Mia Anderson
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Tips For Buying A House On The MLS

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is one of the most powerful resources at the disposal of your real estate agent. No matter whether you want to buy or sell a home, it's essential to your success. But exactly what is it, and why is it so important?

The MLS is a huge database of home listings. Although the implementation is modern, the concept has been around since all the way back in 1907. Back then, real estate agents would gather in large offices and discuss properties on the market to connect with the right buyer or seller through their network.

These days, the MLS is conducted entirely online. It takes the form of 580 different regional databases all working together. Every regional MLS has its own listings, and agents pay dues to access them. So, getting the most reach on a home for sale means having an agent with plenty of MLS access.

Partner with a Real Estate Agent to Enjoy the Benefits of MLS

The MLS is the key to getting the best results on the market!

Sellers can't post a home on the MLS directly, because only dues-paying real estate agents can open a listing on the system. Sellers who don't realize this – and go the "for sale by owner" route — are at a major disadvantage when it comes to attracting a qualified buyer for their home.

As a buyer, the power of the MLS is at your fingertips. Your real estate agent will let you know all about the local MLS so you can review the newest listings. Of course, you don't have to do it all on your own.

One way a real estate agent helps is by curating those listings.

For example, many real estate agents will send you a weekly email round-up of all the different homes that may meet your needs. When you click through to the listing, you may be visiting your agent's site directly, but you can rest assured all the facts about the home come right from the MLS.

Since the MLS is used everywhere, it's an extra layer of verification that listings are factual.

Getting the Most from the MLS by Working with Your Agent

Let's consider some of the ways the MLS can help make your buying journey easier:

  • Clarify Your Priorities with Your Real Estate Agent
    When you decide to work with an agent, your first conversation should focus on your priorities and just what you want from a home. Each person who'll live in the home should develop 2-3 "must-have" items. This helps you recognize when an MLS listing is exactly what you want.

  • Get Preapproved to Verify Your Housing Budget
    In preapproval, you submit financial information to a mortgage lender, and they make a determination about what funding you qualify for. You have the chance to draw that funding within 30 or 60 days, so you can make your move immediately if you find the right home.

  • Stay in Touch with Your Agent About Your Findings
    Exploring the MLS on your own is fun! You might find a "diamond in the rough" you never expected. But be sure to keep your real estate agent in the know if your preferences or priorities change.

The MLS is one of the most valuable tools in the world of real estate. While you always have the power to browse listings in your area, it's a wise idea to reach out to a real estate agent as soon as you can. The right agent in your corner means smoother sailing to closing day and a home you'll love.

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or selling a home?
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