Alternative Brokerage Spotlight:

Read the series intro: Alternative Brokerages Flourishing Around Seattle

Next up in the in-depth series on alternative brokerages around Seattle is They fly mostly under the radar without much advertising, but if you pay attention to homes for sale in the Seattle area, you’ll no doubt see their signs.

They snuck in just before the deadline, so here’s their responses to the series Q&A.

MLS4owners.comWhat is the single most important advantage your brokerage offers vs. using a traditional agent?

Substantial savings to the real estate consumer

In 200 words or less, what factors make your brokerage different from a traditional brokerage? e.g. – Cost, services offered, agent compensation, etc.

We are a real estate advertising firm.

Who is your typical client? e.g. – Do you focus more on buyers or sellers, certain types of homes, certain price ranges, certain geographies, etc.?

Any seller who wants to save money and have control over the home selling process.

What is your fee structure? How much do buyers pay, how much do sellers pay?

Sellers pay a flat fee $200-$800 depending on the level of service

Is there anything else you would like to share about your brokerage?

It’s! Over 1 Billion Sold!

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.


  1. 1


    Based on the response rates…..your bubbleheads generally aren’t commenting on stories like this. I don’t know why, perhaps its details they have little interest in?

    Maybe its like saving 50 cents with a coupon to pay an extra $100K for overpriced listings in an undersized market….the impact is somewhat moot in comparison?

  2. 2
    wreckingbull says:

    I appreciate the fact that MLS4owners offers a pared down service, but these terse, one-liners seem to be throwing away a good opportunity for many of us to learn about them. Not too impressed.

  3. 3
    Kyle says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 2

    Couldn’t agree more. If this is the effort they put forth in answering a few short questions for a blog read by thousands of potential customers, what hope does an individual using their service have in getting a question answered.

    Moving on

  4. 4
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kyle @ 3

    For $200 to $800 to sell your house, you don’t get any questions answered, so the manner in which this was answered gives you an accurate view of the service. For someone who just wants to be a for sale by owner IN the mls vs OUT OF the mls…this is great, and what it is. If you have questions then this type of service is not likely for you. But It is right for many people who simply want to be IN the mls…and do everything else themselves at a HUGE savings.

    I don’t think you ever talk to or meet anyone. You get a printed list of instructions and a lockbox in the mail on a bicycle chain, which you get refunded for when you return it.

    If you have house that is going to get 10 offers no matter what you do, it could be a good option.

  5. 5

    RE: ARDELL @ 4 – Depending on the advice you do get. I once had a client who tried another alternative ultra low cost brokerage who wasn’t advised about lead based paint disclosures. That could easily have become a $10,000 mistake down the road. And in the case of a post-closing lawsuit, you’re probably on your own if the mistake wasn’t part of the services offered by the brokerage.

    A different topic, but to get the idea of how much legal fees can be, an attorney comment last week on my blog against doing seller inspections mentioned legal fees alone in the $200,000 range!

  6. 6
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    Like any other for sale by owner, the buyer’s agent would submit the offer to the seller and the seller should have an attorney assist with the review and response, I would think. Note the post says “we are a real estate advertising firm”. For Sale by Owner in the mls can use an attorney the same as any other For Sale by Owner.

  7. 7

    RE: ARDELL @ 6 – What they should do and what they will do are likely two different things. I’d be very surprised if even 25% of the customers of this type of broker go see an attorney.

    And in any case, that leaves the same issues that helped get the result that allows agents to fill in forms. Getting a quick turn around from an attorney (who is not also an agent) can be very problematic. It could easily take 2-3 days just to get an offer accepted without any changes.

    I wonder how many of these sellers have even obtained title reports?

  8. 8

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 7:

    I wonder how many of these sellers have even obtained title reports?

    I looked at over 150 listings of very limited service brokers and less than 5% of them had any attached document and none had more than 1 attached document. Only 2 apparently had obtained a preliminary commitment, based on the form of the legal description.

    That’s a huge red-flag when an agent doesn’t use attached documents, so I don’t know why the same thing wouldn’t be true with these listings.

    So you could be in for a headache dealing with them, but on the other hand you’re probably less likely to be involved in a bidding war if agents are avoiding them. I’ve never made an offer on one of these listings though, so I don’t know. I only remember seeing one that was a decent property, but the client didn’t want to make an offer.

  9. 9
    Donna Sharer says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 4 – I’m currently using and am happy so far, they’ve been very helpful working with me and my many questions. The website has 7 steps to help you along and it worked great for me! You can get your house on MLS for as low as $99, but in my case I wanted a professional sign so I went for the $299 pkg. I’ll keep this site posted of the outcome but we’ve tried to sell our home ourselves to no avail, we’re only on Zillow and a local FSBO site so we opted for the MLS service.

  10. 10
    Michelle says:

    RE: Donna Sharer @ 9


    I would love an update on your experience, we are deciding whether or not to pull the trigger for our home!

    Thank you,

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