6 Best Virginia Flat-Fee MLS Companies in 2021

By 

Trevor Wallis

Updated 

May 11th, 2021

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The best MLS services | FAQ about flat-fee MLS companies | Other ways to save on your sale

Whether you're selling a vacation home in Virginia Beach or a split level in Lynchburg, 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 Virginia, you’re on the hook for 2.45%-2.85% 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 $3,000 or 1%.

Clever is the best alternative to the full DIY approach if you're in Virginia! You'll save thousands on listing fees, while still getting the support you need to sell your home fast AND for top dollar.

>> SAVE: List with a full-service agent for just $3,000 or 1%

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

The 6 best Virginia flat-fee MLS companies*


Cottage Street Realty
Home Discovery Realtors
Net Realty Now
United Brokers LTD
Virginia Flat Fee MLS
FSBO.com

Price range

$299-999

$379

$299-1,299

$99-$875

$99-149

$399.95

Money-back guarantee

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❌ 

❌ 

❌ 

❌ 

❌ 

Unlimited listing updates

✅ 

❌ 

✅ 

❌ 

✅ 

❌ 

Downloadable forms

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

✅ 

💰 

For sale sign

💰 

💰 

❌ 

💰 

❌ 

💰 

Lockbox

💰 

💰 

❌ 

💰 

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* 💰 indicates extra fee or premium purchase required

Cottage Street Realty

Cottage Street Realty

Best For

Inexperienced sellers who want extra guidance from their listing broker

Price Range

$299-999

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The basic package includes the maximum number of photos allowed by your local MLS while many flat fee MLS companies limit you to six or fewer photos.
  • The premium and supreme packages get the broker more involved in your listing with things like contract reviews and market analysis.

Cons:

  • You have to sign up for the Premium package ($799) before you can e-sign contracts.
  • The basic listing doesn't include any kind of pricing assistance.
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Home Discovery Realtors

Home Discovery Realtors

Best For

Sellers who may need longer than the typical six-month listing to sell their property

Price Range

$379

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • You'll get quite a bit of broker assistance for things like offer consultations, contract reviews, and marketing assistance (beyond just the MLS listing).
  • You can fill out and sign your forms completely online instead of having to either mail, fax, or drop them off in person.

Cons:

  • It’s not clear if you can change your listing, what changes you can make or how much it costs to make them.
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Net Realty Now

Net Realty Now

Best For

Experienced sellers who only need a basic listing

Price Range

$299-1,299

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The basic listing package includes comparable sales info for similar properties in your area, giving you a better idea of how to price your house.
  • For an extra fee, you can access Showingtime, a software Realtors use to coordinate property showings.

Cons:

  • You don't have many options if you need more than the basic listing but don't want to pay for the full support listing package ($1,299).
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United Brokers LTD

United Brokers LTD

Best For

Budget-conscious sellers who need an affordable basic listing

Price Range

$99-875

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • You can get the basic bundle for cheaper than many other companies if you don't need much additional support from the broker.
  • For an extra fee, you can add a virtual tour to your MLS listing.

Cons:

  • If you buy the basic package, any changes to your listing cost $10 each, but free changes to your price, status, and description are included in the Standard, Enhanced, and Full-Service bundles.
  • You can e-sign forms only if you sign up for the Full-Service bundle ($875).
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Virginia Flat Fee MLS

Virginia Flat Fee MLS

Best For

Cash-strapped sellers looking for the cheapest option possible

Price Range

$99-149

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Even though the packages are cheap, you still get the same basic services (like a six month listing, six photos, and all the state-required forms) that other, more expensive companies offer.
  • If you go with the upgraded package, you can get an upgraded listing with a virtual tour on Realtor.com.

Cons:

  • Free changes only include the status, not the listing information or pictures.
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FSBO.com

FSBO.com

Best For

Sellers who also want to list on a large FSBO marketplace

Price Range

$400

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Your home will appear in your local MLS and on FSBO.com. A lot of people shop directly for FSBO properties on their site.

Cons:

  • FSBO.com refers you to a broker in your area instead of listing your property itself. Your experience could vary greatly dependin on the broker you're matched with.
  • You have to pay for seller disclosures, for sale signs, and lock boxes separately.
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Flat-fee MLS companies in Virginia by city

In Virginia, 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 Virginia 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 Virginia Beach

Many statewide flat-fee MLS companies also operate in Virginia Beach, one of Virginia's most popular destinations. Still, you can find some low rates and unique packages from local companies. You can expect to pay as little as $49 to nearly $5,000 for a complete listing package.

» EXPLORE: The Best Virginia Beach 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 up-front flat fee.

Further, some flat-fee MLS companies offer a 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.

💰 Similar savings, none of the DIY

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 flat $3,000 listing fee or 1% for homes over $350,000
  • Clever sellers save an average of $9,000 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!

Frequently asked questions

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

Typically, you should expect to pay about $200-400 for a flat-fee MLS listing in Virginia. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $50 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $1,300.

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 2.45%-2.85% 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 Virginia range from 2.45%-2.85%.

» READ: Average Real Estate Commission in Virginia

How do I sell by owner in Virginia?

Virginia abides by the "buyer beware" principle in its real estate disclosure laws. While sellers cannot conceal or lie about a property's condition, they are not legally required to disclose any problems to prospective buyers.

But the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act states a few exceptions that sellers have to disclose, including:

  • Non-transferrable septic system waivers
  • Noise and accident potential zones for military air installations
  • Pending building and zoning violations
  • If the property was previously used to manufacture methamphetamine
  • Privately owned stormwater management facilities on the property

Sellers can download all the disclosure forms from the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

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

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

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 four national and regional discount brokers that operate in Virginia.

Discount Broker
Listing Fee
Review

Clever

1% or $3,000

Help-U-Sell

Varies

Assist 2 Sell

Varies

Redfin

1.5% (minimum varies)

In Virginia, 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.

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

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!

Ready to start saving?

Find top agents who charge a flat $3,000 or 1%. Clever's agent-matching service is 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.