By Kathy McSherry | Ask Kathy
I know as a Realtor you have access to the MLS. What exactly is that and what other resources do you use when looking for properties for your buyers and keeping them informed of the latest real estate trends? Thank you.
What a great question. Many people do not realize how many resources are available for both Realtors and consumers when either looking for properties or interested in selling properties.
First, the MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. Per Wikipedia, the MLS offers services that allow real estate brokers to “establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers) and accumulate and disseminate information to enable appraisals.
“A MLS database and software is used by real estate brokers in real estate, representing sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with other brokers who may represent potential buyers or wish to work with a seller’s broker in finding a buyer for the property or asset.
“The listing data stored in a MLS database is the proprietary information of the broker who has obtained a listing agreement with a property seller.”
With that being said, one has to be a member to access this information and pay dues or fees.
This is where we, as a Realtor, will begin our searches to locate a property.
Another resource for us as agents is a local caravan and/or pitching forum. Many local areas will have their own forum where Realtors, lenders, title representatives and any company based around the real estate industry for buyers, sellers, rentals, and commercial properties, go on a certain day of the week and “pitch” their listings.
On Fridays, depending on the schedule, the Mission Valley area falls under the METRO – Metropolitan Realty Organization Broker Caravan. It begins at 8:30 a.m. at 3030 Front St. in San Diego, and goes for about an hour; and it is a wonderful forum for local agents to stand up and pitch their listings.
Many times, even though a home is in the MLS, reaching out to other agents on a personal and professional level and physically explaining the features and benefits of your listing is a real plus for a seller. It helps us to keep our pulse on the market.
At the meeting on Friday, March 3, in Bankers Hill, not only were there many great properties that hadn’t even hit the MLS yet, but a company was explaining a wonderful service that agents can provide their sellers as a closing gift.
It acts like a concierge service whereby the company will come out to your home and list all the home’s important facts, from paint colors, to when your air filter needs to be replaced, any maintenance issues, documents on the home, photos and more.
This gives the homeowner a one-stop place for everything needed that pertains to that property. And, the service transfers to the new homeowner.
In addition to listening about new home-related products, agents are provided with a list of available listings that are set up for a “broker caravan.”
This is essentially an open house for agents to come and personally view the listing so they can preview for their clients, see what other homes in the area are selling for, and again, become more knowledgeable both about the products and the community.
Networking with other agents is key to being successful in real estate and visiting and comparing properties keeps an agent current and up to date.
Sandicor.com is San Diego’s Multiple Listing Service. This website is for licensed Realtors to gain access but it is also a very informative website for consumers. From accessing listings in the MLS to various links related to real estate, it is worth a visit.
Find a Realtor that is actively involved that you can trust, as it is our job to have the latest information and actively network so as to fully understand the market.
Thank you Greg for your question. Please feel free to call me, text or email, with any real estate questions.
—Kathy McSherry is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Email your questions to Kathy@kathymcsherry.com or call 702-382-9905.