesn't offer you much for the cost. For $400 (plus extra fees at closing in some counties), you'll only get up to 20 photos and a six-month listing. Other companies offer 12-month listings, maximum photo limits, and extras like lead forwarding and disclosure forms for the same price or less.
FSBO.com is really only worth considering if one of the better value brands we mentioned above isn't available in your area.
Pennsylvania flat fee MLS listing services by city
Many flat rate companies offering local MLS access in Pennsylvania only operate in specific cities and counties. These local companies are often better able to provide area expertise and flexible service than national or statewide companies.
Find Pennsylvania flat fee MLS listing services near you
How to get an MLS listing without a realtor in Pennsylvania
1. Educate yourself on the for sale by owner (FSBO) process
A flat fee MLS company is technically your agent, but they generally don't do most of what a real estate agent does. You'll essentially be selling by yourself.
When selling FSBO in Pennsylvania, you'll need to learn about local, state, and federal real estate laws and procedures, such as what you're legally required to disclose to sellers.
One option is to hire a transaction coordinator or real estate attorney to help with paperwork, title, escrow, and closing requirements.
2. Find the right flat fee MLS listing service for you
There are many companies to choose from, so compare your options before making a decision. You should start by reading online reviews from third-party sites like Google and Trustpilot.
For each company, find out what they offer in terms of photo limits, marketing materials, listing terms, and cancellation policy. You'll also want to ensure they have good MLS coverage since most states have multiple local MLSs. Also, check how buyer leads are forwarded to you, how showings are managed, and whether they offer assistance for things like pricing, negotiations, and paperwork.
Read the fine print as well. Some companies have restrictions and fees that are hidden in their contracts.
3. Choose a service package
Most companies offer packages with different levels of support, ranging from a basic listing to hands-on agent support throughout the process.
At a minimum, a flat fee MLS company should provide:
- A 6–12 month listing term
- A decent photo limit (preferably 25 or more)
- Free listing changes
- Lead forwarding
Some companies may provide add-ons for a fee, such as:
- Electronic lockboxes
- Pricing assistance, such as a comparative market analysis
- Professional photography
- Marketing materials, like a custom yard sign, virtual tour, and social media coverage
- An online dashboard to manage showings, offers, forms, and contracts
- 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 Pennsylvania
Sell with a discount broker
The best discount realtors offer the same real estate services as a traditional full-service agent, but for a fraction of the cost. While traditional realtors charge 2.5–3%, discount realtors charge as little as 1–2%.
For most sellers in Pennsylvania, Clever is the best option for saving money while still getting the services of a traditional real estate agent. When you request an agent through Clever, you'll receive multiple agent matches from top local brokerages, like Century 21, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams.
Every agent in Clever's network has to meet rigorous quality standards based on experience, sales performance, customer ratings, and local market knowledge. So you can rest assured you have a great agent working for you.
You can compare agents and choose the best one for you. When you select one, they'll take care of the details that many FSBO sellers often find overwhelming or tedious, such as pricing, negotiations, showings, marketing, and paperwork. Best of all, when you sell your home, you'll pay a listing fee of just 1.5% (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!
Sell with a flat fee realtor
Most real estate agents charge commission as a percentage of the final sale price, but some offer a low flat fee instead. A handful of realtors even do both, such as by charging a percentage for full service and a flat fee for more limited service.
Unlike percentage-based commission, flat rate brokers are paid the same amount regardless of how much your home sells for. Rates vary a lot, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. While there are some national brands, local realtors are occasionally open to working for a flat rate — and they may be able to offer more personal service and local expertise.
If you're selling a high-value home, a flat fee MLS realtor can be especially beneficial. For example, a $5,000 fee on a $1.5 million home represents huge savings compared to $5,000 on a $250,000 home.
While the savings can be significant, flat fee realtors come with tradeoffs. Most flat fee agents offer more limited service than traditional realtors. And if you're selling a home under a certain price point, you may get more value by selling with a discount broker.
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 Pennsylvania
What is the best flat fee MLS listing service in Pennsylvania?
HomeZu by Simple Choice Realty is one of the best flat fee MLS services in Pennsylvania because it offers high photo limits, free listing changes and cancellation, and lead forwarding. ISoldMyHouse.com, Flat Fee Group, Flat Fee Realty, and Unreal Estate are also good options for Pennsylvania home sellers. Find the best flat fee MLS Pennsylvania companies near you!
How much do flat fee MLS services cost in Pennsylvania?
Typically, you should expect to pay about $200–400 for a flat fee MLS services in Pennsylvania. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $100 and more comprehensive services that charge over $1,000. 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 Pennsylvania average 2.72%. Some flat fee companies require a minimum buyer's agent commission.
How do I get access to the MLS in Pennsylvania?
Working with a realtor is the primary way to get your home listed on the Pennsylvania MLS, because you must be a licensed real estate broker to access the MLS. However, flat fee brokers will post your home to the MLS for a flat fee. Learn more about flat fee MLS Pennsylvania companies.