A friend of mine is looking for a place. She doesn’t want to enlist the help of a real estate agent because (according to her) the agent will only show her listings that he/she is selling, instead of showing her all listings that are for sale. Is that the way it works? – WONDERING WHAT’S UP
DEAR WONDERING: In real estate, no agent is an island. Buying and selling property is a highly collaborative business, as is demonstrated by the evolution of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
For well over a century, Realtors have been gathering to compare which homes they have for sale and working cooperatively to sell each other’s properties. The MLS system grew out of this tradition and has been funded by real estate professionals since it began.
As time went by, agent roundtables gave way to printed books, and then the Internet. Today’s MLS service provides access to nearly 100,000 listings in Ontario alone and operates on a wider and more efficient scale than ever before. The MLS consolidates information from a wide variety of regional databases. It allows consumers to view information about virtually every property listed for sale (with the exception of those being sold privately) and lets Realtors share data, photos and virtual tours in a format that far exceeds the reach they would have had in the early days. When explaining the MLS system to my sellers, I often tell them this: the moment we list a home for sale we’re hiring over 100,000 Realtors across Ontario to help sell it, and we only compensate the one that brings the best offer.
With the MLS system putting thousands of properties at an agent’s fingertips, it would be counterproductive for any Realtor to focus solely on selling their own listings, especially since most Realtors have only a handful of listings at any given time. When my clients are buying, I set them up on an automatic MLS search, so they receive email notifications about new listings that match their criteria the moment those homes come to market. A search like this provides more information than a single agent (or brokerage) would have in their portfolio and is a sure-fire way to ensure you’re covering all the bases.
The MLS system is provided free-of-charge to the public (on Realtor.ca) in a streamlined format that does not contain information that could endanger a sellers’ privacy or safety. Of the countless number of real estate sites out there, Realtor.ca is the only one that allows consumers to search through all available listings.
PRO TIP: Any Realtor who isn’t showing you every property that meets your criteria is not serving your best interests. If an agent were to limit your home search to their own personal listings, they wouldn’t be able to compete in today’s market. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator
David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.