What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

If you’re buying or selling a Loft, then you’re going to come across the term MLS or Multiple Listing Service. But just what is the MLS and why is it so important to both buyers and sellers? Let’s take a closer look at this essential tool.

The MLS explained

In a nutshell, the MLS is a huge database of Lofts for sale. While it may seem like the MLS is one national database, it is actually comprised of hundreds of regional databases. Real estate agents use the MLS as a tool to help buyers and sellers find each other, even for Lofts they do no represent. The MLS helps to facilitate cooperation between agents by consolidating information in one place. Real estate agents pay to have access to their regional database. In many cases, agents may pay to have memberships to more than one MLS.

How the MLS works

The MLS is an online service that allows agents to search Lofts by price, features, and neighborhoods. Sellers cannot post their properties directly on the MLS – it is only accessible to those agents and brokers who have paid memberships. Agents collect all the important details about a Loft including the size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other amenities. They then create a listing with this information as well as photos of the Loft on behalf of their client. Agents can also upload and download important documents on the MLS like HOA regulations and seller disclosures. Listings on the MLS are then exposed to thousands of agents as well as real estate websites like Zillow or Realtor.com.

How the MLS benefits buyers

We are in a seller’s market. That means it’s critical for buyers to have up-to-the-minute access to new Loft listings. Lofts are added to the MLS in real-time giving agents information about new Lofts for sale almost instantly. Agents are notified when new listings fitting their criteria are added to the database. As a buyer, having this information at your fingertips is critical in a competitive market.

How the MLS benefits sellers

As a Loft seller, the most important marketing tool is exposure. You are more likely to have multiple offers on your Loft when it reaches the widest possible audience. When your Loft is listed on the MLS it not only reaches the agents who have access to the database, but also the third party websites that aggregate this data. This means your Loft will be seen by exponentially more potential buyers than just a sign in your front yard or an ad in the local newspaper.

How to make the most of the MLS

When interviewing real estate agents, be sure to ask them if they have MLS access. Also inquire if they are members of more than one MLS, which will increase your reach to potential buyers or sellers. If you’re Loft hunting, then ask your agent to create a buyer portal. This will create email alerts that are sent to you when a Loft matching your criteria hits the market. As a seller, make sure that your agent has the correct information about your Loft so that details in your listing are accurate. And, of course, be sure to use high-quality photos to make your Loft stand out from the competition.


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