Whether you're selling a neo-classical home in Birmingham or a waterfront cottage in Mobile, paying 6% in realtor fees is a lot.
That’s why some sellers use a flat-fee MLS company to list their home on the 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 compared to agent-represented properties.
- You still pay a buyer’s agent fee: 88% of buyers work with an agent — who still needs to get paid. In Alabama, you’re on the hook for 2.36%-3.09% 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 $3,000 or 1%.
Clever is the best alternative to the full DIY approach if you're in Alabama! 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 Alabama, read on! We’ve reviewed the best (and worst!) services in The Yellowhammer State.
The 4 best Alabama flat-fee MLS companies*
List With Freedom
Flat Fee Group
Flat Fee Realty
Unlimited listing updates
For sale sign
* 💰 indicates extra fee or premium purchase required
Experienced sellers who know what services they do and don't need
- If you know exactly what you need, you can go with a cheaper package and buy the extras on their own.
- There's no cancellation fee for live listings.
- You can pay a little more for showing and open house assistance.
- There's only one photo included in the base package.
- List With Freedom offers no built-in pricing support or home valuation.
Experienced investors who need only a basic MLS listing
- You can set up a free FSBO web page along with your MLS listing.
- It's easy to switch to a full-service agent if you decide FSBO isn't for you.
- This broker offers only one flat-fee MLS package. However, the company offers a higher-priced full-service option if you want help with facilitating your sale.
- The company's flat-fee MLS option allows fewer photos and changes to your listing.
Budget-conscious sellers who need a simple, affordable listing
- 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 Alabama-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.
Sellers looking for a lot of a-la-carte options
- 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 Alabama by city
In Alabama, you'll also find some smaller flat-fee MLS companies that specialize in particular cities. These uber-local companies are more likely to offer flexible service packages and to bring more area expertise than the big guys.
Every Alabama 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 Birmingham
The city of Birmingham shares many of the same companies as the state of Alabama. Basic MLS packages range from $89 to $399, with premium packages costing up to $999.
» EXPLORE: The Best Birmingham Flat-Fee MLS Companies
Hidden costs of flat-fee MLS companies
Some companies claim to offer flat-rate 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 up-front flat fee.
Further, some flat-fee MLS companies offer a 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.
Frequently asked questions
How much do flat-fee MLS services cost in Alabama?
Typically, you should expect to pay about $200-400 for a flat-fee MLS listing in Alabama. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $89 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $1,000.
Do I still need to pay the buyer's agent commission?
Although you'll save some money by not having to pay commission to a listing agent (typically 2.35%-3.08% of the sale price), we strongly recommend offering a commission to the buyer's agent. This will incentivize agents to bring their clients to your home.
How much to offer a buyer's agent is up to you, but most selling agent commissions in Alabama range from 2.36%-3.09%.
How do I sell by owner in Alabama?
Sellers in Alabama are typically expected to disclose all important information about their property, including:
- Building and safety information, including lead paint
- Utilities and proof of repairs or renovations
- Environmental information, such as if it's in a flood plain
Alabama is a "buyer beware" state. Besides those required by federal law, sellers do not need to provide disclosures before their home is sold. Fortunately, it's common for sellers to make disclosures in order to give buyers peace of mind.
What are the alternatives to using a flat-fee MLS service in Alabama?
Discount and flat-fee real estate agents
Discount real estate brokers will list your property for as little as 1% — keeping 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 Alabama.
In Alabama, Clever offers the lowest rates, with an added advantage: Clever lets you compare multiple agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX.
Clever is an agent-matching service that can match you with a pre-vetted, full-service agent for only $3,000 (or 1% if your home is priced above $350,000), plus the typical buyer's agent commission.
Your Clever agent will handle everything for you, from helping you accurately price your home to high-quality photography to negotiating with prospective buyers and filling out the paperwork.
You'll pay only a little more than you'd pay a flat-fee MLS service but save hours of effort by not having to do it all yourself!
Find top agents who charge a flat $3,000 or 1%. Clever's agent-matching service is free, with NO obligation!
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.
iBuyers are companies that buy homes for cash outright at what they claim are market prices. When you sell to an iBuyer, you could have a preliminary offer in as little as 24 hours.
The major downside of selling to an iBuyer is that these companies make money by charging steep service fees — typically 5-14% of the purchase price. So they're a good alternative only for sellers more concerned with convenience and speed than costs.
There are currently one iBuyers operating in certain Alabama markets. Click below to learn more.