Flat Fee Listings – Flat Out fraud

Real estate agent Leslie Rae Young came under fire from regulators in Nebraska and Alaska for flat fee listings in the two states. While a flat fee listing is not against the law, doing it when you are not licensed in the state is against the law. A law Young is charged with breaking.

Young is a California licensed real estate agent, and has taken on flat fee listing clients where Young is paid a fee to list homes for sale by owner on multiple listing service (MLS) directories.

According to Young, she was not acting as an agent or a broker. She was just paid a fee to list the homes on sites like Realtor.com and through apps like Zillow and Trulia. She was not responsible for the transaction and did not take a commission on the sales.

But that doesn’t fly with the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, who contended that Young’s information appeared with the listing on the MLS sites, and that the flat fee listings were more than simply marketing services protected by the first amendment, as her suit claims.

Nebraska Federal Court has since ruled against Young. Only licensed brokers can list properties in the state if they are licensed there. Flat fee listings by unlicensed brokers: flat out fraud.

Read the entire story at Inman, an update at Inman, and the final ruling at Realtor.org.