What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

In the process of buying or selling a home, you’ll frequently come across the term “MLS.” The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a group of regional databases of homes for sale accessible only to real estate agents and brokers. Their ability to access the MLS makes it easier for buyers to find the right home and for sellers to market their listings.

What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

The purpose of an MLS is to facilitate real estate transactions by connecting real estate agents and making it easy for them to share information about active listings and sold home data. For buyers and sellers, your agent’s access to the MLS means you’ll be connected to the largest network of homes and listing information on the market. 

Each MLS shows the homes for sale in a particular geographic area. Listing agents add their clients’ listings to the database—providing photos and detailed information about the property—so buyer’s agents can show them to their clients. The MLS allows for customizable searches, which agents use to easily identify the homes that match their clients’ criteria. The vast amount of historical data available on the MLS is what your agent will use to conduct their Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to competitively price your home. The listing data in the MLS is fed to real estate brokerage websites, such as Windermere.com, so that buyers can search for homes on their own as well.

 

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Benefits of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Selling a home is a numbers game. The more potential buyers you can reach, the more likely you are to find the right buyer in a timely manner. After your agent conducts their CMA to determine the value of your home, they’ll upload the listing to the MLS. Here they can add additional information beyond what you would find in a typical listing description, such as showing times, contact information, and more. The MLS provides maximum visibility for sellers by connecting them to buyer’s agents who are actively searching for listings. The MLS has also helped to make the industry more equitable. Small real estate brokerages have access to the same MLS info as large companies, putting everyone on a level playing field.

What is an MLS number?

An MLS number is a unique code for each home listed on the market. It makes it easier for agents to communicate regarding a specific property. To learn more about the MLS, or for answers to your buying and selling questions, connect with a local, experienced Windermere agent today:

 

 


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Real Estate Terminology: Contingent, Pending, Under Contract, and More

Different real estate transactions have different conditions based on the status of the listing. The following information is meant to clarify some common real estate terms that describe a home for sale and its position in the closing process.

For sellers, understanding this terminology will inform your conversations with your agent when it comes time to sell. And for buyers, it helps to be familiar with these terms when searching for your next home and how they factor into making an offer.

What is the difference between pending and under contract?

Pending: When a home is listed as “pending” it means the seller has accepted the buyer’s offer and the sale will most likely be finalized after a successful final inspection and the buyer securing financing. For sellers, reaching the pending stage means the finish line is within reach, but your home is still not officially off the market.

Buyers who notice homes listed as pending should know that an agreement between the seller and another buyer has already been reached and that they are headed for closing. However, even though the chances are unlikely, it is still possible that the buyer backs out and the deal falls through.

Under Contract: A home that’s listed as “under contract” is not as far along in the selling process as a home that’s pending. It means the seller has accepted a buyer’s offer, but there are certain contingencies that must be met before the deal goes final.

Buyers who see a home listed as “under contract” may still reach out to the seller’s listing agent to make a backup offer, unless the contract that’s already in place contains a clause preventing it.

 

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What does contingent mean in real estate?

Contingencies dictate what must happen in a real estate transaction for the contract to become legally binding, giving the buyer or seller the right to back out of the contract if their conditions aren’t met. A property listed as “contingent” means that the seller has accepted an offer, but the deal still hinges on the buyer satisfying certain contingencies to continue. And once those contingencies have been met, the sale can go through as planned.

There are a variety of contingencies that protect buyers and sellers against the bumps in the road along their journey of buying or selling a home. A home sale contingency, for example, allows a buyer to tie their offer on a new home to the successful sale of their existing one. This contingency is beneficial to those who are buying and selling a home at the same time. It’s important for buyers to work with their agent to determine the strongest offer considering the market conditions in the area.

What is closing in real estate?

Closing refers to the homestretch of a real estate agreement between a buyer and seller, leading to the transfer of ownership. Both parties agree on a closing date and see the deal through to its completion. During closing, the buyer will deposit their earnest money in an escrow account, a home inspection is performed, the buyer secures financing to purchase the home, and both parties pay their respective closing costs. For more information on what to do while your home is on the market, visit our Home Selling Guide:

 

 


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