Houses for Sale

How To List On MLS Through Zillow?

If you’re wondering how to list on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through the popular real estate platform Zillow, let’s be clear from the start:

Creating a listing on Zillow does not currently enable access to MLS listing services.

This is a common misconception, but it is not entirely untrue. In fact, there are ways to get a listing on Zillow and access a wide range of online listings that home sellers can use to reach buyers.

Read on to learn how to list your home on MLS through a number of easy-to-follow methods, addressing common questions for those looking to sell their homes through this service.

Can Owners Place Their Home on an MLS through Zillow?

The truth of the matter is that, while Zillow creates its network of listings pulling from other sites and through MLS services, simply creating a listing on Zillow does not ensure that it will be listed on other sites.

Instead, listing a home on the MLS requires a few actions on the part of the home seller:

  • Hire a licensed real estate agent to list the property on MLS
  • Using a flat-fee or a la carte service to place it on MLS that accepts FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) listings

The reason why it is so difficult for private individuals to use an MLS is that these services are primarily designated to assist real estate agents and brokers. Realtors exchange in-depth information and cost-cutting services to create more value for their clients. This value would be eliminated if sellers could do it for free.

Additionally, MLSs are owned and operated by their member brokers, so they have a vested interest to bar the public from listing a home if they are not working with one of their members.

Listing Your Home on the MLS With an Agent

As the easiest option, listing a home on the MLS with a real estate agent requires very little input from most homeowners.

First, you will need to find a qualified real estate agent. The agent will work with you to create a listing, agree on terms of the sale such as price, when you are choosing to sell, and other factors.

The real estate agent will then handle all of the necessary work to flesh out the listing, including taking pictures, create 3D virtual tours, and accurately describe the property. Once completed, you will decide on an appropriate listing price, settle on a commission, decide on the period to list the property, and sign the listing agreement.

That’s it! Once signed, you will then have your home featured on numerous listing websites to increase your home’s exposure.

Listing Your Home on the MLS Without a Real Estate Agent

If you choose to list a home on the MLS without the help of a real estate agent (for a FSBO, or For Sale By Owner listing), you will have the choice to find:

  • a flat-fee MLS listing service, or
  • an à la carte firm.

Both options provide the ability to list on the MLS for a single, one-time payment.

This choice, however, generally requires more work on the part of the homeowners, as you will be responsible for generating a listing with attractive photos and accurate home details. Homeowners also are responsible for showing their home and handling the closing procedures. The advantage for this method is that homeowners retain more control over the selling process and can avoid pricey commission fees.

Using a Flat-Fee Service

Using a flat-fee service for listing your home on the MLS is an easy but time-consuming process. You will first need to collect the necessary information about your home and take pictures of the property. Once complete, use a search engine to find a flat-fee service. You will then be required to complete the required forms of the listing, register an account with the company, pay the flat-rate fee. Once complete, the company will place your home on the MLS.

Bear in mind that sellers most often pick a flat-fee service when they are experienced with the sometimes-complicated home-selling process. Furthermore, it is also important to bear in mind that a flat-fee service helps the seller avoid a commission to a real estate agent, but it will avoid all commissions and associated closing costs. If the prospective buyer is working with their own real estate agent, the buyer’s agent will earn their commission from the sale.

Using an à la Carte Brokerage

There are a fair number of real estate brokerages that offer à la carte services that cater to FSBO clients that want to outsource a portion of the home sales. Under this arrangement, brokerages will list the home on the MLS for a fee, as well as offer a service package to the homeowner.

These services mirror those of a real estate agent without certain contractual obligations. Some of these services include including legal advice, marketing the property, and supervising the closing. This is useful for homeowners that may want to, for example, have a professional advisor to oversee the legal end of the process, but plan to do the home showings on their own.