If you are in the market for a home, you will have undoubtedly heard about the multiple listing service or MLS. If you are buying, selling, or just curious about the local real estate market, the MLS is the place to go for the information you need. Real estate agents depend on the MLS in many ways, and buyers might want to know how the MLS affects their quest for a home. Read on to find out more.
What Does Your MLS Tell You?
Almost everything anyone would want to know about a home can be found using the MLS. Whether or not you can access the MLS is another question. In some cases, your real estate agent might provide you with a code to access the professional version of the MLS in your area. Otherwise, you might be able to access a version of the MLS that is geared toward buyers, sellers, and lookie-loos too. Ask your agent about how to access your local MLS and be prepared to be stunned by the level of detail available there. While it varies, you might expect to find the following:
- Homes that are listed by MLS number, street addresses, and legal addresses
- Photographs, square footage of the home, and, in some cases, the square footage of individual rooms as well
- Construction information, flooring details, and lot size
- Cost considerations like homeowners' association (HOA) fees, property tax estimates, insurance estimates, and more
- How long the home has been on the market and even previous listing details.
- The current list price, along with previous sales prices
As you can see, the MLS is a more complete listing than that you might see using Zillow or other real estate listing sites.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Just in case you were wondering, MLS data is highly location-dependent. The town 50 miles away may have its own MLS, but some rural areas share an MLS database. Doing things this way assures the information contained in the MLS is up-to-date and of a reasonable volume. That makes it easier to look up listings and to know that the information is fresh and reliable – which is important for agents and for those eager to find the home of their dreams.
If you are an information hound or just like to know all the details about a home, your local MLS is an excellent tool to go along with the expertise of your real estate agent. To find out more about the MLS in your area, speak to a real estate agent.