What is the best way for consumers to search for real estate?
On occasion our clients ask us how they can search the MLS. Other clients ask us what does MLS mean? That is Major League Soccer right? We too often use our acronyms and industry lingo thinking everybody knows that the heck we are talking about.
What is a comp? I have to do my AVID. You have to fill out this TDS. By the way would you mind signing the AD form? The HVAC works well. Do you want ALTA title insurance? I have to do a BPO (this is not a body function), Did you read the CCRs? I am going to double side this one. He’s going FSBO. They are chasing the market down. What’s the LVR on that loan? You need PMI on that deal. Did you pay your CAR dues (nothing to do with automobiles). That is owned by a REIT. It just needs a little TLC. It’s a dog with fleas (OK not this one).
What language is all this? Sorry everybody. We will try to speak English from now on.
The MLS means the multiple listing service of course. I guess that means some kind of service that provides at least more than one listing. Most of these MLS’s have a public portal where you can search even if you are not a real estate agent or Realtor (there I go again with an acronym again. Sorry.
By the way, a Realtor is just an agent that has joined a board of .. Realtors. But that is another blog I may never write because that is boring. Anyway back to the MLS thing.
Most of these MLS consumer portals are very clunky. That is being kind to them. Many of these portals work in quirky ways which makes searching confusing to consumers.
You think it is confusing just for you on occasion? The Ventura County MLS for agents has a commonly used search feature by tract code which all agents use all the time but in reality there are listings in those tract searches that don’t show up if those listings where inputted by agents out of the immediate area. Here is the acronym for that glitch. Search Sucks. That means that agents think they are seeing all the listings that could interest their buyer but they are not. There is a way around it if you know about this glitch, which most agents do not. You can’t rely on the integrity of their data when you are searching for a buyer. Nice going MLS. A shot and a goal!!! Not.
As most of you know the MLS is the exchange where agents upload their new listings and buyer’s search for homes for their clients. It is how real estate sells for the most part.
So where do Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com fit in exactly you ask? They are aggregators of MLS listings for the most part. And they sell a lot of ads to make money … and not so much in some cases. They will even give you an estimate of value. Cool huh? Not really. See http://thrive.us/blog/much-house-worth/ for the scoop on that deal.
Home buyers and sellers should not really be concerned about an “MLS Search” per se, they just want to easily see all the homes on the market and look at lots of photographs and know the most important details. So after many years doing real estate transactions we went off an a mission to create a more pure search experience for you; clean, simple, map based with great photos. Not much else is needed. Maybe we will add a feature or two in the future but not too much. Less is more in my view. Maybe you agree.