What Is An MLS? How To Find Hampton Roads Real Estate Listings

When you make the big decision to buy a home, where do you start? There are some preliminary steps, like getting preapproved for your mortgage, finding a good Buyer Agent…..but how to you find the actual homes for sale?

What is the MLS?

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service…so as you might guess, this is where you can find multiple homes for sale, or Virginia Beach MLS Home Searchlistings. Generally, in most locations there’ll be an MLS that serves a certain geographical area. In Hampton Roads, our MLS is Real Estate Information Network, or REIN for short (…to search Virginia Beach Homes, log in for free on our Hampton Roads MLS Search page.)

The MLS is designed to make a number of things easier for not only buyers and sellers, but real estate brokers and agents as well:

Central Database Of Homes For Sale

All brokers and agents who are members of an MLS will make sure to list all of their client’s properties in the MLS’s database. This makes it easy for other agents to see what’s for sale, and ensure that their buyer clients know what’s on the market.

So, in essence, the MLS is a central database of properties available for sale.

For example, if we have a client who is preapproved for $275,000, and wants a home in Virginia Beach in the Little Neck subdivision, as an agent who has access to the MLS, we’re able to show them all of the listings for sale that match – if an agent is involved, the property is listed in the MLS.

Listings typically contain numerous pictures, detailed listing data including number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size, necessary disclosures (is the property a foreclosure or short sale? Does the sale need court approval?, etc…), the commission offered to each agent by the seller (remember – the Buyer Agent’s commission is paid by the seller…more info in this post), and any other information that agents and the public should know.

Cooperation Between Agents

The MLS is also meant to facilitate cooperation between agents and brokers. When my client is selling their house, we enter it into our local MLS, which basically says to the 4000+ other agents in Hampton Roads: “Here’s the home our client wants to sell. Take a look at all the details and the pictures, and if you have a client that wants to see it, let’s work together.”

The property listing also tells us, as I mentioned above, the commission the seller is willing to pay us if we have a client interested in buying the property. Commissions paid are discussed and disclosed between agent and client when a purchase offer is written as well.

Local Real Estate Market History

In addition, an MLS is a repository of real estate history for a local market. Data on sold property is available to brokers, agents, and other MLS members who may need past market data to help their clients.

For example, when we’re working with a client who wants to sell their home, how do we advise them with regard to the proper price at which to put their home on the market? Among other things, we look at comparable properties that have sold in their neighborhood and/or close by (ideally), we analyze other properties that are similar and currently on the market, we review tax assessments, etc… All of this data and more is available to us from our local MLS.

Specialized Data Access for Brokers and Agents

At The Brian Duncan Group, we’ve invested in additional software, websites, and programming that allows our team to interface directly with our MLS. This means when you log in on our website and begin searching for homes, you’ll see that there are over 11,500 listings currently available – every listing, from every local Hampton Roads Real Estate company is available to you right here.

Since we have direct access to our MLS’s data, you’ll never have to look anywhere else.

I hope the above helps to clarify why the MLS exists and how it helps all of us. Questions? Just fill out the form in the right column or call us at 757-802-3004 – We’d love to help you buy a great home, or sell your property!





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