Hoooooooooo boy, here it comes. The day of reckoning for agents who don’t follow the FMLS rules of membership is at hand. As every real estate agent in the metro Atlanta area knows, FMLS is one of two major MLS systems providing information about listed properties. Member real estate companies pay a great deal of money to join FMLS and be able to provide access to its valuable information for the company’s affiliated agents.
FMLS has always had a unique method of charging for its services:
- Brokerages pay a percentage of the sales price after a successful closing. It’s .0012% of the sales price, or $120 on a $100,000 sale.
- One brokerage with both sides of the sale? One fee.
- Two cooperating brokerages on the deal? Two fees.
- No closing? No charge.
FMLS Enforcing Rules
FMLS has furthermore established a “mandatory areas” list requiring that each member company input ALL of its appropriate listings in FMLS if the listing is located within the mandatory area. A small number of affiliated licensees, though, have grumbled about the charges and looked for ways to cheat FMLS. Agents have claimed that their OFFICE wasn’t located in the mandatory area, that their HOME OFFICE wasn’t in the mandatory area or that the listed property was somehow exempt. No dice. It’s the property location, period.
Word has come today directly from FMLS that FMLS staff will be checking ALL closing records in the mandatory areas and that if they determine that an agent affiliated with an FMLS member company failed to list a “mandatory area” property which then closed, the charge will be levied retroactively PLUS a $50 fine. I suppose they can easily do this because they can look on the other major MLS, GaMLS. This may take a couple of months to uncover but agents who have been cheating FMLS will need to look over their shoulders for this.
The FMLS mandatory areas are all of Bartow, Cherokee, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton (North AND South), Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens and Walton counties. Any property located outside of the mandatory areas may also be listed in FMLS.
Sellers Deserve the Best Service
Now, as a rule-abiding FMLS member, this does give me a little bit of satisfaction. I’ve never understood the logic of offering less than full service when charging a seller client a full commission. Any agent who does NOT list properties, especially those located in FMLS’s mandatory area, in every available MLS is not providing good service to the seller client. Sellers deserve the BEST service we can offer, and that includes FULL marketing of their property in all the available and appropriate MLS systems. Hey, if the listing doesn’t sell, no FMLS fee is due. If it sells, this fee is a great problem to have!