As soon as a person is interested in buying a property, they start looking for it. In the old times, it included scanning through the newspapers, however as times changed, it included visiting real estate agents who have access to a multiple listing service (MLS). But what exactly is Multiple Listing Service and how is it helpful in the field of real estate. So, in this article, we will be discussing in-depth what is Multiple Listing Services, their benefits in the real estate world, and a lot more. So, let’s begin with figuring out MLS.
What Is A Multiple Listing Service?
Multiple Listing Service (MLS) allows agents to advertise their listings to other real estate professionals. This way, agents are able to pool their resources to sell most of their inventory as possible. Every MLS listing consists of property details and commission rates. Many of them also involve displaying instructions, historical listing, disclosures, and transaction information. Earlier on, the privileged access of the agents to MLS was among the major reasons for the potential homebuyers to seek assistance.
Since the 1800s, MLS has been active in one form or the other. Back then, the real estate agents came together to form a network through which the entire regional inventory would be available within a single market. However, prior to that, there wasn’t really a right way for realtors to find which of the homes were available in the broader market, excluding the ones represented by the realtor himself/herself. With the use of MLS, all the regional real-estate agents would have knowledge regarding inventory in the market, and they can make this knowledge accessible to their clients.
And, today with the advent of technology, even that situation has changed and now most of this information can be easily found online and is accessible to even the general public.
How Exactly MLS Works?
Well, this service works by encouraging the agents & brokers for sharing their available listings. Once you post this to MLS, the listings are made available to all of the other members. So, as the other agents/broker helps in selling the property, they receive a part of the commission. To put it simply, the sellers benefit from the MLS by increasing exposure for their property, while the buyers benefit from MLS by having a lot of properties to choose from, and ultimately the agents benefit from this system by being able to share the resources and reduce the costs. Other than that, MLSs also level the playing field by enabling the small brokerages to compete with the larger ones. In the absence of MLS, the property owners are going to prefer large brokerages that offer great exposure for their property.
Understanding MLS Listing
Well, an MLS Listing is a property listing posted on Multiple Listing Service and this consists of any property listed via a licensed broker/agent. However, it doesn’t consist of for-sale by owner listings or the “pocket listings” that are marketed only to a few of the potential buyers. Few MLSs even consist of commercial properties, however, the primary focus stays residential.
What Kind Of Information Is Available On MLS?
MLS consists of information & statistics regarding a listing, like bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, property taxes, days on the market, and listing the agent information. For the agent, here they put together details regarding a property they can use for showings. However, there are also property details not necessarily displayed on MLS. For instance, Roof age is something that you won’t see being disclosed on MLS. In most cases, roof age can be seen on MLS only when it has been redone in the past four-five years. And then, Flooring is another detail that may not appear on MLS, and the only case it will be there is when the upgrades had taken place in the recent past.
What Are The Benefits Of MLS Listings For A Real Estate Mobile App?
The most crucial advantage of MLS listings is certainly “exposure”. These listings are seen by hundreds or maybe thousands of potential buyers every day. Few of the MLS even syndicate to portals like Zillow, Trulia, etc. So, this can bring national audience attention to your property. And THIS leads to an increase in the competition for your property, resulting in more offers and less time on the market.
How Much Multiple Listing Service Costs?
The cost of joining an MLS for a real estate mobile app differs but generally it can be anywhere between $200 to $1000/year. The fee covers the cost to operate the MLS, and the services & programs benefitting members. The benefits to MLS members consist of classes, market reports, advocacy, community outreach, networking events, and group insurance discounts.
The Use Of Technology In MLS
In the past decade, we saw the MLS data being democratized by the websites like Zillow. It enables the sellers to self-publish the property details. Even though these listings might be less robust as compared to usually found in an MLS, most of them consist of salient points and a lot of pictures, and this is usually enough for the buyers who are keen to save on the commissions by handling the purchase on their own.
Popular Multiple Listing Service APIs To Integrate With Real Estate Mobile App
Here are some of the tops MLS APIs:
This API allows the users to integrate the public records data with their web pages. Realtors Property Resource (RPR) API pools the nationwide coverage from more than 130 million property records. At the moment, RPR only offers API access to MLS enterprises. The nationwide data they offer consists of:
- i) Public Records
- ii) Deed
- iii) Stand-alone mortgage records.
This API shows the updated real estate & mortgage content in real-time and it is available for free within limits. Zillow works amazingly by grabbing 70 percent of the online property searches but it also gives the software developers easy access to a fleet of real estate APIs for several use cases. It had acquired another MLS API Restly, and has also some commercial real estate APIs developed in-house, such as:
- GetDeepSearch-Results API
- GetDeepComps API
- GetUpdatedPropertyDetails API
This API can be used to access all of the endpoints required by the developers for creating their apps on top of the Mashvisor Inc, which is a rich real estate API and can get information on real estate, deep analysis, solid & up-to-date calculations on several cities, zip codes & neighbourhoods in the database across the USA. At the same, it allows using the power of Mashvisor AI & Machine Learning on the real estate valuation.
ATTOM’s API offers very comprehensive real estate and property datasets on the real estate market. It consolidates the nationwide property-centric deed, mortgage, tax, and foreclosure data with the neighbourhood data on malls, schools, parks, crime, and a lot more. This API offers data on over 155 million properties in the United States and 99 percent of the U.S. population.
This API offers real estate data to the authorized MLS members and offers three main categories of real estate data, Contacts, Listings, and Market Statistics. Here, the level of data provided depends on the role assigned to each user. With Spark, MLS members can access more data on the listings as compared to the consumers on an IDX website.
On the basis of provided property details, Realtymole API provides a rent estimate with comparable rental properties. It scans thousands of rental listings for calculating an estimated rent for property entered. The API carries a huge database of recent rental listings and it uses a correlation algorithm for finding the most comparable rentals.
In case you are looking to integrate an API for your real estate website, you can choose from the ones mentioned above and see which one works best for your requirements. Apart from MLS API, you can take a look at online resources for developing a real estate mobile app.
Pooja Chandak is an avid reader and an experienced content writer. Apart from blogs, she writes quotes and poems. She started writing when she was in school. Pooja currently works as a Content Development Executive for a Mumbai-based company.