Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota,
Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington

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Making sense of the Baton Rouge and GSREIN Data Exchange

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
January 18th, 2016

In the 4th quarter of 2015, GSREIN announced a data coop with Baton Rouge coming in late Feb 2016. What does this really mean and how does it affect Realtors(R) and homeowners?

For Realtors(R) – Lockbox keys now work for both Baton Rouge based MLS listings and New Orleans based listings. A Realtor(R) does not have to subscribe and pay for 2 different keys. (as they would have before in order to work both markets) In addition to this, All Baton Rouge listings are visible to all NOMAR members through the Data Co-op feature. (and vice versa for Baton Rouge members)


For Homeowners – We need to wait and see how effective the coop tool really is from a search stand point. I am curious to see if the Baton Rouge listings only show up in the coop based search… or if the generic search feature will bring back all of the Baton Rouge listings. If it does, it means that homeowners may be able to list Baton Rouge properties directly into the NOMAR system. (allowing Baton Rouge Realtors(R) to have access to these listings)

More to come in late Feb when this is rolled out by the Associations.

Cons to watch out for

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
November 17th, 2015

Our goal is to help property owners sell real estate w/out paying high fees. Many properties that we list, sell quickly, however, the reality is that not every property sells in the first 30 days. Over the years, we have seen a pretty clear trend with other full priced Realtors(R) soliciting our property owners. The most common example is as follows:


Homeowner list the property with Congress Realty. The property sits on the market for one reason or another. The full priced Realtor approaches the homeowner and tries to develop a relationship. The Realtor(R) begins to plant the seed with the owner that the problem is with the listing, not the property. Slowly but surely the full priced Realtor(R) convinces the seller to cancel the listing with our firm and to list with the full priced Realtor(R). The new Realtor(R) takes the listing and makes all sorts of promises to the home owner. Eventually, after a few weeks, the Realtor(R) begins to push the seller down on price…. Typically, at about this point in time, the seller realizes they’ve been conned by the Realtor(R).


If you’re asking yourself how often this happens… the answer is… all of the time. It is the # 1 feedback we receive from sellers who have previously cancelled with our firm and went to another Realtor(R). I went back and tracked in the Phx market all of our previous listings who cancelled and listed with a full service Realtor(R) for the last 12 months. Of these listings, not 1 single listing sold with the new Realtor(R) at the most recent price the seller had listed with our firm. Every single sale that occurred could be directly tied to a substantial price reduction.


Do not be conned by a Realtor(R) into thinking they have a magic solution to get your home sold. They rely upon the same MLS system and buyer agents that Congress Realty relies upon.


One more con to watch out for…  This recently happened in Austin, TX. A high end Westlake listing cancelled with our firm and listed the property with a Realtor(R) who had convinced him that all high end Real Estate had to be sold through her firm in the Westlake area. The seller was initially impressed by the amount of traffic he had from “local Realtors(R)” over the first 30-45 days of the listing. After about 45 days, the agent demanded the seller reduce the price. This agent based this recommendation upon the feedback she had received from the ‘showings”… It took about 90 days for the seller to realize what had happened. The agent simply had other agents from her office walk through the property to give the appearance of actual showings and previews. While in reality, the agent had produced little to zero legitimate buyer traffic. The agent had simply placed the property in the MLS and hoped someone else would sell the listing.

Change for Realtor.com

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
October 8th, 2015

Years ago, the only properties you would find listed on Realtor.com were properties currently on the market. Today, you will notice that Realtor.com has created individual pages for each address, regardless of whether or not the property is on the market. If you search your address on Realtor.com, you will find that Realtor.com will pull back a generic page for your property with basic tax roll information. In the top right corner, they will also list an average price for homes in your area. I’m curious to see what Realtor.com plans to do with this. Right now, it just looks like a poor attempt to create a B minus version of the Zillow platform. We will have to wait and see if Realtor.com has a bigger idea looming and this is just the beginning of a more well thought out plan.

ARMLS Lockbox Exchange

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 9th, 2015

ARMLS has recently gone through a lockbox exchange via SUPRA. As with many other markets in recent months, Supra has introduced the blue tooth functional “I” boxes to the ARMLS market. We currently have about 10 in stock. If you have an old box and would like to exchange it, please email us at info@congressrealty.com or call us at 800 657 6579 ext 1.


** ARMLS is the MLS system for Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding markets.


J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
August 2nd, 2015

We are thrilled to announce MLS coverage in Northwest Montana beginning in Feb, 2016. Congress Realty will have direct access to the Northwest Montana Association of Realtors(R) database for MLS listings. This is an area that we have received huge demand for in the past and we are thrilled to be able to offer coverage early in 2016. More news to follow.

7/14-7/22 – Change of hours for these 9 days

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
July 11th, 2015

Typically, we are available b/w the hours of 9am to 8pm Pacific time. Unfortunately, for the dates of 7/14-7-22 we must alter these hours to 3:00pm – 11pm. All new listings will still be processed within 1 business day and all changes will be made within 1 business day. This is a very rare situation and we will go back to our normal business hours beginning 7/23. We apologize for this inconvenience.


“Lead Pirates”

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
June 24th, 2015

Great article from inman news:


The idea here is based around the concept of wanting a referral fee for doing next to nothing. The article hits on Real Estate leads but it can be true in other areas. Mortgage leads can be a good example. Let’s say someone is surfing the web and clicks on a banner ad for a generic loan application. This app gets sold to countless loan officers. These loan officers in turn attempt to contact the individual that clicked on the banner ad. The company that placed the banner ad does absolutely nothing.

In the Flat Fee Business, you will find these same banner and paid ads throughout various search engines and websites. (such as Zillow) The majority of these ads are placed by generic national companies that do not hold a valid real estate license in your state. Instead, they put up a website with all sorts of promises…. they collect the money from the online viewer, and then they blindly fwd the lead to a local broker hoping that broker will provide the services the generic national company promised. The consumer is put in a tough spot. They paid company “A” and they were promised certain services by Company “A”. However, that national company has no real involvement at all in the listing. Even worse, because they don’t have a license, there is no one to hold Company “A” accountable for misleading advertising.

How do Flat Fee consumers protect themselves? Do not give your money/credit card to someone that you can’t speak with directly. If they don’t have a license in your state, do not list with them. This simple rule can save Flat Fee consumers from endless future problems.

Andrew, Give me a specific example!!!: Sandpoint, Idaho has their own MLS just for the city of Sandpoint. A few days ago, I received a lead from a generic national company in Sandpoint. Previously, we have notified this national company that we do not cover Sandpoint. (I don’t know of anyone who does) Upon receiving the lead, I immediately replied telling the national company again that we do not cover Sandpoint. (and that I didn’t know of anyone that did). Fast Fwd to 9 days later… the consumer that paid this national company calls me to complain that the company he signed up with and paid hasn’t delivered on any of the promises they provided. Furthermore, they haven’t returned his phone calls or refunded his money. Instead, when he complained, they provided my # as the person to contact for his Sandpoint MLS listing.

How could this consumer avoided this frustration? Don’t sign up through generic national companies.

State Specific Forms

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
May 20th, 2015

We are able to provide our clients with state specific forms as produced by the state association of Realtors(R) at no cost. These forms are available in our private client area under the tab marked, “state files”. They can be downloaded and printed 24/7 whenever you need them. On rare occasion, a new more recent form may be available that is not yet available through our private client area. In these rare instances, shoot us an email or give us a call and we can log into the appropriate portal and acquire the newer version for you.


Examples – In Nevada, we use the forms produced by the GLVAR. In California, we use the forms produced by the California Association of Realtors, in Arizona, AAR, etc… and the list goes on and on. We do not use generic forms that our competitors use. We pay each state association for the right to use their forms. These are the same forms that Realtors(R) in your area utilize on each transaction.



New “I” Boxes from Supra

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
February 13th, 2015

As many of you already know, Supra introduced a new I box into the market place about 24 months ago. Slowly, MLS’s across the country have been upgrading from the old electronic lockboxes to the new boxes. ABOR recently put out the following PDF file addressing the differences b/w the two boxes. While the changes only affect Realtors(R) directly, it’s good to know as a seller what products are out there for Realtors(R) and the differences b/w products.


Who is Congress Realty and what do you do?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
February 10th, 2015

If you are new to our site, Welcome! Congress Realty first dived into the Flat Fee market back in 2002. Since that time, we have listed somewhere in the neighborhood of 35,000 flat fee listings on local MLS’s across the Western United States. In addition, we have negotiated countless full service deals and represented hundreds of buyer’s in the purchase of Real Estate. We have developed a reputation for a more hands on approach to the flat fee listing. While our site has all of the do it yourself tips and forms you need, we make ourselves available to answer questions and assist seller’s along the way when needed.

When you list a property with Congress Realty, you will always be dealing with Andrew or Donald. We do not refer out orders to outside brokers. When a property is listed with our firm, we have the listing up and active within 1 day of receiving the order. We then send the seller an email confirmation with access to our private client area. This emails contains your login and password to our private client area. From here, the seller can review the MLS listing and submit changes through our website. We typically make changes the day we receive them. When we make a change, a confirmation email is sent to the seller.

On the buyer side, we offer rebates to buyers on the purchase of their home. We will work with your lender to ensure your credit is approved by your lender and perfectly within the scope of the law.

When navigating our site, if you have any questions or comments, give us a call or shoot us an email!

800 657 6579