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Multiple Listing Service - Important to Buyers and Sellers

What is the MLS and why is it important to buyers and sellers?

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is a database of homes that is maintained for and by real estate professionals. It lists not only the homes that are for sale in any given geographical area but also the homes that have sold or were for sale in the past if they were listed with a real estate agency.  This resource is available to all real estate professionals who pay the fee for having access to the service.  By working with a real estate agent, buyers and sellers gain access to this database, the largest pool of properties for sale in the market.

How Does the MLS Help Sellers?
The MLS is important to home sellers because it is the database that all real estate agents in the marketplace use to search for and advertise homes for sale. If, as a seller, you don’t have your home listed through the MLS, you are, in effect, greatly limiting the exposure of your home by bypassing all the real estate agents in your market. It is true that today with websites such as Trulia.com and Zillow.com you can advertise your property directly to the buyer. But most buyers are working with a real estate agent, and agents don’t go to Trulia.com and Zillow.com to find out what’s available to show their clients.  They go to the MLS database where they can find out many more details than they’ll have access to on any websites designed for the general public.  Real estate agents pay to have access to the MLS and they all use it daily. Do you want your home to be accessible to every real estate agent in your area or do you think it’s better to try to sell your home without including this market? Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman Realty is a member of the Northwestern Board of Realtors MLS:  When your home is entered into this MLS, it is automatically uploaded to about 17 different real estate websites, including realtor.com, trulia.com and zillow.com. Simply put, having your home listed in the MLS exposes your property to the largest pool of prospective buyers (both those working with a real estate agent and those that aren’t,) creating the most demand for your property. The more demand, the more power you have as a seller to garner a higher price and sell your home more quickly.

How Does the MLS Help Buyers?

Home buyers want to have access to the greatest number of homes for sale and they want to know as much information about those homes as possible.  Access to that information is accomplished through the MLS and by working with a real estate professional.  The MLS is paid for by the real estate agents and the information there is passed on to buyers at no cost to them. The real estate agent helps guide buyers to the homes that meet their criteria and budget, all by using the great resource of the MLS.