Whether you're selling a greystone in Chicago or a townhouse in Carbondale, 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 Illinois, you’re on the hook for 2.25%-3.00% 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 Illinois! 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 Illinois, read on! We’ve reviewed the best (and worst!) services in The Prairie State.
The 5 best Illinois flat-fee MLS companies*
Flat Fee Realty
Unlimited listing updates
For sale sign
* 💰 indicates extra fee or premium purchase required
Sellers who like to keep things simple
- You can add as many open houses as you want to your listing without paying an extra fee.
- The base package only includes one photo. Most other companies include at least six (if not more) in their basic listing package.
- You'll have to pay an extra $200 at closing to cover Indiana's minimum service requirements.
Inexperienced sellers who might need additional support from the listing broker
- The basic listing package allows up to 25 photos. Many flat-fee mls companies limit you to six for their basic listing.
- If you spring for the MLS Plus package ($495), a professional photographer will come take photos of your property for your listing.
- All listing packages include a yard sign with a unique phone number that automatically forwards calls to you.
- You don't have many choices for add-on options.
- Prello Realty currently covers only the Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.
Tech-savvy sellers who want to manage their listings on an online platform
- You can upload photos, manage your listings, and receive and negotiate offers all within the online platform. Great for people who don't like to talk on the phone!
- If you need help pricing your home, you can check the two home value estimates that come with each package.
- Sellers who opt for the $199 Premium version can use the platform to automatically list their homes on popular classified sites like Craigslist, Oodle, and Listanza.
- You'll get no assistance with paperwork, even as an add-on service.
- Beycome's site doesn't make it clear that you may still have to pay a buyer's agent commission.
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 an Illinois-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, professional photography à 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 Illinois by city
In Illinois, 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 Illinois 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 Chicago
We found the flat-fee MLS companies in Chicago to be quite diverse in both their pricing and services. You'll find basic listings starting at $175 and premium packages for up to $795 with a lot of a la carte options to choose from.
» EXPLORE: The Best Chicago 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 Illinois?
Typically, you should expect to pay about $200-400 for a flat-fee MLS listing in Illinois. However, we've seen basic plans for as low as $100 and more comprehensive services that charge as much as $800.
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 2.25%-4.20% 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 Illinois range from 2.25%-3.00%.
How do I sell by owner in Illinois?
Illinois real estate laws require sellers to disclose all material defects about their property, including information about:
- Building and safety
- Environmental concerns (like the presence of lead paint or asbestos)
- Insects and pests
You'll share this information with potential buyers using the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report. You can either get this form from your listing broker or download it here.
What are the alternatives to using a flat-fee MLS service in Illinois?
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 Illinois.
In Illinois, 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!
Ready to start saving?
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.