5 Flat Fee MLS Companies in San Diego

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If you’re considering selling your San Diego home without the help of a real estate agent, you may want to use a flat fee MLS listing service to reach potential buyers.

A flat fee MLS company allows for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sellers the ability to list their homes in the local multiple listing service (MLS) without needing to hire a real estate agent.

This post will serve as a guide, discussing the pros and cons using a flat fee MLS service, giving you insight into how it works and providing you with some alternatives.

We’ll also highlight several companies that offer access to the MLS in San Diego, detailing their fees and other essential information to help you make the best decision for your home sale.

Unsure About Selling FSBO in San Diego

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Disclaimer: This post is meant to be used for educational purposes. Links and mentions of San Diego flat fee MLS companies in this post do not constitute an endorsement.

What is a flat fee MLS listing service in San Diego?

Flat fee MLS services are designed for FSBO sellers, letting them list their property on the local multiple listing service without hiring a real estate agent. The MLS is an exclusive database that compiles homes currently on the market.

Typically access to the MLS is only accessible by licensed agents. By listing their property on the MLS, homeowners maximize their home’s reach to potential buyers and real estate professionals while avoiding the costs associated with hiring a traditional agent. Essentially, a flat fee service gives San Diego sellers MLS access for a fraction of the cost.

How much does a flat fee MLS service cost in San Diego?

Flat fee MLS services in San Diego have a wide range of possible costs. Some companies offer basic plans for as low as $100 or less, while others may charge thousands of dollars for more comprehensive packages. More expensive plans typically include additional features  that can be beneficial for sellers.

For example, more expensive plans often include a comparative market analysis, which can help your price your home more competitively.

Flat fee MLS listing companies in San Diego

Disclaimer: Individual program details can change — please visit a provider’s website for the most current information on rate packages, fees, service areas, and more. HomeLight always recommends doing your own research to determine which selling option is best for your situation.

homecoin.com, San Diego

Homecoin uses software to provide online tools for sellers. Sellers can list on the MLS using their smartphone with Homecoin. They can also find a listing agent and access other MLS features.

Service areas: Serves California and nearby areas, including San Diego

Flat Fee Group, San Diego

Flat Fee Group provides a free sale-by-owner website upon listing, allowing you to post your listing on Facebook. They are the first nationwide association of independent real estate brokers. All brokers and agents with Flat Fee Group operate independently.

Service areas: Nationwide, including San Diego, California

Congress Realty, San Diego

Congress Realty, founded and run by real estate broker J. Andrew English, is the largest provider of flat fee MLS listings in the U.S. The company has been in operation for over 20 years.

Service areas: Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Arizona, and  California including San Diego

CA Flat Fee Real Estate

CA Flat Fee Real Estate is an experienced team specializing in the California market. With deep local knowledge surpassing that of most agents, they stand out as some of the top agents in San Bernardino, Carlsbad, LA, and San Diego.

Service areas: Serves Southern California, including  Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Inland Empire

Unreal Estate

Unreal Estate gives sellers the opportunity to reach millions of buyers by listing on the MLS, Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow without working with a real estate agent. The company, formerly USRealty, offers a variety of plans and pricing options, including a free starter plan where homeowners only pay if they sell their home.

Service areas: Serves 49 states (all except South Dakota) and Washington D.C.

How would a San Diego seller benefit from a flat fee MLS service?

A flat fee MLS service in San Diego can be an excellent option for sellers looking to save on the cost of a real estate commission. Instead of paying the typical 5% to 6% commission, you’ll only pay a flat fee for listing services, eliminating the cost of a listing agent while still paying the buyer’s commission.

It should be noted, however, that on March 15, 2024, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced a landmark lawsuit settlement that will change the way real estate agent commissions are handled in the future. These changes will “decouple” seller and buyer agent compensation. Industry experts predict that this decoupling will likely lower agent fees and give buyers the ability to negotiate commission amounts directly. Learn more.

Still, selling FSBO with an MLS service can be a great fit if you have a desirable home in a hot market or if you want to be very involved in your home sale. If you prefer not to work with a licensed agent, a flat fee MLS company can help you get your home listed while allowing you to manage the entire selling process.

When selling FSBO, you’ll be expected to manage every aspect of your home’s sale, from top to bottom. Here are just some of the tasks you will be responsible for:

1. Use market data to set the best selling price for your home.

2. Write a compelling listing description.

3. Take professional photos and market your home.

4. Make required disclosures.

5. Coordinate showings and open houses.

6. Review offers and negotiate terms.

7. Understand the contract, calculate closing costs, and your net proceeds.

8. Navigate appraisal and inspection issues.

9. Handle transfer taxes and gather required documentation.

Pros and cons of using a flat fee MLS listing service


  • Eliminate the listing agent commission (typically 2.5% to 3%).
  • Represent yourself in your home sale.
  • Control all aspects of the sale from start to finish.
  • Pay known costs for the listing service upfront.
  • Get your home listed on the MLS and third-party websites.
  • Helps expand your exposure to traditional buyers and their agents.


  • You’re still required to offer a commission to the buyer’s agent.
  • You’ll be responsible for handling any issues that may delay or kill the deal.
  • It’s a self-serve process that you’ll navigate without the guidance of a local expert.
  • You may be exposing yourself to liability claims and other legal risks.
  • Your house will likely sell for less than it would with a traditional real estate professional.

How do I list my home with a flat fee MLS service?

Once you’ve decided to list your home with a flat fee listing service, follow these steps to get your FSBO home on the MLS:

Step 1: Vet the flat fee MLS service
Research the local service you want, including packages and rates. Look up Google reviews and check out the company on the Better Business Bureau. Know how much information you can list, how many photos you can post, what forms are available free of charge, and what add-ons come at an additional charge.

Step 2: Register and select a plan
Register on the flat fee MLS company website, select the package you want, and pay the upfront fee online.

Step 3: Enter your property information
Describe your property and upload photos. If your service offers it, fill out the disclosure form.

Step 4: Read and sign your listing agreement
Sign the listing agreement. Read your listing agreement thoroughly to ensure you can cancel without penalty and not owe a listing commission.

Step 5: Review your live listing
Once you complete your listing, the company will publish it to the local MLS, making it visible to buyers’ agents. It will likely be posted on real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Verify that all relevant information about your property is accurate.

Are flat fee MLS listings effective in San Diego?

Flat fee MLS listings are highly effective in San Diego because homebuyers and their agents rely heavily on the MLS for the most up-to-date property listings. By listing your home on the local MLS, you ensure it appears on popular real estate websites, maximizing exposure and attracting serious buyers. This makes the MLS one of the most effective marketing tools for sellers.

How Much Is Your San Diego Home Worth Now?

Get a near-instant real estate house price estimate from HomeLight for free. Our tool analyzes the records of recently sold homes near you, your home’s last sale price, and other market trends to provide a preliminary range of value in under two minutes.

Alternatives to flat fee MLS services in San Diego:

If you’re not sure a flat fee MLS service is the right move for you, here are some other options worth exploring:

Option 1: Flat fee agent
A flat fee real estate agent offers to list and sell your home for a flat rate, typically ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. This option provides more control while still offering professional guidance. Check the listing contract for details on services and additional fees.

Option 2: Discount brokers
Consider a discount real estate broker who charges a lower commission than traditional agents. They offer basic services but are usually more expensive than flat-fee MLS services. Remember, you’ll still need to pay the buyer’s agent commission. Learn more about the pros and cons of low commission.

Option 3: Full-service, experienced real estate agent
List with a top-performing local real estate agent who offers comprehensive services and expert local market knowledge. An experienced agent can leverage connections and skills to sell your home faster and at the best price.

Will I save money with a flat fee MLS listing service?

While you will save money on commission fees, you may lose out in the long run. National Association of Realtors research shows that FSBO homes sold for around 23% less than homes sold by an agent. The median selling price for an FSBO was just over $300,000, while the median sale price of homes sold by an agent was just over $400,000.

So, while a flat fee MLS can be an effective tool, it’s important to remember that selling your home FSBO could result in less overall profit once it is said and done.

What if I need to sell my San Diego home fast?

If you need to sell your home quickly, you have options. Consider working with a We Buy Houses company or an iBuyer. These companies will purchase your home in almost any condition, often in days. Be prepared to receive less than if you sold on the open market, but when time is critical, these options can be beneficial.

HomeLight also offers Simple Sale, which can expedite the process or connect you with a local agent to give you more options. This can be an excellent choice if you need to sell quickly.

What else should I know about selling a house in San Diego?

​​While there are no strict rules for using flat fee MLS listing services, sellers must comply with local disclosure laws.

Although not mandatory, hiring a real estate attorney is advisable for FSBO sellers so that there are no surprises before and after the transaction is complete. As an FSBO seller, you will ultimately be held responsible for any mistakes, and a real estate attorney might help you save money in the long run.

Key points to remember:

  • Flat-fee services are paid upfront, regardless of whether the house sells, unlike traditional agents, whose fees are contingent on the sale.
  • Some services may change names frequently, complicating the tracking of their success rate.
  • Often, these services include the seller’s contact info directly in the listing, shifting more communication responsibilities to the seller.
  • There may not be a dedicated individual to assist sellers through the listing service, a stark contrast to traditional agents.
  • While flat fee services charge a fixed rate, traditional agent fees can be negotiated.

Ready to sell your San Diego home?

Key points to remember:

  • Selling a house is like taking on another full-time job.
  • FSBO sellers must handle many responsibilities typically managed by an agent.
  • A flat fee MLS listing service can provide varying levels of support depending on the package chosen.
  • Flat fee services can cut costs but require paying the buyer’s agent commission and MLS service fees.
  • FSBO homes often sell for less than those sold by traditional agents.

HomeLight can connect you with a local agent to help you manage your FSBO sale and put you on the right path for success.

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