Frequently Asked Questions - Home / Land For Sale

MLS and Real Estate Questions

The MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is an extensive database of homes for sale, land/lots for sale and homes for rent listed by Real Estate Agents. It is made up of Broker members who agree to share their listings with one another to find ready, willing and able buyers for their properties more quickly than they could on their own. It is a system that is available only to Real Estate Agents who are members of that MLS. For more information Click Here.

Real Estate Agents usually belong to their local MLS and have access to those listings. We belong to several different MLS's. To determine the correct MLS for your property, Click Here. You may choose which MLS you would like to list in and, for more exposure, you may also choose to list in more than one MLS area.

CarolinaListingExpress.com covers the major metropolitan areas of North Carolina and parts of South Carolina. ListingExpress.com covers Washington DC, Most of Maryland, Northern Virginia and Central/Richmond, Va. GeorgiaListingExpress.com covers much of the state of Georgia. Click Here for more detailed coverage information in North and South Carolina.

Yes. Statistically, an overwhelming majority of homes in our area are sold through the MLS due to the large network of Real Estate Agents working with buyers. For more information on the benefits of the MLS Click Here.

Not likely. With very few exceptions, Real Estate Agents operate only from MLS listings. Agents will usually bypass For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes for fear of not being paid a commission and for fear that the buyer could cut the agent out of the transaction and negotiate directly with the seller. By listing in the MLS, agents are re-assured that a commission is being offered when they bring you their buyer. When listing with our company, you may still sell your home on your own without a buyer's agent, and pay no commission to anyone.

Yes. There is no way to tell how much you paid to list in the MLS system. Regardless of who you listed with or what you paid, your listing will look no different from any other listing in format and style.

The name of our company is Select Premium Properties, Inc. and this is the name that will appear as your listing agency. CarolinaListingExpress.com is the name of our listing website and it will not appear in your MLS listing. Appearances matter and our professional company name will help to assure your listing is treated the same as any other listing within the Realtor community.

Yes. The very purpose of the MLS is for Real Estate Agents to sell each other's listings.

You. Your contact information is listed in the MLS listing with specific instructions for agents to deal directly with you for showings, inquiries and contract offers. Your MLS listing also comes with the valuable Showing Time service which will allow you to update your own showing instructions to agents.

The Showing Time Service is a service is provided by the MLS. It allows agents to schedule appointments online via an app or call into the Showing Time service to set up appointments. With the Showing Time service you are able to update your own showing instructions and receive a valuable feedback form from the agent once the property has been shown. This service comes with your MLS listing, however, it can be turned off at any time by your request.

Your home should sell quickly if it is priced right, is in a good location and shows well. The Exposure you will receive by listing in the MLS and real estate websites will give your property the greatest chance of being seen by agents and buyers working without agents.

Listing periods for home and land listings are in 6 month increments. Additional 6 month periods are available for $95.00. Most homes are sold within the initial 6 month period and rarely is a second period needed.

No. This is just a marketing period giving us the authority to advertise your property in the MLS. You can extend or shorten your listing as you wish, and withdraw at any time.

The MLS only allows a property to be listed with one agent at a time. If you are in a contractual arrangement with another agent or your property is currently listed in the MLS, this is not intended as a solicitation of your business or that listing. We honor and respect relationships with other agents.

Buyer's Agent Compensation Questions

A selling agent is the Real Estate agent who actually sells the property. They are also called buyer's agents. So the terms selling agent and buyers agent are basically the same. The Listing Agent is the Real Estate agent who lists your home for sale in the MLS. In other words, we are the Listing Agency and the Real Estate Agent who brings a buyer and sells your home is the Selling Agency or Buyers Agency (Buyers Agent). For simplicity we use the term Buyer's Agent (Agency) throughout our site. For more information on basic real estate terms Click Here

Any Real Estate Agent bringing a ready, willing, and able buyer with a satisfactory contract will be due a small "selling" or commission of your choice. Although 3% is common, and is recommended on our website, you may offer whatever commission amount you wish. Examples are 3%, 2.5%, 1%, $5000, $1.

No. If you find your own buyer who is not working with an agent, there is no commission due to anyone.

Changing Your MLS Listing Questions

The MLS mostly has pre-arranged fields with the choices pre-determined and no one is able to customize these fields. However, you are able to add your own description/remarks, directions and other fields that the MLS allows. All customized information is subject to Fair Housing and MLS rules and regulations.

For legal purposes, all changes to your listing must be made on our Listing Change form (available once listed). We cannot accept changes by email or phone calls. You may make as many changes as you wish on any one Listing Change form for a small fee of $20.00 and the changes are usually made within a few hours of being received. Changes made within 24 hours of listing are free of charge.

Changes to your listing must be made on our Listing Change form (available once listed). You may make as many changes as you wish on any one form for a small fee of $20.00. The changes are usually made within a few hours of being received. Changes made within 24 hours of listing are free of charge.

You may cancel/withdraw your listing with us at any time by using our Listing Withdrawal form (provided to you once listed). Email and phone call requests for cancellations/withdrawals cannot be accepted. The cost to withdraw the listing early is $45 due to the great deal of additional work required both in regards to the MLS and the associated public web sites, and our own internal database.

MLS Associated Real Estate Website Questions

Real Estate websites like Realtor.com display condensed versions of listings which they receive directly from the MLS itself. Unlike the MLS which is updated instantly, the real estate websites are updated anywhere from every 4 hours (Realtor.com) to 1-5 business days. It is dependent on when each real estate website updates their information.

Yes, you may go to Realtor.com, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate, MRISHomes.com and many other public websites in your area to view a condensed version of your listing. Keep in mind that this is NOT your actual MLS listing. Only licensed agents belonging to the MLS will be able to see your actual MLS listing with all of the detailed information.

Yes. Realtor.com, Zillow and others offer the ability to print a color brochures of your listing to hand out to potential buyers. You may also request a distributable / flyer version of your MLS listing from us.

Your listing will appear on possibly 100's of real estate websites. The MLS sends your listing information directly to real estate websites such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate. The MLS also sends your listing information to other real estate agencies / brokerages (such as Remax, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, etc) who belong to that MLS system.  Unlike other company's, we have the MLS send your listing information to every real estate website available. Click Here for more information on where your listing is sent.

The MLS has partnership arrangements with the various real estate sites to provide condensed listing information and photos. Every real estate site is different regarding what they choose to display. We are not able to edit the various real estate sites, we can only edit your MLS listing - which in turn, sends your listing information to these sites.

Real estate websites, such as Realtor.com, are partnered with the MLS and are designed to drive leads to Real Estate Agents and typically do not allow owner's names or contact information to appear. This restriction is the same for every company that lists properties in the MLS and we, nor anyone else, cannot override this arrangement. We will, however, forward any leads we receive through these websites directly to you via email. It is important to note that, unlike other flat rate companies, we do not work directly with buyers. Therefore we do not try and "work the lead" (either by claiming they found the buyer for you from the lead and then taking the buyer's agency compensation you are offering or by steering them towards another property which will also pay them a buyer's agency commission). Regarding the MLS system itself, your contact information will appear here and agents will contact you directly for showings, inquiries and contract presentations.

Unlike the MLS, which is updated instantly, the real estate websites are updated anywhere from every 4 hours (Realtor.com) to 1-5 business days. When your listing will appear on any one site is dependent on when that site updates their information.

MLS Marketing Options Questions

A lockbox is highly recommended if you are not able to allow access to the home in a timely manner. A lockbox is designed to hold your house key and allows licensed agents access to the key via a special key card used to open the box. The lockbox records the agent's information such as time of entry, date, name and company. A lockbox provides access when the owner is away, assuring full exposure to agents and their prospective buyers. They are completely removable and controllable by you and fit conveniently over the door frame, not the handle, so you may simply slip it off the frame and bring it inside whenever you need privacy. For more information and to see a picture of a lockbox Click Here

Once listed in the MLS, you will need to remove any For Sale By Owner (FSBO) signs from your property. This is an MLS rule and regulation and applies to every company who lists homes in the MLS. We recommend that you replace your sign with our agency sign upon listing in the MLS. Our agency sign reassures agents that your home is actively listed on the MLS. You may also use a generic "Home For Sale" or "For Sale Sign" but it may not say the words "By Owner" on it.

Once you begin to list your home or land on our website you will see a "listing start date" field. In this box you may put the date you wish your listing to be active in the MLS. If you have ordered any marketing materials, once your listing and payment have been received, we will process your listing and send the materials out to you via USPS's priority mail or FedEX. Materials usually arrive within 1-2 days (excluding Sundays).

YES! In fact, an exterior photo of the home is required by the MLS. Instructions on how to send the photo(s) to us will be provided once listed.

Your listing includes 5 photos for the $195 price. However, if you choose the additional photos option, you may send us up to 40* of your own photos of your property to appear in the MLS for only $35. Instructions on how to send the photos to us will be provided once listed. With the additional photos option you will be able to show potential buyers from all over the world every aspect of your property. They will be able to view the best features your home or land has to offer such as a great master bedroom, kitchen, deck, stream, ponds, pool etc.

*Maximum number of photos varies by the MLS system and ranges from 24 to 40 photos.

Lockboxes are the property of Select Premium Properties, Inc. and are to be returned at your expense within 10 days following closing or ending of your listing. The return address label will be included in your shipment.

Once listed, a confirmation / information email will be sent to the email address you provided. This email contains very important listing information as well as the library of forms.

Sales and Contract Questions

To save on commission, you will handle many details of the sale yourself including negotiating sales contracts and contingencies. As a licensed real estate company, however, we are still required by law to process and maintain many documents relating to the listing and sale of your property. We are required by law to keep and retain on file for 3 years documents such as listing agreements, sales contracts, addenda's, contingencies and Hud1 / ALTA / Closing Disclosures.

We are not involved in contract negotiations. You will handle all showings, inquiries, and contract presentations on your own.

Many real estate attorney's, settlement agencies or title companies can review a purchase contract for you. If you plan on using that company for your closing, they will usually do this free of charge.

MLS Listing Cost and Payment Questions

The cost to list your home in the MLS system is $195.00. If you choose marketing materials such as signs and lockboxes, those fees will apply. Other fees such as returned check fees, lost/damaged materials fees, a sale administration fee, and late fees to overdue balances may also apply. However, the general cost to list your home with us is $195.00.

The cost for listing a home with us in the MLS is $195.00. Miscellaneous administrative fees may apply to your listing and can include, but are not limited to, any options selected by you such as: sign and lockbox rental, shipping and handling charges, lost or destroyed marketing materials, returned check fees, listing extensions, listing change requests, non-compliance fees (applies only if we do not receive a copy of your signed purchase or rental contract and/or Closing Disclosure / Hud1 Settlement Statement within 48 hours of ratification or settlement), overdue interest, etc. A $175 sale admin fee also applies when the home goes to settlement. This fee does not apply if you accept a contract and it does not go to closing. No cash payment is due for this fee as it should be taken out at settlement by your settlement company.

A $175 sale administration fee applies only when the home goes to settlement. This fee does not apply to land listings or rental listings. This fee covers our time and cost to process the under contract paperwork and prepare the listing for settlement. Although you are handling many of the details of your sales contract and settlement, there are many things we must do to abide by real estate regulations and MLS rules. This includes receiving and processing a copy of the sales contract and a copy of the Closing Disclosure Statement / Hud1. Additionally, we, as the listing agency- by default and protocol, are the point of contact for the settlement attorney, the title company, the buyer's agency/agent, the home warranty company, the appraiser, the termite inspector, the surveyor, and the purchaser's mortgage company. Even though we are not directly involved, all of the above parties typically go through the Listing Agency (us) for permissions, information, copies of paperwork, etc.; and conversely we must reconfirm data with them in order to verify information and/or receive their documents to comply with real estate regulations. This fee covers our time to do all of this. No cash payment is due for this fee as it should be taken out at closing by your closing company. This fee does not apply if you accept a contract and it does not go to closing.

Payment is due at the time of listing. Unlike other companies we do not ask for payment until you have gone through the listing process and viewed all of the listing information. At the end of the listing process you will be able to pay online by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Alternatively, you may choose to send us a check or money order. However, the listing will not be entered into the MLS and marketing options will not be shipped until payment has been received.

If you decide to later list with a full service Real Estate Agent, AND list with one of our recommended agents, upon closing of the property we will refund you the $195 listing fee. Once your property has successfully sold using the agent we have recommended, send us the Closing Disclosure to receive the refund. Please see the Listing Agreement for full terms and conditions.

General MLS Listing Questions

We, Select Premium Properties, Inc. are a fully licensed and legitimate Real Estate Company. The principal broker/owner of the company is Stephanie Smith. You may view our company and broker information below:

NC Real Estate Commission website: 
http://www.ncrec.gov/default.html

(Click on Licensee search on the left hand side and put in Smith, Stephanie J.) 

SC Real Estate Commissions website: 
https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/LookupMain.aspx
 
then choose Real Estate Commission in the drop down menu.

Any leads we receive regarding your property are forwarded directly to you via email for contacting. We are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year so you will never have to wait to receive your leads. It is important to note that, unlike other flat fee companies, we do not work directly with buyers. Therefore we do not try and "work the lead" (either by claiming they found the buyer for you from the lead and then taking the buyer's agency commission you are offering or by steering them towards another property and collecting that buyer's agency commission). We sell and rent hundreds of homes each year through our company which attests to the fact that our clients are actually selling and renting their homes instead of just listing them. You may view some of our Sold listings on Zillow by Clicking Here.

We are a Licensed Real Estate agency and have many laws and regulations we need to comply with. In turn, there are laws and regulations you will also need to comply with.

1. Within 48 hours of a Sales Contract being signed by you, we will need 1) A copy of the purchase sales contract and 2) A completed Under Contract form (provided to you once listed).

3. Within 48 hours after closing/settlement we will need a copy of your Closing Disclosure Statement / ALTA Statement / Hud1 Settlement Statement, provided to you by your attorney or closing company right before or at closing.

Unfortunately, due to hefty fines imposed by the MLS systems, a non-compliance fee of $250.00 per occurrence will be assessed if the above documents are not received within the required time frame. If the documents above ARE RECEIVED within the 48 hours, these fees WILL NOT APPLY.

We are a Licensed Real Estate agency and have many laws and regulations we need to comply with. As the Listing Agent, we are required by law to maintain proper records regarding your listing including the Listing Agreement, Sales Contract, All Addendums, Closing Disclosure / Hud1 Statement, and all other papers related to your listing. Further, we must process sales contract paperwork and deal with other parties regarding your settlement. These requirements apply to every company that lists homes in the MLS, regardless if you pay flat rate or pay a standard listing commission.

We try to make the listing process as fast and easy as possible. To help you through the process more quickly we suggest gathering important property documents before you begin listing on our website. These include; tax record/information sheets, an appraisal of the property (for square footage and room dimensions), home owners association rules and regulations, and any brochures you may have (for wording and remarks fields). Our website uses state-of-the art mouse / touch pad signatures. This means that everything can be filled out, read and signed online. There is no need to mail or fax any paperwork to us and there is no waiting period. Our listing process is truly hassle free! Click Here for More Information.

Depending on the time of day, listings are usually entered into the MLS system the same day everything is received.

Once you begin to list your home or land on our website you will see a "listing start date" field. In this box you may put the date you wish your listing to be active in the MLS. If you have ordered any marketing materials, once your listing and payment have been received, we will process your listing and send the materials out to you via USPS's Priority mail or FedEx. Materials usually arrive within 1-2 days (excluding Sundays).

Yes, the MLS now has a "Coming Soon" category. The MLS allows a delayed start date of 2 business days. However, if you choose a start date which is after the 2 day time frame, the listing will be placed into the "Coming Soon" category in the MLS. The listing may remain in this category for up to 21 days. Listings in the "Coming Soon" category are strictly prohibited from being shown or conducting open houses. A violation of this rule will result in an automatic $500 fine from the MLS. While in the "Coming Soon" category the listing can only be viewed by agents. It will not appear on any public real estate website until it is in the "Active" category. If you find you would like to make the property active prior to your original "coming soon" date, you may simply email us to change the status from "Coming Soon" to "Active" at no cost to you.