There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to selling your house, including regarding MLS in Chicago if you’re an area resident. Do you go the traditional route and use a listing agent? Do you list for sale by owner on MLS? How difficult is it to manage an FSBO listing? How do you get your property on Illinois MLS listings? What are the challenging aspects of selling your own home? Why should someone sell their home without an agent? Keep reading to find your answers. 

What is the MLS 

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a collection of localized databases, including the Midwest Real Estate Database or MRED, only accessible by licensed realtors. MRED includes properties in all of Chicagoland and covers Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. After a listing is on the MLS, the data is on Zillow,, Trulia, Google, and other common websites and apps.  

If you’re looking to save the commission fee from a traditional real estate listing, you can use flat-fee services to list on MLS in Chicago. 

Why List as FSBO?  

The biggest benefit to listing for sale by owner on MLS is the financial benefit. Real estate listing commission fees average around 5-6% of the sale price of the house. Part of that is split with the buyer’s agent. A 5% commission on a $300,000 sale would be $15,000. Opting to list FSBO and take advantage of MLS in Chicago can keep the money in your bank account. 

While 36% of sellers indicated not wanting to pay commission as their reason for going the FSBO route, other reasons included selling to a relative or friend (30%); and buyers contacting sellers directly, eliminating the need for a listing agent (8%). FSBO properties tend to be on the market longer than properties with a listing agent, however selling your home yourself can eliminate some of the back and forth and back again, and other drawn-out processes and conversations that can be part of the traditional real estate process. 

How to List For Sale by Owner on MLS

The first step to getting on the MLS in Chicago is finding a flat free listing service. Flat-fee listings often simply add the data into MLS and let you handle the rest. Some flat-fee packages include more customer support, assistance with paperwork, photography, signage, or other benefits. For Illinois MLS listings, Prello Realty offers three different packages: 

  • Basic: MLS Listing (MRED);, Zillow, Trulia, etc.; Local Realtor sites like Redfin; 6 Month Listing Period; Standard Yard Sign
  • Plus: MLS Listing (MRED);, Zillow, Trulia, etc.; Local Realtor sites like Redfin; 6 Month Listing Period; Standard Yard Sign; Professional Photography
  • Pro: MLS Listing (MRED);, Zillow, Trulia, etc.; Local Realtor sites like Redfin; 6 Month Listing Period; Standard Yard Sign; Professional Photography; Combination Lockbox; Showing Appointment Scheduling

Sellers should consider hiring an attorney or professional to assist with contract negotiations and paperwork. While having a real estate attorney isn’t necessary for FSBO listings, 13 % of FSBO sellers indicated understanding and performing paperwork was the most challenging aspect of selling their property. 

Prello MLS

At Prello Realty, we have full-time associates dedicated to the administration of our flat fee listings, a customer service representative is available seven days a week. No matter which listing package you use, we offer assistance with contract negotiations, submitting and reviewing offers, counteroffers, notices, and contingencies.

While using the MLS in Chicago, it’s important to follow all legal requirements. Illinois, and many other states, require homeowners to disclose specific structural or material defects, infestations, boundary line disputes, if the property is around a flood plain, and other similar pieces of information with potential buyers. 

How to Sell Your Home Yourself 

One key tip for selling on MLS in Chicago, or anywhere, is to shift your thinking from homeowner to salesperson. It may be a challenge to avoid any emotional attachment to your home, but generally, your personal memories with the property don’t add any value for a buyer. Not all of your renovation projects, decor, or design choices will appeal to every buyer. 

Start with research, check what similar homes are selling for, and what the current trends are. Marketing a home is typically something a listing agent would work on, but with FSOB you’ll need to handle it yourself. Considering allocating some of the money you’re saving on commission to hire a professional real estate photographer and a home stager. A home that looks great is more likely to sell quickly. 

Successful Real Estate

While the MLS will help your property be seen online by potential buyers, don’t shy away from using your own social media networks, word of mouth, and other resources. Share your online listings, tell your friends to tell their friends, host an open house, and get creative with your marketing efforts. Unlike an agent, who may be working with multiple properties at once, your home is your whole focus

Selling homes is an agent’s job, if you’re listing on MLS in Chicago, you’re likely balancing a job, a family, and selling your house. Being responsive and diligent is a big part of selling your home. Sellers need to be sure to answer the phone, respond to inquiries, and properly vet potential buyers. You’re time is limited, and showing your home to someone who is very underqualified is not a great use of anyone’s time. You’re allowed to ask for references and run a credit check. 

Once you’ve found a qualified buyer, you’ve accepted their offer, and you’re ready to seal the deal, working with a lawyer to finalize the paperwork can ensure both parties are confident in the transaction. 

The paperwork part of for sale by-owner listings can be a challenge, but listing for sale by owner on MLS can save money and keep you in control of the selling process. Prello Realty’s flat fee Illinois MLS listing services can help you to take charge, and sell your home yourself.