MLS searches (or Multiple Listings Service) are based off the principle; “Help me sell my inventory and I’ll help you sell yours.” It is a unique concept, though one not many other industries use. Real estate brokers acknowledge the advancements in technology once MLS searches became popular, and are willing to present the advantages and disadvantages of MLS queries to interested parties. The decision of utilizing this service is ultimately up to the potential buyer.
No For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Options
One of the big disadvantages to MLS searches is they do not include homes sold by the owner, unless the seller has negotiated a certain percentage of the commission to the realtors. If interested in FSBO’s, the buyer must search potential neighborhoods for FSBO signs and negotiate a price within their range. If the buyer does not know much about negotiating prices, or how much homes are worth, MLS queries still provide some contribution for comparison purposes. If excessive research is undesirable to the buyer, then MLS queries provide another benefit.
Less Research for the Buyer
Buying a home might already be considered a stressful process for some. MLS searches can cut down on some of that stress because it reduces the research the buyer must conduct. There are already so many other aspects a buyer must remember to look into, including the community, crime rate, demographics, school districts, job outlooks, among others. MLS queries place hundreds of homes from the participating brokers into one database, with hundreds of fields with which to search the properties. Knowledgeable brokers with years of experience determine these popular search fields; whereas if the buyer conducts the research by himself or herself, he or she may question whether the information they find is accurate.
The Internet Outdates MLS Queries
The younger generation might claim the Internet is called the “Information Highway” for a reason. While it is true certain states have their MLS queries readily available on the Internet, not all states have this accessibility. It is also important to consider that information researched on one’s own time might not be as accurate as the MLS searches provided by real estate brokers.
A Trusting Community
As mentioned earlier, all MLS queries are based off the “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” premise. In other words, there are no hidden agendas. All brokers participating in MLS queries are trying to provide the buyer with the greatest number of options. They keep the buyer’s requirements in mind and try to create satisfactory customers.
Ultimately, the decision to use MLS searches or to conduct the research on one’s own is up to the potential buyer.