Whether you're selling a rambler in Seattle or a craftsman in Yakima, paying 6% in realtor fees is a lot.
That’s why some sellers use a Washington flat fee MLS company to list their home on the multiple listing service (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.
- You still pay a buyer’s agent fee: 88% of buyers work with an agent — who still needs to get paid. In Washington, you’re on the hook for 2.00% to 3.00% 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 1.5%.
Clever is the best alternative to the full DIY approach if you're in Washington! You'll save thousands on listing fees, while still getting the support you need to sell your home fast AND for top dollar.
If you’re still interested in finding flat fee MLS listing options in Washington, read on! We’ve reviewed the best (and worst) flat fee MLS companies in The Evergreen State.
The 3 best Washington flat fee MLS companies*
- Your listing will be launched within 24 hours of being submitted - or often on the same day.
- You can design personalized flyers and slide shows on the MLS4owners.com website to amplify your marketing presence.
- A basic market analysis with pricing guidance is available for free, regardless of package selection.
- MLS4owners.com's facilitator service with contract assistance is only available for an additional percentage fee at closing.
- Listings do not allow as many photos as many competitors at a similar price range.
Flat Fee RealtyFlat Fee Realty
- 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.
- 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 a Montana-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.
- 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, and professional showings a la carte.
- 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.
Flat fee MLS companies in Washington by city
You'll also find some smaller flat fee MLS Washington state companies that specialize in particular cities. These uber-local companies are more likely to offer flexible service packages and bring more area expertise than the big companies.
Every Washington 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 Seattle
The city of Seattle offers a number of unique MLS listing options that can help you get on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers Seattle and most of western Washington. Pricing begins at around $100, with premium services costing up to $500.
» EXPLORE: The Best Seattle Flat Fee MLS Companies
Flat fee MLS companies in Spokane
Listing companies in Spokane are more limited, but you can still find a basic listing option for around $200.
» EXPLORE: The Best Spokane Flat Fee MLS Companies
Hidden costs of flat fee MLS companies
Some companies claim to offer flat fee 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 upfront flat fee.
Further, some flat fee MLS companies offer à 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.
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 lower listing fees with 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 traditional cost: a 1.5% listing fee instead of the typical 2.5-3%
- Choose from the best local agents representing top regional and national brokerages, like Keller Williams and Century 21
Ready to find real estate agents who can help you save thousands on your sale? Enter your zip code below to get started!
What are the alternatives to using a flat fee MLS service in Washington?
Discount and flat fee real estate agents
A discount real estate broker will list your property for as little as 1% — but keep 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 Washington.
In Washington, Clever offers low rates, with an added advantage: Clever lets you compare multiple agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX.
Clever matches home sellers like you with pre-vetted, full-service agents for only a 1.5% listing fee. That's half the rate agents typically charge, letting you keep thousands more in your pocket when your home sells.
Your Clever agent will handle everything for you, helping you accurately price your home, get high-quality photography, negotiate with prospective buyers, and complete paperwork.
You'll pay only a little more than you'd pay a flat fee MLS service, but you'll save hours of effort by not having to do everything yourself!
Want to find a top local agent without overpaying on realtor fees? Clever negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top-rated realtors from trusted brokerages like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Berkshire Hathaway.
Get guaranteed full service for a fraction of the 3% rate agents typically charge. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a top local agent today!
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.
Frequently asked questions about flat fee MLS Washington state companies
How much do flat fee MLS services cost in Washington?
Typically, you can expect to pay about $100-300 for a flat fee MLS listing in Washington. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $75 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $500.
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. With a flat fee Washington MLS broker, you'll still save money by not paying commission to a listing agent (typically 2.00% to 4.00% of the sale price).
How much to offer a buyer's agent is up to you, but their commission in Washington typically ranges from 2.00% to 3.00%.
How do I sell by owner in Washington?
Washington real estate laws require sellers to disclose all important information about their property, including:
- Building and safety information
- Environmental information (like erosion, noise pollution, and whether it's in a flood plain)
- Sewer and wastewater treatment
You'll make these disclosures by filling out the Seller Disclosure Statement. Potential buyers will review this document to make sure the property is free of deal-breaking flaws. You can get this form either from your listing broker or directly from the Washington state legislature.
What is the best flat fee MLS listing service in Washington?
One of the best flat fee MLS Washington state companies is MLS4owners.com. In addition to a flat fee MLS listing, MLS4owners.com provides free pricing assistance and marketing materials. Their premium listing package also includes a contract review to help make the selling process a bit easier. Other decent flat fee listing services in Washington are Houzeo, which offers affordable packages with lots of add-ons, and Flat Fee Realty, which provides unlimited listing changes. See our full rankings of the best flat fee MLS Washington state listing services!
How do I get access to the MLS in Washington?
You can get your property listed on the local multiple listing service (MLS) by hiring a real estate agent or by using a Washington flat fee MLS listing service. Real estate agents are usually the better option for most home sellers. They'll help set the home's sale price, negotiate with buyers, market your home, and much more. But experienced sellers who are looking to save money on the listing agent fee may prefer working with a flat fee MLS listing company. Keep in mind that using a flat fee MLS company requires a lot of extra effort from the seller. Check out some of the flat fee MLS listing companies in Washington!
What is a flat fee MLS company?
A flat fee MLS listing company gets your property on the multiple listing service (MLS) in exchange for a low flat fee. A flat fee listing company is a type of listing broker, but it provides far fewer services than a traditional full-service real estate agent. If you work with a flat fee MLS company, your home will be on the MLS, which will help increase buyer leads. But you'll otherwise be acting as your own listing agent. You'll have to set the listing price, negotiate closing costs, and ensure your paperwork is in order. While you won't pay a listing agent fee, you'll likely still have to pay a buyer agent commission. Learn more about flat fee brokers (and whether they're right for you).