The Multiple Listing Service, commonly referred to as MLS, is the cornerstone of real estate markets in the U.S. If you are planning to buy or sell real estate, you will get to hear this term all the time. While most home sellers and buyers have a basic knowledge of MLS Fargo Moorhead Area, there is more to this than what meets the eyes. The MLS streamlines the process of listing properties for sale and makes them accessible to home buyers and sellers.
Here are a few things you should know about MLS Fargo Moorhead Area and how it works:
What is MLS?
The Multiple Listing Service is a regional database of properties put on the market by the agents and brokers in their respective areas. The MLS is maintained by independent websites as well as regional association of realtors. The most comprehensive MLS database is offered by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and regional associations affiliated with it. Real estate agents and brokers are required to pay a fee to become member of these associations and gain access to MLS. What it basically means is that home sellers can’t directly access MLS. They would need to hire the services of a realtor in order to feed their listing into the regional MLS database.
MLS is made up of 700 regional databases. An agent or a broker is granted access to the MLS database of his or her region only. If an agent or broker wants access to property listing database of other regions, he or she may be required to pay a fee for each of them. Some databases promote listings from other regional databases without charging agents and brokers any additional fee. The trend is catching up fast because it improves connectivity among agents and helps promote listings to a wider pool of buyers.
Each listing in the database provides basic information about properties available for sale, for example – asking price, square footage, location, photos and most attractive features. Your agent can also upload publically accessible documents to the MLS. If you feel that something is missing from the listing, all you need to do is ask your agent to include the missing information.
What if you don’t hire a realtor?
As mentioned earlier, you won’t have access to the MLS database if you don’t hire a licensed real estate agent. In other words, you will have to list your home as For Sale by Owner (FSBO). A lot of websites list only FSBO properties. If you decide to list your home as FSBO, you will need to come up with the asking price, prepare the listing and promote it to prospective buyers.
Many real estate agents and brokers offer the service of listing the properties on the MLS for a fixed fee. So you can hire a real estate agent just to include your home listing in the MLS database. You won’t pay this agent a commission, but a fixed amount of fee for this ‘la carte’ service.