What Exactly is the MLS?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service, and it’s the private system Realtors use to electronically store and share information about your property. We use it for all kinds of things – sold comps, property records, watching sales activity, stats, etc. The MLS is generally local or regional, and it’s owned by the governing Realtor board (MIBOR owns the Indianapolis area MLS, which is branded the Brokers Listing Cooperative or BLC).
How Does MLS Work?
Agents tour your property and gather all kinds of information – flooring type per room, lot features, heating and cooling system type, HOA amenities and dues, appliance inclusions and exclusions, etc. Once this information has been collected, we take it back to our offices and enter it into the online form in the MLS. From there, we can also upload property photos, utility information, HOA docs, disclosure forms, and the like. It’s like one-stop shopping for buyers’ agents once we’re done. Within 20 minutes of sitting down at my computer, your listing is complete. The system is set up with yes/no options and drop down boxes, with only three opportunities for free text – property description, agent to agent remarks (this is hidden from consumer view), and directions to the property. The hard parts, like legal description taxes, and longitude/latitude is auto-populated by the system which is connected to local tax records and google maps. My efforts are quick and relatively simple.
How Does My Listing Get on Zillow?
Once I’ve filled out the online form in the MLS, uploaded photos, and clicked submit, I’m pretty much done. Zillow, Trulia, and the 100+ sites that buyers use to search available properties automatically search the MLS and extract property data on a continual basis. Your listing appearing on these sites literally takes ZERO effort on my part.
So Why Are You Paying Your Agent So Much?
There is no greater or more productive effort an agent can put into selling your home than doing this one simple thing, yet sellers shell out THOUSANDS to an agent every time they sell a home. Hmmmmmm. Maybe there is a better way. Since getting your property into the MLS has the greatest potential for marketing and selling your home – greater than all other agent activities COMBINED – maybe you should consider what you’re really getting for your money. Maybe you should ask more questions and really get to the core of what matters. Maybe the flyers in the yard, open houses, and newspaper ads are really just fluff that make your agent look busy and the process look complicated. Maybe all the other stuff is more about answering the questions “What is my Realtor doing for me?” and “Why am I paying all this money?” and not really about selling your house.
Meet with a Rocket Realty agent today and find out how smart people are selling their homes. Your money is better in your pocket than your agent’s.
Good luck out there!