Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
What is the MLS, and how does it work for you?
The MLS is a database of properties currently on the market in the our mountain areas of Watauga County, Avery County, Ashe County, NC and adjoining counties in Tennessee. Brokers participating in the MLS (which includes virtually all Brokers in our area) will list all the properties on this data-sharing service which they have for sale, thereby agreeing to share in the sales commission of the properties with other agents. Property details are offered in standardized formats which are familiar to all agents participating in our local MLS.
We have computerized MLS in Avery-Watauga Association of REALTORS, which means most agents upload information about their listings via computer or download new listings every day. Property information sheets can be e-mailed to buyers from MLS. Agents can choose to pay for a service called IDX which places some data about all listings in our local MLS onto an agent's or company's website. All listings also go to a national REALTOR-affliliated website which is open to the general public for perusal.
I have gotten calls from California and Michigan the day after my new listings came out in our local MLS. Buyers are on the Internet looking for property in their chosen locations and when a property comes out in MLS locally, it also appears on a national website.
If I list your property on the MLS for you, but another agent in our MLS finds a buyer for your house, that other broker or agent is entitled to part of the commission. The big advantage to you, as the seller, is that every single broker and agent participating in the MLS has an incentive to sell your home. This effectively puts every agent in the area to work selling your home! The first place a buyer's agent looks is always the MLS. There is simply no better way to gain instant and widespread exposure for your home than listing it on the MLS.
So, the first thing I'll do as your agent is put a comprehensive data sheet about your property on the MLS! When another agent is searching for a home to meet the needs of a buyer, the agent will search the MLS based on the buyer's criteria for price range and features. I will enter all the important information about your home, such as the size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any special features. My ad copy will be creative and original as I describe the good features about your property. My digital camera and my picture editing software will show your home in its best lighting. Other agents and buyers want to see good pictures and truthful descriptions about a property.
The Internet has increased the importance of MLS because it has given local property national exposure. Even if an agent does not have their own website, their properties have a chance to be seen by anyone with a computer 24/7.