The San Antonio MLS
Read any real estate blog and you’ll quickly learn that Realtors love acronyms and abbreviations. One you’ll hear more often than not? MLS. Short for multiple listing service, it’s what agents use to help you find a home in San Antonio (or wherever you may live). Simply put, it’s a giant database of homes for sale that is available to Realtors in San Antonio.
MLS (or Multiple Listing Service) is a giant list of San Antonio homes for sale at any given moment. While it is one of the most complete databases of San Antonio properties on the market, it is by no means a list of every home for sale. Homeowners may opt out of the system and in San Antonio, the broker must be a member of the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (not every real estate agent is a Realtor). For sale by owners can be listed in the MLS through a brokerage, but they cannot do it privately (that’s a complicated enough issue that it deserves its own blog post).
The MLS is one of the Realtor’s greatest tools as it provides updated, accurate information on the homes in San Antonio (as accurate as it is when it was entered). With it, we can set multiple criteria for your home search, have an email of homes that meet your needs in a matter of minutes, and have the MLS continue to send you properties as they appear on the market or changes are made (such as a price change). Although we’d love to take credit for sending you a list of properties at 4am, it’s just the San Antonio MLS doing its job (although many agents I know have been known to be up at that hour searching for properties for their clients).
But, I can do all the research online myself…
With the abundance of real estate search sites available to consumers these days, some people think they have no need for the Multiple Listing Service. Although I love the proliferation of technology that has made searching for a home in San Antonio much easier, I have to disagree that the MLS is of no value. The difference is in the data. Many sites such as Trulia, Zillow, and even the search tool right here on this site, rely on one of two ways (or both) of getting their listing data. The first is syndication. New information about listings is pushed out to various sites through data aggregators and appears on thousands of sites at one time. The second way sites get their data is through MLS feeds or IDX (our listings on this site are powered by IDX). Although these feeds provide data about the homes in San Antonio currently for sale, the data is not always updated quickly (causing you to see a home as an active sale, when in fact it has already been sold) and is not as complete as the data available in the San Antonio MLS as many of the aggregators pick and choose what data they share with you on their sites. The IDX we use on this site is updated every fifteen minutes in order to bring you the most up to date information about homes for sale in the MLS.
Don’t be afraid to start your search for a new home online, but be sure to target your search and when it’s time to get a little more serious, contact a local Realtor and dive into the world of the San Antonio MLS.
photo courtesy of br1dotcom