Are you tired of searching a few dozen websites on your hunt for the home of your dreams?
We have a secret for you. Realtors in East Idaho don’t hunt around on 15 different websites when they search for listings. They use the Snake River MLS.
The MLS is a database that contains all the homes, land, and commercial property available in Idaho Falls, Idaho and the Snake River region.
What is the MLS and how can home buyers use it to find your dream property? Read our guide here.
MLS is a loving acronym for the Multiple Listing Service, a technology developed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The MLS is the modern incarnation of an old idea. At the turn of the twentieth century, real estate brokers would get together at their local associations to swap gossip and the details about their properties.
They would lend a hand to their fellow realtor, and someday, they’d get help back. The NAR describes it like this: “Help me sell my inventory, and I’ll help you sell yours.”
Over 800 MLSs and brokers use the MLS database. They post the details and invite others to participate in the sale. Uploading properties helps generate more exposure for sellers and buyers benefit, too.
Buyers benefit because they get information about all MLS properties. And every home listed for sale enters the MLS unless there’s a specific exemption. But you don’t have to trawl through dozens of websites using hundreds of tabs to get there.
Everything is in one place, and you can compare within the same system. You also only need to use one broker. That means you don’t need to field the relentless emails and phone calls of multiple brokerages.
Your realtor uses the MLS to find more homes and collaborate with other brokers who are open to offers of help.
Perhaps the most significant benefit for buyers is the information. The MLS doesn’t only provide properties. It contains the latest data. So you won’t click on a property only to find it’s under offer and poised to close.
The photos also tend to be superior to what you might find on aggregate sites or individual realtor sites. There’s no frustration quite like seeing a listing with a gorgeous cover photo and only one or two other pictures. The MLS has strict photo standards (both quality and quantity), so realtors uploading listings need to put their best photographs forward.
So how do you get into this treasure trove of real estate property and collaboration?
Although it’s open to buyers, your ticket in is through a licensed realtor.
Even though many websites claim to offer MLS data, few provide the comprehensive list found on the MLS. Your agent can set you up with a private search to grab the information for you.
If there’s a specific property you have your eye on, all you need to do is provide the MLS number to get the latest data.
The easiest way to do this is to ask for email updates. All you need to do is provide your name, e-mail, and search parameters. Then, the MLS sends you e-mails of the new listings with the latest information (unavailable elsewhere).
Some of the search parameters you can choose include: active listings, price reductions, pending sales, zip code or radius, or even a map search within specific boundaries.
Use our property listing page to get started and let us know which house for sale your are insterested in, we will send you all the information available through the MLS.
Zillow and Trulia are aggregate sites that draw a lot of eyeballs (160 million a month). Both are great if you want to get a wide range of properties in a large geographic area.
If you’re still toying with the idea of buying, these can be excellent, hassle-free resources.
However, the MLS is different from these platforms. First, realtors may use basic listings on Zillow and Trulia for exposure. They want leads, and these sites are a great place to start up emails and phone calls.
The MLS contains the most complete and up-to-date data on a property. Because the NAR and regional rules regulate it, you don’t run the risk of falling in love with unavailable properties, as you might on Zillow. The real estate platforms don’t contain those kinds of regulations or oversight. Plus, a less scrupulous agent may leave a valuable listing up after it’s off the market to bring more visitors to their site or generate more leads.
Yes and no. The MLS you use is a regional database, so it only carries listings for southeast Idaho and Snake River.
If you want access to the MLS in another part of the country, you need to get in touch with an MLS real estate agent in that region.
No, you can’t post your property directly on the database. Because your access comes from an MLS member agent or broker, you need to go through them. They then enter the listing on your behalf.
You can list a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) property on the MLS, but you will pay a fee, and you need to find a broker willing to offer the service.
However, you might find it easier to get in touch with one our local agents to get your property listed. We will asist you with putting your listing on the MLS.
Truthfully, there are few disadvantages of buyers using the MLS. It levels the playing field, particularly for first-time homebuyers or those who are new to the Snake River, Idaho area. Because anyone who lists on the MLS has an interest in collaboration, you benefit from almost perfect competition between realtors.
The only potential pitfall is for sellers who want to post an FSBO listing. You will need to pay for a listing on the MLS.
Are you tired of relying on 14 different websites or clicking on homes that already sold? Use the Snake River MLS instead.
With the help of an MLS realtor or broker, you can access the most up-to-date listings and data in southeastern Idaho.
Contact us today to get your free, customized MLS listing emails.
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