Frequently Asked Questions - Rental Listings

MLS Flat Rate Listing Questions

The MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is an extensive database of homes for sale, land/lots for sale and homes for rent listed by Real Estate Agents. It is made up of Broker members who agree to share their listings with one another to find ready, willing and able tenants for their properties more quickly than they could on their own. It is a system that is available only to Real Estate Agents who are members of that MLS. For more information Click Here.

Real Estate Agents usually belong to their local MLS and have access to those listings. We belong to several different MLS's. To determine the correct MLS for your property, Click Here. You may choose which MLS you would like to list in and, for more exposure, you may also choose to list in more than one MLS area.

ListingExpress.com covers Washington DC, Most of Maryland, Northern Virginia and Central/Richmond, Va. CarolinaListingExpress.com covers the major metropolitan areas of North Carolina and parts of South Carolina. GeorgiaListingExpress.com covers much of the state of Georgia. Click Here for more detailed coverage information in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Yes, tenants working with agents are very serious about renting. They are typically well qualified and the credit check is usually run for you (since agents do not want to waste their time with un-qualified renters). By listing your home for rent in the MLS you will get a high quality MLS listing and listed on 100's of real estate websites, such as Realtor.com, Zillow Group and MRIShomes.com. For more information about why listing in the MLS is best Click Here.

There are many things that the tenant's agent will do for you when listing your home in the MLS. A tenant's agent will typically:

    1. Run the credit / background check on the tenant. You may also choose to run your own checks if you wish.
    2. They will show the home for you and only show your home to qualified renters, saving you valuable time and trouble.
    3. When a suitable tenant is found, the agent will write the lease agreement for you and present it directly to you.
    4. They will collect the tenant's first month's rent and security deposit.

Other things to keep in mind:

Many renters that are moving from out of town or with a job relocation program will only work with a real estate agent. Out of town tenants rely on the knowledge and expertise of an agent to show them homes that fit their moving criteria.

Agents will typically use only the MLS to find homes for rent for their tenants.

By listing with our company you always reserve the right to rent the property on your own to a tenant not working with an agent. If this happens no further compensation is due to anyone.

The name of our company is Select Premium Properties, Inc. and this is the name that will appear as your listing agency. ListingExpress.com is the name of our listing website and it will not appear in your MLS listing. Appearances matter and our professional company name will help to assure your listing is treated the same as any other listing within the Realtor community.

You. Your contact information is listed in the MLS listing with specific instructions for agents to deal directly with you for showings, inquiries and contract offers. Your MLS listing also comes with the valuable Showing Time service which will allow you to update your own showing instructions to agents.

The Showing Time Service is a service is provided by the MLS. It allows agents to schedule appointments online via an app or call into the Showing Time service to set up appointments. With the Showing Time service you are able to update your own showing instructions and receive a valuable feedback form from the agent once the property has been shown. This service comes with your MLS listing, however, it can be turned off at any time by your request.

Listing periods for rental homes are in 3 month increments. Additional 3 month periods are available for $95.00. However, most homes are rented within the first few weeks of listing and rarely is a second listing period needed. You are not "locked into" this listing period and can extend or shorten your listing as you wish, and withdraw at any time.

The MLS only allows a property to be listed with one agent at a time. If you are in a contractual arrangement with another agent or your property is currently listed in the MLS, this is not intended as a solicitation of your business or that listing. We honor and respect relationships with other agents.

Renter's Agent Compensation Questions

A renter's agent is the Real Estate agent who actually rents the property. They are also called tenant's agents. So the terms renting agent and tenant's agent are basically the same. The Listing Agent is the Real Estate agent who lists your home for rent in the MLS. In other words, we are the Listing Agency and the Real Estate Agent who brings a tenants and rents your home is the Renting Agency or Tenant's Agency. For more information on basic real estate terms Click Here

Any Real Estate Agent bringing a ready, willing, and able renter with a satisfactory lease contract will be due a small "renting" commission of your choice. 25% of one month's rent is common, and is recommended on our website, you may offer whatever commission amount you wish. Examples are 50%, $200, $1.

There are many things that the tenant's agent will do for you when listing your home in the MLS. A tenant's agent will typically:

    1. Run the credit / background check on the tenant. You may also choose to run your own checks if you wish.
    2. They will show the home for you and only show your home to qualified renters, saving you valuable time and trouble.
    3. When a suitable tenant is found, the agent will write the lease agreement for you and present it directly to you.
    4. They will collect the tenant's first month's rent and security deposit.

Other things to keep in mind:

Many renters that are moving from out of town or with a job relocation program will only work with a real estate agent. Out of town tenants rely on the knowledge and expertise of an agent to show them homes that fit their moving criteria.

Agents will typically use only the MLS to find homes for rent for their tenants.

By listing with our company you always reserve the right to rent the property on your own to a tenant not working with an agent. If this happens no further compensation is due to anyone.

No. If you find your own tenant, who is not working with an agent, there is no commission due to anyone.

Changes to Your MLS Listing Questions

The MLS mostly has pre-arranged fields with the choices pre-determined and no one is able to customize these fields. However, you are able to add your own description/remarks, directions and other fields that the MLS allows. All customized information is subject to Fair Housing and MLS rules and regulations.

For legal purposes, all changes to your listing must be made on our Listing Change form (available once listed). We cannot accept changes by email or phone calls. You may make as many changes as you wish on any one Listing Change form for a small fee of $20.00 and the changes are usually made within a few hours of being received. Changes made within 24 hours of listing are free of charge.

Changes to your listing must be made on our Listing Change form (available once listed). You may make as many changes as you wish on any one form for a small fee of $20.00. The changes are usually made within a few hours of being received. Changes made within 24 hours of listing are free of charge.

You may cancel/withdraw your listing with us at any time by using our Listing Withdrawal form (provided to you once listed). Email and phone call requests for cancellations/withdrawals cannot be accepted.

MLS Associated Real Estate Website Questions

Real Estate websites like Realtor.com display condensed versions of listings which they receive directly from the MLS itself. Unlike the MLS which is updated instantly, the real estate websites are updated anywhere from every 4 hours (Realtor.com) to 1-5 business days. It is dependent on when each real estate website updates their information.

Yes, you may go to Realtor.com, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate, MRISHomes.com and many other public websites in your area to view a condensed version of your listing. Keep in mind that this is NOT your actual MLS listing. Only licensed agents belonging to the MLS will be able to see your actual MLS listing with all of the detailed information.

Yes. Realtor.com, Zillow and others offer the ability to print a color brochures of your listing to hand out to potential tenants. You may also request a distributable / flyer version of your MLS listing from us.

Your listing will appear on possibly 100's of real estate websites. The MLS sends your listing information directly to real estate websites such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate. The MLS also sends your listing information to other real estate agencies / brokerages (such as Remax, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, etc) who belong to that MLS system.  Unlike other company's, we have the MLS send your listing information to every real estate website available. Click Here for more information on where your listing is sent.

The MLS has partnership arrangements with the various real estate sites to provide condensed listing information and photos. Every real estate site is different regarding what they choose to display. We are not able to edit the various real estate sites, we can only edit your MLS listing - which in turn, sends your listing information to these sites.

Real estate websites, such as Realtor.com, are partnered with the MLS and are designed to drive leads to Real Estate Agents and typically do not allow owner's names or contact information to appear. This restriction is the same for every company that lists properties in the MLS and we, nor anyone else, cannot override this arrangement. We will, however, forward any leads we receive through these websites directly to you via email. It is important to note that, unlike other flat rate companies, we do not work directly with tenants. Therefore we do not try and "work the lead" (either by claiming they found the tenant for you from the lead and then taking the tenant's agency compensation you are offering or by steering them towards another property which will also pay them a renting commission). Regarding the MLS system itself, your contact information will appear here and agents will contact you directly for showings, inquiries and contract presentations.

Unlike the MLS, which is updated instantly, the real estate websites are updated anywhere from every 4 hours (Realtor.com) to 1-5 business days. When your listing will appear on any one site is dependent on when that site updates their information.

MLS Marketing Options Questions

A lockbox is highly recommended if you are not able to allow access to the home in a timely manner. A lockbox is designed to hold your house key and allows licensed agents access to the key via a special key card used to open the box. The lockbox records the agent's information such as time of entry, date, name and company. A lockbox provides access when the owner is away, assuring full exposure to agents and their prospective tenants. They are completely removable and controllable by you and fit conveniently over the door frame, not the handle, so you may simply slip it off the frame and bring it inside whenever you need privacy. For more information and to see a picture of a lockbox Click Here

Once listed in the MLS, you will need to remove any For Rent By Owner (FRBO) signs from your property. This is an MLS rule and regulation and applies to every company who lists homes in the MLS. We recommend that you replace your sign with our agency sign upon listing in the MLS. Our agency sign reassures agents that your home is actively listed on the MLS. You may also use a generic "Home For Rent " or "For Rent Sign", but it may not say the words "By Owner" on it.

Once you begin to list your for rent our website you will see a "listing start date" field. In this box you may put the date you wish your listing to be active in the MLS. If you have ordered any marketing materials, once your listing and payment have been received, we will process your listing and send the materials out to you via USPS's priority mail or FedEX. Materials usually arrive within 1-2 days (excluding Sundays).

YES! In fact, an exterior photo of the home is required by the MLS. Instructions on how to send the photo(s) to us will be provided once listed.

Your listing includes 5 photos for the $195 price. However, if you choose the additional photos option, you may send us up to 40* of your own photos of your property to appear in the MLS for only $45. Instructions on how to send the photos to us will be provided once listed. With the additional photos option you will be able to show potential tenants from all over the world every aspect of your property. They will be able to view the best features your home has to offer such as a great master bedroom, kitchen, deck, stream, ponds, pool etc.

*Maximum number of photos varies by the MLS system and ranges from 30 to 40 photos.

Lockboxes are the property of Select Premium Properties, Inc. and are to be returned at your expense within 10 days following closing or ending of your listing. The return address label will be included in your shipment.

Once listed, a confirmation / information email will be sent to the email address you provided. This email contains very important listing information as well as the library of forms.

Rental Contract Questions

To save on commission, you will handle many details of the lease yourself including negotiating lease contracts. As a licensed real estate company, however, we are still required by law to process and maintain many documents relating to the listing and rental of your home. We are required by law to keep and retain on file for 3 years documents such as listing agreements, lease contracts and the like.

We are not involved in contract negotiations. You will handle all showings, inquiries, and contract presentations on your own.

MLS Listing Cost and Payment Questions

The cost to list your home for rent in the MLS system is $195.00. If you choose marketing materials such as signs and lockboxes, those fees will apply. Other fees such as returned check fees, lost/damaged materials fees, may apply. However, the general cost to list your home for rent with us is $195.00.

Payment is due at the time of listing. Unlike other companies we do not ask for payment until you have gone through the listing process and viewed all of the listing information. At the end of the listing process you will be able to pay online by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Alternatively, you may choose to send us a check or money order. However, the listing will not be entered into the MLS and marketing options will not be shipped until payment has been received.

General MLS Listing Questions

We, Select Premium Properties, Inc. are a fully licensed and legitimate Real Estate Company. The principal broker/owner of the company is Stephanie Smith. You may view our company and broker information below:

Virginia Real Estate Commission website
http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup/
(put in Smith, Stephanie and Check the Real Estate Individuals Box.)

Maryland Real Estate Commission website
https://www.dllr.state.md.us
(put in Smith, Stephanie)

Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission website: https://www.pals.pa.gov/#/page/search
(put in Smith, Stephanie - Lic RM423650)

Washington DC Real Estate Commission website:
https://www.pulseportal.com/
(put in Smith, Stephanie)

Any leads we receive regarding your property are forwarded directly to you via email for contacting. We are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year so you will never have to wait to receive your leads. It is important to note that, unlike other flat fee companies, we do not work directly with tenants. Therefore we do not try and "work the lead" (either by claiming they found the tenant for you from the lead and then taking the tenant's agency commission you are offering or by steering them towards another property). We sell and rent hundreds of homes each year through our company which attests to the fact that our clients are actually selling and renting their homes instead of just listing them.

We are a Licensed Real Estate agency and have many laws and regulations we need to comply with. In turn, there are laws and regulations you will also need to comply with.

Within 48 hours of a Lease Contract being signed by you, we will need

1. A copy of the lease contract
2. A completed Under Lease form (provided to you once listed).

Unfortunately, due to hefty fines imposed by the MLS, a non-compliance fee of $250.00 will be assessed if the above documents are not received within the required time frame. If the documents above ARE RECEIVED within the 48 hours, these fees WILL NOT APPLY.

We are a Licensed Real Estate agency and have many laws and regulations we need to comply with. As the Listing Agent, we are required by law to maintain proper records regarding your listing including the Listing Agreement, Lease Contract and all other papers related to your listing. These requirements apply to every company that lists homes in the MLS, regardless if you pay flat rate or pay a standard listing commission.

We try to make the listing process as fast and easy as possible. Our website uses state-of-the art mouse / touch pad signatures. This means that everything can be filled out, read and signed online. There is no need to mail or fax any paperwork to us and there is no waiting period. Our listing process is truly hassle free! Click Here for More Information.

Depending on the time of day, listings are usually entered into the MLS system the same day everything is received.

Once you begin to list your home for rent on our website you will see a "listing start date" field. In this box you may put the date you wish your listing to be active in the MLS. If you have ordered any marketing materials, once your listing and payment have been received, we will process your listing and send the materials out to you via USPS's Priority mail or FedEx. Materials usually arrive within 1-2 days (excluding Sundays).

Yes, the MLS now has a "Coming Soon" category. The MLS allows a delayed start date of 2 business days. However, if you choose a start date which is after the 2 day time frame, the listing will be placed into the "Coming Soon" category in the MLS. The listing may remain in this category for up to 21 days. Listings in the "Coming Soon" category are strictly prohibited from being shown or conducting open houses. A violation of this rule will result in an automatic $500 fine from the MLS. While in the "Coming Soon" category the listing can only be viewed by agents. It will not appear on any public real estate website until it is in the "Active" category. If you find you would like to make the property active prior to your original "coming soon" date, you may simply email us to change the status from "Coming Soon" to "Active" at no cost to you.