The history of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to Real Estate in the past was in the form of a published book, that was updated every 2-4 weeks with just a few photos and description of the property. These books where only available to Real Estate Agencies and were considered the Holy Grail, because only brokers had access to the books. If buyer’s wanted to find homes available for sale they had to meet with a Real Estate Broker and flip through the book or stumble across the property in the local news paper.
With the advancement of the internet, Real Estate Brokers have lost the exclusive right to this information.
Today the industry has “IDX” (Internet Data Exchange). Once a property is listed in the local MLS all information and any changes made during the listing period is automatically uploaded to all real estate websites. This is why when you are searching for properties for sale online with the exception of F.S.B.O. you will stumble across the same properties no matter what website you may be searching.
The MLS allows broker members to search and filter homes based on detailed criteria including neighborhood information/features/prices/past sale price/short sale information and days on the market. In addition to the database of current available homes the MLS maintains a database of homes sold through the MLS so brokers can provide their clients with information on sales of comparable homes so that the client can accurately place a value on the home or buyer’s can determine the amount to bid on a home.
Flat Fee Listing Service is the same process as “F.S.B.O. will work with buyer broker” but with the advantage of having the exposure on the MLS and all real estate websites, as well as the assistance of a real estate broker depending on the service they offers.
Many home shoppers make the mistake of thinking that they need to bounce around from one website or another to see all the properties available. The reality is that once a property is listed in your local MLS, virtually within a day or two all real estate websites have picked up the listing through IDX and are displaying it in their own format.
Not only does IDX technology feed into these popular sites, all the major Real Estate Agencies websites also display your listing through IDX.
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